1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913 | 1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919
1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1924 | 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929
1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934 | 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939
1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944 | 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949

1 Jan 1940
  • Age of conscription increased to 27 in the United Kingdom, thus adding two million potential conscripts for military service. ww2dbase [TH]
  • 1,000 men from the Finnish 9th Division under the command of Captain Eino Lassila skied into their attacking position; when they arrived at 2300, they were looking down a large Russian tank and artillery concentration on the Raate Road. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • Between the start of the European War on 1 Sep 1939 and this date, 15,600 British men registered themselves as conscientious objectors. ww2dbase [AC]
  • 10,000 Japanese troops launched a counter-attack in eastern Shanxi Province in China in an attempt to relieve the nearly-surrounded Japanese 36th Division. It would be driven back by stiff Chinese resistance within the next two days. ww2dbase [Winter Offensive | CPC]
  • Tingfang Bie passed away. ww2dbase [Bie Tingfang | CPC]
  • Gunner LAC T. Gibbin became the first airman from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom to be killed in World War II when Spitfire fighters from No. 602 Squadron intercepted returning Hampden bombers and, mistaking them for German aircraft, shot down two of the bombers. The other seven crewmen were picked up by fishing boats. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-58 sank neutral Swedish steamer Lars Magnus Trozelli with one torpedo in the North Sea 50 miles northeast of Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom at 1100 hours, killing 7. The survivors were picked up Norwegian merchant ship Ask. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
France
  • Lorraine was transferred to 2nd Battleship Division of 1st Squadron of the French Navy. ww2dbase [Lorraine | CPC]
Germany
  • Robert von Greim was promoted to the rank of Generalleutnant. ww2dbase [Robert von Greim | CPC]
Gibraltar
  • British authorities detained several American ships at Gibraltar to search for contraband. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German aircraft bombed RAF Coastal Command at Sullom Voe in the Shetland Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom damaging light cruiser HMS Coventry and ground facilities with the loss of one Ju 88 bomber. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | Shetland Islands, Scotland | CPC]
2 Jan 1940
  • The Irish government introduced emergency powers to intern IRA members without trial. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano sent a secret message to Belgium and the Netherlands, warning them of the German invasion plan. The Germans intercepted this message. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
Finland
  • Battle of the Raate Road: At midnight in the very start of this day, after one hour of preparations, Finnish Army Captain Eino Lassila launched an attack on a 500 meter section of Russian artillery on the Raate Road. At 0700, Russian troops attempted a counterattack with tanks, but the Finnish troops were able to bring two Bofors anti-tank guns to the front to halt the counterattack, destroying 7 of the Russian tanks. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
3 Jan 1940
  • American freighter Mormacsun was intercepted by the Royal Navy and diverted to Scotland for searches. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet submarine S-2 was sunk after hitting a naval mine in the Sea of Aland; all 50 aboard were lost. ww2dbase [CPC]
Finland
  • Battle of the Raate Road: Troops of Finnish 9th Division continued to attack the Russian concentration along the Raate Road, they failed to cut the column but they did manage to pin down the Russians. Finnish troops focused on attacking field kitchens and bonfires to keep the Russians in the cold. Meanwhile, Finnish Colonel Siilasvuo dispatched another two regiment-sized task forces, traveling toward Raate Road on skis, to aid the assault. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
Germany United States
4 Jan 1940
  • British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax sent a diplomatic note to Norway, with a copy sent to Sweden, asking for permission to send British Royal Navy ships into Norwegian waters, citing German sinking of British merchant ships. ww2dbase [Halifax | CPC]
  • The first Norwegian volunteers departed Oslo, Norway for Finland. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • HMS Mauritius was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Mauritius | CPC]
5 Jan 1940
  • Oliver Stanley became the Secretary of State for War with the resignation of Leslie Hore-Belisha. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Finnish troops continued to pin Soviet troops along the Raate Road. Many Russians suffered frostbite, gangrene, and other effects from the severely cold weather; however, they fought back valiantly, causing heavy casualties on the Finnish side as well. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • Germany forbade the transport of any form of aide into Finland across German territory. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The United Kingdom requested Norway for permission to send Royal Navy vessels into Norwegian waters, citing the German attacks on British ships in Norwegian waters as the reason. Secretly, this request also served as means to deliver British and French troops to Finland through Norway, should the need arise. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • As the first Norwegian volunteer fighters left Oslo for Finland, the first Swedish volunteers arrived. In light of these events, Soviet Union accused Norway and Sweden of pursuing "unneutral" policies by allowing their citizens to volunteer to fight for Finland. ww2dbase [CPC]
6 Jan 1940
  • At 0300 hours, Finnish troops cut the Soviet column on Raate Road in Finland at several locations. Soviet troops began to become demoralized and many fled into the nearby forest. Soviet tanks began to counterattack to but little effect. Soviet 44th Division's commanding officer Vinogradov ordered a general retreat. Also on this day, Finnish Air Force Lieutenant Jorma Sarvanto shot down 6 of 7 Soviet bombers he attacked in only 5 minutes. In neighboring Sweden and Norway, the governments there reasserted their neutrality, both rejecting British requests to operate in their waters. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler postponed the attack of France and the Low Countries until spring 1940. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • USS Helena arrived at Guant√°namo Bay, Cuba. ww2dbase [Helena (St. Louis-class) | CPC]
Gibraltar
  • The United States liner Manhattan was detained at Gibraltar by the British Contraband Control. A protest was made by the American government. ww2dbase [AC]
7 Jan 1940
  • Battle of Raate Road ended with the Finnish 9th Division routing the Soviet 44th Division over the past few days. On the same day, General Semyon Timoshenko took command of Soviet Army forces in Finland. ww2dbase [The Winter War | TH]
  • Vessels of German First Minesweeper Flotilla sank British submarine HMS Seahorse southeast of Helgoland, Germany. Entire crew of 36 was lost. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • At 0940 hours, British submarine HMS Undine spotted three trawlers 20 miles west of Helgoland, Germany and moved in to attack. The trawlers, actually minesweepers, counterattacked, forcing Undine to dive. A depth charge attack caused damage to Undine's hydroplanes, leading to the scuttling. The crew of 27 was later rescued by the German minesweepers. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Helena departed Guant√°namo Bay, Cuba. ww2dbase [Helena (St. Louis-class) | CPC]
8 Jan 1940
  • The government of the United Kingdom introduced rationing, allowing each citizen 112 grams (4 ounces) of bacon and 336 grams (12 ounces) of sugar per week. ww2dbase [TH]
  • In Finland, Finnish 9th Division took possession of Raate Road at dawn after taking 1,000 Soviet prisoners of war, 43 tanks, 70 field guns, 278 vehicles, 300 machine guns, 6,000 rifles, and 1,170 horses. An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 Soviet troops were killed in the Battle of Raate Road, while 700 would be successful in escaping back into Soviet lines, but many of them would be shot by NKVD agents for treason for retreating. The Finnish forces suffered 2,700 casualties in the battle. ww2dbase [The Winter War | TH]
  • Benito Mussolini sent a message to Adolf Hitler, cautioning against waging war with the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Benito Mussolini | CPC]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND on passage to Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. ww2dbase [Cumberland | DS]
9 Jan 1940

Atlantic Ocean
  • German bombers sank three Allied merchantmen in the North Sea. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
  • The British submarine HMS Starfish (N19) attacked a German minesweeper off the German North Sea coast in the Heligoland Bight. However this attack failed because, due to drill error, the torpedoes remained stuck in the tubes. She returned for second attack but the hydroplanes jammed and the commanding officer Lieutenant Thomas Turner decided to remain under water at the depth of about 27 metres for the remainder of day to carry out repairs. The German minesweeper M-7 located her and dropped 2 depth charges which did no damage. At 1050 hours one of the electricians asked for permission to restart one of the Sperry motors to prevent the gyro from wandering, and the request was granted. No sooner the motor started, 4 depth charges rained on top of the boat, fairly close aboard, causing widespread damage. At 1440 hours another depth charge attack was carried out, 20 of these falling fairly close to the hull, shearing rivets and starting plates which began leaking. By 1800 hrs the situation inside was serious, the engine room crankcases and starboard main motor bearings were flooded, the torpedo trenches and bilges were full, water was pouring through the starboard engine clutch and lapping the starboard main motor casing. HMS Starfish laid on the bottom until Lieutenant Turner, having formed the opinion the enemy was not likely to leave the vicinity in the near future, gave the order to surface at 1820 hours. In order to accomplish this, the submarine was forced to drop the ballast keel, barely making it due to loss of high pressure air and water in the hull, coming up at a 45-degree angle. She sank very shortly after with no loss among the crew, which was picked up by the waiting ships and taken as prisoners of war. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | North Sea | HM]
  • Carrying a cargo of coal from West Hartlepool on the eastern coast of England, United Kingdom to Drammen, Buskerud in Norway, the Norwegian 1,334-ton steam merchant Manx was torpedoed at 0221 hours as she cleared Kinnaird Head in north Scotland by U-19 (Joachim Schepke). Eight of the crew managed to get to an upturned lifeboat but four died of exposure in the cold water. Four men endured eight hours on the boat until rescued by the Norwegian freighter Leka, the other 2 who had got on a raft were seen by Isis, another Norwegian ship. Originally it was thought that the Manx had hit a mine however, records show that U-19 had indeed claimed a merchant ship on this date, Schepke made no mention of the ship being Norwegian therefore neutral. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | North Sea | CPC, HM]
United Kingdom
  • British liner SS Dunbar Castle hit a naval mine and sank off Ramsgate in southeastern England, United Kingdom. 9 were killed immediately, including the captain. Chief Officer Herbert Robinson of Dunbar Castle was later awarded the Order of the British Empire for evacuating 189 survivors. ww2dbase [Ramsgate, England | CPC]
  • HMS Hermes began a period of refitting in Britain. ww2dbase [Hermes | CPC]
10 Jan 1940
  • Hitler set the start date for Fall Gelb, the invasion of France and the Low Countries for 17 Jan; however, a German aircraft with plans aboard (against orders) crashed in Belgium, and Belgian intelligence recovered some of the papers. Germany postponed the invasion indefinitely in light of this breach. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • Unofficial peace talks began between the Soviet Union and Finland, but the fighting continued. ww2dbase [The Winter War | AC, CPC]
11 Jan 1940
  • The Fleet Landing Exercise No. 6 began in the Caribbean Sea, participated by US Navy and US Marine Corps personnel. The Marine participants were the 1st Marine Brigade and the 1st Marine Aircraft Group under the command of Brigadier General Holland M. Smith, taking part. ww2dbase [Holland Smith | CPC]
  • Captain Tomozo Kikuchi was named the commanding officer of light carrier Hosho. ww2dbase [Hosho | CPC]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND under refit in HM Dockyard Simonstown, South Africa. ww2dbase [Cumberland | DS]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The Fredville, a 1,150-ton Norwegian steam merchant, was attacked and sunk approximately 100 miles east of the Orkney Isles at 1632 hours. There had been two explosions in the hold, the first seemed to cause little damage but 10 minutes later a much larger explosion broke the ship in two. The ship in ballast was on her way to Methil, Scotland, United Kingdom. 5 of the crew found time to get into a lifeboat and made repeated attempts to find any more survivors from the after part of the ship that remained afloat but none were found. The 5 men were picked up by a Swedish ship and taken to Kopervik, Karm√ły Island, Norway. It was probable that the ship was sunk by German submarine U-23 (Otto Kretschmer), though at the enquiry held later the crew said that they thought there could have been bombs put into the coal bunkers by the Wollweber Group who were a group of Communist saboteurs who were responsible for the loss of several Scandinavian ships; they also stated that the ship was marked with the Norwegian flag and had navigation lights on. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | North Sea | CPC, HM]
Finland
  • Finnish IV Corps pinned Soviet 168th Division north of Lake Lagoda in Finland. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
Germany
  • Karl von Le Suire was awarded the Sudetenland Medal. ww2dbase [Karl von Le Suire | CPC]
Hungary
  • Training began for 350 Hungarian men to fight in Finland. Nearly 25,000 others waited for the approval for their volunteer service. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British oil tanker SS El Oso hit a naval mine and sank 6 miles west of the Bar Lightship, Liverpool, England, at about 1100 hours. 3 men were killed, 32 were rescued by destroyer HMS Walker. ww2dbase [Liverpool, England | CPC]
12 Jan 1940
  • German submarine U-23 torpedoed and sank Danish oil tanker Danmark off Orkney Islands Scotland at 0650 hours. Her crew of 40 escaped safely, but the 14,000 tons of fuel destined for the Allied war effort were lost. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • Hellmuth Felmy was relieved of command of Luftflotte 2 as the result of the Mechelen Incident. ww2dbase [Hellmuth Felmy | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 12 Jan 1940
Finnish ski troops in northern Finland, 12 Jan 1940
13 Jan 1940
  • German submarine U-20 torpedoed Swedish steamer Sylvia at 0430 hours northeast of Aberdeen, Scotland. Sylvia sank within a minute, taking the lives of the entire crew of 20. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet submarine ShCh-324 attacked an Axis convoy in the Sea of Aland, but all torpedoes missed. Finnish Navy converted yacht Aura II retaliated with depth charges, but the wooden yacht was destroyed when one of the depth charges exploded in the thrower, killing 26; 15 survived the sinking. ww2dbase [ShCh-324 | CPC]
  • The Yakovlev YA-26 prototype, later to become the Yak-1 fighter, took flight. This prototype would be lost in an accident in Apr 1940. ww2dbase [Yak-1 | AC]
  • Adolf Hitler postponed the attack of France and the Low Countries. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • The German Navy Operations Division reported that while Norway presented strategic importance, Germany should not invade the neutral country if there was little risk of a British violation of Norwegian neutrality. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
14 Jan 1940

United Kingdom
15 Jan 1940
  • German submarine U-44 torpedoed and sank Norwegian steamer Fagerheim in the Bay of Biscay at the early hours of the day, killing 15. The 5 survivors were taken to Vigo, Spain. At 0700 hours, U-44 fired shots at Dutch merchant freighter Arendskerk; realizing his ship could not out run the German submarine, captain of the Arendskerk gave the abandon ship order. Arendskerk was subsequently torpedoed and sank, but all 65 of her crew members survived, rescued by Italian steamer Fedora. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British government revealed that nearly twice as many people had been killed on the roads than the number of people killed in enemy action. The blackout was among the chief reasons. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Kapit√§n zur See Ernst Kretzenberg took command of cruiser K√∂ln. ww2dbase [K√∂ln | CPC]
16 Jan 1940
  • Kichisaburo Nomura stepped down as Foreign Minister of Japan. ww2dbase [Kichisaburo Nomura | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • After penetrating Heligoland Bight, the British submarines Seahorse, Undine, and Starfish were reportedly sunk by the Germans. ww2dbase [Heligoland Bight, North Sea | CPC]
  • German submarine U-44 torpedoed and sank the Greek ship Panachrandos in the Bay of Biscay at 0611 hours. She sank within three minutes, killing all 31 aboard. ww2dbase [Bay of Biscay | CPC]
Germany Japan
  • Hachiro Arita was named the Minister of Foreign Affairs. ww2dbase [Hachiro Arita | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British tanker Inverdargle, with 12,000 tons of aviation fuel aboard, struck a naval mine in the Bristol Channel at 1619 hours. All 49 aboard were killed. ww2dbase [Bristol Channel, England | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 16 Jan 1940
US Navy NAS Jacksonville (Florida, United States) commanding officerPrime Minister Mitsumasa Yonai and his cabinet, Tokyo, Japan, 16 Jan 1940Oiler Patoka off the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, United States, 16 Jan 1940; note SOC floatplane amidships, with its wings folded
17 Jan 1940

Atlantic Ocean
  • The Norwegian 1,140-ton steam merchant Enid carrying wood pulp to Dublin, Ireland was one of two ships sunk 7 miles north of Muckle Flugga, Shetland Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom. The other vessel was the 4,751-ton British freighter Polzella. The Enid went to the assistance of the British ship which sank quickly after the torpedo fired by U-25 (Viktor Sch√ľtze) struck (all crew members aboard Polzella would be lost), but the submarine surfaced and fired a shot across the bow to stop her. Enid turned away, fired three shots from her deck gun, and then was abandoned by her crew, who took to two lifeboats. The Germans then fired 21 rounds from the deck gun and hit Enid seven times, setting her on fire. At 1410 hours, a coup de gr√Ęce was fired that broke the ship in two. The forepart sank immediately while the burning stern remained afloat and was later scuttled by the destroyer HMS Firedrake (H 79), which had been sent to the area to hunt for the submarine together with HMS Fortune (H 70) and several anti-submarine trawlers. Eight survivors in one lifeboat made landfall after 3 hours at Burra Firth on Unst, one of the northern Shetland Islands. The master and 7 crew members were picked up by the Danish motor merchant Kina. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | CPC, HM]
Belgium Finland
  • Finland registered temperatures as low as -45 degrees Celsius (-49 Degrees Fahrenheit). The cold weather posed problems for both Finnish and Soviet troops fighting in Finland. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
France
  • Polish cryptographers in Paris, France cracked the German air force's Enigma codes, making it possible to intercept and read all the Luftwaffe's secret transmissions. ww2dbase [Enigma Code Broken | Paris | AC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Jan 1940
Finnish troops inspecting destroyed Soviet vehicles, Finland, 17 Jan 1940
18 Jan 1940

Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-44 sank the Danish vessel Canadian Reefer, sailing for Britain with fruit, in the Bay of Biscay. The crew of 26 were rescued by a Spanish trawler. ww2dbase [Bay of Biscay | CPC]
  • German submarine U-25 sank Swedish merchant ship Pajala with three torpedoes in the North Sea at 1625 hours. Escort HMS Northern Duke rescued 35 after unsuccessfully depth charging U-25. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
  • German submarine U-55 sank Swedish merchant ship Foxen in the North Sea, killing 17, at 1745 hours. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
  • German submarine U-9 attacked Swedish merchant ship Patricia with two torpedoes in the North Sea at 2353 hours, but the torpedoes went astray, hitting and sinking Flandria instead. Norwegian merchant ship Balzac would rescue four survivors two days later. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
Finland
  • Having already destroyed Soviet 163rd and 44th Divisions, Finnish Army Colonel Siilasvuo was ordered to take the Finnish 9th Division 30 miles south to Kuhmo to attack the Soviet 54th Division under the command of Chuikov. ww2dbase [The Winter War | Hjalmar Siilasvuo | CPC]
United States
  • Tatsuta Maru departed San Francisco, California, United States; 512 civilian seamen from the scuttled German liner Columbus were supposed to be aboard, but they canceled their journeys at the last moment in fear of possible British interception of the liner which might lead to their imprisonment. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | San Francisco, California | CPC]
19 Jan 1940

Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-9 torpedoed and sank Swedish merchant ship Patricia, which escaped U-9's first attack on two hours prior, in the North Sea at 0145 hours. 19 men were killed; 4 survivors were later picked up by Swedish merchant ship Frigg. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
  • German submarine U-55 sank Norwegian vessel Telnes off the Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom; 18 lives were lost. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-59 torpedoed and sank French steamer Quiberon off Great Yarmouth, England, United Kingdom at 2100 hours. All men aboard were killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-44 began tracking Greek steamer Ekatontarchos Dracoulis at 2200 hours in the Bay of Biscay. Around midnight, U-44 fired a torpedo at the Greek ship, but the torpedo detonated prematurely before reaching the target. ww2dbase [Bay of Biscay | CPC]
  • British submarine Sunfish fired 4 torpedoes at German submarine U-14 off Helgoland, Germany; all torpedoes missed. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
Japan
  • Kanemasa Akiyama was attached to the staff of the Japanese Army Technical Research Institute. ww2dbase [Kanemasa Akiyama | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British destroyer Grenville hit a naval mine and sank in the Thames Estuary in southern England, United Kingdom at 1250 hours, killing 77. 108 survivors were rescued by two destroyers that braved the minefield. ww2dbase [England | CPC]
United States
  • Senator William Borah, leader of the isolationists in the United States, died suddenly of cerebral hemorrhage in Washington DC. ww2dbase [Washington | AC]
20 Jan 1940
  • German submarine U-44 torpedoed and sank Greek steamer Ekatontarchos Dracoulis off Portugal at 0415 hours, killing 6. U-44 had been hunting for Ekatontarchos Dracoulis for the past 6 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-57 torpedoed and sank Norwegian steamer Miranda 30 miles off of Scotland at 0826 hours, killing 14. 3 survivors were rescued on the next day by exploration ship Discovery II and taken to Kirkwall. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British tanker MV Caroni River hit a mine laid the day before by German submarine U-34 in Falmouth Bay, England, United Kingdom and sank; she was on her sea trials. during sea trials in Falmouth Bay, England. All 43 aboard survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, speaking to the Parliament, voiced support for Finland while criticizing brutal Soviet attacks. The Finnish government presumed that this meant British support would soon arrive, but it never did. The German government interpreted the speech as a hint on British involvement in Scandinavia, thus plans for the invasion of Norway were re-prioritized. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Chinese troops captured Licheng, Shanxi Province, China. ww2dbase [Winter Offensive | CPC]
  • Yukikaze was commissioned into service with Commander Kenjiro Tobita in command. ww2dbase [Yukikaze | CPC]
  • Corvette Trillium was ordered. ww2dbase [Trillium | CPC]
21 Jan 1940
  • The sinking of the HMS Grenville is announced by the Admiralty. 8 were reported killed and 73 were reported as missing and presumably dead. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet 8th Army launched unsuccessful attack on Finnish Group Talvela on the River Aittojoki near Ladoga, Karelia. ww2dbase [The Winter War | TH]
  • A German officer shot Mr. Opacki in the streets of Krak√≥w simply because Mr. Opacki had not shown sufficient respect when stepping out of the way for the German officer. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Swedish steam merchant vessel Andalusia, along with her crew of 21 men, became missing early in the morning off the western coast of Scotland; she was believed to be sunk by German submarine U-55. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British cruiser Liverpool stopped Japanese liner Asama Maru 35 miles off of Japan. 21 German sailors, survivors of the German liner Columbus which was scuttled off the US coast on 19 Dec 1939, were imprisoned. ww2dbase [CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • Asama Maru was intercepted by British light cruiser HMS Liverpool 56 kilometers from the island of Niijima south of Yokohama, Japan. British sailors boarded the ship and removed 21 passengers suspected of being German sailors from the previously scuttled German liner Columbus before letting Asama Maru go. Britain and Japan had not yet entered a state of war at this time. ww2dbase [Asama Maru | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German submarine U-22 attacked British merchant vessel Cyprian Prince in the Moray Firth in Scotland, United Kingdom at 0538 hours but failed to hit her. At 0600 hours, she torpedoed and sank destroyer HMS Exmouth off Wick, killing 189, which was the entire crew. At 0711 hours, she torpedoed Danish ship Tekla, killing 4; 9 crew members survived, rescued by HMS Sikh and Norwegian ship Iris. ww2dbase [Scotland | CPC]
22 Jan 1940
  • Norwegian merchant vessel Segovia, with 750 tons of general cargo (including 140 tons of oil) became missing off western Scotland; her crew of 23 was never seen again. She might had been attacked and sunk by German submarine U-55. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax criticized First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill's speech of 20 Jan 1940, noting that by stating support for Finland in the war with Soviet Union he was meddling with foreign policy. ww2dbase [Halifax | CPC]
  • The Finns, with Swedes and Norwegians already fighting with them, announced the formation of a "Foreign Legion" which would include British volunteers. ww2dbase [AC]
  • USS Helena arrived at Buenos Aires, Argentina. ww2dbase [Helena (St. Louis-class) | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The unescorted Norwegian 2,589-ton merchant steamer Songa was stopped by German submarine U-25 in calm seas 200 miles west of the Scilly Islands. Viktor Sch√ľtze ordered the Songa's crew to abandon the ship after he declared her cargo of copper, tin and foodstuffs to be contraband. A single torpedo then sent the vessel to the bottom; the submarine's crew supplied the Norwegians with rum and gave them a course to steer the two lifeboats towards the shipping lanes. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | HM]
United Kingdom
  • The Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Furious left the Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom with two squadrons of Swordfish torpedo-bombers to seek German shipping off Norway. ww2dbase [Furious | Firth of Clyde, Scotland | AC]
Photo(s) dated 22 Jan 1940
2-inch mortar team of UK 2nd Warwickshire Regiment at Rumegies, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, 22 Jan 1940
23 Jan 1940
  • German submarine U-19 discovered a group of 20 unescorted steamers off Northumberland. With one torpedo each, she sank Norwegian ship Pluto at 0843 hours and British ship Baltanglia at 0855 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Finnish 9th Division arrived at the village of Kuhmo to prepare for a planned attack on the Soviet 54th Division. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • British carrier HMS Illustrious left Malta for Alexandria, Egypt. ww2dbase [Illustrious | CPC]
  • Danish motor merchant Kina disembarked 8 of the survivors of Norwegian steam merchant Enid, sunk by U-25 six days prior, at Las Palmas, Canary Islands. ww2dbase [HM]
Ireland
  • One of the two lifeboats containing survivors of Norwegian merchant steamer Songa, which was sunk by German submarine U-25 on the previous day, was discovered by a British trawler, which took on the 13 occupants. The other lifeboat made landfall near Rock Island's Crookhaven Lighthouse; they were taken to Goleen, County Cork, Ireland. ww2dbase [Crookhaven, Cork | HM]
United Kingdom
  • Britain lowered the road speed limit to 20 miles per hour at night time in populated area in response to the sharp rise in night time automobile accidents due to the blackout. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Britain was gripped in the coldest winter since 1894; Southampton docks and parts of the river Thames were frozen over. ww2dbase [AC]
  • MI5 debriefed NKVD defector Walter Krivitsky at the Langham Hotel in London, England, United Kingdom. The former Soviet resident agent in Holland would describe over hundred Soviet agents working in Europe, including sixteen who were British subjects. Yet the single officer tasked with investigating the claims failed to spot, among those named, MI6 traitor Kim Philby. ww2dbase [London, England | AC]
24 Jan 1940
  • German submarine U-44 torpedoed and sank French cargo ship Alsacien 4 miles off of Lisbon, Portugul at 1140 hours, killing 4. The cargo to phosphate from Africa, destined for France, was lost. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-23 torpedoed and sank Norwegian cargo ship Varild off of the eastern coast of Scotland at 1900 hours, killing the entire crew of 15. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Finnish Army Force Talvela and Soviet 8th Army exchanged attacks at Kolla in Finland, along the Aitto River. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • Chinese troops captured Dongyangguan Pass, Shanxi Province, China. ww2dbase [Winter Offensive | CPC]
  • A Czechoslovakian branch of the French Army was established. ww2dbase [CPC]
25 Jan 1940
  • German submarine U-14 sank Norwegian ship Biarritz 36 miles off of the Dutch coast; 37 men were killed and 21 survivors were rescued by Norwegian steamer Borgholm. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-19 sank Latvian ship Everene 5 miles off of the eastern coast of Britain; 1 man was killed and 30 were rescued by fishing boats Dole and Evesham. Several hours later at 0930 hours, U-19 sank Norwegian ship Gudveig; 10 men were killed and 8 were rescued. ww2dbase [CPC]
Portugal
  • German submarine U-44 torpedoed and sank French ship Tourny, which was a part of convoy 56-KS, 20 miles off of Porto, Portugal at 0411 hours. 8 men were killed and 9 were rescued by Spanish steamer Castillo Monforte. ww2dbase [Porto | CPC]
26 Jan 1940
  • American minesweeper Quail arrived at Palmyra Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to construct a naval air station. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Expiration of the US-Japan Trade Treaty of 1911. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Royal Navy ship Durham Castle, a recently acquired passenger ship, hit a mine laid by German submarine U-57 five days earlier on 21 Jan 1940, sinking 11 miles off of the northeastern coast of Scotland. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Believing that Germany would not be able to directly attack Britain, about half of the 750,000 children evacuated from London, England, United Kingdom since Sep 1939 had returned to their homes in the city. ww2dbase [London, England | CPC]
  • Roderick Carr was named the commanding officer of No. 61 Group RAF. ww2dbase [Roderick Carr | CPC]
27 Jan 1940
  • German submarine U-20 torpedoed and sank Norwegian ship Hosanger; 17 men were killed and 1 was rescued. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Finnish Army General H√§gglund ordered the Finnish IV Corps to attack the Pieni-Kelivaara and Lemetti West encirclements to test various tactics. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • Submarine Tautog was launched. ww2dbase [Tautog | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler ordered Wilhelm Keitel to continue with the planning of an invasion of Norway. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-20 (Kapit√§nleutnant Harro von Klot-Heydenfeldt) attacked a convoy of merchant ships in the North Sea southeast of Copinsay, Orkney, Scotland, United Kingdom. At 2003 hours, the small 844-ton Norwegian vessel Faro was damaged by a torpedo that detonated early before hitting the ship. Faro's master ordered the abandonment of the ship and two lifeboats were launched, one drifted away and it and the 8 men in it were never found; the master would try to save the ship on the next day, but to no avail. The 2,319-ton Danish vessel England (2,319-tons) together with the Fredensborg (2,094-tons) both tried to assist the Faro but were torpedoed as they did so. The England broke in half and sunk 2 minutes after the attack, killing 20; Fredensborg capsized soon after, also losing 20 men. Only one seaman from the two ships survived. Two hours later the 1,591-ton Norwegian merchant Hosanger was hit. The explosion blew off the stern and the ship went straight down. One, Magnus Sandvik, a deck boy, managed to get to a raft with three others, they were found after 15 hours by HMS Northern Reward. A line thrown to the raft but Sandvik, who was the only one left alive was too cold to hold it. A seaman from the Royal Naval vessel dived into the sea and saved him. Both were hospitalized in Kirkwall, Orkney. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC, HM]
US Pacific Islands
  • Construction work at Palmyra Atoll began to improve its military facilities. ww2dbase [Palmyra | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 27 Jan 1940
Launch of submarine Tautog, 27 Jan 1940
28 Jan 1940
  • German submarine U-34 torpedoed Greek merchant ships Eleni Stathatou 100 miles off of Brest, France at 0252 hours. With Eleni Stathatou keeping afloat, U-34 remained to observe. At 0421 hours, after observing that the Greek ship was now moving once again, U-34 fired her last torpedo and sank the ship, killing 12. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet artillery continued to bombard Poppius, Million, and other forts along the Finnish defensive Mannerheim Line on the Karelian Isthmus. Meanwhile, Finnish troops eliminate Soviet forces trapped in the Pieni-Kelivaara pocket on the north shore of Lake Lagoda, capturing 2 field guns, 2 anti-tank guns, 9 mortars, 9 machine guns, and 100 rifles. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • Chinese troops captured Lucheng, Shanxi Province, China. ww2dbase [Winter Offensive | CPC]
  • Japanese 26th Division attacked Wuyuan, Suiyuan Province, China. ww2dbase [Battle of Wuyuan | CPC]
  • USS Helena departed Buenos Aires, Argentina. ww2dbase [Helena (St. Louis-class) | CPC]
Portugal
  • German submarine U-44 torpedoed and sank Greek coal carrier Flora off 20 miles off Portugal at 2000 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
29 Jan 1940
  • Finnish Army 9th Division attacked the Soviet 54th Division starting at 0500 hours near the road junction at Kuhmo, Finland. Meanwhile, Soviets began negotiating with Finland by sending a note stating "Soviet Union has no objection in principle to a possible agreement with the Ryti government" to Sweden. ww2dbase [The Winter War | TH]
  • German aircraft attacked unarmed British lightship East Dudgeon; 7 crew membered died as their lifeboat capsized later. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-51 torpedoed and sunk Norwegian ship Eika, carring salt from Spain, at 1530 hours. 14 men were killed, while at 2 (Harald St√łle and Alfred Johansen) were rescued by U-51 who would be delivered to Wilhelmshaven on 8 Feb 1940. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Helena arrived at Montevideo, Uruguay. ww2dbase [Helena (St. Louis-class) | CPC]
Poland
  • Germany renamed Reichsgau Posen, in occupied Poland, to Reichsgau Wartheland. ww2dbase [CPC]
30 Jan 1940
  • German submarine U-55 sank British tanker Vaclite, part of convoy OA-80G, 50 miles off of Land's End in southwestern England at 0700 hours. The crew of 35 was rescued by Italian steamer Pollenzo. At 1100 hours, U-55 sank Greek ship Keramlai. Later that day, U-55 was found and depth charged by British (HMS Whitshed, and HMS Fowey) and French (Valmy and Gu√©pard) destroyers and a No. 228 Squadron RAF Sunderland aircraft. 41 of the German crew surrendered; Kapit√§nleutnant Werner Heidel chose to go down with his ship. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German torpedo boat Iltis mis-identified German submarine U-15 as a hostile vessel and rammed her 50 miles north of Wilhelmshaven, Germany. U-15 sank, killing the entire crew of 25. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German aircraft bombed shipping in the English Channel and the North Sea, sinking British cargo steamers Highwave, Giralda, and Bancrest off the Orkney Islands in northern Scotland. British ship Voreda was badly damaged and beached near Winterton, England. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The first confirmed U-Boat kill by an aircraft occurred when British destroyer HMS Whitshed, British sloop HMS Fowey, French destroyer Valmy, French destroyer Gu√©pard, and a British No. 228 Squadron S.25 Sunderland aircraft sank German submarine U-55 with depth charges. ww2dbase [S.25 Sunderland | AC, DS]
Photo(s) dated 30 Jan 1940
Schlesien in the western Baltic, late Jan 1940Prime Minister Mackenzie King visiting No. 110 (City of Toronto) Squadron RCAF, 30 Jan 1940; note Lysander aircraft in background
31 Jan 1940
  • German submarine U-13 torpedoed and sank Norwegian steamer Start about halfway between Stavanger, Norway and Aberdeen, Scotland, killing the entire crew of 16. Start was carrying coal from Sunderland, northern England. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-21 fired two torpedoes at Danish ship Vidar, but both malfunctioned. A third torpedoed, however, struck Vidar 25 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland, killing 16 and rendering her dead in the water. Danish steamer Disko rescued 18 survivors while surviving a hit from another malfunctioning torpedo from U-21. Vidar would remain afloat until the next day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet forces gathered in the Summa sector in the Karelian Isthmus now grew to the size of 12 divisions and 400 heavy artillery pieces. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • Desperately short of aircraft, the British made a secret approach to Italy (not yet in the war) to buy fighters. The deal was later vetoed by Germany. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Sir John Simon of Britain announced that food subsidies were running at ¬£1,000,000 per week. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 31 Jan 1940
Frozen dead Russian soldier in Finland, 31 Jan 1940
1 Feb 1940
  • Soviet artillery pieces fired 300,000 shells in the Summa sector of the Karelian Isthmus on this date at the start of a new Soviet offensive against the Finnish forces. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • German submarine U-59 torpedoed and sank British coaler Ellen M. 20 miles east of Southwold, Suffolk, England, killing the entire crew of 9. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In Russia the noted stage director, Vsevolod Meyerhold, having been tortured into confessing that he was the leader of an anti-soviet Trotskyite, was convicted in camera, and was executed on the following day. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The keel of refrigerated cargo ship Telemachus was laid down. ww2dbase [Activity | CPC]
  • Arturo Riccardi was made Knight Grand Cordon of the Order of the Crown of Italy. ww2dbase [Arturo Riccardi | CPC]
Germany Poland United Kingdom
  • The Swedish-owned 2,491-ton Fram, an old steam merchant launched in 1897, was lying at anchor at Rosehearty Buoy off Fraserburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom when, at 0043 hours, she was struck by a G7e torpedo fired from German submarine U-13 (Kapit√§nleutnant Max-Martin Schulte) and sunk. 9 of her crew were killed in the explosion, survivors were picked up by the K-class destroyer HMS Khartoum and the armed trawler HMS Viking Deeps. Svea Hannson, a 45-year-old stewardess was one of those killed when the neutral ship sank. ww2dbase [Fraserburgh, Scotland | HM]
  • In Britain, the Admiralty took over the responsibility for the building and repair of merchant shipping and concluded an arrangement to buy old cargo ships from the United States. ww2dbase [AC]
  • In the British House of Commons, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declined to accept a suggestion by Herbert Morrison that a Minister of War Economy should be appointed on the grounds that such a post would do nothing which was not already being done. ww2dbase [Neville Chamberlain | London, England | AC]
United States
  • The keel of battleship Alabama was laid down at Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, United States. ww2dbase [Norfolk Navy Yard | Alabama | Portsmouth, Virginia | CPC]
  • Harold George was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and was made the commanding officer of 31st Pursuit Group. ww2dbase [Harold George | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 1 Feb 1940
Keel laying of battleship Alabama, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia, United States, 1 Feb 1940
2 Feb 1940
  • Soviet troops continued to assert pressure on Finnish defensive positions on the Karelian Isthmus. Meanwhile, Finnish 9th Division continued their attempt to encircle troops of the Soviet 54th Division near Kuhmo. At the Viipuri Bay, Soviet troops attempted to launch an offensive, but was disrupted by Finnish aircraft. ww2dbase [The Winter War | TH]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-59 (Kapit√§nleutnant Harald J√ľrst) was on patrol in the North Sea close to Lowestoft, England, United Kingdom and sank 2 British merchant steamers. At 0624 hours, the unescorted 838-ton tanker Creofield was hit amidships by a single G7e torpedo, the creosote cargo she was carrying exploded and the ship sank immediately taking her 17 man crew with her. In the evening she sank the 1,064-ton Portelet, in ballast heading for Sunderland, England, at 2040 hours she was hit and sank less than a mile southwest by west of the Smith's Knoll Lightship. The master Alexander Joseph Walsh and 8 crew members were picked up by a Finnish merchant, Oscar Midling, and taken to Immingham; 2 crewmen had been killed in the attack. ww2dbase [North Sea | HM]
United Kingdom
  • British minesweepers Sphinx (J69; Commander John Robert Newton Taylor), Speedwell, and Skipjack were sweeping an area about 15 nautical miles north of Kinnaird's Head near Fraserburgh north-east Scotland, United Kingdom when attacked by German aircraft. A bomb pierced the fo'c'sle deck of 889-ton HMS Sphinx (John Robert Newton Taylor, RN) and exploding destroying the fore part of the ship. The commanding officer and forty of the men were killed in the explosion; survivors were taken to HMS Speedwell. Sphinx remained afloat and was taken in tow by minesweeper HMS Halcyon (J42) but steadily flooded. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Scotland | HM]
Photo(s) dated 2 Feb 1940
Tirpitz fitting out, 2 Feb 1940A sailor of cruiser Helena studied Admiral Graf SpeeView of Admiral Graf SpeeA hole
See all photos dated 2 Feb 1940
3 Feb 1940
  • The first enemy aircraft to crash in England was a Heinkel He 111 aircraft shot down near Whitby, North Yorkshire by Flight Lieutenant Peter Townsend flying a Hurricane fighter of 43 Squadron. Two of the four German crewmen were killed. After the war Townsend became a household name for his ill-fated romance with Princess Margaret. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | AC]
  • The British Air Ministry issued specification E.28/39 to the Gloster Aircraft Company to prepare an airframe for flight testing the pioneering W.1 gas turbine designed by Frank Whittle and built by Power Jets Ltd. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Japanese 26th Division captured Wuyuan, Suiyuan Province, China. ww2dbase [Battle of Wuyuan | CPC]
  • USS Helena departed Montevideo, Uruguay. ww2dbase [Helena (St. Louis-class) | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-58 chased Estonian vessel Reet for 13 hours, sinking her with torpedoes in the North Sea halfway between Stavanger, Norway & Aberdeen, Scotland, killing 18. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
  • The 6,805-ton British steam merchant Armanistan carrying a mixed cargo of 8,500 tons including chemicals, iron rails, zinc and sugar to Basrah, Iraq was spotted in Convoy OG-16 when passing west of the river Tagus, Portugal by German submarine U-25 (Korvettenkapit√§n Viktor Sch√ľtze). The Armanistan was torpedoed and sunk, the crew reached the lifeboats and were taken on board the Spanish merchant ship Monte Abril and taken to the island of Tenerife of the Canary Islands. ww2dbase [CPC, HM]
United Kingdom
  • British minesweeper HMS Sphinx (J69; Commander John Robert Newton Taylor), damaged by German aircraft in the previous morning and being towed by HMS Halcyon, flooded, capsized, and sank. The wreck was later washed ashore north of Lybster and was sold for scrap. The wreck was later washed ashore north of Lybster and was sold for scrap. ww2dbase [Scotland | CPC, HM]
  • The Norwegian steam ship Tempo was on a voyage from Methil, Scotland, United Kingdom to Hull, England, United Kingdom with a cargo of paper. Being a neutral the ship was marked as such. She was attacked by three German aircraft as the ship passed close to the Longstone Lighthouse, seven miles off the coast. The first attack was with machine guns after which the aircraft attacked with bombs, one of which hit the stern of the Tempo. The captain immediately ordered the ship to be abandoned as the Tempo was sinking rapidly. A third pass over the ship was made in which four bombs were dropped near missing the freighter, the survivors reported that the aircraft then fired at the lifeboats only missing them by a metre. The bombers continued to circle the area for twenty minutes as the lifeboats headed for the shore however the boat under command of the first mate capsized in the heavy surf and five of the men were drowned, the sole survivor luckily being washed onto the beach. The other boat under command of the captain were picked up by a rescue vessel. An inquiry was held in Oslo, Norway where the attack was noted and the German authorities notified of the event. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Bamburg, England | HM]
4 Feb 1940
  • Members of the Balkan Entente (Romania, Yugoslavia, Greece, and Turkey) declared neutrality. ww2dbase [Balkan Pact | CPC]
  • Japanese 26th Division captured Linhe, Suiyuan Province, China. ww2dbase [Battle of Wuyuan | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-37 (Korvettenkapit√§n Werner Hartmann) sank 2 merchant steamers whilst on patrol off the Shetland Islands, the first was the small 1,365-ton Norwegian freighter Hop in ballast and heading for Middlesborough, England, United Kingdom. The ship sank rapidly and there were no survivors. Hop was 1 of the 55 Norwegian ships lost during the neutrality period between 3 Sep and 8 Apr 1939. The second vessel was the 4,330-ton British Leo Dawson, carrying iron ore to Immingham, England. A single torpedo hit aft at 2125 hours and she sank stern first taking her entire crew of 35 men with her including 15 year old Mess Room Boy, John Wynn. ww2dbase [North Sea | HM]
Photo(s) dated 4 Feb 1940
Destroyed Lutheran church of Sortavala, Finland, 4 Feb 1940
5 Feb 1940

Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-41 (Kapit√§nleutnant Gustav-Adolf Mugler) damaged unarmed and unescorted 8,096-ton Dutch tanker Ceronia at 0332 hours; the damaged tanker would make it to Rotterdam, Netherlands under her own power. At 1310 hours, U-41 attacked the same convoy, OA-84, again, sinking the 9,874-ton Beaverburn (Master Thomas Jones) 150 miles south of Berehaven, County Cork, Ireland, killing 1. The master and 75 crew members were picked up by British tanker Narragansett and landed at Falmouth. Shortly after, U-41 was sunk by British destroyer HMS Antelope, killing all 49 aboard; it was the first time a lone British destroyer destroyed a German submarine, and Lieutenant Commander Richard Taylor White of Antelope was awarded the DSO award. ww2dbase [Celtic Sea | CPC, HM]
Brazil France
  • After meeting in Paris, France, the Allied Supreme War Council agreed to send two divisions of British troops to Finland via Narvik, Norway, despite Norway's proclamation of neutrality. They also decided that, while the troops marched into Finland, they would take control of Swedish iron ore mines and the port of Lule√•, despite Sweden had likely proclaimed neutral in the war. ww2dbase [The Winter War | Paris | CPC]
6 Feb 1940
  • Finnish 9th Division completed its encirclement of the Soviet 54th Division at Kuhmo. To the south, Soviet troops continued to shell Finnish defensive positions on the Mannerheim Line on the Karelian Isthmus, but actual advances were limited. ww2dbase [The Winter War | TH]
  • The "Carreless Talk Costs Lives" slogan debuted, designed to prevent war gossip. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Vultee received an order from the Swedish government for 144 Vanguard fighters. ww2dbase [P-66 Vanguard | CPC]
  • Estonian steam merchant Hanonia, captured by the German submarine U-34 in 1939, was commissioned into German Navy service as Schiff 11/Ulm after conversion into a minelayer. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Estonian steamer Anu sank after hit a mine 30 miles east of Dundee, Scotland, United Kindgom, killing the captain, his wife, the cook, and four crew members. The mine was laid by German submarine U-13 on 12 Dec 1939. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
7 Feb 1940
  • Information regarding Allied Supreme War Council's decision to send aid to Finland was leaked to British and French newspapers. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet troops attacked the Summa gap in Finland for the 7th consecutive day. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • Convicted IRA terrorists Peter Barnes and James Richards were executed at Wilson Green prison, Birmingham, England for their part in a street bombing in Coventry which killed five innocent passers-by. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Douglas Bader joined the British No. 19 Squadron RAF flying Spitfire fighters. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | AC]
Germany
  • At a conference presided over by Hermann G√∂ring the German General Staff recommended that no research or development should be pursued unless it promised military results within four months. ww2dbase [Hermann G√∂ring | AC]
United Kingdom
  • The 4,305-ton Belfast-Liverpool ferry boat Munster, owned by Coast Lines Ltd Liverpool, with 45 crew and 190 passengers on board, as well as cargoes of food stuffs and textiles, triggered a magnetic mine (laid by German submarine U-30 (Kapit√§nleutnant Fritz-Julius Lemp) on 6 Jan 1940) in the Queen's Channel northwest of the Mersey Light at 0600 hours. The master, 44 crew members, and 190 passengers were picked up by the British coaster Ringwall and taken to Liverpool, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Liverpool, England | CPC, HM]
8 Feb 1940
  • The Soviet Union asked Finland to choose an island in the Gulf of Finland for a Soviet military base as part of the terms of peace negotiations. Artillery and aerial bombardment on the Mannerheim Line continued, however, together with periodic assaults in the Summa sector. At the Lake Ladoga area in Finland, the various pockets of Soviet troops surrounded by Finnish troops were wiped out one by one; Soviet General Timoshenko did not have any plans to reinforce or rescue these pockets. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • 3 Hawk 75 fighters of the Chinese 18th Squadron intercepted 27 Japanese aircraft en route to Mengzi, Yunnan, China at 1505 hours. One of the Chinese fighters was heavily damaged and was forced to crash land, injuring pilot Yang Tzu-fan. ww2dbase [Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 8 Feb 1940
P-36 Hawk fighter based at Hickam Field in flight over Oahu, US Territory of Hawaii, 8 Feb 1940
9 Feb 1940
  • Winston Churchill made a radio broadcast to warn Bulgaria against joining the Tripartite Pact. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | TH]
  • The Finnish defensive Mannerheim Line in the Summa sector began to fall apart, with Soviet troops taking control of a bunker near the village of Karhula. Finnish troops brought up reserves to counterattack, but failed to retake the bunker. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • Submarine Squalus was renamed USS Sailfish. ww2dbase [Sailfish | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German destroyers Z3, Z4, and Z16 deployed 110 mines in the Shipwash, a busy sea lane in the North Sea east of Harwich, England. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
Spain
  • After sundown, during this dark night with minimal moon light, six German merchant ships sailed out of Vigo, Galicia, Spain, intending on breaking the Allied blockade. The ships were Arucas, Morea, Orizaba, Rostock, Wahehe, and Wangoni. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Vigo, Galicia | HM]
United Kingdom
  • The 5,406-ton British steam merchant Chagres, carrying 1,500 tons of bananas from Victoria in the Cameroons, hit a mine and sank 5.5 miles from the Bar Light Vessel near Liverpool, England, United Kingdom. The mine was deployed by German submarine U-30 (Kapit√§nleutnant Fritz-Julius Lemp) on 6 Jan 1940. Two crewmen were killed in the explosion but the master and the other 61 were picked up by the AST HMS Loch Montreith and brought into Liverpool. ww2dbase [Liverpool, England | CPC, HM]
  • British trawler HMS Fort Royal commanded by Lieutenant Commander Edgar King and trawler HMS Robert Bowen commanded by Skipper Lieutenant John Clark, RNR were sunk by German aircraft off Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom. Clark was killed. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Scotland | HM]
Photo(s) dated 9 Feb 1940
No. 21 Squadron RAAF Flying Officer James Herbert Harper flying a Wirraway aircraft over Laverton, Victoria, Australia, 9 Feb 1940
10 Feb 1940
  • Soviet troops penetrated the Finnish defensive Mannerheim Line, crossing the Munasuo swamp into the Merkki sector. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • Two wooden British ships HMS Salve and HMS Servitor successfully swept for magnetic mines on the sea bed, dragging a long charged electrical cable which detonated the mines in their wake. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In response to the six German merchant ships that had sailed out of Vigo, Spain in the previous night, search forces under Commander-in-Chief Western Approaches, Admiral Dunbar Nasmith, were formed. This group consisted of ships of the Home Fleet (battlecruiser Renown, aircraft carrier Ark Royal, cruiser Galatea and destroyers), of the Western Command, the Northern Patrol and of the French Admiral-West. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | HM]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-48 (Kapit√§nleutnant Herbert Schultze) stopped 6,843-ton Dutch Nederlandsche-Amerika Line steamer Burgerdijk southwest of the Isles of Scilly. The ship was transporting maize and wheat from the United States to Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The German crew inspected the cargo, and the German commanding officer Schultze declared that the cargo was aimed for the United Kingdom and the ship would be sunk. The The ships crew abandoned ship in lifeboats and were rescued by Dutch steamer Edam 12 hours later. Burgerdijk was sunk by a single torpedo at 1845 hours. ww2dbase [CPC, HM]
  • The 1,259-ton Norwegian merchant steamer Silja had been requisitioned by the Norwegian authorities in the autumn of 1939 and had left from Trapani in Sicily, Italy on 26 Jan 1940 with a cargo of salt for Bergen, Norway via Gibraltar where she departed on 5 Feb 1940. At 2059 hours, German submarine U-37 (Korvettenkapit√§n Werner Hartmann) reported firing a single torpedo at an unescorted steamer about 75 miles west of Cape Clear, Ireland. The vessel broke in two after being hit aft. The stern part sank immediately, and the fore part followed a few minutes later. There were no survivors of the 15-man crew. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | CPC, HM]
Brazil China
  • Hiroshi Nemoto was named the chief of staff of the Japanese South China Area Army. ww2dbase [Hiroshi Nemoto | CPC]
Germany United Kingdom
  • HMS Hermes completed a period of refitting in Britain. ww2dbase [Hermes | CPC]
United States
  • In Washington DC, United States, President Franklin Roosevelt confronted a booing demonstration of 4,446 members of the American Youth Congress who had marched up Constitutional Avenue with banners condemning the prospect of the US being drawn into an imperialistic war. Angrily he told the demonstrators that American sympathy is overwhelmingly in support of Finnish efforts to stave off invasion, and warned them not to pass resolutions on subjects of which they have no complete knowledge. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | Washington | AC]
11 Feb 1940
  • Finnish troops were forced to withdraw to secondary defensive positions as the Red Army pierced the Mannerheim Line. ww2dbase [The Winter War | TH]
  • A comprehensive trade agreement was signed between Germany and the USSR in which Soviet raw materials and food would be exchanged for German machinery and military equipment. ww2dbase [AC]
Arctic Ocean
  • The 1,854-ton neutral Swedish merchant steamer Orania was carrying maize and bran from Brazil to Malm√∂, Sweden when she was struck by a single torpedo from German submarine U-50 (Kapit√§nleutnant Max-Hermann Bauer) in the Norwegian Sea at 2354 hours. The ship sank within three minutes of the explosion 65 miles north-northeast of the Flugga Lightship, Shetland Islands. U-50 had spotted the ship and although she was lit up, Bauer reported that he could not confirm that the ship was Swedish. All the crew got away in two lifeboats but one with 14 men was never seen again. The others were picked up by the destroyer HMS Faulknor, transferred to HMS Foxhound, another destroyer that took them to Lerwick, Shetland. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Norwegian Sea | HM]
Atlantic Ocean
  • At 2230 hours the 8,022-ton tanker Imperial Transport was struck on her port side at the empty #6 tank by a torpedo from U-53 (Korvettenkapit√§n Harald Grosse). The ship started to break in two 200 miles northwest of the Butt of Lewis. Members of the crew got into two lifeboats but lost two men in the dark night. Later the ship was reboarded after it appeared that the stern section was not going to sink. They were unable to radio for help but managed to sail the stern 130 miles at 4 knots before meeting 4 British destroyers. Attempts were made to tow the half over the next two days with tugs but the weather got worse and the crew had to be taken off again. The section was beached on the Isle of Bute in Kilchatten Bay. The stern section of Imperial Transport was later salvaged and docked in Elderslie Dockyard, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. The battered bulkhead and all distorted material cut away and fitted with a new fore part that was built to the original plans by William Hamilton & Co Ltd, and was launched bow first with deckhouse, mast, derricks and auxiliary equipment complete. The ship returned to service in June 1941. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | HM]
  • French sloop Elan captured 2,542-ton German merchant ship Rostock in the Atlantic Ocean. Rostock had sailed out of Vigo, Spain on 9 Feb in an attempt to break the Allied blockade. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | HM]
Canada
  • Lord Tweedsmuir, Governor-General of Canada, died in Montreal. ww2dbase [Montreal, Quebec | AC]
United States Photo(s) dated 11 Feb 1940
Oiler Patoka at Balboa, Panama Canal Zone, 11 Feb 1940; note two SOC floatplanes amidships
12 Feb 1940
  • At 0500 hours, Soviet tanks dragged sleds with explosives on board up to the Million Fort on the Mannerheim Line in Finland. When the sleds were detonated, all defenders inside the fort were killed, but the Soviet 7th Army did not pass through this breach on the Mannerheim Line. Later on this day, near the eastern end of the Mannerheim Line, Soviet troops captured the Kirvesm√§ki stronghold in Taipale (now Solovyovo, Russia). By the end of the day, the Finnish government agreed that it has little hope other than to seek peace. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • British Royal Navy minesweeper HMS Gleaner located German submarine U-33 laying mines in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland at 0250 hours. U-33 was badly damaged by depth charges and surfaced at 0522 hours, but the submarine began to sink shortly after surfacing, killing 25 men, including commanding officer Kapit√§nleutnant Hans-Wilhelm von Dresky. One of the 17 survivors had 3 Enigma rotors in his pockets, which was sent to Alan Turing at the Government Code and Cypher School for further study. ww2dbase [Enigma Code Broken | CPC]
  • German submarine U-53 sank Swedish ship Dalar√∂ west of Scotland, killing the captain. 29 survivors were rescued by Belgian trawler Jan de Waele. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Erwin Rommel was named the commanding officer of the 7. Panzer-Division. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
  • USS Helena arrived at Guant√°namo Bay, Cuba. ww2dbase [Helena (St. Louis-class) | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • British destroyer Hasty seized 4,709-ton German merchant ship Morea (4,709-tons) 300 miles west of Porto, Portugal. Morea had sailed out of Vigo, Spain on 9 Feb in an attempt to break the Allied blockade. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | CPC, HM]
  • The Norwegian freighter Nidarholm was torpedoed amidships just after 0930 hours by U-26 (Kapit√§nleutnant Heinz Scheringer) after she had been ordered to stop west of Ireland. The explosion cut the ship in two, the bridge section flying high before crashing overboard. The aft section caught fire with burning cotton bails floating around the lifeboats. The submarine went around the lifeboats and fired between them and the wreck which was not sinking. The Nidarholm's master John Blakseth thought that the Germans were warning him not to approach the burning wreck. The freighter Berto, another Norwegian merchant picked the survivors up and took them to Gibraltar. ww2dbase [HM]
Egypt
  • Anthony Eden, Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs of the United Kingdom, welcomed the first Australian and New Zealand troops to arrive in Suez, Egypt. ww2dbase [Anthony Eden | Suez | AC]
Germany
13 Feb 1940
  • German submarine U-50 fired several torpedoes at Norwegian tanker Albert L. Ellsworth at 0200 hours, missing with all of them. The crew of the tanker panicked and abandoned the ship, with 2 survivors of merchant vessel Snestad (rescued on 11 Feb 1940) drowning in the process. After realizing the ship was not harmed, 42 men reboarded Albert L. Ellsworth and continued on with their journey to Bergen, Norway. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-53 sank Swedish ship Norna west of Ireland, killing 18. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Finnish troops tried to seal the hole on the Mannerheim Line in the L√§hde sector, but Soviet tanks stopped the attack. Elsewhere, Finnish troops retook the Kirvesm√§ki fort on the Taipale River on the Mannerheim Line. In Stockholm, Finnish Foreign Minister Tanner asked Sweden to send troops to Finland; Sweden declined in fear of invasion by both the United Kingdom and Germany as a response. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • The US Senate approved in principle, by a vote of 49 to 27, a loan of US$20,000,000 to be made to Finland, with restriction that none of it to be used fors "arms, ammunition or implements of war". A further two weeks however would elapse before the bill would be passed. ww2dbase [AC]
  • 3 Hawk 75 fighters of the Chinese 18th Squadron intercepted 27 Japanese bombers en route to bomb the bridge on the Xi River near Xiaolongtan, Yunnan, China. One bomber was claimed to be destroyed. ww2dbase [Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities | CPC]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND resumed interception patrol and trade defence in the South Atlantic. ww2dbase [Cumberland | DS]
Arctic Ocean
  • At 0716 hours in the Norwegian Sea, German submarine U-25 (Korvettenkapit√§n Viktor Sch√ľtze) fired a shot across the bows of the 5,177-ton Danish motor merchant Chastine M√¶rsk and signalled for the ship to stop. The Danish captain continued and it took two more shots before he stopped and turned off the engines. The Germans ordered the Danish crew to abandon the ship, when they had rowed clear the submarine continued to shell the vessel until she sank. The Norwegian merchant steamer Hilda picked up the 30 Danes. Sch√ľtze had fired his last torpedo at the ship but it had detonated prematurely, he had then followed the Chastine M√¶rsk until the daylight meant that he could attack with his deck gun. ww2dbase [Norwegian Sea | CPC, HM]
Germany
  • Tsingtau was temporarily made into an anti-aircraft gunnery training, cadet training, and torpedo boat target ship. ww2dbase [Tsingtau | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 13 Feb 1940
Destroyed Russian T-26 light tank, Finland, 13 Feb 1940
14 Feb 1940
  • German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee's supply ship Altmark reached Norwegian territorial waters off Trondheim. It was Captain Heinrich Dau's intension to remain in neutral Norwegian waters to avoid an attack by the British. ww2dbase [Altmark | CPC]
  • German submarine U-57 torpedoed British tanker Gretafield 20 miles east of Wick, Scotland. 10 men were killed while 31 survivors were rescued by trawlers HMS Peggy Nutten and HMS Strathalladale. With 13,000 tons of fuel oil on board, she drifted as the oil burned, eventually running aground. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-53 sank Danish ship Martin Goldschmidt west of Ireland at 0500 hours. 5 men were killed while 5 survivors were rescued by Norweigan ship Berto. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-26 sank British steamer Langleeford 70 miles northwest of Fastnet, Ireland at 0800 hours, killing 4. U-26 picked up 30 survivors, interrogated them, and then sent them to County Clare, Ireland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-48 sank British merchant ship Sultan Star 200 miles west of Land's End, southwestern England at 1700 hours, killing 1 man. Destroyers Whitshed, Vesper, and Acasta retaliated with 22 depth charges but they did not hit U-48. 72 survivors were rescued by Whitshed and delivered to Plymouth, England on the next day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Finnish troop began withdrawing from the L√§hde sector of the Mannerheim Line. Meanwhile, after heavy bombardment, Soviet troops retook the Kirvesm√§ki fort on the Taipale River on the Mannerheim Line. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • The British government agreed to allow British volunteers to serve in the Finnish armed forces. ww2dbase [AC]
15 Feb 1940
  • North of Lake Ladoga in Finland, Finnish troops destroyed the pocket of surrounded Soviet troops near the village of Lavaj√§rvi, capturing 2 tanks, 5 field guns, 2 anti-tank guns, 8 trucks, 3 machine guns, 4 field kitchens, and rifles. Finnish Commander-in-Chief C. G. E. Mannerheim ordered the II Army Corps to abandon the Mannerheim Line at 2000 hours. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • German submarine U-50 sank Danish ship Maryland west of Scotland at 0207 hours, killing the entire crew of 34. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-37 sank Danish ship Aase en route to Bristol at 0545 hours, killing 15. HMS Verity would rescue the sole survivor two days later. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-26 sank Norwegian ship Steinstad 75 miles west of Aran Island, Ireland at 0837 hours, killing 13. The 11 survivors in a lifeboat would not reach land until 20 Feb. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-48 sank Dutch tanker Den Haag (carrying 11,800 tons of oil) 150 miles west of Ouessant at the northwestern tip of France at 1400 hours, killing 26. British ship Glenorchy rescued 13 survivors in a lifeboat. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Major General Erwin Rommel took command of the 7th Panzer Division. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
  • Hubert Lanz was made the Chief of Staff for XVIII Armeekorps. ww2dbase [Hubert Lanz | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean Canada
  • No. 110 Army Co-operation (Auxiliary) Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force departed from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada for Britain. ww2dbase [Halifax, Nova Scotia | CPC]
16 Feb 1940

Egypt
  • In Egypt, the 7th Armoured Division "The Desert Rats" was created out of the Mobile Division, with Major General Michael Creagh in command. ww2dbase [AC]
Finland
  • Finnish troops abandoned the Mannerheim Line overnight, falling back to the V-line by 1545 hours. On the same day, troops of the Finnish 9th Division wiped out the surrounded Soviet "Dolin" ski brigade. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
Norway
  • German freighter Altmark, former supply ship for pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee, was found by Hudson aircraft of No.233 Squadron RAF in J√łssingfjord, Norway. HMS Cossack captured Altmark and rescued 299 British prisoners of war aboard. ww2dbase [Altmark Incident | Sokndal | TH]
United Kingdom
  • At the start of the day, 20 miles north of Kinnaird Head, Fraserburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, German submarine U-14 (Oberleutnant zur See Herbert Wohlfarth) sank Danish ships Rhone (killing 9) and Sleipner (killing 13) shortly after midnight; 41 survivors were later picked up by Swedish trawler Standard and HMS Kipling. Toward the end of the day, at 2125 hours, 10 miles north of Kinnaird Head, U-14 struck again, sinking the 1,526-ton neutral Swedish coal ship Osmed, which sank by the bow 2 minutes after the torpedo struck, 10 of the crew were lost, the remaining 7 were picked up by the British trawler Loch Hope and taken to Scrabster, a small harbour in Thurso Bay Caithness, Scotland. 10 minutes later, at 2135 hours, U-14 sank the 1,646-ton neutral Swedish coal ship Liana carrying coal from Blyth to Halmstad, Sweden. She went down within a minute, 10 crew members managed to get off the vessel and these too were picked up by the trawler. Eight of these later boarded the Santos to return to Sweden but the ship was sunk on the 24 Feb 1940 and 6 of them were drowned. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Scotland | CPC, HM]
Photo(s) dated 16 Feb 1940
Altmark at J√łssingfjord, 16 Feb 1940
17 Feb 1940
  • Norway protested British neutrality violation of attacking the German ship Altmark in Norwegian waters. ww2dbase [Altmark Incident | TH]
  • As it was customary for new corps commanding officers to dine with the F√ľhrer, Hitler's aide Colonel Schmundt arranged such a meeting for Hitler and Manstein. Manstein presented his plan for the invasion of France and the Low Countries, which impressed Hitler. ww2dbase [Erich von Manstein | CPC]
  • German submarine U-37 sank British ship Pyrrhus 75 miles west of La Coru√Īa, Spain at 1600 hours, killing 8. 77 survivors were rescued by British merchant ships Uskside and Sinnington Court, which delivered them to Gibraltar. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-48 sank Finnish ship Wilja south of Bishop Rock, Isles of Scilly, southwestern England at 2036 hours. All 27 crew members were rescued by Dutch steamer Maasdam and were to Havanna, Cuba. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Karl Hermann Frank and Anna M√ľller were divorced. ww2dbase [Karl Hermann Frank | CPC]
Netherlands
  • At 0200 hours, the 1,819-ton Norwegian freighter Kvernaas sailing unescorted was hit by a single torpedo from German submarine U-10 (Oberleutnant zur See Joachim Preuss) and sank after just 5 minutes 4 miles north-west of Schouwen Bank, Netherlands. The crew got off in 2 lifeboats and were picked up by a Dutch steamer Oranjepolder on her way to London, ENgland, United Kingdom, but turned back and took the survivors to the pilot station at Hoek van Holland the following day. Various sources say that the Kvernaas struck a mine. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | CPC, HM]
18 Feb 1940
  • German submarines sank six merchant vessels that each flew French, Spanish, Greek, Panamanian, Dutch, and Norwegian flags. A total of 40 men were killed on the six vessels. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Seeadler escorted battleship Scharnhorst, battleship Gneisenau, and the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper. ww2dbase [Seeadler | CPC]
Finland
  • Finnish troops destroyed a pocket of Soviet troops north of Lake Ladoga, capturing 32 field guns, 30 anti-tank guns, 1 mortar, 20 tanks, 15 machine guns, 25 trucks, and 32 field kitchen; the Soviets suffered 1,000 deaths and 250 men taken prisoner; Finnish losses were only 166 deaths. At the defensive V-line, however, the Finnish units were overwhelmed and began to be overrun at two locations. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
Germany
  • German Army General Franz Halder, reluctantly, as ordered by Adolf Hitler, incorporated General Erich von Manstein's planned thrust through the Ardennes Forest into the invasion plans for France. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • German battlecruiser Gneisenau embarked on Operation Nordmark, aiming to intercept British convoy traffic in the North Sea. ww2dbase [Gneisenau | HM]
  • German battlecruiser Scharnhorst embarked on Operation Nordmark, aiming to intercept British convoy traffic in the North Sea. ww2dbase [Scharnhorst | HM]
  • German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper embarked on Operation Nordmark, aiming to intercept British convoy traffic in the North Sea. ww2dbase [Admiral Hipper | HM]
  • German destroyers Wilhelm Heidkamp, Karl Galster, and Wolfgang Zenker embarked on Operation Nordmark, aiming to intercept British convoy traffic in the North Sea. During the night, Wolfgang Zenker was forced to return to base when she began taking on water. ww2dbase [HM]
United Kingdom
  • British Royal Navy D-class destroyer HMS Daring (H16; Commander Sydney Alan Cooper), whilst escorting Allied convoy HN-12 from Norway, was attacked by German submarine U-23 (Kapit√§nleutnant Otto Kretschmer) at 0354 hours. Two torpedoes struck the 1,375-ton ship and she sank immediately about 40 miles east of the Pentland Firth, Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom. 147 officers and men were lost. 1 officer and 3 ratings were picked up from a float by HMS Ingleield (D02) and taken to Scapa Flow, Scotland and another rating was found amidst the debris and rescued by the submarine HMS Thistle (N24) assisted by HMS Ilex (D61) and taken to Rosyth, Scotland. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Scotland | AC, HM]
Photo(s) dated 18 Feb 1940
Roosevelt and his Naval Aide, Captain Daniel J. Callaghan, taking the salute of a composite Battalion of the 14th Infantry at Gatun Locks, Panama Canal Zone, 18 Feb 1940
19 Feb 1940
  • The Soviet 18th Division attacked across the frozen Lake Suvanto in the Taipale Sector near Lake Lagoda in eastern Karelian Isthmus. Finnish defenders, with concentrated artillery fire, halted the attack after inflicting nearly 1,000 fatalities. ww2dbase [The Winter War | TH]
  • German submarine U-23, commanded by Kapit√§nleutnant Otto Kretschmer, torpedoed and sank Britisher steamer Tiberton east of the Orkney Islands, Scotland at 0405 hours. Tiberton sank in 30 seconds, taking the lives of the entire crew of 30. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler, alarmed by the Altmark Incident of 16 Feb 1940, ordered to hasten the planning of the invasion of Norway. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German destroyers Wilhelm Heidkamp and Karl Galster, participants of Operation Nordmark, were dispatched from the main body for a mission in the Skagerrak between Denmark and Norway and beyond. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
  • Seeadler began patrolling the Skagerrak strait between Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. ww2dbase [Seeadler | Skagerrak | CPC]
United States
  • US Secretary of State Cordell Hull extended the American moral embargo to include the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Cordell Hull | CPC]
20 Feb 1940
  • General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was appointed to command the German invasion of Norway. ww2dbase [Nikolaus von Falkenhorst | TH]
  • German submarine U-129 sank Norwegian ship Nordvangen 25 miles east of Trinidad at 0425 hours, killing the entire crew of 2. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-156 torpedoed and crippled American ship Delplata 60 miles west of Martinique, at 1131 hours. The crew of 53 abandoned ship and were rescued by USS Lapwing on the next day, which also scuttled Delplata with gunfire. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet troops began penetrating the Finnish V-line as deep as 1 kilometer in some places. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • The keel for corvette Trillium was laid down. ww2dbase [Trillium | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-96 sank British merchant ship Empire Seal 75 miles southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, killing 1. 56 survivors were rescued by British ship Empire Flame. Empire Seal was carrying steel from the United States to Belfast. At 0453, U-96 struck again, sinking American merchant ship Lake Osweya at 0453 hours, killing the entire crew of 39. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-54 became missing in the North Sea and its crew of 41 were never seen again. It was believed that she ran into mines laid by HMS Ivanhoe and HMS Intrepid in early Jan 1940. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
  • Operation Normark was called off after the German fleet consisted of Gneisenau, Scharnhorst, and Admiral Hipper failed to spot any British convoys in the North Sea. The ships headed for Wilhelmshaven, Germany. ww2dbase [North Sea | HM]
  • Seeadler completd her patrol of the Skagerrak strait between Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. ww2dbase [Seeadler | Skagerrak | CPC]
Poland
  • Representatives of the German Gestapo organization (including Adolf Eichmann) and the Soviet NKVD organization (including Grigoriy Litvinov) met at Zakopane, Poland to coordinate the suppression of Polish resistance efforts. ww2dbase [Gestapo-NKVD Conferences | Zakopane | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Feb 1940
Finnish soldiers on skis with reindeers, near Jäniskoski, Finland, 20 Feb 1940
21 Feb 1940
  • The British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Gurkha (Commander A. W. Buzzard) and the French destroyer La Fantasque shared in the depth charging and destruction of the 753-ton German submarine U-53. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-50 torpedoed and sank Dutch ship Tara 50 miles southwest of Cape Finisterre, Spain at 0300 hours. The entire crew escaped harm. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-57 damaged British steamer Loch Maddy 25 miles southeast of Wick, Scotland, United Kingdom, killing 4. She would be sunk by U-23 on the following day. 35 survivors were picked up by destroyer HMS Diana. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
  • British cruiser Manchester and destroyer Kimberly of the Northern Patrol captured 4,709-ton German merchant ship Wahehe in the Atlantic Ocean. Wahehe had sailed out of Vigo, Spain on 9 Feb in an attempt to break the Allied blockade. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | HM]
Finland
  • The Finnish V-line on the Karelian Isthmus continued to be overwhelmed; Soviet penetrations in the line now began to move toward Viipuri, Finland. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
Germany
  • Adolf Hitler authorized the Operation Weser√ľbung, the invasion of Norway. Lieutenant General Falkenhorst was ordered to submit his final invasion plan by 1700 hours on the same day. Having no clue he was to be assigned this commanding role prior to the meeting and given little time to prepare, Falkenhorst purchased a traveler's guide to Norway and used it to design a general invasion plan; the general plan he would devise in his hotel room in the next few hours would generally agree with the plan the OKW had come up with thus far. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
Poland United Kingdom
  • Emergency measures were introduced in Britain to deal with a coal shortage caused by the severe winter. On the railways, passenger train services are cut back. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The cavity magnetron, a device that produced stable high-power short-wave radio waves for what would become "Centrimetric radar" was operated for the first time at the physics department of the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Edgbaston, England | AC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Feb 1940
Finnish Army machine gun crew during the Winter War, 21 Feb 1940; note Maxim M32/33 machine gun
22 Feb 1940
  • Georg von K√ľchler ordered his subordinates to stop all forms of criticism toward Nazi racial policies. ww2dbase [Georg von K√ľchler | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Six German destroyers were launched into the North Sea during Operation Wikinger, which attempted to attack British fishing boats that had been reporting the movement of German warships. He 111 aircraft of the German Luftwaffe, never been notified of such an operation, misidentified the destroyers and attacked them, sinking destroyer Z1 Leberecht Maas at 1945 hours, killing 282 while 60 survived. Destroyer Z3 Max Schultz was able to evade the bombs, but ran into a minefield, detonated a mine, and sank, killing 308. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
  • In the Atlantic Ocean, German submarine U-23 sank British steamer Loch Maddy, which was damaged by U-57 and abandoned by its crew on the previous day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-50 sank British tanker British Endeavour 125 miles west of Vigo, Spain, killing 5. 32 men were rescued by British steamer Bodnant, which landed them on the Portuguese island of Madeira. ww2dbase [CPC]
Finland
  • Soviet 43rd Division attacked across frozen waters of the Gulf of Finland, capturing the islands of Lasisaari and Koivisto. Before Koivisto was given up, Finnish troops sabotaged all the gun barrels in the coastal batteries. ww2dbase [The Winter War | Koivisto | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Irish Republican Army bombs injured 12 in London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [London, England | TH]
23 Feb 1940
  • Sweden denied British and French troops passage across her borders with Finland. ww2dbase [TH]
  • In return for withdrawing from Petsamo, USSR demanded ceding of Karelian Isthmus and shores of Lake Ladoga, along with a 30-year lease on the Hang√∂ Peninsula and a mutual assistance treaty. ww2dbase [The Winter War | TH]
  • The Imperial Regalia of the Holy Roman Empire, including relics of Christian mythology, were removed from public display in N√ľrnberg, Germany. They were moved after dark to a secret location for safe storage. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • British destroyer HMS Gurkha sank German submarine U-53 by depth charges 25 miles south of the Faroe Islands in the North Sea, killing the entire crew of 42. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The citizens of London, England, United Kingdom cheered the officers and men of HMS Exeter and HMS Ajax as they returned from South American waters. ww2dbase [Battle of the River Plate | London, England | CPC]
24 Feb 1940
  • Foreign ministers from Norway, Denmark, and Sweden reasserted the neutrality of their home countries, jointly declaring that they would not assist Finland and would not allow foreign troops to enter their territories. Ignoring this declaration, British envoy to Finland Sir George Gordon Vereker continued to promise 20,000 to 22,000 Allied fighters for Finland if Finland would make such a request by 5 Mar 1940. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-63 sank Swedish merchant ship Santos 70 miles east of the Orkney Islands, Scotland at 2100 hours, killing 31. 12 survivors were rescued by HMS Gallant on the next day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain condemned Hitler's aggression but said that he was prepared to negotiate with an alternative German government. ww2dbase [Neville Chamberlain | AC]
  • Hitler gave approval to detailed plans for the invasion of France and the Low Countries. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | AC]
  • USS Helena departed Guant√°namo Bay, Cuba. ww2dbase [Helena (St. Louis-class) | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • M1 rammed and sunk four Danish fishing trawlers Ejjam (E 92), Gerlis (E 456), Merkator (348), and Polaris (E 504) off the Dogger Bank in the North Sea. There were four crewmen aboard each ship, and even though some survived the sinking initially, commanding officer Oberleutnant zur See Hans Bartels of M1 did not pick up any survivors, thus all of them would eventually be lost. Bartel suspected that the trawlers were reporting German movements to the British while flying the flag of a neutral nation. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | M1 | North Sea | CPC]
Italy
  • Commander Mario Giorgini took command of 1a Flottiglia MAS, a motor torpedo boat flotilla. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The 2,266-ton British cargo steamer Royal Archer (built in 1928) hit a mine laid by German submarine U-21 off Kirkaldy, Scotland, United Kingdom and sank. The 27 crew and a gunner were saved. The ship was on route from London for Leith carrying a cargo of 630 tons general cargo including gum, paste, etc. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Scotland | HM]
  • The 5,941-ton cargo steamer Clan Morrison, requisitioned by the British Admiralty, was steaming from Southampton to Blyth struck a mine and sank 20 miles north of Cromer, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Cromer, England | HM]
25 Feb 1940
  • British submarine HMS Narwhal, escorting convoy HN-14 from Bergen, Norway to Methil, Scotland, spotted German submarine U-63 on the surface at 0755 hours, which dove to avoid attack. Destroyers Escapade, Escort, Inglefield, and Imogen attacked the submarine with depth charges for nearly 2 hours, finally forcing her to surface at 0950 hours. U-63 was scuttled 100 miles east of Wick, Scotland. Of the German crew, 1 was killed, and 24 were captured by Inglefield and Imogen. The German prisoners of war were landed at Leith, Scotland on 27 Feb 1940; they would remain in Britain until the end of the war. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • No. 110 Army Co-operation (Auxiliary) Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force arrived in Britain. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 25 Feb 1940
Blenheim light bomber of the RAF being towed away by horses after landing on the frozen Jukajärvi lake, near Juva village, Finland, 25 Feb 1940
26 Feb 1940
  • Soviet troops continued to attack toward Viipuri, Finland. The Finnish 23rd Division counterattacked with 8 Mark E light tanks in the Battle of Honkaniemi, destroying 3 Soviet tanks but all 8 light tanks were lost during the engagement. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The 4,354-ton German merchant ship Orizaba, having successfully breaking the British-French blockade outside of Vigo, Spain, ran aground off Troms in northern Norway. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | HM]
United Kingdom
  • Newly-constructed British large passenger liner Queen Elizabeth left Clydeside, Glasgow, Scotland on the spring tide. To prevent German attack, false intelligence regarding her destination being Southampton in southern England was generated, but her actual destination was New York in the United States. She would reach New York for her final fitting. ww2dbase [Queen Elizabeth | Clydeside, Scotland | CPC]
27 Feb 1940
  • Soviet troops launched a pincer movement intended at surrounding Viipuri, Finland; at 1900 hours, Finnish Army Lieutenant General Erik Heinrichs ordered his troops to fall back from the defensive positions on the V-line and withdraw into Viipuri. Meanwhile, the government of Finland requested assistance from Norway and Sweden for the war against Russia, but Norway and Sweden continued to express that they were neutral in the conflict and could not assist Finland. On the same day, 300 Finnish children were evacuated to Stockholm, Sweden. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
United States
28 Feb 1940
  • At 0045 hours, Soviet High Command permitted the surrounded 34th Tank Brigade to retreat from the East Lemetti pocket in Finland. Finnish troops eased pressure and allowed 2,750 wounded Russian soldiers to escape on foot. About 1,000 out of the 1,250 who escaped to the south returned safely, but all 1,500 who escaped to the east were later caught by Finnish ski troops and killed. Finnish attacks on the East Lemetti pocket continued later in the day. On the Karelian Isthmus, however, Soviet troops were able to penetrate the second defensive line. Finally, troops of the Swedish Volunteer Corps took over front line duties against Soviet troops at Salla, Lapland in northern Finland. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • The United Kingdom and France offered military assistance for Finland, but they were waiting for Finland to issue a formal request for such aid. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German merchant ship Wangoni evaded the British submarine Triton in the Skagerrak, and would safely reach Kiel, Germany. Wangoni had sailed out of Vigo, Spain on 9 Feb in an attempt to break the Allied blockade. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | HM]
29 Feb 1940
  • Negotiations to end the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union began, but fighting continued. Soviet troops crossed the frozen Gulf of Finland and landed 15 miles west of Viipuri in an attempt to surround the city, but they were defeated by Finnish troops, capturing only Teikari Island. Elsewhere, Finnish troops wiped out the surrounded Soviet troops in the East Lemetti pocket at 0400 hours, capturing 5 field guns, 1 anti-tank gun, 71 tanks, 12 armored cars, 6 anti-aircraft machine guns, 206 trucks, and 70 machine guns. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • German submarine U-20 torpedoed and sank Italian steamer Maria Rosa in the English Channel, killing 12. 17 people were rescued. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German steamers Heidelberg and Troja left the Dutch island of Aruba in the Caribbean Sea after dark in an attempt to evade Allied patrols. Troja was intercepted 10 miles from Aruba from British cruiser Despatch; her crew set fire to the ship and abandoned her, which sank on the next day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler approved Nikolaus von Falkenhorst's invasion plan for Norway. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • RMS Queen Elizabeth set sail from Scotland, United Kingdom for New York, United States. ww2dbase [Queen Elizabeth | Scotland | CPC]
United States
  • In a ceremony held in Berkeley, California (because of the war) physicist Ernest Lawrence received the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics from Swedish Consul General in San Francisco. ww2dbase [Berkeley, California | CPC]
1 Mar 1940
  • Adolf Hitler issued a formal war directive for Weser√ľbung, the invasion of Norway and Denmark. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | AC]
  • The Libyan 1st and 2nd Divisions were formed by the Italian Army. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Guszt√°v J√°ny was named the commanding officer of Hungarian 2nd Army. ww2dbase [Guszt√°v J√°ny | CPC]
  • Hartwig von Ludwiger was made the commanding officer of 83rd Infantry Regiment of 28th Infantry Division. ww2dbase [Hartwig von Ludwiger | CPC]
  • The German steamship Troja was intercepted by British cruiser HMS Despatch (D 30) and scuttled by her own crew about 10 nautical miles west of Aruba. ww2dbase [HM]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND on passage to Freetown, British West Africa (now Sierra Leone). ww2dbase [Cumberland | DS]
Germany
  • US Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles arrived in Berlin, Germany on a peace mission, and met with German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop on the first day of his visit. ww2dbase [Joachim von Ribbentrop | Berlin | TH]
United Kingdom
  • The 1,388-ton Norwegian steamship Vestfoss was bombed by a German aircraft 12 miles southeast of Auskerry, one of the Orkney islands, on a voyage from Partington, Manchester, England, United Kingdom to Oslo, Norway with coal. The pilot of the bomber first allowed the crew to escape; all 19 went to the boats and would survive the attack. The Vestfoss was found later on fire and was taken on tow, but foundered two hours later. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Scotland | HM]
United States
2 Mar 1940
  • The United Kingdom and France once again requested Sweden and Norway to allow passage of Allied troops through their borders in order to aid Finland, should Finland formally requested such aid from the Allies. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • O'Brien was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [O'Brien | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The cargo-liner SS Domala carrying mainly British Indian subjects repatriated from Germany was bombed and machine gunned off the Isle of Wight by a German He 111 aircraft with the loss of 108 lives. Dutch ship Jong Willem, which rescued 48 of the 183 survivors, was also strafed. Beached and later repaired, she went back into service under the name Empire Attendant only to be torpedoed and sunk south of the Canary Islands in Jul 1945 with the loss of all 59 hands. ww2dbase [English Channel | AC]
  • British cruiser HMS Berwick stopped German steamer Wolfsburg, which was disguised as Norwegian ship Aust, north of Iceland. Wolfsburg was scuttled by her crew of 54, who were all subsequently rescued by Berwick. Berwick sank Wolfsburg by gunfire before departure. ww2dbase [Denmark Strait | CPC]
  • British cruiser HMS Dunedin stopped German steamer Heidelberg 60 miles west of Aruba in the Caribbean Sea. Heidelberg was scuttled by her crew of 25, who were all subsequently rescued by Dunedin and later delivered to Jamaica. ww2dbase [Caribbean Sea | CPC]
  • The 695-ton Dutch motor merchant Rijnstroom loaded with general cargo was hit in the bow by a torpedo fired by German Submarine U-17 (Kapit√§nleutnant Udo Behrens) and sank within five minutes. The ship was reported missing after leaving the Downs (an area of safe anchorage in the southern North Sea) just a small amount of wreckage was later found, none of the 12-man crew survived. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | North Sea | HM]
  • The 2,818-ton Swedish merchant steamer Lagaholm with 4,700 tons of general cargo, including 100 tons of aluminium ingots, 62 tons of copper, 53 tons of brass, engines and chemicals and mail was stopped by German submarine U-32 when 80 miles west of Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom at 0715 hours. The crew abandoned ship in two lifeboats and after questioning the Germans gave them a course to steer to the nearest land. At 0810 hours the submarine shelled and set the Lagaholm alight after which she sank. The survivors were picked up by a Norwegian merchant ship Belpamela and taken to Kirkwall and North Ronaldsay. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | HM]
Finland
  • Soviet troops attempted to establish a beachhead west of the Finnish city of Viipuri across the frozen Viipuri Bay, while pressure was asserted on the city from its south and east. An attempt was orchestrated on 29 Feb 1940 without success; likewise, this newly dispatched unit failed to establish a beachhead, however, the Soviet troops were able to capture the coastal battery on the island of Tuppuransaari, which had caused high casualties on both attempts. ww2dbase [The Winter War | Viipuri | CPC]
  • Hungarian volunteers reached a training facility in Finland after 3 weeks of travel. They immediately began training with the Finnish Army, but they would not complete the training before the end of the Winter War. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • Adolf Hitler met with US Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles in Berlin, Germany. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | Berlin | CPC]
Hong Kong
  • The British submarine HMS Proteus (Lieutenant Commander R. T. Gordon-Duff, RN) departed from Hong Kong for her first war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Vladivostok, Russia. ww2dbase [HM]
Singapore
  • The British submarine HMS Rover (Lieutenant Commander H. A. L. Marsham, RN) departed Singapore for Hong Kong. ww2dbase [Singapore | HM]
United Kingdom
  • The 5,222-ton Italian steam tanker Mirella, built in 1918, was on route from Tyne, England, United Kingdom for Livorno, Italy with 3,900 tons of coal when she was torpedoed by German submarine U-20 just off Lowestoft, Suffolk, England at 0315 hours. One member of her crew was lost. ww2dbase [Lowestoft, England | HM]
United States
3 Mar 1940
  • Italy protested UK-proposed ban on Italian imports of German coal. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Two days after the offered peace ultimatum expired, Soviet forces launched a major offensive against the Finns. A beachhead on the frozen Viipuri Bay west of the Viipuri city was reinforced, while the island of Uuras was captured. Finnish General Wallenius was dishonorably discharged for getting drunk during this key moment in the defense; Lieutenant General Lennart Oesch was appointed to succeed him. ww2dbase [The Winter War | TH]
  • British cruiser HMS York stopped the 3,359-ton German steamer Arucas 50 miles south of Iceland. Arucas' crew of 42 Arucas scuttled the ship. 3 died in the process. 39 men were picked up by HMS York. Arucas had sailed out of Vigo, Spain on 9 Feb in an attempt to break the Allied blockade. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | CPC, HM]
  • German submarine U-29 laid mines in the Bristol Channel. British steamer Cato hit one of them later on this date, killing 13; 2 survivors were rescued by minesweeper HMS Akita. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler decided that the invasion of Norway would take place prior to the invasion of France. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
Germany
  • Hermann G√∂ring met with US Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles in Berlin, Germany. ww2dbase [Hermann G√∂ring | Berlin | CPC]
Russia
  • In a session of the Soviet Politburo in Moscow, Russia, Joseph Stalin and the five Politburo members approved the execution of captured Polish officers and land owners. ww2dbase [Katyn Massacre and Related Atrocities | Moscow | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • As the large passenger liner Queen Elizabeth sailed for New York, British agents released false information regarding the final destination being Southampton in southern England, United Kingdom. German intelligence apparently picked up this information as Luftwaffe aircraft appeared to bomb Southampton on this date, the date when Queen Elizabeth was falsely said to arrive. ww2dbase [Queen Elizabeth | CPC]
4 Mar 1940
  • French steamer S.N.A.1 collided with British ship Thurston 30 miles north of Land's End in southwestern England at about 0000 hours. S.N.A.1 sank, with 30 survivors rescued by Thurston. At 0523 hours, however, German submarine U-29 sank Thurston, killing 64. 3 British and 1 French were subsequently rescued. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-29 sank British ship Pacific Reliance at 1239 hours, destroying the cargo of aircraft parts. The entire crew of 53 were rescued by British merchant ship Macville and delivered to Newlyn, Cornwall, England. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet and Finnish troops continued to fight near Viipuri, Finland, particularly near the Vuoksi River near √Ąyr√§p√§√§ church. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • The Chief Executive Officer of the American firm General Motors James Mooney, holder of the German Grand Cross of the German Eagle medal for his services to Germany, met with Adolf Hitler in an attempt to dissuade Hitler from escalating the war. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND transferred to 6th Cruiser Squadron and continued interception and trade defence duties. ww2dbase [Cumberland | DS]
Germany
  • US Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles departed Berlin, Germany. ww2dbase [Berlin | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 4 Mar 1940
Soviet soldier in prone position with rifle and shield, Viipuri, Finland, 4 Mar 1940
5 Mar 1940
  • The Soviet Politburo declared the Polish officers in captivity "enemies of the Soviet Union" and ordered death sentences for all of them, fearing that, if released back into the population, they would organize resistance movements against the Soviet occupation. ww2dbase [Katyn Massacre and Related Atrocities | CPC]
  • Despite heavy casualties delivered by the Finnish Air Force, Soviet forces captured more islands in Viipuri Bay in Finland and asserted more pressure on the city of Viipuri. The Soviet Union renewed its peace offer, and this time it was seriously considered by Finland. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • German submarine U-17 torpedoed and sank Dutch steamer Grutto 20 miles off Belgium at 2100 hours. Grutto sank within 6 minutes of the attack, killing all 18 aboard. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Hermann G√∂ring complained that he was not consulted for the planning of the Norwegian invasion. ww2dbase [Hermann G√∂ring | CPC]
  • German merchant steamers Hannover, Mimi Horn and Seattle departed Cura√ßao. ww2dbase [HM]
China
  • Communist Chinese troops laid siege to Yanchuan County seat, Shaanxi Province, China; the local paramilitary forces loyal to the Nationalists would quickly surrender. ww2dbase [Yanchuan, Shaanxi | CPC]
Germany
  • Fleet escort ship F3 was recommissioned as a fleet tender, with the new name of Hai. ww2dbase [F3 | CPC]
6 Mar 1940
  • Based on a compromise of the original plan, modifications to the German invasion plan of the west were approved by Hitler. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British cruiser HMS Berwick intercepted German freighter Uruguay northeast of Iceland. Just as the boarding began, Uruguay's crew set the ship on fire. Berwick sank Uruguay with gunfire after withdrawing the boarding party and bringing the German crew on board. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Fighting between Finnish and Soviet forces continued south, east, and west of Viipuri, Finland. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • Dutch submarines O9, O10, and O11 departed from Den Helder Naval Base. Before they left the harbor, O11 collided with the armored tug BV3; 3 men were killed as they were trapped in O11 while she sank. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The French battleship Jean Bart was launched. ww2dbase [Jean Bart | AC]
  • Major General Wilhelm S¬łssmann stepped down as the commanding officer of the German Kampfgeschwader 55 wing. ww2dbase [CPC]
Belgium
  • The first of thirty-four FIAT CR.42 Falco biplane fighter aircraft ordered by the Belgian government in Sep 1939 entered service with the 3√®me Escadrille de Chasse. This unit had twenty-five CR.42 aircraft available when the Germans invaded on 10 May 1940 but lost thirteen machines destroyed by Ju 87B dive-bombers during the opening Luftwaffe attack, and the survivors played little part in the subsequent defence of Belgium. ww2dbase [CR.42 Falco | AC]
Finland
  • Simo H√§yh√§ was shot in the lower left jaw by a Soviet soldier in combat in Finland. ww2dbase [Simo H√§yh√§ | CPC]
Norway
  • The 19 survivors of Norwegian steamship Vestfoss, sunk by German aircraft five days prior, were landed at Oslo, Norway the trawler Star of Liberty. ww2dbase [Oslo | HM]
Russia
7 Mar 1940
  • The British boarded 9 Italian ships from Rotterdam carrying German coal in the English Channel and detained all ships at The Downs, off Deal, Kent, England. The Italians believed that it was an attempt for the British to force the Italians to sell them weapons. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet troops began to break through the final defense line at Viipuri, Finland. Meanwhile, Finnish Prime Minister Ryti and his diplomatic party arrived in Moscow, Russia in an attempt to negotiate peace. In the United Kingdom, British Chief of the Imperial General Staff Edmund Ironside offered military assistance to Carl Mannerheim of Finland. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler allocated 8 divisions for the invasion of Norway and Denmark. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • Oberst Alois Stoeckl was named the commanding officer of the German Kampfgeschwader 55 wing. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German merchant steamer Hannover was intercepted by the Canadian destroyer Assiniboine and the British cruiser Dunedin in the Mona Passage between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. The Canadians prevented the German crew from scuttling their ship inside Dominican waters by sending a boarding party. During the hunt for the Hannover which also included the French cruiser Jeanne d‚ÄôArc, German steamers Mimi Horn and Seattle, which sailed out of Cura√ßao together with Hannover two days prior, were able to get away. ww2dbase [Caribbean Sea | HM]
Netherlands
  • The 1,965-ton Dutch steam merchant Vecht was torpedoed in the Scheldt Estuary at 0430 hours by German submarine U-14. The submarine had spotted the steamer three hours earlier and reported that she carried no neutrality markings. The Vecht sank by the stern after twenty minutes. All 22 crewmen perished. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | HM]
United States
8 Mar 1940
  • As Soviet troops entered the suburbs of Viipuri, Finnish diplomats in Moscow sought an immediate ceasefire while negotiations were still proceeding, but were refused as Soviet troops were on the verge of taking Viipuri. ww2dbase [The Winter War | TH]
  • British cruiser HMS Dunedin and Canadian destroyer HMCS Assiniboine captured German steamer Hanover near Jamaica. Hannover would later be converted into escort aircraft carrier HMS Audacity. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British steamer Counsellor, flagship of Rear Admiral Franklin of convoy HX-22 convoy, struck a mine in Liverpool Bay, England. The Admiral, his 7 naval staff, and the entire crew of 70 were rescued by destroyer HMS Walpole and landed at Liverpool. The mines were laid on 6 Jan 1940 by German submarine U-30; these mines had claimed 6 ships totaling 33,000 tons. ww2dbase [CPC]
9 Mar 1940
  • The British released the Italian coal ships detained on 7 Mar 1940 and announced that the United Kingdom would allow Italy to continue to import German coal but only via overland routes. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Soviet troops captured the village of Tali on the outskirts of Viipuri and for the most part were in control of the Bay of Viipuri. Finnish leader Mannerheim suggested that surrender might be Finland's only option at this stage. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • German submarine U-14 sank 3 British steamers 5 miles off of the Belgian coast near Zeebrugge: SS Borthwick at 0542 hours, no lives lost; SS Abbotsford at 2330 hours, killing 19; SS Akeld 2345 hours, killing 12. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 fired a warning shot from its deck gun toward 6 neutral Irish trawlers 10 miles north of Aran Island, Ireland at the distance of 200 meters at 2113 hours. Trawler Leukos was hit by the warning shot, killing the entire crew of 11 during the sinking. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-28 torpedoed and sank Greek steamer P. Margaronis 125 miles west of Brest, France at 2317 hours, killing the entire crew of 30. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The 2,719-ton British steamer Chevychase hit a mine whilst steaming over the Cromer banks, east coast of England, United Kingdom. 21 survivors were picked up, of whom 8 were wounded. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | North Sea | HM]
  • The Estonian cargo ship Hanonia, captured by the German submarine U-34 in 1939, had been laying mines off North Foreland, Kent, England, United Kingdom since the beginning of the month when she struck a rock and was grounded. The ship was towed to Bergen, Norway by the Germans for repairs. She would later be sunk by a mine in May 1940. The mines she had laid off Ken sank seven cargo ships: the Santa Godelieva, the Amor, the Rose Effeuillee, the Melrose, the Saba, the Saint Annaland and the Tina Primo. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | North Sea | HM]
Taiwan
  • Lieutenant General Mikio Uemura was named the chief of staff of the Taiwan Army. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 9 Mar 1940
Finnish 76-mm field gun camouflaged in snowy terrain, Viipuri, Finland, 9 Mar 1940
10 Mar 1940
  • German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop met with Mussolini in Italy, informing him Hitler's wish to invade France and lobbied for him to conduct a joint-invasion. Mussolini promise to join Germany, but only when he felt Italy was ready. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Repair ship Akashi was commissioned into service with Captain Shutoku Miyazato in command. ww2dbase [Akashi | CPC]
China
  • Zang Xilan graduated from advanced flight training in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China. ww2dbase [Zang Xilan | Kunming, Yunnan | CPC]
Japan
  • Captain Gunji Kogure was named the commanding officer of Settsu. ww2dbase [Settsu | CPC]
Russia
  • Noted Russian writer and playwright, Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940), whose work Joseph Stalin liked but would not allow to be staged or read, passed away. When Bulgakov's play about Stalin's early life was turned down in 1939, he became ill and depressed, and died less than a year later. His crowning achievement, the novel The Master and Margarita, was not published until 1968. ww2dbase [AC]
United Kingdom
  • HMS York disembarked 39 German sailors captured from merchant ship Arucas on 3 Mar at Kirkwall, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Kirkwall, Scotland | HM]
Photo(s) dated 10 Mar 1940
Finnish coastal defense ship Ilmarinen anchored at Turku harbor, Finland, 10 Mar 1940Battleship Kirishima at Kure, Japan, 10 Mar 1940Adolf Hitler at Memorial Day celebration with Wilhelm Keitel, Walther von Brauchitsch, Erich Raeder, and Hermann Göring (behind Hitler), Berlin, Germany, 10 Mar 1940
11 Mar 1940
  • 5 Soviet tanks reached Tammisuo Station in northeast Viipuri, Finland while Finnish delegates in Moscow negotiated peace terms. At 1800 hours, the two sides came to an agreement that would be signed into a peace treaty on the following day. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • British and French governments dispatched troops to Sweden in an attempt to capture Swedish iron mines. Norway and Sweden made the statement that they would resist such an invasion. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-28 torpedoed and sank Dutch tanker Eulota 125 miles west of Quessant, France at 0317 hours. The ship broke in two but remained afloat until HMS Broke and HMS Wild Swan arrived to rescue the entire crew of 42. Eulota was scuttled upon completion of the rescue. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Blenheim bombers of 82 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command attacked German submarine U-31, on sea trials, in Jade Bay near Wilhelmshaven. 2 of the 4 anti-submarine bombs hit U-31, killing all 58 (48 crew, 10 dock workers) on board. U-31 would later be refloated only to be sunk again, the only WW2 ship to suffer the misfortune of being sunk twice in the war. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop met with Mussolini in Italy regarding German-Italian cooperation in the war. ww2dbase [Joachim von Ribbentrop | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The 2,325-ton Dutch steam merchant Amor struck a mine in the North Sea that had been laid by the German minelayer Schiff II/Ulm two days prior. The ship sank near to the West Hinder Light, Zeebrugge. There were no casualties among the crew of 33. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | North Sea | HM]
France
  • French battleship Bretagne and cruiser Alg√©ri√©, escorted by destroyers Vauban, Aigle, Maille Breze, departed Toulon, France. Bretagne had onboard her 1,200 gold bars, while Alg√©ri√© carried 1,179 gold bars; these gold bars totaled 147 tons in weight. These gold bars from the French gold reserves were bound for Halifax, Canada for safekeeping. ww2dbase [Bretagne | Toulon, Provence-Alpes-C√īte d'Azur | AC, HM]
United Kingdom
  • The 165-ton British trawler Halifax struck a mine after leaving Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom and sank 12 miles to the east south east of the port. There were no casualties. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Lowestoft, England | HM]
  • The 163-ton British fishing vessel Aberdeen (LT123), whilst heading to the Cardigan Bay fishing grounds from Milford Haven in Wales, United Kingdom, was attacked by German aircraft. The bombs, all near misses, caused enough damage for the trawler to take on water. Eight of the ten crew lost their lives as the vessel sunk. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Wales | HM]
12 Mar 1940
  • At 0900 hours, Finnish President Ky√∂sti Kallio authorized his delegates in Moscow full powers to negotiate peace terms. Soviet representatives had drafted a document dated today, ready for the Finnish delegation to sign. The document called for Finland to give up 35,000 square kilometers of territory to Russia, which constituted about 10% of the country, including Salla, the Karelian Isthmus, and Ladoga Karelia, housing about 12% of the entire Finnish population. The Hanko Peninsula was also forced to be leased to the Soviets for 30 years for use as a military base. ww2dbase [The Winter War | TH]
  • Swedish offered Finland a defensive alliance, but it was too late to help Finland as it was about to surrender to the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • A transport of 1,000 German Jews was forced to march through cold weather toward the Lublin Ghetto. 72 German Jews died of exposure. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Under Secretary for State Sumner Welles returned to the US from a fact finding mission, during which he met with one Pope, two Kings, one F√ľhrer, One Duce, and three Premieres. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler met with Colin Ross, whom Hitler considered to be his top adviser on the United States. Ross told Hitler that the United States, run by Jews, had imperialist tendencies in terms of foreign policy. Ross also advised Hitler that Franklin Roosevelt, who had come to power around the same time as Hitler, was jealous of Hitler's greater success thus was plotting with the Western Allies to defeat Germany. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
  • German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop continued his meeting with Mussolini in Italy, setting up a conference between Hitler and Mussolini to be held some time on or after 19 Mar 1940. ww2dbase [Joachim von Ribbentrop | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • HMS Sealion (Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Bryant, RN) was detected, hunted and depth charged by a German armed trawler in the North Sea about 25 nautical miles to the north-west of Heligoland. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | North Sea | HM]
Germany
  • Emden arrived at Swinem√ľnde, Germany and joined Group 5 being organized for the invasion of Oslo, Norway. ww2dbase [Emden | Swinem√ľnde, Pommern | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • 20,000 British troops embarked on transport ships at Rosyth, Scotland and waited for the order to sail to Norway, through which country they would march into Finland to aid in the war against Soviet Union as well as to secure iron mines in Sweden. ww2dbase [Rosyth, Scotland | TH]
  • The 3,745-ton British steam merchant Gardenia was en route from Casablanca, Morocco to Middlebourgh, England, United Kingdom, when she struck a mine and sank off Cromer, Norfolk, east coast of England. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Cromer, England | HM]
United States
  • Henry Arnold received a warning from Franklin Roosevelt for having voiced complaints against policies set forth by Roosevelt's cabinet. ww2dbase [Henry Arnold | CPC]
13 Mar 1940
  • At 0200 hours in Moscow (0100 hours Finland time) Finnish and Soviet representatives signed the Moscow Peace Treaty prepared on the previous day. Finnish President Ky√∂sti Kallio noted that the treaty was "the most awful document I have ever had to sign." Ceasefire would take place at 1100 hours; both sides continued to bombard the other with ferocity until the ceasefire time came. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • British troops originally Norway-bound were disembarked from their transports without ever having left port. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Fleet Landing Exercise No. 6 in the Caribbean Sea, participated by personnel of the US Navy and US Marine Corps, drew to a close. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The British armed merchant cruiser HMS Maloja (F 26) intercepted the 7,414-ton German merchant La Coruna south-east of Iceland. However before the German ship can be captured she was scuttled by her own crew. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | HM]
  • German submarine U-44 hit a mine in Mine Field No. 7 in the North Sea laid by the destroyers HMS Express, HMS Esk, HMS Icarus and HMS Impulsive. All 47 aboard were killed. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | North Sea | HM]
Denmark
  • The 3,303-ton German cargo ship Eschersheim, on voyage from Bremen, Germany to Oslo, Norway with coke, hit a submerged wreck two miles south from Hirthals and L√łnstrup region and was lost. Six crewmen lost their lives. ww2dbase [Hirthals, Nordjylland | HM]
Finland
  • Simo H√§yh√§ regained consciousness after being severely injured in the face in combat a week prior in Finland. ww2dbase [Simo H√§yh√§ | CPC]
Germany
  • Joachim von Ribbentrop informed the Italians that Adolf Hitler would like to push the date of the upcoming Brenner Pass meeting with Benito Mussolini up to on or about 18 Mar 1940. ww2dbase [Joachim von Ribbentrop | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Punjabi nationalist Udham Singh assassinated Sir Michael O'Dwyer in Caxton Hall in Westminster, London, England, United Kingdom in retaliation for Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar in India. O'Dwyer was the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab at the time of the massacre. ww2dbase [London, England | CPC]
14 Mar 1940
  • The Finnish Parliament met and debated over the ratification of Moscow Peace Treaty. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • The first of the over 450,000 Finnish civilians in the territories ceded to Russia per the Moscow Peace Treaty began to move into Finland. Some of them burned their homes to the ground to leave as little to the conquerors as possible. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • According to Alfred Jodl's diary entry for this date, Adolf Hitler was actively searching for excuses that would justify the planned invasion of Norway. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • HMS Eagle suffered an accidental bomb explosion while off the Nicobar Islands, killing 14 and damaging many aircraft. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
Russia
  • Viktor Abakumov was promoted to the rank of State Security Major. ww2dbase [Viktor Abakumov | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • First "bombe" decipher machine became operational at Bletchley Park in England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Bletchley Park | Milton Keynes, England | CPC]
  • British Foreign Minister Lord Halifax began to ask Finland to return some of the supplies that the British had given to Finland for the Winter War. He retracted the request shortly after Finnish Ambassador to London G. A. Gripenberg reminded him that Finland had paid for the relatively small amount of goods that Britain offered. ww2dbase [Halifax | London, England | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 14 Mar 1940
Soviet TB-3 heavy bomber captured by Finnish forces, Kuhmo-Sauna Lake, Kainuu, Finland, 14 Mar 1940Soviet TB-3 heavy bomber captured by Finnish forces, Kuhmo-Sauna Lake, Kainuu, Finland, 14 Mar 1940
15 Mar 1940
  • The Finnish parliament ratified the Moscow Peace Treaty, 145 votes for and 3 votes against. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • British Royal Navy armed merchant cruiser HMS Kanimbla impounded Soviet steamer Vladimir Mayakovsky, which was carrying American copper and bound for Germany, in the Sea of Japan. ww2dbase [CPC]
Poland
  • British RAF bombers dropped propaganda leaflets over Warsaw, Poland. ww2dbase [Warsaw | CPC]
Romania
  • In Romania, King Carol II granted amnesty to members of the fascist Iron Guard party after they swore allegiance to him. ww2dbase [Carol II | CPC]
Singapore
  • HMS Eagle arrived at Singapore for repairs for damage caused by the accidental explosion of 14 Mar 1940. ww2dbase [Eagle | Singapore | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 15 Mar 1940
Captain Albert C. Read inspected Saratoga
16 Mar 1940
  • Benito Mussolini held peace talks with US envoy Sumner Welles in Rome. ww2dbase [Benito Mussolini | CPC]
  • Yugoslavian steamer Slava hit a mine laid by German submarine U-29 on 2 Mar 1940 and sank in the Bristol Channel, killing 1. 33 were rescued. ww2dbase [CPC]
Netherlands
  • Isaac Sweers was launched at the Koninklijke Maatschappij De Schelde shipyard in Vlissingen, the Netherlands. ww2dbase [Isaac Sweers | Vlissingen, Zeeland | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • 32 German Ju 88 dive bombers bombed the Royal Navy Home Fleet base at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands. HMS Norfolk was hit with one bomb, blowing a hole below the water line and killing 6. James Isbister became the first British civilian to be killed by a German bomb when his house in the nearby village of Bridge of Waithe. ww2dbase [Scapa Flow | Scapa Flow, Scotland | TH]
17 Mar 1940
  • German submarine U-38 torpedoed and sank Danish merchant vessel Argentina east of the Shetland Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom at 2325 hours, killing the entire crew of 33. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British miners from Nottinghamshire, England voted to forgo vacations to support the war effort. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • Fritz Todt, although he had no experience in the military field, was made the Reichminister for Armaments and Munitions by Adolf Hitler. ww2dbase [Fritz Todt | CPC, AC]
United Kingdom
  • In the wake of a German raid on Scapa Flow, the British Admiralty admitted that the Home Fleet base was vulnerable to air attacks. The fleet was ordered to depart Scapa Flow between 19 and 26 Mar. In anticipation of this move, German submarines U-57, U-19, U-21, and U-22 began to move toward Scapa Flow in an attempt to attack the departing warships. ww2dbase [Scapa Flow | Scapa Flow, Scotland | CPC]
18 Mar 1940

Netherlands
  • German bombers attacked Dutch trawler Protinus off Ijmuiden, the Netherlands, killing several people including the captain and the first mate. 10 found their way to the lifeboat but 2 of them would perish before they were found by submarine HMS Unity 6 days later. ww2dbase [Ijmuiden | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • HMS Edinburgh arrived at Tyne, England, United Kingdom for a refit. ww2dbase [Edinburgh | Tyne, England | CPC]
  • Alan Turing's first electromechanical machine, "bombe", was installed. ww2dbase [Alan Turing | England | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 18 Mar 1940
Finnish Canet 152mm/45 naval gun in coastal defense role, Hästö-Busö, Finland, 18 Mar 1940
19 Mar 1940
  • In retaliation for the Scapa Flow raid, the RAF attacked the German seaplane base on Sylt Island, but with little effect. Meanwhile, British Whitley bombers of 10 Squadron No. 4 Group RAF Bomber Command dropped 1,500 pounds of bombs over the Hornum seaplane base in Germany also as part of the retaliatory bombing. ww2dbase [TH]
  • German submarine U-19 sank Danish steamer Minsk in the Moray Firth, Scotland at 0935 hours, killing 11. Destroyer HMS Esk rescued 9 survivors. At 1037 hours, U-19 struck again, sinking Danish steamer Charkow, killing the entire crew of 20. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Members of the British House of Commons debated Britain's lack of action during the Winter War and criticized Prime Minister Chamberlain. Chamberlain noted that Finland never officially requested British military aid. ww2dbase [Neville Chamberlain | CPC]
  • The French Parliament criticized Prime Minister Daladier for the French inaction during the Winter War. Daladier resigned after a vote of no confidence. ww2dbase [√Čdouard Daladier | CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Jervis collided with Swedish steamer Tor northeast of Blyth, England at 0300 hours, killing 2 aboard Jervis. She would be under repair until Jul 1940. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • Yosuke Matsuoka departed Berlin, Germany. ww2dbase [Yosuke Matsuoka | Berlin | CPC]
  • M18 was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [M18 | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 19 Mar 1940
Result of Lieutenant Jimmy Thach
20 Mar 1940
  • British bombers sank converted minesweeper Sperrbrecher 12 (former steamer Altenfels) off the Dutch coast. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-22 departed Wilhelmshaven. Communications with the submarine was lost shortly after, its crew of 27 was never seen again. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-19 sank Danish steamer Viking in the Moray Firth, Scotland at 0500 hours, killing 15; 2 survived. At 0515 hours, she sank Danish steamer Bothal, killing 15; 5 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMS Fortune sank German submarine U-44 off Narvik, Norway. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Chinese troops attacked Japanese-occupied Wuyuan, Suiyuan Province, China. ww2dbase [Battle of Wuyuan | CPC]
Russia
  • Lavrentiy Beria dispatched 11 NKVD killing squads to Ukraine and Byelorussia to arrest, execute, and deport resistance elements. ww2dbase [Katyn Massacre and Related Atrocities | CPC]
United States
  • RMS Queen Mary departed New York, New York, United States. ww2dbase [Queen Mary | New York | CPC]
21 Mar 1940
  • Paul Reynaud was named the Prime Minister of France. ww2dbase [TH]
  • German submarine U-38 sank neutral Danish merchant ship Algier 15 miles north of the Shetland Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom at 0100 hours, killing 5; British trawler Manx King rescued 18 survivors At 0326, U-38 torpedoed another Danish ship, Christiansborg, killing 1; HMS Discovery II rescued 24 survivors from the damaged Danish ship. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British and Turkish delegations met in Syria. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Chinese troops captured Japanese-occupied Wuyuan, Suiyuan Province, China. ww2dbase [Battle of Wuyuan | CPC]
Japan
  • Paul Wenneker began serving as a naval attach√© at the German embassy in Tokyo, Japan. ww2dbase [Paul Wenneker | Tokyo | CPC]
Russia
  • Semyon Timoshenko was made a Hero of the Soviet Union for the first time and the Order of Lenin for the second time. ww2dbase [Semyon Timoshenko | CPC]
United States
22 Mar 1940
  • French Prime Minister Paul Reynaud named his predecessor √Čdouard Daladier as Minister of War despite their opposite political views. ww2dbase [√Čdouard Daladier | CPC]
  • Soviet military personnel began to arrive at the Hanko Peninsula in Finland, which had been leased by the Soviet Union as part of the Moscow Peace Treaty that ended the Winter War. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Royal Navy increased patrols in Norwegian waters. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British government was warned of the possibility of a German nuclear weapon. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Chinese troops secured major roads leading into Wuyuan, Suiyuan Province, China. A small Japanese force was immediately deployed to counterattack, with more troops being transferred to reinforce the counteroffensive. ww2dbase [Battle of Wuyuan | CPC]
China
  • American gunboat USS Asheville arrived at Gulangyu island, an international zone, near Xiamen, China. ww2dbase [Xiamen, Fujian | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The first boats of the French 10th Submarine Flotilla, Sibylle, Antiope, and Amazone, arrived at Harwich on the east coast of England, United Kingdom together with their depot ship Jules Verne. The boats would reinforce the British Home Fleet. 5 more boats would arrive during the next 10 days plus some boats of the 2nd Submarine Flotilla. The Sibylle would be the first to go out on active war patrol. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Harwich, England | HM]
23 Mar 1940
  • Dutch fighters accidentally shot down a RAF bomber near Rotterdam. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The British Malaya Force was formed to observe German merchant ships in Dutch East Indies. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine (HMS Truant or HMS Trident) intercepted German merchant ship Edmund Hugo Stinnes IV 6 miles off of the western coast of Denmark at 2330 hours. The German ship sailed closer to shore before being scuttled by its crew. The abandoned ship was later torpedoed and sunk by the submarine. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • IRA prisoners at Dartmoor, England staged a riot. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Deportation of Jews in German-occupied Eastern Europe continued despite of Hermann G√∂ring's order for a temporary pause. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
China
  • Eiji Nishimura was named the head of Unit 1855, a Japanese Army medical unit for human experimentation, in Beiping, China. ww2dbase [Eiji Nishimura | Beiping | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Mar 1940
Officers and crew of USS Louisville, San Pedro, California, United States, 23 Mar 1940
24 Mar 1940
  • French destroyer La Railleuse suffered an accidental torpedo detonation as she was departing Casablanca, Morocco. La Railleuse was lost; 28 were killed and 24 were wounded. ww2dbase [CPC]
25 Mar 1940
  • Hungarian Prime Minister P√°l Teleki met with Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano; Teleki voiced neutrality for Hungary. ww2dbase [P√°l Teleki | CPC]
  • Swiss inteliigence warned Norway regarding evidence of a German invasion, but Norway chose to ignore the warning. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • French Prime Minister Reynaud wrote to the British War Cabinet, proposing ideas to undermine any possibility of further Soviet expansion in Scandinavia. British Prime Minister Chamberlain refused to cooperate as he refused to build hostility with the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British government forbade captured servicemen to participate in enemy propaganda radio broadcasts. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-47 sank Danish steamer Britta 30 miles north of Scotland at 0540 hours, killing 13. 5 survivors were rescued by Danish steamer Nancy. ww2dbase [U-47 | CPC]
  • German submarine U-57 sank British tanker Daghestan 9 miles east of Orkney Islands, Scotland at 0811 hours, killing 3. 29 survivors were picked up by armed anti-submarine trawlers HMS Northern Wave and HMS Brontes. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The United States gave contractors to the US Army Air Corps the authority to sell to anti-Axis governments the most modern types of combat aircraft. ww2dbase [AC]
  • By this date, the strength of the Japanese counteroffensive near Wuyuan, Suiyuan Province, China had grown to 3,000 men with artillery and aircarft support. ww2dbase [Battle of Wuyuan | CPC]
26 Mar 1940
  • German submarine U-38 stopped Norwegian merchant ship Cometa 65 miles northwest of Noup Head, Orkney Islands, Scotland and gave Cometa's crew one hour to abandon ship. At 0220 hours, U-38 hit the abandoned Cometa with one torpedo. The crew of 31, 6 Swedish passengers, and 5 British sailors were later rescued by HMS Northern Sky. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • French Prime Minister Paul Reynaud called for his country to wage total war against Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Chinese troops evacuated Wuyuan, Suiyuan Province, China. ww2dbase [Battle of Wuyuan | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-22 became missing in the North Sea, its crew of 27 was never seen again. It was probable that she hit a mine. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
Russia
  • Joseph Stalin refused to meet Adolf Hitler to discuss an issue regarding a border dispute in occupied Poland. ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The British War Cabinet debated French Prime Minister Reynaud's proposal of attacking Soviet oilfields at Baku on the Caspian Sea and Soviet shipping in the Black Sea. Agreeing with the British Prime Minister Chamberlain, the proposals were rejected by the cabinet. ww2dbase [London, England | CPC]
27 Mar 1940
  • New Zealand Prime Minister Michael Savage died from cancer. ww2dbase [CPC]
France
  • The French government requested the Soviet Union to recall its ambassador to Paris, France. ww2dbase [Paris | CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • A dredge was towed to Midway Atoll to begin work to enlarge the basin and channels between the two main islands. ww2dbase [Midway Bases | Midway | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 27 Mar 1940
General Victor Denain, General Wladyslaw Sikorski, and General Józef Zajac at the Polish Air Force training center at Bron, Poland, 27 Mar 1940; note MS 406 fighters
28 Mar 1940
  • Although the United Kingdom rejected French suggestion to expand the war by attacking the Soviet Union, the two nations agreed on naval mining. Operation Wilfred (mining Norwegian waters) and Operation Royal Marine (mining the Rhine River) were both planned to commence on 5 Apr 1940; the latter was pending approval of the French War Committee. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Norwegian steamer SS Burgos hit a German mine and sank 30 miles west of Skegness, England. Survivors were rescued by British sloop HMS Pelican. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German merchant steamer Mini Horn was scuttled in the Denmark Strait. ww2dbase [Denmark Strait | HM]
29 Mar 1940
  • To prepare for the planned mining of Norwegian waters, the British General Staff prepared Plan R4 to react against a possible German intervention by invading Norway. It called for the 1st Cruiser Squadron to deliver an infantry brigade to Narvik and a battalion to Trondheim and for transports to deliver a battalion to each of Stavanger and Bergen. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British armed merchant cruiser HMS Transylvania intercepted German freighter Mimi Horn between Iceland and Greenland. Mimi Horn's crew of 41 scuttled the ship to prevent enemy capture. The crew were rescued by Transylvania. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov declared the Soviet Union neutral in the on-going European War. ww2dbase [Vyacheslav Molotov | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 29 Mar 1940
Prime Minister Mitsumasa Yonai speaking to children of his home town who had recently lost their fathers in service during the war, 29 Mar 1940
30 Mar 1940
  • Germany supplied weapons to the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Winston Churchill acknowledged Soviet neutrality in the European War. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • French Minister of Defense Daladier persuaded the French War Committee not to ratify British proposal to mine the Rhine River. British responded by threatening to abandon the plan to mine Norwegian waters. ww2dbase [√Čdouard Daladier | CPC]
  • Japanese troops began to evacuate Wuyuan, Suiyuan Province, China. ww2dbase [Battle of Wuyuan | CPC]
China
  • Japan installed a puppet government in Nanjing, China under the leadership of Wang Jinwei. ww2dbase [Wang Jingwei | Nanjing | CPC]
Finland Photo(s) dated 30 Mar 1940
Gladiator fighter of Flying Regiment 19 Wang Jingwei and military officers at the ceremony establishing a Japanese government in Nanjing, China, 30 Mar 1940Wang Jingwei and Chinese and Japanese civilian officials at the ceremony establishing a Japanese government in Nanjing, China, 30 Mar 1940
31 Mar 1940
  • British Prime Minister Chamberlain called off the mining of the Norwegian coast in protest of the French resistance to the mining of the Rhine River. ww2dbase [Neville Chamberlain | CPC]
  • German WWI-era battleship Hessen (serving as ice breaker) and armed merchant cruisers Atlantis, Orion, and Widder departed from Kiel, Germany for their various anti-Allied shipping missions. ww2dbase [ | CPC]
  • Mussolini informed King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy that Italy would soon enter the European War. ww2dbase [Benito Mussolini | CPC]
  • Japanese troops completed the evacuation of Wuyuan, Suiyuan Province, China. ww2dbase [Battle of Wuyuan | CPC]
  • The armed merchant raider Atlantis set sail from Germany. ww2dbase [Atlantis | AC]
United Kingdom
  • The British Ministry of Informations introduced paper rationing to publishing and printing industries. The ration, based on consumption over the year 1938-1939, would continue until 1948. ww2dbase [AC]
1 Apr 1940
  • Hitler set the date of the Denmark and Norway invasion to be 9 Apr 1940. 2 divisions were allocated for Denmark and 6 division for Norway, while a bulk of the German Navy was to support the overall operation. Coordinated support in the air from the Luftwaffe was also planned. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • British Royal Navy Vice Admiral Max Horton, in charge of submarines operating in Britain, dispatched 9 British submarines, 2 French submarines, and 1 Polish submarine to patrol the waters near Norway and Denmark in anticipation of a German invasion of the two countries. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The towns of Ota, Kuai, Sawano, and Niragawa in Gunma Prefecture, Japan were merged to form a new town of Ota. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The fourth group of the German Kampfgeschwader 55 wing was established. ww2dbase [CPC]
China French Antilles Germany
  • The work to convert fleet escort ship F2 was halted. ww2dbase [F2 | CPC]
  • Fleet escort ship F7 was assigned to the 25th Submarine Flotilla as a torpedo recovery vessel. ww2dbase [F7 | CPC]
  • Fleet escort ship F8 was assigned to the 25th Submarine Flotilla as a torpedo recovery vessel. ww2dbase [F8 | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), created by Act of Parliament on 24 Nov 1939, took over the activities of British Airways and Imperial Airways. ww2dbase [AC]
United States
  • USS Skipjack departed San Diego, California, United States for the Hawaiian Islands area for training exercises. ww2dbase [Skipjack | San Diego, California | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 1 Apr 1940
South Dakota under construction at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard, Camden, New Jersey, United States, 1 Apr 1940Men of D Company, 2nd Sherwood Foresters, UK 1st Division in a forward trench near Roches, France, 1 Apr 1940; Lance Corporal L. J. Harris seen shavingSubmarine Gar under construction, Groton, Connecticut, United States, 1 Apr 1940, photo 1 of 2; topside bow view looking aftSubmarine Gar under construction, Groton, Connecticut, United States, 1 Apr 1940, photo 2 of 2; topside stern view looking forward
2 Apr 1940
  • In the afternoon, Adolf Hitler issued the directive for the invasion of Denmark and Norway, with the planned launch date to be 9 Apr 1940. Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop was made aware of the invasion for the first time so that his office could help develop excuses for the invasion. Meanwhile, Dutch border guards were placed on full alert due to the detected German deployments. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 sank Finnish steamer Signe of convoy HN-23A at 0021 hours, killing the entire crew of 19. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarines began to patrol waters that Vice Admiral Max Horton suspected to be routes of German invasion of Norway. For example, HMS Unity patrolled the Heligoland Bight while HMS Sunfish patrolled the Kattegat between Denmark and Sweden. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Werner M√∂lders shot down Flight Lieutenant C. D. Palmer's Hurricane fighter of No. 1 Squadron RAF. On this date, he also received the Iron Cross 1st Class award. ww2dbase [Werner M√∂lders | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Germans attacked Allied Scapa Flow and North Sea convoys. ww2dbase [North Sea | TH]
3 Apr 1940
  • Katyn Massacre: Over 20,000 Polish police, military officers, and intellectuals were massacred by the Soviet NKVD. ww2dbase [Katyn Massacre and Related Atrocities | CPC]
  • Winston Churchill was appointed to chair a committee for war policy in Neville Chamberlain's cabinet. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • A pro-Axis government came to power in Iraq. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Submarine Orzel departed Rosyth, Scotland, United Kingdom to patrol the coast off Kristiansand, Norway. ww2dbase [Orzel | CPC]
  • Flight Lieutenant Ryder of No. 41 Squadron RAF became the first RAF pilot to be shot down on home defence duties when he ditched his Spitfire fighter in the sea off Redcar, England, United Kingdom after bringing down a Heinkel 111 bomber. Ryder and the German crew were picked up safely. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Chinese troops secured the Wuyuan region in Suiyuan Province, China. ww2dbase [Battle of Wuyuan | CPC]
  • A British Short Sunderland flying boat on patrol off Norway attacked by six Junkers Ju 88 aircraft successfully shot one down, forced another to land immediately and drove the rest off. ww2dbase [S.25 Sunderland | AC]
Germany
  • German supply ships began departing Hamburg, Germany for the invasion of Norway; in all 7 freighters of 28,693 tons would set sail. The British cabinet was warned of this action and the German concentration of troops within hours. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Hamburg | CPC, HM]
United States Photo(s) dated 3 Apr 1940
Experimental A-17A aircraft at the National Advisory Committee for AeronauticsExperimental A-17A aircraft at the National Advisory Committee for AeronauticsExperimental A-17A aircraft at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
4 Apr 1940
  • Aktion 14 F 13 began; it was the first documented proof that the Nazi German regime conducted mass extermination of the handicapped in concentration camps. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • British newspapers reported concentrations of troops in German ports. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Vice Admiral Max Horton ordered British submarine HMS Snapper to depart Harwich naval base for the Skagerrak between Denmark and Norway and French submarines Amazone and Antiope (under British command) to depart Harwich for the Frisian Islands and Heligoland. ww2dbase [CPC]
France
  • Winston Churchill traveled to Paris, France to persuade the French on a plan to mine Norwegian waters. Unable to convince French leadership to mine the Rhine River at the same time, Churchill decided that the British would mine Norwegian waters without French cooperation. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | Paris | CPC]
Netherlands
  • The Netherlands declared itself in a state of siege. ww2dbase [TH]
5 Apr 1940
  • British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced that a German invasion of Western Europe would not be successful. ww2dbase [Neville Chamberlain | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Spearfish departed Blyth for the Danish coast in search for potential German invasion fleets for Denmark and Norway. ww2dbase [CPC]
China Germany United Kingdom
  • The United Kingdom informed Norway and Sweden of its intent to mine Norwegian waters; British warships departed Scapa Flow at 1830 hours for this operation. Force WB consisting of two minelaying destroyers sailed for the Norwegian coast between the towns of Bud and Kristiansund. Force WS, consisting of minelayer Teviot Bank and destroyers Inglefield, Ilex, Imogen and Isis sailed for waters off Stadtlandet, but this force would be recalled before laying any mines. Force WV consisting of minelaying destroyers Esk, Icarius, Impulsive and Ivanhoe, escorted by the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla of 4 destroyers, set sail for waters near Bod√∂. The operation had a covering force under Vice-Admiral William Whitworth on battlecruiser Renown and destroyers Hyperion, Hero, Greyhound and Glowworm. Glowworm turned back in heavy weather to recover a rating that was washed overboard. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Scapa Flow | Scapa Flow, Scotland | TH, HM]
Photo(s) dated 5 Apr 1940
J. Edgar Hoover in his office, Washington DC, United States, 5 Apr 1940
6 Apr 1940
  • RAF Bomber Command suspended leaflet dropping missions in Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-59 torpedoed and sank Norwegian steamer Navarra 20 miles off the Scottish coast at 0316 hours, killing 12. Finnish steamer Atlas rescued 14 survivors in a lifeboat. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarines Truant and Seal departed Rosyth, Scotland for the Norwegian coast, while Tarpon was ordered to patrol the German coast near Helgoland Bight. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • RAF aircraft conducted a photo reconnaissance mission over Kiel, Germany to monitor preparations for the German invasion of Norway. German Kriegsmarine's Marine Gruppe 1 departed Cuxhaven, Germany for Narvik, Norway with 2,000 soldiers on 10 destroyers escorted by battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Marine Gruppe 2 departed Weserm√ľnde, Germany for Trondheim, Norway with 1,700 soldiers on 4 destroyers escorted by cruiser Admiral Hipper. Both departures were made after nightfall to escape British detection. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • Orion departed Germany on her first raiding mission. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-1 disappeared in the North Sea, and the crew of 24 were never seen again. The submarine most likely was lost to a British naval mine. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
Germany
  • Emden embarked 600 troops at Swinem√ľnde, Germany. ww2dbase [Emden | Swinem√ľnde, Pommern | CPC]
  • Fleet escort ship F2 was recommissioned into service. ww2dbase [F2 | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 6 Apr 1940
Heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper embarking German troops for the invasion of Norway, 6 Apr 1940
7 Apr 1940

Germany
  • In the morning, the first German naval forces set sail for Operation Weserb√ľng. The huge Frorce was split into 10 groups under overall command of Admiral Rolf Carls. In the force were the old battleship Schleswig-Holstein, the heavy cruisers Hipper, Bl√ľcher and L√ľtzow, with light cruisers K√∂ln, K√∂nigsberg and Karlsruhe. There were also over 20 destroyers, mineseepers and torpedo boats, as well as tenders and transports. Admiral Karl D√∂nitz made up 9 submarine groups to accompany the surface vessels, 31 submarines in all; the U-boat operations would end as a total failure: despite good conditions the torpedoes showed defects in the depth-keeping mechanisms and the magnetic fuses failed, ending in only 6 Allied sinkings at the cost of 4 submarines. At 1325 hours, Hudson reconnaissance aircraft of No. 220 Squadron RAF spotted a part of German Marine Gruppe 1 and reported the presence of 1 cruiser and 6 destroyers at 1325 hours, sailing in a northward direction; 12 Blenheim and 24 Wellington bombers were dispatched to attack this group but the attack was not successful. The British Admiralty, receiving reports of major German naval movements, incorrectly assumed the Germans were launching a major attack into the Atlantic Ocean. The Home Fleet departed from Scapa Flow at 2115 hours, while the 1st Cruiser Squadron disembarked the troops already on board in order to prepare for a battle on the open seas. Nevertheless, British submarines continued to patrol the European coast for German activity rather than going out to the open seas; HMS Shark and HMS Seawolf departed Harwich naval base to patrol off Dutch coast, while HMS Clyde and HMS Thistle departed Scapa Flow to patrol the coast of Norway. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC, HM]
Photo(s) dated 7 Apr 1940
Settsu at anchor, Kure, Japan, 7 Apr 1940
8 Apr 1940
  • British destroyer HMS Glowworm discovered German Navy Marine Gruppe 1 at 0800 hours and was fired upon by cruiser Admiral Hipper at close range. Outgunned, Glowworm's captain decided to ram the German cruiser, which caused heavy damage for Admiral Hipper but it also led to her sinking, which killed 118, including commanding officer Lieutenant Commander Gerard Broadmead Roope, who received a posthumous Victoria Cross, the first of the war; captain Hellmuth Heye of Admiral Hipper spoke highly of Roope's courage. Off Narvik, British destroyers Esk, Icarus, Impulsive, and Ivanhoe mined Vestfjord at 0500 hours in preparation for landings by British and French forces at Namsos, Narvik, and Andalsnes; Norway was informed of this action at 0600 hours. Meanwhile, German Navy Marine Gruppe 3 departed Wilhelmshaven, Germany for Bergen, Norway (1,900 troops aboard 2 cruisers, 1 transport, 1 minelayer, and 5 torpedo boats), Marine Gruppe 4 and Marine Gruppe 6 departed Cuxhaven, Germany for southern Norway (1,250 troops), and Marine Gruppe 5 departed Swinem√ľnde, Germany for Oslo, Norway (2,000 troops aboard 3 cruisers, 8 minesweepers, and 3 torpedo boats). In Britain, Vice Admiral Max Horton dispatched 6 more submarines to intercept these additional German invasion fleets; many of his peers were against this decision, believe there would not be any additional fleets being dispatched by the Germans. Among the 6 newly dispatched British submarines included HMS Ursula, HMS Triad, and HMS Sterlet, which departed to patrol the Skagerrak between Denmark and Norway. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • German Field Marshal Keitel ordered the transfer of active military servicemen who were 50% Jewish and those who were married to women who were 50% Jewish to reserve or militia units. ww2dbase [Wilhelm Keitel | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean Germany Norway
  • German passenger-cargo ship Rio de Janeiro, pressed into service by the German Army, was transporting troops and horses for the invasion of Norway when she was attacked by the Polish submarine Orzel (under British command) while off Lillesand in southern Norway at 1150 hours. Orzel's first torpedo missed, and the second scored a hit but failed to sink the ship. With smoke pouring from the stricken transport, the order was given to abandon ship. A third torpedo struck the ship amidships, breaking its back and sinking her. About 150 men including 97 Luftwaffe Flak troops and 80 horses drowned. There were 183 survivors. German sailors rescued by Norwegian ships admitted that they were en route to attack Bergen. ww2dbase [Orzel | TH, HM]
Photo(s) dated 8 Apr 1940
German light cruiser Emden in the North Sea en route to Oslo, Norway, 8 Apr 1940German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper or Bl√ľcher in the North Sea en route to Oslo, Norway, 8 Apr 1940; photo taken from light cruiser Emden seen in the foreground
9 Apr 1940
  • German troops crossed into Denmark at 0500 hours, with landings near Copenhagen unopposed; the Danish government surrendered within the same day, and Germany completed the conquest Denmark with only 20 casualties. To the north in Norway, German troops attacked four locations. At Narvik, German destroyers sank Norwegian coastal cruisers Eidsvold and Norge, killing 276. At Trondheim, German warships pretended to be British ships and sailed by the coastal batteries without being hassled, thus the city was captured with relative ease. At Bergen, the coastal batteries at Fort Kvarven damaged German cruiser K√∂nigsberg and minelayer Bremse. Off Bergen, German Ju 88 and He 111 aircraft attacked British battleship HMS Rodney and destroyer HMS Gurkha at 1400 hours; Rodney was hit by a dud 500-kg bomb, and Gurkha sank at 1600 hours, killing 15; only four German Ju 88 aircraft were lost in this attack. Finally, at Oslo, the batteries at Oscarborg sank German cruiser Bl√ľcher in the Oslofjord, killing 830. Out at sea, British battlecruiser HMS Renown intercepted German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau after they had successfully escorted Marine Gruppe 1 to Narvik; Renown fired first, hitting Gneisenau three times, but received two hits before the German ships disengaged from the battle. Given the dire situation, the Norwegian royal family, the government, and the country's gold reserves (with over 48 tons of gold) departed from Oslo at 0830 hours. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Truant torpedoed and heavily damaged German cruiser Karlsruhe in the Skagerrak at 1957 hours. After the crew was rescued, German torpedo boat Grief scuttled Karlsruhe. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Cruiser K√∂ln participated in the invasion of Norway. ww2dbase [K√∂ln | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • French submarine Sybille, under British command, departed Harwich, England, United Kingdom to patrol the North Sea west of Denmark. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
Norway
  • HMS Rodney was hit by a German aerial bomb off Karm√ły, Norway; the bomb failed to detonate. ww2dbase [Rodney | Karm√ły | CPC]
  • German merchant steamer Seattle was lost off Kristiansand, Norway when she was mistaken for a German Navy supply ship and was fatally damaged by Norwegian 15-millimeter guns of the Odder√łya forgress. The surviving crew were taken as prisoners of war for about one day until their civilian identities were confirmed. The wreck of Seattle burned for several days before finally sinking. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • Emden transferred 350 of her 600 carried troops onto R√§umboote minesweepers, which would act as landing ships for the Oslo, Norway invasion operation. At 1555 hours, Emden began firing on the Oscarborg fortress. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Emden | Oslo, √ėstlandet | CPC]
  • Seeadler arrived off Kristiansand, Agder, Norway, assisted in the capture of the fortress in the morning, and departed for Kiel, Germany at 1800 hours. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Seeadler | Kristiansand, Agder | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • HMS Howe was launched at Govan, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Howe | Govan, Scotland | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 9 Apr 1940
Bl√ľcher capsized at Oslo fjord, Norway, 9 April 1940K√∂nigsberg under British aircraft attack, Bergen, Norway, 9 April 1940German paratroopers at the Masnedoe Fort, Denmark, 9 April 1940German military journalist reporting from Copenhagen, Denmark on the day of its capitulation, 9 Apr 1940
See all photos dated 9 Apr 1940
10 Apr 1940
  • German submarine U-4 sank HMS Thistle at Stavanger, Norway at 0213 hours, killing the entire crew of 53. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Tarpon attacked a German armed merchant vessel with torpedoes 50 miles off of the Danish coast, which fought back with depth charges. Tarpon was sunk during the counterattack, killing the entire crew of 53. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-37 torpedoed Swedish motor tanker Sveaborg 10 miles north of the Faroe Islands between Scotland and Iceland at 0215 hours, killing 5. Norwegian merchant vessel Tosca arrived to rescue the 29 survivors on and around the burning Sveaborg. At 0323 hours, U-37 returned and sank Tosca with one torpedo, killing 2. Survivors from both ships were later rescued by British armed boarding vessel HMS Northern Chief. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Henry Tizard established the Military Application of Uranium Detonation (MAUD) Committee in the United Kingdom to investigate the feasibility of an atomic weapon. ww2dbase [Operation Trinity and Manhattan Project | CPC]
  • Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report. ww2dbase [Nikolaus von Falkenhorst | CPC]
  • Fleet Air Arm Skua dive bombers sank the German cruiser K√∂nigsberg in Bergen harbour in Norway. She was the first major warship to be sunk by dive bombing in the war. ww2dbase [K√∂nigsberg | AC]
Iceland
  • The Icelanic parliament, Althing, granted full powers of government to the Icelandic cabinet, thus effectively declaring independence from Denmark, which was then under German occupation. ww2dbase [CPC]
Norway
  • At the First Battle of Narvik, 10 German destroyers were attacked in the Ofot fjord by 5 British destroyers. 2 German destroyers, 11 merchant ships, and 1 supply ship were sunk. 2 British destroyers were lost. Both commanding officers, British Captain Bernard Warburton-Lee and German Commodore Friedrich Bonte, were killed in the action. Warburton-Lee was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross and Bonte the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Narvik | CPC]
  • Emden entered the port of Oslo, Norway and began serving as a communications ship coordinating messages between German Army, Navy, and Air Force units. ww2dbase [Emden | Oslo, √ėstlandet | CPC]
11 Apr 1940
  • British submarine HMS Spearfish damaged the German pocket battleship L√ľtzow, knocking it out of action for one year as one of the six torpedoes fired nearly ripped off the German ship's stern. Not realizing L√ľtzow was unescorted, Spearfish fled from the action as soon as she fired her torpedoes. ww2dbase [Deutschland | CPC]
  • In Norway, the German 196th Division moved north from Oslo up the Gudbrandsdal and √ėsterdal valleys in an attempt to link up with the German forces in Trondheim. In an attempt to halt the German advances, RAF attacked the Stavanger airfield in southern Norway. Norwegian Army General Kristian Laake was relieved of command for his failures in the opening chapters of the German invasion; General Otto Ruge took over as his successor. Meanwhile, German collaborator Vidkun Quisling sent a message to King Haakon VII of Norway, asking him to return to Oslo; seeing through his plot to use him as a puppet, the king chose to ignore the request. Seeing a lack of response from the king and his government, German bombers attacked the village where they were hiding in a failed attempt to wipe out Norwegian leadership. In Britain, Winston Churchill spoke at the House of Commons and used Norway as an example to urge other smaller neutral European countries to join the Allies before Germany violated their neutrality as well. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • British troops occupied the Faroe Islands between Scotland and Iceland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Cruiser K√∂ln returned from Norway, arriving at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. ww2dbase [K√∂ln | CPC]
  • In a report to the War Office in London, British General Lord Gort of Limerick, VC, stated that his five regular-army divisions were effective, although not up to the standards of the British Expeditionary Force of 1914. The remaining eight Territorial divisions, he reported were, fit only for static warfare. ww2dbase [John Vereker | AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Battleship Warspite and aircraft carrier furious joined the Home Fleet which continued unsuccessfully to find the German force west of Norway. Light cruisers and some destroyers were detached for re-fuelling. A sortie was made by battleships Rodney, Valiant and Warspite, the carrier Furious and the heavy cruisers Berwick, Devonshire and York under command of Admiral Charles Forbes. An unsuccessful attack was undertaken against three German destroyers after the cruiser Hipper set out undetected and heads south with the destroyer Friedrich Eckoldt. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | North Sea | HM]
12 Apr 1940
  • The British Cyprus Regiment was established from volunteers from the Greek and Turkish communities of Cyprus. ww2dbase [AC]
Denmark
  • Seeadler arrived off the Danish coast and provided assistance for the damaged heavy cruiser L√ľtzow. ww2dbase [Seeadler | CPC]
Germany
  • Luftflotte 5 was formed in Hamburg, Germany under the command of Generaloberst Erhard Milch for operations in Norway. Milch would soon establish his headquarters in Oslo, Norway. ww2dbase [Erhard Milch | Hamburg | CPC]
Norway United Kingdom
  • German submarine U-37 sank British ship Stancliffe with one torpedo 45 miles northeast of the Shetland Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom at 0942 hours, killing 21. 16 survivors in one lifeboat would later make a landing at nearby Unst Island. ww2dbase [Shetland Islands, Scotland | CPC]
  • Corporal Jack H. Langridge of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, assigned to a Wellington bomber of No. 149 Squadron RAF, became the first of 1,670 New Zealanders to be killed while serving with RAF Bomber Command during the war. The aircraft took off from RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, England, United Kingdom, attacked Stavanger Airfield in Norway during daylight, and was shot down around 1610 hours by a Bf 110 fighter just off of the coast southwest of Stavanger. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Mildenhall, England | AC]
Photo(s) dated 12 Apr 1940
German SdKfz. 223 armored radio car in Denmark, 12 Apr 1940
13 Apr 1940
  • RAF Hampden bombers of No. 44, No. 49, No. 50, No. 61, and No. 144 Squadrons began laying magnetic mines in German coastal waters. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Oswald Mosley's son Max Rufus Mosley was born. ww2dbase [Oswald Mosley | CPC]
Norway
  • At Narvik, Norway, a British naval force consisted of battleship HMS Warspite and 9 destroyers under the command of Vice Admiral William Whitworth entered Ofotfjord; in the Second Battle of Narvik, Warspite's Swordfish torpedo bomber sank German submarine U-64 with bombs, while surface vessels sank 3 destroyers, with another 5 German ships scuttled by their own crews after suffering extensive damage; three British ships were damaged in the battle; without their ships, 2,600 German sailors went on land and served as infantrymen; Whitworth radioed London, noting that German forces at Narvik were now stranded, and a single brigade could defeat them. Meanwhile, off Trondheim, Norwegian cruiser-minelayer Fr√łya was damaged by German warships while defending the Agdenes fortress; German submarine U-34 scuttled Fr√łya to prevent salvage. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Warspite | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 13 Apr 1940
Warspite and a British destroyer during Second Battle of Narvik, 13 Apr 1940
14 Apr 1940
  • German minesweeper M6 sank British Royal Navy submarine Tarpon. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 350 British Royal Marines landed at Namsos, Norway to prepare for the arrival of the 146th Territorial Brigade; these Marines were the first British forces to land in Norway. German paratroopers of the 7th Flieger Division were paradropped into Domb√•s, Norway; after heavy casualties incurred largely due to the fact that they landed right into Norwegian 11th Infantry Regiment's camp, they successfully damage the nearby railways and occupied farmhouses, thus able to hamper with Norwegian transportation efforts for several days. Out at sea, British submarine HMS Sterlet damaged the German gunnery training ship and minelayer Brummer in the Skagerrak between Norway and Sweden with torpedoes; Brummer would remain afloat until the next day. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • King Haakon of Norway appealed to his people to resist but the Germans warned that any civilians aiding the British will be rounded up and shot. ww2dbase [Haakon VII | AC]
15 Apr 1940
  • British unemployment figure decreased to 973,000, which was the lowest figure since 1920. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyers Fearless and Brazen sank German submarine U-49 with depth charges near Narvik, killing 1. 41 Germans were taken prisoner. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British 15th Brigade boarded transports in France and were sent for Norway. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Vidkun Quisling was removed from power in Norway. ww2dbase [Vidkun Quisling | CPC]
Australia
  • Edmund Herring departed Australia for Palestine as a part of Major General Iven Mackay's headquarters. ww2dbase [Edmund Herring | CPC]
Germany
  • Walter Grabmann was named the commanding officer of the Zerst√∂rergeschwader 76 wing. ww2dbase [Walter Grabmann | CPC]
Korea Norway
  • British troops landed in the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway in response to German invasion; their original objective was to secure the rail line to Swedish iron ore fields. Also in northern Norway, instead of making a landing directly at Narvik against an unknown number of German defenders, British Major General Pierse Mackesy decided to land his troops north of the city at an undefended location; due to the large amounts of snow on the ground, his troops would have to wait before making a major advance at Narvik. Further south, the British 146th Territorial Brigade landed at Namsos and was immediately ordered to march south toward Trondheim, which saw attacks by RAF Blenheim bombers based in the United Kingdom; it was the first time the Bomber Command sent aircraft based in the UK against targets overseas. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
Yugoslavia
  • Italian "Barfile" naval infantry battalion landed on Krk (Italian: Veglia), Croatia, Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [Krk, Croatia | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 15 Apr 1940
Crew of an 8.8 cm FlaK gun in Denmark, 1940German Army artillery troops getting hot food from a mobile field kitchen, Denmark, 1940
16 Apr 1940
  • The ill-equipped British 24th Brigade landed at Harstat, Norway 37 miles north of Narvik. Meanwhile, at Namsos, the reserve unit 148th Territorial Brigade boarded cruisers HMS Carlisle and HMS Curacoa for Trondheim, without their anti-aircraft weapons due to lack of space. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • German submarine U-3 and British submarine HMS Porpoise engaged in combat with torpedoes 10 miles southwest of Egersund, Norway. No hits were scored. ww2dbase [CPC]
Denmark
  • Allied troops landed at the Faroe Islands, a constituent country of Denmark. ww2dbase [Faroe Islands | TH]
Iceland
  • Iceland declared independence from Denmark and asked United States for recognition. ww2dbase [Invasion of Iceland | CPC]
17 Apr 1940

Australia
  • RMS Queen Mary arrived at Sydney, Australia. ww2dbase [Queen Mary | Sydney | CPC]
Norway
  • Before dawn, British cruiser HMS Suffolk shelled the German-controlled airfield of Sola at Stavanger, Norway. Suffolk's Walrus seaplane, used to drop flares over the airfield, was shot down early in the bombardment, thus the shelling was largely inaccurate and destroyed only 4 aircraft. After sunrise, Suffolk was repeated attacked by German aircraft. She was hit twice and heavily damaged, and was placed out of action until Feb 1941. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, the British War Cabinet approved direct troop landings at Trondheim, Norway (rather than the landing done at Narvik in which troops were dropped off at undefended beaches far away). The landing was to be supported by simultaneous landings at Namsos in the north and √Öndalsnes in the south. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Sola, Stavanger | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German submarine U-13 torpedoed and sank British steamer Swainby 25 miles north of the Shetland Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom at 1733 hours. 38 survivors reached Norwick Bay in the Shetland Islands on lifeboats. ww2dbase [Shetland Islands, Scotland | CPC]
Yugoslavia
  • Italian "Grado" naval infantry battalion landed at Sibenik, Croatia, Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [Sibenik, Croatia | CPC]
18 Apr 1940
  • British submarine HMS Sterlet disappeared off Norway. It was either sunk by German anti-submarine trawlers UJ-125, UJ-126, and UJ-128, or sunk after hitting a mine. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The German submarine U-99 was commissioned with Captain Otto "Smiling Otto" Kretschmer in command. U-99 would be responsible for sinking 282,000 tons of Allied shipping before being cornered and sunk in Mar 1941. Depth charged to the surface and sunk, U-99's captain and crew were taken prisoner by Donald Macintyre of the corvette HMS Walker. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Seeadler laid anti-submarine mines in the Kattegat between Denmark and Sweden. ww2dbase [Seeadler | Kattegat | CPC]
Norway
  • The Norwegian government declared war on Germany after several days of fighting. On the same day, German troops advanced past Oslo, but were held up by Norwegian forces north of the city in the village of Bagn. The British 148th Brigade arrived in √Öndalsnes overnight; commanding officer Brigadier Morgan was given conflicting orders, one ordering him to march north to Trondheim, while the other ordered him to march south to support Norwegian troops in the Gudbrandsdal and √ėsterdal valleys north of Oslo. Meanwhile, troops of the German 181st Infantry Division began to arrive at Trondheim as reinforcements via aircraft, transport ships, and submarines. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | TH]
Photo(s) dated 18 Apr 1940
√Čmile Bertin off Norway, Apr 1940
19 Apr 1940
  • Japan informed the United States that Japan had no aggressive intentions toward the Dutch East Indies. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The first engagement between British and German troops in Norway took place at Verdal, north of Trondheim, when the British 146th Brigade and Norwegian troops clashed with troops of the German 138th Gebirgsj√§ger Regiment; later on the same day, 45 German paratroopers surrendered to the Norwegian forces at Domb√•s. Norwegian General Ruge convinced British Brigadier Morgan to lead the British 148th Brigade in an effort to block the German advance from Oslo. Overnight, 3 battalions of French mountain troops arrived at Namsos, Norway, but without their skis, mules, and anti-aircraft weapons. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • Three Neubaufahrzeug prototype heavy tanks arrived in Oslo, Norway largely as a show of force to intimidate Norwegians. ww2dbase [PzKpfw NbFz V/VI | CPC]
  • Germany announced the formation of the Reich Commissariat for the occupied Norwegian Territories. ww2dbase [CPC]
Norway
  • √Čmile Bertin was damaged by German aircraft off Namsos, Norway; she would be sent to Brest, France for repairs. ww2dbase [√Čmile Bertin | Namsos | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 19 Apr 1940
Three German Neubaufahrzeug heavy tanks at Oslo, Norway, 19 Apr 1940
20 Apr 1940
  • Adolf Hitler authorized the creation of a joint Norwegian-Danish-German SS regiment. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British 148th Brigade arrived at Lillehammer, Norway by train at 0250 hours and began to march south toward the front lines held by Norwegian troops on both sides of Lake Mj√łsa. At Namsos, Norway, German aircraft destroyed large quantities of British supplies and equipment piled near the docks; the British could do little to fight back as they were short on anti-aircraft weapons; in an attempt to remedy this, the 263 Squadron RAF dispatched 18 Gladiator biplanes to Scapa Flow, where they would be ferried to Norway by HMS Glorious. In the United Kingdom, the British War Cabinet canceled the plans for direct landings at Trondheim, Norway (Operation Hammer) in fear of heavy casualties; a failure in communications meant that the British 146th Brigade remained in precarious positions near Trondheim. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • Keith Park took command of the 11 Group of the Royal Air Force Fighter Command. ww2dbase [Keith Park | CPC]
  • Werner M√∂lders shot down a French P-36 fighter near Saarbr√ľcken, Germany. ww2dbase [Werner M√∂lders | CPC]
Denmark
  • Danish Army began to demobilize. ww2dbase [TH]
Germany
  • German High Command issued a secret order to discharge servicemen with mixed Jewish heritage and servicemen who were married to Jewish women. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Apr 1940
German officer and troops with a 10.5 cm K 35(t) field gun at Hornbaek, Denmark, 1940Panzer I light tank in Norway, Apr 1940German naval photographer in Denmark, Apr 1940German Do 24 aircraft at Narvik, Norway, Apr 1940; note damaged buildings in background
See all photos dated 20 Apr 1940
21 Apr 1940
  • German troops landed at Verdal and Kirknessvag, Norway, causing the British 146th Brigade near Trondheim to withdraw to Vist. Around Lake Mj√łsa, British 148th Brigade reinforced Norwegian positions, but on the same day German forces broke through the line, causing the entire Norwegian-British force to withdraw north toward Lillehammer. Out at sea, German submarine U-26 sank British merchant vessel Cedarbank of convoy AP-1 50 miles northwest of √Ölesund, killing 15; destroyer HMS Javelin rescued 30 men, but the vehicles, anti-aircraft weapons, ammunition, and food destined for the British 148th Brigade near Lillehammer were all lost. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • American air attach√© to the Nordic countries, US Army Captain Robert Losey, was killed while observing a German bombing on the railway junction at Domb√•s, Norway; Losey was the first American military casualty of WW2. US Minister to Sweden Frederick A. Sterling ordered Naval Attach√© Lieutenant Commander Ole E. Hagen to Norway to retrieve Losey's remains. ww2dbase [CPC]
Yugoslavia
  • Italian "Grado" naval infantry battalion landed at Split (Italian: Spalato), Croatia, Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [Split, Croatia | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Apr 1940
Damaged ships at Narvik, Norway, Apr 1940, photo 1 of 2Damaged ships at Narvik, Norway, Apr 1940, photo 2 of 2
22 Apr 1940

Arctic Ocean
  • The anti-aircraft sloop HMS Pelican (L 86/U 86) while on her way to the Romsdal Fjord carrying the personnel of the Naval Base party for Molde, Norway, was crippled in an attack by a German Ju 87 dive bomber off Narvik. She was hit aft, setting of her depth charges. The Pelican was towed to Lerwick, Scotland, United Kingdom and then to Chatham, England, United Kingdom for repairs that would not be finished until Dec 1940. ww2dbase [Norwegian Sea | HM]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Two British Hudson bombers attacked German submarine U-43 in the North Sea. U-43 escaped with minor damage. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
  • The anti-aircraft sloop HMS Pelican, on her way to the Romsdal Fjord carrying the personnel of the Naval Base party for Molde, Norway, was crippled by a dive-bomber and suffered heavy casualties. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | AC]
France
  • An Inter-Allied Supreme War Council, also attended by Poland and Norway, met in Paris, France. The meeting was characterized by the political fighting between French leaders Reynaud and Daladier. ww2dbase [Paris | TH]
Norway
  • British 146th Brigade began to retreat toward Namsos, Norway as German troops began to surround their positions. British 148th Brigade defended against German attacks north of Lillehammer, Norway and were flanked by mountain troops. The British troops fell back 20 miles to the north overnight and formed a new line at Tretten Gorge. Out at sea, British sloop Auckland, still carrying some troops after a snowstorm prevented her from disembarking all of her passengers, made rendezvous with French transport Ville d'Alger, British destroyer Maori, British cruiser HMS Birmingham, British anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Calcutta, and French destroyers Bison and Foudroyant. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC, HM]
United Kingdom
  • The 199-ton Dutch steam merchant Wocana on voyage from Antwerp, Belgium to Goole in the Humber Estuary, north east coast of England, United Kingdom, carrying a cargo of sand, sank after being in a collision with British corvette HMS Pintail (L 21/K 21). The Wacona sank within five minutes but the crew was saved. HMS Pintail would recover from the collision. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | England | HM]
Yugoslavia
  • Italian "Grado" naval infantry battalion landed on Hvar (Italian: Lesina), Croatia, Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [Hvar | CPC]
23 Apr 1940
  • Budget Day in Britain saw the increase of tax on beer by 1 penny, whisky by 9 pence, and postage by 1 penny. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Members of the Parliament in Britain criticized that the earlier estimate of 1940 war expenditure of ¬£2,000,000,000 was too low. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • HMS Glasgow and HMS Sheffield transferred a few gallons of lubricating oil aboard HMS Glorious after the scheduled arrival of 25 tons of the lubricating oil failed to arrive. ww2dbase [Glorious | AC]
  • A brief action took place between the French 8th Destoyer Division under Captain E. G. M. Barthes. The heavy destroyers L'Imdomptable, Le Malin and Le Triomphant engaged the German 7th Patrol Boat Flotillacommanded by Lieutenant Commander G. Schultze. The German called in bombers but their attack scored no hits and the French forces returned to the North Sea. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Skagerrak | HM]
Norway
  • British 146th Brigade retreated to Namsos, Norway; the brigade had thus far suffered 19 dead, 42 wounded, and 96 missing. British 148th Brigade's defense line at Tretten Gorge in Norway suffered a heavy artillery barrage in the morning, an attack by light tanks in the early afternoon, and a surprise mountain troops attack from behind the lines; they began to retreat northward at 1900 hours, strafed by German aircraft in the process; the 148th Brigade had thus far suffered 705 killed, wounded, or missing. Near Oslo, British aircraft conducted a raid on German-controlled airfields. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Apr 1940
German Colonel General Erhard Milch inspecting Luftwaffe pilots, Trondheim, Norway, 23 Apr 1940; note Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers in background
24 Apr 1940
  • Josef Terboven was appointed the Reichskommissar of Norway. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • France urged Italy to stay out of the European War. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Orion sank the ship Haxby in the Atlantic Ocean. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
  • US Naval Attach√© in Norway Lieutenant Commander Ole E. Hagen escorted a group of American citizens fleeting Norway into Sweden. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Cruiser Georges Leygues was ordered to sail to Mers-el-K√©bir, French Algeria. ww2dbase [Georges Leygues | CPC]
Egypt
  • Duquesne was assigned to Force X stationed in Alexandria, Egypt. ww2dbase [Duquesne | Alexandria | CPC]
Norway
  • In Norway, 18 Gladiator biplanes of the 263 Squadron RAF arrived at the frozen Lake Lesjaskogsvatnet in Norway, which was to become their base of operations; the field had no anti-aircraft defense. Troops of the British 15th Brigade landed at √Öndalsnes after a 9-day journey by sea from France; they immediately marched south toward Lillehammer, Norway. Troops of the Norwegian 6th Brigade attacked German positions north of Narvik, Norway; Gratangsbotn was briefly re-captured by Norwegian troops. German troops repelled a British attack near Trondheim. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | TH]
  • The 6,503-ton merchant steamer Afrika, a German cargo ship previously captured by Norwegian torpedo boat Stegg, was scuttled by Norwegian troops during the Germans attempt at recapture at Ulvik, Norway. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Ulvik, Hardanger | HM]
  • HMS Glorious arrived off off the Norwegian and transferred Gladiator aircraft to airfields on land. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Glorious | AC]
  • During an air raid near Molde, Norway, the British trawlers HMT Bradman and HMT Hammond were both sunk by German aircraft. Hammond was salvaged by the German Navy in 1941 and commissioned as the Salier. In 1942 she was renamed NT-04, and after various other names she was broken up in 1971. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | HM]
  • British trawler HMT Larwood, requisitioned in Aug 1939 and used as an anti-submarine vessel, was sunk in a German air raid on the coast of Norway. She was later raised by the German Navy and was used under the names Franke (1940), V-6110 (1941), V-6111 (1942), and V-6305 (1944). ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | HM]
  • The 1,519-ton Estonian cargo ship Begonia was scuttled by Norwegian authorities, after having been bombed by the German Air Force. Captain Mihkel K√§gi was killed during the air raid. ww2dbase [HM]
  • Emden was relieved of her duty as the communications ship at Oslo, Norway. ww2dbase [Emden | Oslo, √ėstlandet | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British House of Commons approved a trade agreement with Spain; it was the first since the Spanish Civil War. ww2dbase [London, England | TH]
  • Three British cargo merchant steamers were sunk by aerial mines off the River Thames Estuary, England, United Kingdom. The 1,149-ton Stokesley had been on her way to London, England from Antwerp, Belgium carrying 1,600 tons of ammonium sulphate. The 1,969-ton Lolworth from Portsmouth, England on her way to the Tyne in northeastern England in ballast and the 1,049-ton Rydal Force from Sunderland, England for Cowes in the Isle of Wight with coal. Fifteen of the Stokesley's crew died, eleven died on board the Rydal Force, and eight were wounded on board the Lolworth. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | England | HM]
Photo(s) dated 24 Apr 1940
USS New Mexico at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, United States, 24 Apr 1940
25 Apr 1940
  • A new evacuation scheme was introduced in Britain as a Ministry of Health survey showed that only 8% of eligible children had been registered. Later studies revealed that 19% of parents refused to register their children, while 73% of them simply did not respond to the registration. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 3,000 troops of the British 15th Brigade were engaged by 8,500 troops of the German 196th Division at the village of Kvam in Norway, 55 kilometers south of Domb√•s; despite German numerical advantage and being supported by dive bombers, the British troops held ground and stopped the German advance. Elsewhere, a group of RAF Gladiator aircraft operating on the frozen Lake Lesjaskogsvatnet in Norway was discovered by the Germans. German aircraft bombed the rough airfield on and off for eight hours, destroying 13 aircraft on the ground. Three German He 111 bombers were shot down by RAF aircraft. By the end of the day, Squadron Leader Donaldson ordered the position to be abandoned; the 5 surviving Gladiator aircraft were to be withdrawn to Stetnesmoen. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • An Irish Republican Army land mine killed 6 in Dublin, Ireland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt announced that the United States recognized the state of war between Germany and Norway, and reaffirmed American neutrality in that conflict. To that end, he specifically forbade Norwegian submarines from entering American territorial waters. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Wasp (Wasp-class) was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Wasp (Wasp-class) | CPC]
Norway United Kingdom
  • The 2,470-ton ship Margam Abbey was sunk whilst exiting the Thames Estuary, England, United Kingdom after hitting an aerial laid mine. The ship's bows were blown off and she sank within minutes. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | England | HM]
26 Apr 1940
  • Gladiator biplanes based out of Stetnesmoen, Norway intercepted a group of German He 111 bombers, downing one of them; this RAF unit would run out of fuel and ammunition by the end of this engagement, however. Adolf Hitler, unhappy that the British 15th Brigade was able to land in Norway without German interference, ordered √Öndalsnes, Norway to be bombed the entire day; part of the British 15th Brigade's supplies were destroyed by the bombing while they continued to hold their line against attacks by the German 196th Division at Kvam, 172 kilometers from √Öndalsnes. In the evening, the British 15th Brigade fell back 3 kilometers to form a new line at Kjorem. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • German submarine U-13 torpedoed and sank British steamer Lily at 0117 hours, killing the entire crew of 24. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Satisfied with the progress in Norway, Adolf Hitler ordered his generals to resume planning for the invasion of France. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
Hawaii United Kingdom
  • In Britain, Lord Beaverbrook's Daily Express published an editorial condemning the stirring up of witch hunts against foreign nationals falsely suspected of being members of a Fifth column. ww2dbase [Beaverbrook | AC]
27 Apr 1940
  • A British attempt to deliver much-needed anti-aircraft weapons by ground to √Öndalsnes, Norway was turned back by a three-hour German aerial bombardment. At Kjorem, after holding the line against attacks by the German 196th Division throughout the day, the British 15th Brigade withdrew 17 kilometers to the north to form a new line at Otta. Meanwhile, the German 196th Division captured the √ėsterdal valley in Norway. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
France
  • Lorraine departed France for Alexandria, Egypt. ww2dbase [Lorraine | CPC]
Germany
  • Chief of the German SS organization Heinrich Himmler gave the order to convert the 22 former artillery barrack buildings at Oswiecim, Poland into a concentration camp, later to be more commonly known by its German name, Auschwitz. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The British submarine HMS Clyde (N 12), under command of Lieutenant Commander D. C. Ingram, RN departed Rosyth in Scotland, United Kingdom for her 8th war patrol. She was to carry out Operation Knife, the supplying of Norwegian forces in the Sondefjord north of Bergen with arms and ammunition. ww2dbase [Rosyth, Scotland | HM]
  • The 628-ton British merchant ship Thornhill was involved in a collision with the Circle south of Torbay, England, United Kingdom and sank. She was on route from Barry, Wales, United Kingdom to Caen, France. ww2dbase [Torbay, England | HM]
28 Apr 1940
  • Vittorio Veneto was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Vittorio Veneto | CPC]
Norway
  • The British War Cabinet ordered the withdraw of British troops at Trondheim, Norway to the dismay of Norwegian leaders. Meanwhile, troops of the British 15th Brigade held their line against attacks by the German 196th Division at Otta throughout the day before they fell back 25 miles to the north to Domb√•s overnight. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
29 Apr 1940
  • British submarine HMS Unity collided with Norwegian freighter Atle Jarl in the harbor of Blyth, England in foggy weather at 1730 hours. Unity sank within 5 minutes, killing 4. Lieutenant John Low and Able Seaman Henry Miller were posthumously awarded the George Cross for their self-sacrifice while helping fellow comrades in their escape. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyers HMS Kelly, HMS Maori, and HMS Imperial and French destroyer Bison departed Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom to evacuate British troops at Namsos, Norway; they were escorted by cruisers and other destroyers. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Kelly | CPC]
Germany Japan
  • Hisao Tani was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun 1st Class. ww2dbase [Hisao Tani | CPC]
  • Korechika Anami was awarded Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, first class. ww2dbase [Korechika Anami | CPC]
Norway
  • King Haakon VII and the Norwegian government evacuated to Troms√ł, Norway via British cruiser HMS Glasgow. ww2dbase [Haakon VII | Troms√ł, Troms og Finnmark | TH]
  • Troops of the German 196th Division marched out of the Gudbrandsdal Valley in Norway and linked up with German troops near Trondheim, threatening to surround the British 15th Brigade. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
United States
  • The US Department of State ended its investigation on the 5 Sep 1939 incident during which British personnel forcefully boarded Filipino Don Isidro at Port Said, Egypt and removed German engineers. Although the Americans did not receive a satisfactory explanation from the British, they assumed that "similar instances will not be permitted to occur in the future." ww2dbase [Washington | CPC]
30 Apr 1940
  • At Greenock, Scotland, French destroyer Maille Breeze suffered an accidental detonation of two of her torpedoes in the forward section of the ship and sank. 25 men were killed while 48 were wounded. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minesweeper HMS Dundoon hit a mine at Smith's Knoll near Great Yarmouth and sank, killing 27. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal. ww2dbase [Nikolaus von Falkenhorst | CPC]
  • Firefighters from the US Navy Sixth Naval District fought off a fire that had broken out on the Norwegian tanker Willy, which was carrying a load of aviation gasoline, in the Cooper River off Charleston, South Carolina, United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
Greece
  • Italian "Barfile" naval infantry battalion landed on Cephalonia, Greece. ww2dbase [Cephalonia | CPC]
Norway
  • The German 196th Division arrived at Domb√•s, Norway on foot as their vehicles had been rendered useless after encountering blown bridges; their initial attacks were held off by the British 15th Brigade; despite causing heavy casualties to the Germans, the British withdrew their defensive line at dusk by train toward √Öndalsnes. Near Oslo, RAF bombers conducted attacks on German-controlled airfields in Stavanger and Fornebu, escorted by naval fighters launched by HMS Ark Royal and HMS Glorious; Germans detected the location of the British carriers and successfully launched a fighter attack that drove off the carriers. Off Namsos, Norway, German Ju 87 aircraft attacked British anti-submarine sloop HMS Bittern, hitting her with a bomb and starting a fire on the stern that killed 20; destroyer HMS Janus rescued the survivors and scuttled HMS Bittern to prevent capture. Off Trondheim, Norway, German aircraft sank British trawler HMS Warwickshire; her wreck was later raised by the Germans and put into service. In the United Kingdom, a British fleet consisted of cruisers HMS Manchester and HMS Birmingham and destroyers HMS Inglefield, HMS Diana, and HMS Delight, under the command of Vice Admiral Layton, departed Scapa Flow, Scotland for Norway; its mission was to evacuate the British 148th and 15th Brigades from √Öndalsnes and Molde. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • HMS Glorious provided air cover for troops fighting on land in Norway. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Glorious | CPC]
Poland United Kingdom
  • A German Heinkel bomber crashed into a house in Clacton, Essex, England, United Kingdom and its mines exploded, killing two civilians and injuring 132 others. They were the first civilian casualties of the war in England. ww2dbase [Clacton, England | AC]
Photo(s) dated 30 Apr 1940
Two British soldiers inspecting an unexploded German bomb at the railway station at Grong, near Namsos, Norway, 30 Apr 1940; note Lee-Enfield No. 4 rifles
1 May 1940
  • Roosevelt urged Italy to stay out of the European War; Mussolini's response noted that Germany could not be defeated. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Swiss intelligence learned of a potential attack on France to be launched soon and informed the French military attach√©, who promptly reported this to Paris. Meanwhile in Germany, Adolf Hitler pushed the invasion decision date to 5 May 1940. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • Orion crossed the Equator. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
  • Otto Skorzeny was promoted to the rank of Unterscharf√ľhrer. ww2dbase [Otto Skorzeny | CPC]
  • King Haakon VII and the Norwegian government established the provisional government at Troms√ł, Norway. ww2dbase [Haakon VII | CPC]
China Norway
  • Norwegian troops in Lillehammer surrendered. En route to √Öndalsnes, Norway for evacuation, the train carrying troops of the British 15th Brigade crashed into a bomb crater at 0115 hours, killing 8 and wounding 30; the surviving troops marched 17 miles through deep snow, arriving at √Öndalsnes at 0900 hours. British Vice Admiral Layton's task force consisted of cruisers Manchester and Birmingham and destroyers Inglefield, Diana, and Delight arrived at √Öndalsnes, Norway to evacuate the British 148th and 15th Brigades; they embarked 5,084 men overnight and departed at 0200 hours on the next day. Joining the British evacuation was Norwegian General Ruge, who departed √Öndalsnes aboard British destroyer HMS Diana to join the Norwegian government at Troms√ł. Four British destroyers arrived at Namsos to evacuate the British 146th Brigade and other Allied troops in the area; heavy fog delayed the operation, and only 850 French troops were embarked overnight. In the Kattegat, British submarine HMS Narwhal fired six torpedoes at a German merchant convoy carrying parts of 2nd Gebirgsjager Division to Norway; German steamer Buenos Aires was hit by one of the torpedoes and sank, killing 62 men and 240 horses; another transport, Bahia Castillo, was hit but did not sink, killing 10 men and 26 horses. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
Poland Puerto Rico
  • The US Navy established the Naval Air Station Isla Grande in San Juan, Puerto Rico as a part of the Tenth Naval District. The first commanding officer of the base was Captain Virgil C. Griffin, Jr. ww2dbase [Isla Grande Naval Air Station | San Juan | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British government passed a trade union agreement which allowed women to work in munitions factories. ww2dbase [London, England | TH]
  • A German bomber crashed in Essex, England, United Kingdom, killing the crew and two civilians, wounding a further 150 people. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | TH]
Photo(s) dated 1 May 1940
Quincy underway, 1 May 1940
2 May 1940
  • German forces reached Aandalesnes, Norway. In southern Norway, British troops began to withdraw, but continued to fight in the north to interrupt the flow of iron to Germany. British Vice Admiral John Cunningham arrived in Namsos, Norway with 3 cruisers, 5 destroyers, and 3 transports to aid with the evacuation of the British 146th Brigade; German aircraft attempted to interfere, damaging HMS Maori with a near miss, killing 5 and wounding 18; through the end of the night, 5,350 men were embarked. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | TH]
  • Mussolini offered that Italy would not go to war with the United States if the United States would stay out of Europe. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 93 German combat divisions prepared to invade France and the Low Countries. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 2 May 1940
Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Ford Island Naval Air Station, Oahu, Hawaii, May 2, 1940.
3 May 1940
  • Dutch intelligence detected further hints of German troop gathering near its border; this information was forwarded on to Belgium. Meanwhile, in Germany, forecast of bad weather caused a postponement of the invasion. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • Danish constituent country of Greenland sought American protection as her mother country was now occupied by Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Norwegian troops south of Trondheim surrendered to the Germans. The Allies completed the evacuation at Namsos, Norway. The British destroyer HMS Afridi, left behind to shell British vehicles on the dock that could not be evacuated, departed at 0445 hours. German aircraft found part of the evacuation fleet and attacked the convoy at 0945 hours, sinking French destroyer Bison at 1010 hours, killing 103. HMS Afridi was bombed at 1400 hours and sank 45 minutes later, killing 49 men of the crew, 13 men of 146th Brigade, and 30 rescued men of Bison. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • British RAF aircraft attacked German airfields in Denmark and Norway. ww2dbase [CPC]
Malta
  • British destroyer Garland, under repair in Malta, was loaned to the Polish Navy, which commissioned the destroyer on the same date. ww2dbase [Garland | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British and French troops evacuated from √Öndalsnes, Norway arrived safely at Scapa Flow, Scotland. The French troops were transferred onto French passenger ships bound for Brest. ww2dbase [Scapa Flow | Scapa Flow, Scotland | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 3 May 1940
Aerial view of Hickam Field looking toward Honolulu, Hawaii, 3 May 1940. The Pearl Harbor entrance channel is along the bottom of the photo and the Submarine Base can be seen at the upper left.Aerial view of Ford Island and Pearl Harbor’s East Loch anchorage, 3 May 1940. Note 8 battleships along Battleship Row and 2 more across the channel at the 1010 Dock. Note also carrier Yorktown (Yorktown-class).
4 May 1940
  • German He 115 aircraft bombed British submarine HMS Seal in the Kattegat at 0230 hours. Seal dove from the surface to the depth of 30 meters in response while continuing to deploy mines, her primary mission. While evading anti-submarine trawlers at 1830 hours, she hit a mine and began to settle to the sea floor. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 30,000 Allied troops were present near Narvik, Norway, including units of the French Foreign Legion, French mountain troops, Polish troops, the British 24th Brigade, and Norwegian troops, aiming to take Narvik from the Germans. Meanwhile, German 2nd Gebirgsj√§ger Division's mountain troops began marching 350 miles north from Trondheim, Norway to relieve the German 139th Gebirgsj√§ger Regiment in Narvik; detecting this, the Allies deployed 300 to 500 men each at Mosj√∂en, Mo, and Bod√∂ in an attempt to stop this movement. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
Japan United Kingdom
  • The 5,995-ton British steam tanker San Tiburcio owned by the Eagle Oil & Shipping Co Limited of London was carrying 2,193 tons on fuel and a dozen Sunderland aircraft floats when she struck a mine at 2010 hours; the mine had been laid on 10 Feb 1940 by German submarine U-9. This occurred four miles from Tarbett Ness in the Moray Firth in northern Scotland, United Kingdom. A tug and a destroyer, HMS Codrington (65) were sent out to give assistance, but the tanker broke in half after 45 minutes. The Master, Walter Fredrick Flynn and 39 of the crew were picked up by her escort HMS Leicester City (FY 223) and the anti-submarine trawler took them to Invergordon, in the Cromarty Firth north of Inverness, Scotland. Walter Flynn would lose his life on 31 Jan 1942 when his new command, the San Arcado was torpedoed and sunk by U-107 north of Burmuda. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Scotland | HM]
5 May 1940
  • Adolf Hitler pushed the decision date for the invasion of France to the following day. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • German aircraft attacked the surfaced HMS Seal, heavily damaged after hitting a mine on the previous day, at 0230 hours in the Kattegat. The British submarine surrendered with a white table cloth. The crew of 60 were captured at around 0530 hours after failing to scuttle the ship. The submarine would later be towed to Frederikshavn, Denmark, repaired, and commissioned into German service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • After a 25-day battle, the Norwegian fortress of Hegra surrendered at 0525 hours. The 190 men were the last Norwegian troops actively resisting German invasion in southern Norway. Civilian nurse Anne Margrethe Bang was also captured. They would all be released within the next two months by the order of Adolf Hitler in recognition of their bravery during the defense. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Norway established a government-in-exile in London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [London, England | TH]
6 May 1940
  • Fall Gelb, the German invasion of France, was once again postponed by Hitler. Meanwhile, Pope Pius XII shared the intelligence gathered by Vatican agents that Germany was planning on invading the Low Countries with the Princess of Piedmont Marie Jos√©, who was the sister of King Leopold III of Belgium and wife of Italian Crown Prince Umberto. On the same day, a massive German armoured motorised column many miles long was spotted driving west through the Ardennes forest but the Belgian Army did not respond. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | AC]
  • British submarine HMS Sealion attacked German transports Moltkefels and Neidenfels in the Skagerrak at 1400 hours. All 6 torpedoes missed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Snapper attacked German armed merchant cruiser Widder 30 miles east of Denmark at 1525 hours. Both torpedoes missed. ww2dbase [Widder | CPC]
  • Littorio was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Littorio | CPC]
  • John Steinbeck won the Politzer Prize for his novel The Grapes of Wrath. ww2dbase [AC]
Norway
  • German mountain troops of the 2nd Gebirgsj√§ger Division continued their slow march north from Trondheim, Norway to Narvik, where South Wales Borderers of the British 24th Brigade, French Chasseurs Alpins mountain infantry, and French colonial artillery troops continued to assert pressure on the German troops. Off Narvik, British cruiser HMS Enterprise was slightly damaged by a near miss by an aerial bomb, killing one Royal Marine. Meanwhile, the Norwegian gold reserves arrived in London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 6 May 1940
Kondo at a luncheon at the Tokyo Naval Club on 6 May 1940, front 3rd (Nagano, front center)
7 May 1940
  • Adolf Hitler pushed the decision date for the invasion of France to the following day. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • Dutch Army suspended all leaves. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Neville Chamberlain faced criticism during the Norway Debate. ww2dbase [Neville Chamberlain | CPC]
  • German Luftwaffe aircraft attacked British cruiser HMS Aurora off Narvik, Norway at 1641 hours, putting A and B turrets out of action and killing 7 Royal Marines. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
Hawaii Russia
  • Kliment Voroshilov stepped down as the People's Commissar for Defense of the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Kliment Voroshilov | Moscow | CPC]
8 May 1940
  • The opposition party in the United Kingdom, the Labour Party, called for a vote of no confidence for Prime Minister Chamberlain's government. Meanwhile, former Prime Minister David Lloyd George called for Chamberlain to step down for the good of the country. ww2dbase [Neville Chamberlain | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler pushed the decision date for the invasion of France to the following day. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • Bruce Fraser was promoted to the rank of vice admiral. ww2dbase [Bruce Fraser | CPC]
China
  • American river gunboat Tutuila ran aground on a reef and became stranded in the Yangtze River at Chongqing, China. ww2dbase [Chongqing | CPC]
  • Chinese Communist Brigadier General Chen Yi recommended his superiors to launch an offensive against Nationalist positions in Jiangsu Province, China. ww2dbase [Battle of Huangqiao | CPC]
Malta
  • Garland exited drydocks at Malta. ww2dbase [Garland | CPC]
Russia
  • Semyon Timoshenko was appointed the Soviet commissar for defense. ww2dbase [Semyon Timoshenko | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 8 May 1940
Troops of 6th Infantry Regiment of Japanese 3rd Division crossing the Bai River north of Yichang, Hubei, China, 8 May 1940
9 May 1940
  • Conscription maximum age in the United Kingdom was raised again to 36. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British Prime Minister Chamberlain offered to form a coalition government with the opposition Labour Party, but the attempt was unsuccessful. In the afternoon, Chamberlain began to discuss with Halifax and Churchill, the two leading contenders to be his successor, about the possibility of his resignation. ww2dbase [Neville Chamberlain | CPC]
  • Four Polish battalions arrived at Narvik, Norway. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • British troops occupied Iceland. ww2dbase [Invasion of Iceland | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler and his staff arrived at the Felsennest headquarters in the Westwall fortifications on the German-French border. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-9 (Wolfgang L√ľth) fired two torpedoes at French submarine Doris 40 miles off of the Dutch coast at 0014 hours. One struck amidships, blowing the boat in half and killing 42 French and 3 British men. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | North Sea | TH, HM]
  • British destroyer HMS Kelly with Lord Louis Mountbatten aboard went on patrol in the Skagerrak between Sweden and Germany, escorted by cruiser HMS Birmingham and destroyers HMS Kandahar, HMS Bulldog, HMS Kimberley, and HMS Hasty. Five German torpedo boats attacked this fleet in the evening. Torpedo boat S-31 damaged HMS Kelly with one torpedo, killing 27; she would require HMS Bulldog to tow her back to port. ww2dbase [Kelly | Skagerrak | CPC]
Belgium Germany
  • Adolf Hitler issued the order to commence the invasion of France and the Low Countries at dawn on the following day. At noon German meteorologists made a firm forecast of clear skies on the following morning; Adolf Hitler gave the meteorology officer a medal on the spot. In the afternoon, Hitler departed Berlin, Germany for this temporary forward headquarters codenamed Felsennest near Bad M√ľnsereifel in the Rhineland region of Germany to observe the coming invasion. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Adolf Hitler | Berlin | CPC, AC]
Luxembourg
  • Grand Duchess Charlotte called an extraordinary meeting of her leading ministers, and they decided to place the grand ducal family and the government under the protection of France. She and her family would depart southward on the next day. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Charlotte | CPC]
Singapore
  • HMS Eagle completed her repairs at Singapore and departed for Colombo, Ceylon. ww2dbase [Eagle | Singapore | CPC]
United States
  • The first Vultee Model 48 Vanguard prototype aircraft collided with a Sirius aircraft at Vultee Field in Downey, California, United States. ww2dbase [P-66 Vanguard | Downey, California | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 9 May 1940
Sims off the Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts, United States, 9 May 1940, photo 1 of 3Sims off the Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts, United States, 9 May 1940, photo 2 of 3Sims off the Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts, United States, 9 May 1940, photo 3 of 3
10 May 1940
  • Germany invaded the Allied nation of France and the neutral Low Countries. In France, Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed many French aircraft on the ground. German tanks crossed into neutral Luxembourg with relative ease, reaching the edge of the Ardennes Forest; the royal family of Luxembourg was evacuated to the south. In the Netherlands, German paratroopers quickly secured key bridges and airfields around Rotterdam and the Hague, but the plan to land troops at the Ypenburg airfield to capture the Dutch political leaders was foiled when Dutch fighters shot down 18 German Ju 52 transport planes; German tanks penetrated more than 10 miles into the Dutch border by the end of the day. In Belgium, 10 gliders landed 78 German airborne soldiers atop Fort Ebel Emael at the crossings of the Albert Canal and the River Meusse, pinning down the 700 Belgian defenders. British and French leaders enacted the Dyle Plan in response to the invasion, moving troops toward the Dyle River in Belgium where they were to form a defensive line. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had decided overnight to resign from this post, but the news of the German invasion of France and the Low Countries gave him second thoughts. Nevertheless, he decided to continue his plan to resign. Later in the day, Winston Churchill was asked to assume the post left vacant by Chamberlain. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | TH]
  • US Secretary of State Hull reiterated that the United States would not stand for any country establishing a protectorate over the Dutch East Indies; in response, the Japanese Foreign Minister indicated Japan's desire to maintain the political and economic status quo in the Pacific region. ww2dbase [Cordell Hull | CPC]
Belgium
  • General Bernard Montgomery's forward units arrived, just after dark, to take up their designated positions on the eastern approaches to Brussels. They were were fired upon by Belgian soldiers who took them for German infiltrators. ww2dbase [Bernard Montgomery | AC]
  • Belgian forces seized Latvian steam cargo ship Sigurd Faulbaums of the Max Faulbaum Steamship Line at Bruges, Belgium. ww2dbase [Bruges, Vlaams | CPC]
France Netherlands
  • Fairey Battle light bombers of No. 12 Squadron RAF attacked the Maastricht bridges in the Netherlands with disastrous results. Flying Officer D. E. Garland and Sergeant T. Gray were killed, but each man's bravery whilst under extreme fire was recognised by a posthumous Victoria Cross. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Maastricht, Limburg | AC]
United Kingdom
  • RAF Kirton in Lindsey was officially opened as the Fighter Command base responsible for the air defence of the Humber area in northern England, United Kingdom. It had its satellites Coleby Grange, south of Lincoln, and Hibaldstow, just three miles away. No. 222 Squadron, whose pilots included the legendary Douglas Bader, were moved north with their Spitfire fighters from Duxford and were joined by the Hurricane fighters of No. 253 Squadron from Kenley. Bader was later to recall his time at Kirton as the period of "fun" for the squadron. ww2dbase [Lincoln, England | AC]
Photo(s) dated 10 May 1940
German troops with a camouflaged 3.7 cm PaK 36 anti-tank gun in Belgium, May 1940German vehicles and troops in Maastricht, the Netherlands, 10 May 1940
11 May 1940
  • King George VI of the United Kingdom signed the proclamation canceling the Whitsun holiday. ww2dbase [George VI | CPC]
  • Switzerland mobilized its military forces in response to the German invasion of the neutral Low Countries on the previous day. Civilians in towns near the German-Swiss border fled south. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British troops landed on Dutch islands of Aruba and Cura√ßao in the Caribbean Sea. US President Roosevelt announced that these actions were not contrary to the Monroe Doctrine. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | CPC]
  • Germany occupied Luxembourg. In Belgium, German airborne troops captured the "impregnable" Fort Eben Emael while tanks crossed Albert Canal bridges in an attempt to move behind Belgian defensive lines. Troops of the German 9th Panzer Division crossed the Meuse River; at 1200 hours, they found an undefended bridge over the Zuid-Willemsvaart canal 50 miles from Rotterdam, where airborne troops of the German 22nd Flieger Division held on to bridges along the Nieuwe Maas River, awaiting the arrival of ground troops. Seven German armored divisions began to spearhead into the Ardennes Forest, brushing aside the few French cavalry units guarding this route into France. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • Winston Churchill named Lord Beaverbrook the head of the Ministry of Aircraft Production. This ministry reported to the War Cabinet, and was responsible for setting aircraft production priorities. ww2dbase [Beaverbrook | CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt announced that the US was now officially recognizing the state of war between Germany and the Low Countries and reaffirmed American neutrality in that conflict. He restricted submarines of any of the nations involved in that conflict to use American ports and territorial waters, exclusive of the Panama Canal Zone. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Winston Churchill appointed Anthony Eden as Secretary of State for War. ww2dbase [Anthony Eden | AC]
United Kingdom
  • Isaac Sweers arrived at the Thorneycroft shipyard in Southampton, England, United Kingdom by tow. ww2dbase [Isaac Sweers | Southampton, England | CPC]
  • Sir Archibald Sinclair replaces Sir Samuel Hoare as the British Secretary of State for Air. ww2dbase [London, England | AC]
12 May 1940
  • The United Kingdom began the internment of German civilians. ww2dbase [TH]
Belgium
  • The first tank battle of the European War took place at Hannut in central Belgium between the German 3rd and 4th Panzer Divisions and two French armored divisions; French S35 and H35 tanks overwhelmed their German counterparts, destroying large numbers of Panzer I and II tanks. In the air over Belgium, five Fairey Battle aircraft of No. 12 Squadron RAF flown by volunteer crews attacked the vital road bridges over the Albert Canal in the face of extremely heavy ground fire; the attack was pressed home with considerable gallantry and one bridge was seriously damaged, but at the cost of all five aircraft. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC, AC]
  • Adolf Galland achieved his first three victories near Li√®ge, Beligum. ww2dbase [Adolf Galland | Li√®ge | AC]
France
  • German armored columns pushed out of the Ardennes region and into France, preparing to cross the Meuse River at Sedan, Montherm√©, and Dinant. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
Netherlands
  • In the Netherlands, German 9th Panzer Division reached Moerdijk bridges 10 miles south of Rotterdam, relieving the paratroopers who had been holding the bridges since 10 May. After evaluating the situation, Dutch Crown Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard departed for Harwich, England, United Kingdom aboard HMS Codrington. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Winston Churchill appointed the newly created Viscount Simon (former Sir John Simon) to the post of Lord High Chancellor, the Chief Law Officer to the Government, succeeding the Viscount Caldecote. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | AC]
  • In Britain, about 2,000 people were rounded on the direction of British Home Secretary Sir John Anderson, on the recommendation by Sir John Dill, Vice-Chief of the Imperial General Staff, that, on military grounds, adult male aliens along the coast in the south east and east of England should be immediately interned for the duration. ww2dbase [England | AC]
Photo(s) dated 12 May 1940
A Dutch family amidst a devastated town after the German invasion, May 1940German SdKfz. 10/4 half-track vehicles with 2-cm flak guns driving through the village of Gourgançon, Marne, France, May 1940German Army SdKfz. 232 vehicle in the Ardennes Forest, France, May 1940; still from US War Department film British and French prisoners of war in Belgium, May 1940
13 May 1940
  • UK Prime Minister Churchill made the famous "Blood, Sweat, Tears, and Toil" speech. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | TH]
  • At midnight, which was light due to the latitude, British cruiser HMS Aurora, cruiser HMS Effingham, and battleship HMS Resolution bombarded Narvik, Norway in preparation of the 0100-hour amphibious operation at Bjerkvik, which was the first of the European War. French Foreign Legion and light tanks came ashore at Bjerkvik in landing craft, suffering 36 casualties, then reached and captured √ėyjord unopposed. Many Norwegian civilians died during the attack. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • While on the previous day the inferior German tanks suffered against their French counterparts in Belgium, German tank commanders amassed their tanks (while the French commanders decided to divide their tanks to cover a wider front) and punched a hole in the French lines; French troops began falling back toward Gembloux; the Battle of Hannut ended with the French losing 105 tanks and the Germans 160. The German 9th Division reached the outskirts of Rotterdam, which was a part of the final Dutch defensive line, Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Utrecht. In France, Germany Army Group B established bridgeheads at the Meuse River near Dinant and Sedan after penetrating a 50-mile gap in French defensive lines; by the evening, pontoon bridges were set up for tanks to cross. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
Belgium
  • Six Defiant fighters of B Flight, 264 Squadron RAF set out to attack enemy troop movements in the Netherlands. In the process they attacked a force of Ju 87 aircraft and claimed four of these, but were then bounced by Messerschmitt Bf 109 aircraft who swiftly shot down five of the Defiant aircraft (only two crewmen survived by parachute). The sole remaining Defiant aircraft (Pilot Officer Kay and LAC Jones) managed to land at Knocke, belgium and later returned to England. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | AC]
China
  • American river gunboat Tutuila, stranded on a reef in the Yangtze River off Chongqing, China since 8 May, was refloated. ww2dbase [Chongqing | CPC]
France Netherlands United Kingdom
  • The Dutch Royal Family and the Dutch government arrived in London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [London, England | CPC]
  • Winston Churchill appointed Leo Amery as Secretary of State for India and Burma. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | AC]
Photo(s) dated 13 May 1940
Searaven making full speed while running trials off Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States, 13 May 1940, photo 1 of 3Searaven making full speed while running trials off Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States, 13 May 1940, photo 2 of 3Searaven making full speed while running trials off Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States, 13 May 1940, photo 3 of 3Searaven during trials, off Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States, 13 May 1940, photo 1 of 3
See all photos dated 13 May 1940
14 May 1940
  • Anthony Eden, UK Secretary of State for War, called for volunteers to create the Local Defense Volunteers (LDV); more than 250,000 enrolled within the first 24 hours. . ww2dbase [TH]
  • General Rudolf Schmidt's German 9th Panzer Corps threatened the Dutch city of Rotterdam with aerial bombardment, and the Dutch garrison surrendered; some Luftwaffe aircraft, however, did not get the order to abort; 95 tons of bombs were dropped on Rotterdam, killing 1,000 civilians and rendering 85,000 homeless. Elsewhere in the Netherlands, Dutch Commander-in-Chief General Winkelman ordered his forces to cease fighting as the situation became hopeless. In Belgium, Erwin Rommel personally led a 30-tank charge near Dinant, pushing back French and Belgian forces three miles. Near Sedan, France, Heinz Guderian's three armored divisions crossed the Meuse River. In central Belium, German Gernal Erich Hoepner sent 3rd and 4th Panzer Divisions in pursuit of the French defeated at the Battle of Hannut in the previous two days, but French anti-tank artillery fire destroyed many pursuers. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • The British Admiralty required the owner of large boats to send in specifications within two weeks. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Werner M√∂lders was shot down over Sedan, France, but was able to bail out to safety. ww2dbase [Werner M√∂lders | CPC]
France
  • Marcel Albert, flying a D.520 fighter, shot down a Do 17 bomber and claimed a Bf 109 fighter later on the same day. ww2dbase [Champagne-Ardenne | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Winston Churchill told American Ambassador to the United Kingdom Joseph Kennedy that even if Britain was to be conquered by Germany, the British government would continue the fight from Canada with the Royal Navy. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | London, England | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 14 May 1940
German troops crossing the Meuse River in a rubber raft, near Aiglemont, France, 14 May 1940Bombed hangar at Mourmelon-le-Grand, France after a German attack on the airfield, 14 May 1940; note wreck of a Miles Magister and at least two Fairey Battle aircraft
15 May 1940
  • The Netherlands surrendered to Germany at 1015 hours; Dutch General Winkelman signed the surrender document. The Battle of Gembloux in Belgium ended with the Germans losing about 250 tanks, which was the equivalent of an entire armored division; the weakened French forces, however, were unable to hold the line despite their effective 75mm artillery and 25mm anti-tank guns; they fell back toward the Belgian-French border. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • The British War Cabinet decided to attack the German oil industry, communications centers, and forests and crops; attacks on industrial areas were to focus on the Ruhr region. Also, due to the costly daylight bombings, attacks were to be launched at nights. On the same day these directives were issued, the RAF began attacking industrial targets in the Ruhr, with 99 bombers flying the first mission. The decision to begin bombing civilian property outside of combat zones was the direct result of the German bombing of Rotterdam on the previous day. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | TH]
  • British butter ration was reduced from 8 ounces to 4 ounces per person per week. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Winston Churchill sent a message to Franklin Roosevelt, asking for 40 to 50 destroyers, hundreds of fighters, anti-aircraft guns, steel, among other war-related materials. He also asked the US President to order a visit by US Navy warships to Ireland as a show of force. In regards to the situation in the Pacific Ocean, he requests Roosevelt to intimidate the Japanese, offering the Americans the use of Singapore if deemed necessary. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • The Communist Party of the Netherlands held a meeting to organize underground resistance during German occupation. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Minister in Uruguay Edwin C. Wilson reported to US Secretary of State Cordell Hull that there had been an increase in German activities in Uruguay. Although Uruguayan police had been moving against the Germans to a certain degree, the general indifference by the government was beginning to worry him. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Paul von Kleist was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal. ww2dbase [Paul von Kleist | CPC]
France
  • At 0730 hours, French Prime Minister Reynaud called his British counterpart Churchill on the telephone, saying "[w]e are beaten. We have lost the battle." Later on the same day in Paris, France, a reported German breakthrough at Sedan caused panic, with fleeing civilians jamming roads and blocking military traffic south and west of the city. ww2dbase [Paris | TH]
United Kingdom
  • In London, England, United Kingdom, at a British cabinet meeting attended by Winston Churchill, Archibald Sinclair, Lord Beaverbrook, and Cyril Newall, Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding argued the case for expanding the strength of RAF Fighter Command to 52 squadrons for the immediate air defence of Britain. Despite his insistence that no more squadrons should be sent to France orders were still given to send four more squadrons to France. ww2dbase [Hugh Dowding | London, England | AC]
United States
  • The fast food chain McDonalds opened its first restaurant at San Bernardino, California, United States. ww2dbase [San Bernardino, California | AC]
US Pacific Islands
  • A 12-foot clamshell dredge arrived at Johnston Atoll to dredge the lagoon to widen and deepen the entrance channel. ww2dbase [Johnston | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 15 May 1940
Interior of a He 111 P bomber while in flight over France, mid-May 1940German General Heinz Guderian (in SdKfz. 251/3 halftrack vehicle) speaking with General Adolf Kuntzen of 8th Panzer Division, France, May 1940German General Heinz Guderian in a SdKfz. 251/3 halftrack vehicle, France, May 1940, photo 1 of 6; note early 3-rotor Enigma machineGerman General Heinz Guderian in a SdKfz. 251/3 halftrack vehicle, France, May 1940, photo 2 of 6; note early 3-rotor Enigma machine
See all photos dated 15 May 1940
16 May 1940
  • German 6th Army broke through the Dyle Line; British troops withdrew west of Brussels and the Belgian government evacuated to Ostend. From its Meuse River bridgeheads, German Army Group A tanks broke through the French lines, capturing thousands of surrendering French troops. Guderian's units reached Montcornet, while Rommel's units reached Avesnes-sur-Helpe. Fearful that this advance into France would expose the invasion's flanks, the German High Command ordered Army Group A to halt its spearheads so that the infantry could catch up. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • French Prime Minister Reynaud ordered Maxime Weygand to return from Syria to Paris, France. ww2dbase [Maxime Weygand | CPC]
  • Remy Van Lierde was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission over Belgium, becoming captured. ww2dbase [Remy Van Lierde | CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt requested the US Congress to appropriate US$546,000,000 for the US Army, US$250,000,000 for US Navy and US Marine Corps, and US$100,000,000 for his own office for national defense purposes. He also requested the authorization for the military and his own office to issue contracts in the amount of US$186,000,000 and US$100,000,000, respectively. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt responded to British Prime Minister Churchill's telegraph from the previous day, noting that any military aid to Britain must have the authorization from the US Congress, and that the US fleet would remain concentrated at Hawaii in the Central Pacific for the time being. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | CPC]
France
  • British Prime Minister Winston Churchill flew to Paris, France to meet with his French counterpart Paul Reynaud; witnessing the burning of government archives, he inquired about the strategic reserve, and received the answer "Aucune" ("There is none"). On the same day, Churchill also sent his Italian counterpart Benito Mussolini a message, urging him to keep Italy out of the European War. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | Paris | TH, CPC]
Photo(s) dated 16 May 1940
Scuttled French Char B1 heavy tank in Beaumont, Belgium, 16 May 1940, photo 2 of 2Map noting German advances in France and the Low Countries between 10 and 16 May 1940HMS Effingham at anchor in Norway, 16 May 1940A Belgian civilian and a German soldier looking at an abandoned French Char B1 heavy tank, Ermeton-sur-Biert, Belgium, mid-May 1940
17 May 1940
  • Colonel Charles de Gaulle of the French 4th Armored Division launched a 200-tank counterattack at Montcornet, France; the French forces saw initial success, capturing 500 prisoners, but the momentum quickly waned. Guderian seized upon the opportunity and launched his own counterattack in France, driving the French back several kilometers. In Belgium, British Expeditionary Force commander General Lord Gort, fearful of being surrounded, ordered his troops to fall back to the Scheldt River; this move allowed German General Reichenau to capture Brussels. Meanwhile, Dutch resistance to the German invasion comes to an end with the evacuation, by French destroyers, of the survivors of the Franco-Dutch forces in Zeeland and on the islands of Walcheren and Beverland. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • Erwin Rommel was awarded the 1939 clasp to his Iron Cross Second Class medal. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
  • HMS Effingham departed Harstad, Norway with 1,020 troops, 10 Bren Gun Carriers, and 130 tons of supplies on board for Bod√ł, Norway. En route, she hit the southern edge of the Faksen Shoal off Bod√ł, Norway and was seriously damaged. ww2dbase [Effingham | CPC]
Germany Norway United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt announced the plans for recommissioning 35 additional flush deck destroyers to meet the requirements of fleet expansion and the Neutrality Patrol. ww2dbase [United States Neutrality Patrol | Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 May 1940
Vehicles of the German 4th Panzer Division in France, 17 May 1940SdKfz 10/4 vehicle with a mounted 2 cm FlaK 30 anti-aircraft gun, France, May 1940, photo 1 of 3SdKfz 10/4 vehicle with a mounted 2 cm FlaK 30 anti-aircraft gun, France, May 1940, photo 2 of 3SdKfz 10/4 vehicle with a mounted 2 cm FlaK 30 anti-aircraft gun, France, May 1940, photo 3 of 3
18 May 1940
  • German troops captured Antwerp, Belgium; meanwhile, the German government re-incorporated into its borders the territory that Germany ceded to Belgium per the Versailles Treaty. In France, Erwin Rommel's German 7th Panzer Division reached Cambrai where it halted to consolidate his supply lines; in the past 5 days the division advanced 85 miles and captured 10,000 French prisoners and tanks, suffering only 150 casualties. The French called the German 7th Panzer Division the "Ghost Division" for its ability to strike in unexpected and vulnerable places. Elsewhere in France, German troops captured Petonne and Amiens. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • German submarines U-60 and U-62 departed Kiel. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Arthur Sey√ü-Inquart was appointed Reich Commissar of the Netherlands. ww2dbase [Arthur Sey√ü-Inquart | CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Churchill sent a telegram to US President Roosevelt, noting "if American assistance is to play any part it must be available [soon]." ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • HMS Effingham was scuttled by torpedo after suffering serious damage incurred on the previous day after striking the Faksen Shoal off Norway. ww2dbase [Effingham | CPC]
France
  • Walter Grabmann, flying a Bf 110 heavy fighter, was shot down by British Hurricane fighters over Douai, France; he parachuted to safety but was captured. ww2dbase [Walter Grabmann | Douai, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | CPC]
19 May 1940
  • French Army General Maxime Weygand replaced General Maurice Gamelin as Chief of the General Staff and Commander-in-Chief; Marshal Philippe P√©tain was made Deputy Prime Minister. ww2dbase [Maxime Weygand | TH]
  • German General Guderian resumed his attack, capturing territories between Saint-Quentin and P√©ronne. His troops were now within 50 miles of the English Channel and had cut off the Allied troops in Belgium. British Expeditionary Force commander General Lord Gort issued the order to withdraw toward port cities, including Dunkirk, while Colonel de Gaulle's French 4th Armored Division made a failed attempt to attack Guderian's flank at Montcornet. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • The British Royal Air Force had lost over half of the aircraft it had deployed to France and Beligum by this date. To retain strength for a potential invasion of Britain, the RAF began recalling remaining squadrons back home. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-37 (Victor Oehrn) hit the unescorted 5,066-ton Swedish motor merchant Erik Frisell with one G7a torpedo in the Atlantic Ocean west of Scotland, United Kingdom at 0631 hours. The crew of 34 abandoned ship only after the submarine fired a shot across the bow and the Germans had to order them back to the ship to take the last two men off. Afterwards the ship was sunk by gunfire. She had originally been en route to Stockholm, Sweden with a cargo of animal fodder but was ordered to Liverpool, England, United Kingdom. The survivors were picked up by the British armed trawler HMS Cobbers and landed at Stornoway, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-37 | CPC, HM]
Norway
  • A German Heinkel bomber bombed the 263-ton SS Belgica, an ex-barque Norwegian whaler and whale processing ship that was currently being used by the British as an ammunition depot ship, in Isfjorden, Svalbard, Norway. It was thought at the time that a near miss sprang some of her plates and this caused her to sink. However it was later generally accepted that the British scuttled her to prevent capture as the wreck was found to be relatively unharmed and that next to her was a barge, intact with scuttling charges placed in her bilges. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Svalbard | HM]
United Kingdom
  • The 2,197-ton HMS Princess Victoria, an old steam ferry requisitioned by the British Admiralty for use as an auxiliary-minelayer, part of the Humber Force, struck a mine at the River Humber entrance on the east coast of England, United Kingdom and sank quickly taking over 30 of her crew with her. She was equipped with an outfit of up to 244 mines, one single 10.16-centimeter QF (4-inch Quick-Firing) gun and two single 5.44-kilogram (12-pounder) anti-aircraft guns. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | England | HM]
Photo(s) dated 19 May 1940
Destroyed Belgian A.C.G.1 tank, Antwerp, Belgium, 19 May 1940
20 May 1940
  • In France, Rommel's troops began a new offensive but was held up at Arras. Meanwhile, Guderian's troops continued to advance, capturing Amiens at 0900 hours, Abbeville at 1900 hours, and Noyelles-sur-Mer at 2000 hours; they had reached the English Channel. At Dunkerque on the French coast, small seacraft began gathering for an Allied evacuation. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • The Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano began to carry only war news published by the Italian government. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Churchill sent a telegram to US President Roosevelt, again requesting for destroyers; "If they were here in 6 weeks, they would play an invaluable part." ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt expressed his concern regarding the Uruguayan-German tension to Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles. Welles reported to Roosevelt that the Uruguayan government had taken steps to investigate Nazi Party activities in Montevideo. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
China
  • 24 G3M bombers of Japanese 13th Air Group attacked Liangshan Airfield in Chongqing, China in the morning at the altitude of 14,700 feet. They were intercepted by eight I-16 fighters of 24th Pursuit Squadron of Chinese Air Force 4th Pursuit Group. The Chinese fighters shot down a G3M bomber, damaged two others (Chinese pilots claimed these as kills but they were able to make it back to base), and shot down an accompanying Ki-15-II aircraft in an observation role. The Chinese lost two I-16 fighters, which were written off due to heavy damage. ww2dbase [Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities | Liangshan Airfield | Chongqing | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 May 1940
German PaK 36 fighting in France, 1940
21 May 1940
  • German General Rommel bypassed Arras, France and advanced west toward the English Channel. 74 British tanks spearheaded two infantry divisions in an attempt to counter Rommel's offensive, but it was defeated by Rommel's use of 8.8 cm FlaK anti-aircraft guns in an anti-tank role. Elsewhere, the French 9th Army was surrounded and destroyed; commanding officer General Giraud was captured. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • German bombers attacked British ports on the English Channel while RAF bombers attacked refineries near Rotterdam, the Netherlands. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The British government announced that over 250,000 men had enrolled in the Local Defence Volunteers organization within the first 24 hours of its existance. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Royal Air Force 263 Squadron and 46 Squadron arrived in Narvik, Norway with 18 Gladiator and 18 Hurricane aircraft to provide additional, but still not adequate, protection for Allied warships in the area. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • Orion rounded Cape Horn and entered the South Pacific. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
  • Erwin Rommel was awarded the 1939 clasp to his Iron Cross First Class medal. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
  • An official British Admiralty communiqu√© noted that "[t]he Secretary of the Admiralty regrets to announce that as the result of damage sustained through striking an uncharted rock off the Norwegian coast, HMS Effingham (Captain JM Howson, RN), has become a total loss". ww2dbase [Effingham | CPC]
China
  • 27 Japanese G3M bombers, unescorted, attacked Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China. Seven I-15III fighters of 21st Pursuit Squadron of 4th Pursuit Group of the Chinese Air Force scrambled in defensive, shooting down one bomber, and damaging another with 70 machine gun bullets. ww2dbase [Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities | Lanzhou, Gansu | CPC]
France
  • √Čmile Bertin completed her repairs at Brest, France. ww2dbase [√Čmile Bertin | Brest, Bretagne | CPC]
  • General Gaston Billote, commander of the French First Group of Armies, was fatally injured when his driver crashed into a truck returning from the Ypres conference. ww2dbase [AC]
  • In Paris, France, General Robert Altmayer, a retired cavalry general who had retired four years earlier as Inspector-General of Cavalry, was summoned by Maxime Weygand to take command of Group A (later renamed Tenth Army) consisting of the 9th Corps, 10th Corps and 3rd Division Legere Mecanique. He was also told that all BEF troops south of the Somme (1st Armoured Division and 51st Highland Division) would also come under his orders. ww2dbase [Maxime Weygand | Paris | AC]
  • The French destroyer L'Adroit (T23) was in company of two other destroyers when German He 111 bombers attacked. One aircraft hit her with a bomb that exploded just in front of the bridge. One third of the ship was ripped off and her commanding officer Captain Henri Dupin de Saint-Cyr beached her at Malo-les-Bains, Dunkerque, France at 0035 hours where she was on fire. As she had just been reloaded with ammunition and torpedoes for a mission on the Scheldt Estuary to the northeast, the entire crew abandoned ship, and locals of Malo-les-Bains were also evacuated. At 0230 hours the ship was destroyed by seven large explosions. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Dunkerque, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | HM]
Photo(s) dated 21 May 1940
Map noting German advances in France and the Low Countries between 16 and 21 May 1940Charred remains of a British soldier of the Royal Sussex Regiment, Amiens, France, 21 May 1940
22 May 1940
  • In Northern France, Rommel held his ground at Arras as he mistakenly believed he was facing 5 division of Allied troops when he was only facing 2 divisions and 2 tank battalions. Guderian, however, advanced toward Calais, Dunkirk, and Boulogne. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • The United Kingdom passed the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, giving the government authority over persons and property for the duration of the war. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-37 attacked British armed merchant vessel Dunster Grange with four torpedoes and then surfaced to attack with the deck gun off of Land's End in Southwestern England. All four torpedoes missed, and Dunster Grange was able to fight off the attack and arrive in Liverpool safely two days later. ww2dbase [CPC]
China
  • Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China. ww2dbase [Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities | Chongqing | CPC]
  • Two formations of Japanese G3M2 bombers, accompanied by three C5M reconnaissance aircraft (Navy version of Ki-15 aircraft), attacked Baishiyi Airfield in Chongqing, China. Four I-15bis and one I-16 fighters were caught by surprise and were destroyed on the ground; the Japanese had claimed 15 destroyed on the ground. ww2dbase [Baishiyi Airfield | Chongqing | CPC]
France
  • French Air Force withdrew Potez 630 heavy fighters from front line service. ww2dbase [Potez 630 | CPC]
  • General Gaston Billote died from injuried sustained during an automobile accident on the previous day. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Recalled from retirement, General Henry Karslake sailed to France with instructions from General Edmund Ironside to save priority equipment without alarming the French. His top priority was to evacuate anti-aircraft guns that would be urgently needed for the defence of British cites should France fall. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | AC]
  • In France, Theodor Eicke's SS Division Totenkopf, a police unit raised to provide concentration camp guards, murdered ninety-two civilians in the town of Aubigny-en-Artois and another forty-five in the villages of Vand√©licourt and Berles-Monchel as they headed towards the canal line before Dunkerque. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Aubigny-en-Artois, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | AC]
Germany
  • German pilot Hauptmann Wolfgang Falck was ordered to establish Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 wing for the night fighter defence of Germany. ww2dbase [Wolfgang Falck | AC]
United Kingdom
  • Cryptologist in Bletchley Park, England broke the Luftwaffe Enigma code. ww2dbase [Enigma Code Broken | Bletchley Park | Milton Keynes, England | TH]
  • In London, England, United Kingdom, a Home Morale Emergency Committee was set up to advise the Ministry of Information on how to combat defeatism in Britain. Its chairman was the diplomat, author and wit, Mr. (later Sir) Harold Nicolson, a junior Minister for Information. Another member of the board was the Director of the National Gallery and future Television presenter, Kenneth (later Lord) Clark. ww2dbase [London, England | AC]
23 May 1940
  • The German 6th Army crossed the Scheldt River in Belgium. In France, British General Lord Gort withdrew his troops from Arras despite being able to halt Rommel's momentum. Elsewhere, German 2nd Panzer Division attacked Boulogne while the German 1st Panzer Division's forward elements reached Calais. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • Submarine Marlin was laid down at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery in Maine, United States. ww2dbase [Marlin | CPC]
Belgium
  • Latvian steam cargo ship Sigurd Faulbaums, now under Belgian control, was being towed by Belgian tugs Baron de Maere and Graaf Visart when she was hit by two torpedoes from German submarine U-9 15 miles northeast of Zeebrugge, Belgium at 1254 hours. The ship broke in half, with the aft portion sinking quickly. Survivors on the fore portion were rescued by Graaf Visart. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | CPC, HM]
France United Kingdom
  • Arrests began for British fascists across the United Kingdom as well as known IRA operatives in Northern Ireland. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Oswald Mosley and 747 other British Union members were arrested (including ninety-six women including Lady Diana) and interned without charge. ww2dbase [Oswald Mosley | AC]
Photo(s) dated 23 May 1940
British prisoners of war in Calais, France, May 1940; note Panzer I light tank in foreground
24 May 1940

Atlantic Ocean
  • German aircraft sank British destroyer Wessex off the coast of Calais, France. ww2dbase [TH]
  • At 0248 hours, the unescorted neutral 3,994-ton Greek cargo steamer Kyma was struck by a torpedo from German submarine U-37 when sailing about 175 miles south of Cape Clear Island, Ireland and about 200 miles west of Brest, France. The attack was made without warning and despite the neutrality markings. Victor Oehrn, the German commander, regarded he ship as heading for an enemy port within the blockade area. The ship was carrying 6,000 tons of maize and 90 tons of trucks to Avonmouth, Bristol, England, United Kingdom from Rosario, Argentina. The survivors abandoned the Kyma in a lifeboat which was spotted by an aircraft from St Eval, Cornwall, England and the sloop HMS Enchantress (L 56) broke away from the convoy to pick them up. Seven of the 30 crew were lost. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | CPC, HM]
  • French destroyer Chacal, under command of Commander J. E. N. Estieene, was sunk in the English Channel off Boulogne, France by German aircraft. ww2dbase [English Channel | HM]
Belgium Brazil
  • The President of Panama expressed support for the Dominican Republic in terms of the 8 Mar 1940 incident where a Canadian destroyer attacked German freighter Hannover in Dominic Republic's territorial waters. He called for the Chairman of the Inter-American Neutrality Committee in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to investigate this violation of the Pan-American Neutrality Zone. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | CPC]
France
  • In France, the German 10th Panzer Division began an attack on Calais and captured the town of Boulogne (capturing 5,000 Allied troops), Maubeuge, and Saint-Omer. To the north, the German 1st Panzer Division reached the Aa Canal 10 miles from Dunkerque in an attempt to cut off the Allied troops in Belgium. At this key moment, Adolf Hitler interfered and ordered the tanks to pull back; he was promised by Hermann G√∂ring that the Luftwaffe would be able to prevent the Allied evacuation from taking place; German Army generals protested, but to no avail. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • British Lieutenant Christopher Furness, the son of Viscount Furness, was killed in hand to hand fighting near Arras, France after his Bren gun carrier group engaged a vastly superior enemy force in order to allow a convoy to escape. He was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. ww2dbase [Arras, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | AC]
  • Walter Grabmann was liberated by German troops in France. ww2dbase [Walter Grabmann | CPC]
  • The Polish destroyer Burza was ordered to join the British destroyers HMS Vimiera (L 29) and HMS Wessex (D 43) and shell German positions in Calais area on the French coast. At 1620 hours the Allied vessels opened fire on a German armoured column at Sangatte Hill, west of Calais. Ten minutes later they were attacked by 27 German aircraft which hit and sank HMS Wessex about 5 miles off of the coast. HMS Vimiera managed to escape. Then the entire enemy air group concentrated on the Polish destroyer. The two 40-millimeter anti-aircraft guns jammed due to shrapnel hits. Three bombs exploded in the water and they caused boiler damage and loss of speed. The commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Wojciech Francki, ordered to emergency launch the torpedoes and drop all depth charges, trying to avoid additional explosions. Shortly after this, two bombs hit the Burza and badly damaged her. However the airplanes had dropped all of their bombs and broke off the attack. The crew managed to stop the leakage and return to Dover, England, United Kingdom. One German airplane was shot down during the action. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Burza | Calais, Nord-Pas de Calais | HM]
  • The 2,939-ton passenger steamship Brighton, in service with the British Admiralty as a hospital ship, was bombed and sunk by German aircraft at Dieppe, France. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Dieppe, Haute-Normandie | HM]
United Kingdom
  • The British War Cabinet issued the order to withdraw the British troops in Norway in light of the situation in France. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
25 May 1940
  • British trade union executives accepted Aneurin Bevan's proposal for the Labour Supply Board and Production Council. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The first transport of prisoners arrived at the Mauthausen-Gusen Concentration Camp in occupied Austria region of southern Germany. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • Illustrious was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Illustrious | CPC]
  • Crown Prince Yi Un was made the commanding officer of the Japanese 4th Division. ww2dbase [Yi Un | CPC]
  • Captain Richard F. J. Onslow was named the commanding officer of HMS Hermes, relieving Captain F. E. P. Hutton. ww2dbase [Hermes | CPC]
  • General Maxime Weygand confirmed General Georges Blanchard as the new commander of the French First Army. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • B√©arn made rendezvous with light cruisers Jeanne d'Arc and √Čmile Bertin in the Atlantic Ocean and transferred French central bank gold bullions to the light cruisers, which would carry them to Canada. ww2dbase [B√©arn | CPC]
France
  • Adolf Hitler continued to hold off his tanks from engaging on an offensive even though those armored division were merely 10 miles from Dunkerque, France. At Calais, France, Heinz Guderian obediently, albeit frustratingly, ordered his tanks to halt per Hitler's orders, but the field commanders continued to push back the British and French troops. In the evening, British Expeditionary Force commanding general Lord Gort began to fall back to Dunkerque. On the same day, the French Army relieved 15 generals of their commands. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Dunkerque, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | TH]
United Kingdom
  • At a meeting with Winston Churchill, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, General Sir Edmund Ironside, agreed to accept the position of Commander-in-Chief Home Forces. He would be suceeded by as CIGS by his deputy, Sir John Dill. ww2dbase [AC]
United States
  • A unit of the newly formed US Marine Corps Defense Battalions began the Minor Landing and Base Defense Exercise at San Clemente Island, California, United States. ww2dbase [San Clemente Island, California | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 25 May 1940
French troops and H35 tanks advancing through a damaged village during the invasion of France, 25 May 1940.
26 May 1940
  • In Britain, Empire Day was declared as a national day of prayer. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German Ju 88 aircraft attacked and sank British anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Curlew off Narvik, Norway, killing 9. HMS Curlew was equipped with the only early warning radar set. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • German submarines U-13 departed Kiel, Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarines U-48 departed Kiel, Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Minister in Uruguay Edwin C. Wilson, in a telegram to US Secretary of State Cordell Hull, reported tension between the Uruguayan and German governments as the Germans were accusing the Uruguayan police in mistreating German citizens living in Uruguay. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMS Eagle arrived in the Mediterranean Sea. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
China
  • 36 Japanese G3M2 Model 21 bombers, plus bombers of other types, and accompanied by three C5M reconnaissance aircraft (Navy's version of Ki-15 aircraft) attacked Chongqing, China. Lieutenant Yuan Chin-han, flying a Hawk III fighter, damaged a G3M2 Model 21 bomber over western Chongqing. Captain Chen Sheng-hsing and Lieutenant Gao Youxin, flying I-15bis fighters, shared the credit for downing another bomber. ww2dbase [Gao Youxin | Chongqing | CPC]
France
  • At Dunkerque, France, British Expeditionary Force commanding general Lord Gort received the formal authorization for a withdraw; Operation Dynamo, the code name of the massive evacuation, was headed by British Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsey. Meanwhile, Adolf Hitler rescinded the order to halt the offensive near Dunkerque. At Calais, after a heavy aerial and field artillery bombardment, German troops crossed the canals and moved toward the Citadel; at 1600 hours, Brigadier Claude Nicholson surrendered. Elsewhere, the French 1st Army was nearly encircled by the Germans, while the Belgians was pushed back to the Leie/Lys River. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Dunkerque, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | CPC]
  • General Maxime Weygand issued his Ordre G√©n√©ral d'Operation No. 1184 3/FT: "The battle on which the fate of the country depends will be fought without any idea of retreat, on the line which we hold today." ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Maxime Weygand | AC]
  • By this date, the French Army had taken delivery of 432 37L tracked carriers. ww2dbase [37L | CPC]
Italy
  • Benito Mussolini informed the Chief of Supreme Staff, Marshal Pietro Badoglio, and Governor of Libya, Marshal Italo Balbo, that he had told Adolf Hitler of his intentions to declare war on England and France after 5 June. Badoglio was horrified and protested vehemently that crippling shortages of equipment in the Italian Army made a such a military adventure a very risky business. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Benito Mussolini | AC]
United Kingdom
  • In the United Kingdom, General Sir John Dill became Chief of the Imperial General Staff and Sir Edmund Ironside became Commander-in-Chief of Home Defense. ww2dbase [John Dill | TH]
  • United Kingdom government declared the coastal regions from Folkestone to Great Yarmouth designated evacuation areas. ww2dbase [TH]
Photo(s) dated 26 May 1940
British Cruiser Mk IV tank at Huppy, France, 26-29 May 1940British Cruiser Mk IV tank crew repairing tank track, Blangy-sur-Ternoise, France, 26-29 May 1940
27 May 1940
  • The British sugar ration was reduced from 12 ounce to 8 ounce per person. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British government abandoned the notion to introduce conscription to Northern Ireland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German tanks and aircraft maintained pressure on the Allies in France, pushing them back four miles toward the coast and placing Dunkirk within artillery range; meanwhile, the first 7,669 British troops were evacuated from Dunkirk. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • Troops of the German 3rd SS Panzer Totenkopf Division, commanded by Hauptsturmf√ľhrer Fritz Kn√∂chlein, massacred 97 British prisoners of war by machine gun fire at the village of Le Paradis in France. Two survivors of the massacre would later provide testimony during the post-war war crimes trials against Kn√∂chlein. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-37 sank British ship Sheaf Mead 150 miles west of Cape Finisterre, Spain; 32 men were killed and 5 were rescued. U-37 also forced the Argentinian ship Uruguay to scuttle; 15 men became missing and presumed dead, and 13 were rescued. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Erwin Rommel was awarded the Knight Cross medal. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
  • Werner M√∂lders claimed his 19th and 20th victories southwest of Amiens, France; the victims were both P-36 fighters. ww2dbase [Werner M√∂lders | CPC]
  • British General Edmund Ironside stepped down from the position of the Chief of the Imperial General Staff. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • James Lacey shot down two German He 111 bombers. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
Belgium
  • King Leopold III of Belgium offered surrender terms to Germany and decided to remain in the country. Germany responded at 2200 hours, demanding an unconditional surrender. ww2dbase [Leopold III | TH]
China Germany Norway
  • German Luftwaffe aircraft attacked Bod√ł, Norway, rendering 3,500 of the town's 6,000 residents homeless. 2 British servicemen and 13 Norwegian civilians were killed. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Bod√ł, Nordland | CPC]
United States
  • The keel of light cruiser Juneau was laid down by Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Kearny, New Jersey, United States. ww2dbase [Juneau | Kearny, New Jersey | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 27 May 1940
Posted notices in Calais, France just before German occupation, 27 May 1940Dead British soldiers in Calais, France, at 1330 hours on 27 May 1940; note Bedford MW truckDestroyed British Cruiser Mk IV tank near Huppy and Saint-Maxent, France, on or shortly after 27 May 1940
28 May 1940
  • German submarine U-37 sank French liner Brazza 100 miles west of Cape Finisterre, Spain at 0924 hours, killing 79 crew and 300 passengers. 53 crew and 144 passengers were later rescued by French gunboat Enseigne Henry and British armed merchant cruiser HMS Cheshire. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The National Defense Advisory Committee was established in the United States as a group of advisors for US President Roosevelt. Its membership included business and industry leaders such as William Knudsen, Edward Stettinius, and Sidney Hillman and academics such as economist Leon Henderson. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • American ambassador to France, William Bullitt, sent a telegram to the United States asking President Roosevelt to dispatch a cruiser to Bordeaux, France to bring weapons for the French police to quell a feared "Communist uprising" and to embark French and Belgian gold reserves. Heavy cruiser USS Vincennes would sortie from Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States with destroyers USS Truxtun and USS Simpson in response to the ambassador's request. ww2dbase [Vincennes | CPC]
Belgium
  • King Leopold III of Belgium officially surrendered unconditionally to Germany at 0400 hours; he made this decision without consulting his government nor the Allied nations. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
China France
  • In France, 11,874 Allied personnel were evacuated from Dunkerque harbor and 5,930 from the nearby beaches; the latter was possible due to the arrival of many small fishing boats and pleasure craft. At Lille, seven German Divisions trapped the 40,000-strong French First Army. At Abbeville, the crew of French Char B1 Bis tank "Jeanne d'Arc" gallantly fought on against a German attack despite receiving 90 hits. Across the front lines, between eighty and ninety British prisoners of the 2nd Warwickshire Regiment, the Cheshire Regiment, and the Royal Artillery were murdered by members of No. 7 Company, 2nd Battalion SS Liebstandarte at Wormhoudt, France. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH, AC]
Norway
  • Allied forces consisted of British, French, Norwegian, and Polish troops attacked Narvik, Norway across the Rombaksfjord and by land starting at 0015 hours. German aircraft did not arrived until 0430 hours, but they were able to force the Allied fleet to withdraw after damaging cruiser HMS Cairo (killing 10 and wounding 7). At 1200 hours, Allied troops captured the city. German troops withdrew to nearby hills. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Narvik | TH]
Photo(s) dated 28 May 1940
French soldiers firing 75mm cannon against German armor at Dunkirk, late May 1940British trawler rescuing Allied troops escaping from Dunkirk, France, May 1940
29 May 1940
  • Allies evacuated 33,558 men from the harbor at Dunkirk, France and 13,752 from the nearby beaches. German aircraft interfered, attacking ships in the sea as well as men waiting on the docks. Destroyer HMS Grenade was hit by three bombs, one of which went down her funnel, in Dunkirk harbor and sank, killing 19. Destroyer HMS Jaguar was badly damaged by a bomb, killing 13 and wounding 19. Minesweeper HMS Waverley, with 600 troops already aboard, was sunk by a bomb, killing 350. Elsewhere in France, German troops captured Lille, Ostend, and Ypres. Also on the same day, French auxiliary cruiser Ville d'Oran took on 200 tons of gold from the French reserve for shipment to Casablanca, French Morocco. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • German torpedo boat S-30 sank British destroyer HMS Wakeful 13 miles north of Nieuwpoort, Belgium at 0040 hours, killing 97 crew and 640 solders rescued from Dunkirk, France. 25 crew and 1 soldier were rescued by minesweepers HMS Gossamer and HMS Lydd, destroyer HMS Grafton, and armed trawler HMS Comfort. Later in the day, German submarine U-62 torpedoed HMS Grafton, killing 4; destroyer HMS Ivanhoe scuttled HMS Grafton after rescuing the survivors. Nearby, HMS Comfort was mistaken for another German torpedo boat and was rammed by HMS Lydd, killing 4 crew and 2 soldiers. ww2dbase [TH]
  • German submarine U-37 sank French steamer Marie Jos√© and British oil tanker Telena off Cape Finisterre, Spain. 18 were killed and 18 survivors were later rescued by Spanish fishing boats. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Werner M√∂lders was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, the first fighter pilot to receive this award. ww2dbase [Werner M√∂lders | CPC]
  • No. 264 Squadron RAF based at Manston, England, United Kingdom claimed no less than thirty-eight enemy aircraft destroyed in a single day. The Luftwaffe fighter pilots having mistaken No. 264 Squadron's two-seat Defiant fighters for Hurricane fighters and had dived on the supposedly defenceless tails of the British fighters only to be greeted by a withering concentration of fire. By the end of the month No. 264 Squadron's Defiant fighters would have claimed some sixty-five kills, but the German pilots had learned from their mistakes and adopted new tactics to deal with the Defiant fighters. ww2dbase [P.82 Defiant | AC]
  • Friedrich Christiansen became the commanding officer of the German military in the Netherlands. ww2dbase [Friedrich Christiansen | CPC]
France
  • The 393-ton former Royal Mail Steam Packet Company paddle steamer Gracie Fields, serving in the capacity of a minesweeper since 1939, was hit by a bomb on her second trip to Dunkerque, France. Eight of her crew died in the attack. The ship remained afloat and an effort to tow her back to Britain would be mounted. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Dunkerque, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | HM]
Photo(s) dated 29 May 1940
British troops in a ship off of Dunkirk, France, late May 1940US Senator Morris Sheppard, Major General George Lynch, and Senator A. B. Chandler comparing M1941 Johnson rifles and the M1 Garand rifles, Washington, DC, United States, 29 May 1940German Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers in flight, 29 May 1940
30 May 1940
  • The British Admiralty ordered all modern destroyers to leave Dunkerque, France due to the previous day's losses by German Luftwaffe, leaving 18 older destroyers to continue the evacuation; 24,311 were rescued from the harbor and 29,512 were rescued from the nearby beaches on this date. Despite poor weather, German aircraft damaged destroyers HMS Anthony and HMS Sabre, minesweeper HMS Kellet, armed boarding vessel HMS King Orry, and steamers St. Julien & Normannia. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • Allied troops began pushing German troops from the Narvik, Norway region back toward the Swedish border. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • President Roosevelt rejected a request from US Ambassador to France William Bullitt of 28 May 1940, which asked for an American fleet to move into the Mediterranean Sea. Secretary of State Cordell Hull, who communicated the rejection to Bullitt, added that the "presence of the fleet in the Pacific at this time is a very practical contribution to the maintenance of peace in the Pacific". ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • US Minister in Uruguay Edwin C. Wilson reported to his superiors Washington DC, United States noting Nazi German leanings in the public sentiment. ww2dbase [CPC]
Belgium
  • The 1,298-ton French destroyer Bourrasque was steaming away from the French coast with 600 French soldiers that it had picked up. A captured coastal gun section at Nieupoort, Belgium opened fire and hit the ship as she steered five miles from the harbour buoy. The Bourrasque took on water rapidly after an explosion in the stern area. Panic broke out amongst the overcrowded soldiers and many had to jump into the sea after lifeboats either failed to launch or capsized. Ships in the area came in to help and some 550 sailors and soldiers were pulled to safety, many covered in oil and injured. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC, HM]
France
  • German submarine U-101 struck unescorted 4,831-ton British merchant steamer Stanhall on the starboard side under the bridge with one torpedo 35 miles north-northwest of Ushant, Finist√®re, Bretagne, France at 1925 hours, killing 1. She sank within eleven minutes. 36 survivors, including the master, were rescued by British steamer Temple Moat, and they would later be landed at Weymouth, England, United Kingdom. The ship was carrying 7,630 tons of raw sugar and 350 tons of onions. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Ushant, Bretagne | CPC, HM]
  • The 3,236-ton French steamship Monique Schiaffino was bombed and sunk by German aircraft on at Dunkerque, France. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Dunkerque, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | HM]
  • The 393-ton former Royal Mail Steam Packet Company paddle steamer Gracie Fields, serving in the capacity of a minesweeper since 1939 and damaged off Dunkerque, France on the previous day, sank while under tow early in the morning. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Dunkerque, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | HM]
  • The Devonia, a side paddle steamer that had previously been requisitioned by the British Admiralty, came under heavy artillery fire and bombs from Stuka dive bombers as she approached the embarkation jetty by the beaches at Dunkerque, France. The ship had to be abandoned and beached. Her wreckage is still to be found on the beach. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Dunkerque, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | HM]
Italy
  • Benito Mussolini advised Adolf Hitler that Italy was ready to enter the war. ww2dbase [Benito Mussolini | TH]
Japan
  • The keel of unnamed transport ship No. 74 was laid down at Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation's shipyard at Kobe, Japan. ww2dbase [Irako | Kobe, Hyogo | CPC]
Norway
  • The 291-ton German armed trawler V-1109 (ex-Antares, built 1929) sank after hitting a mine laid by the British submarine HMS Narwhal on 11 May 1940 off Bud, Norway. Eighteen men were rescued but seventeen were missing, including the Norwegian pilot. ww2dbase [Bud, Romsdal | HM]
United Kingdom
  • Operation Fish: British battleship HMS Revenge, troop transport HMS Antonia, and troop transport HMS Duchess of Richmond with ¬£40 million, ¬£10 million, and ¬£10 million in gold, respectively, departed from Britain for Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The gold was destined for the vaults of the Bank of Canada in Ottowa for safe keeping during war time. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The 338-ton British Boom defence vessel Cambrian, built in 1924 by Cochrane & Sons Shipbuilders Ltd. and owned at the time of her loss by British Royal Navy, was sunk by a mine at Spithead roadstead in southern England, United Kingdom whilst attending the Solent Boom. 23 people lost their lives. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Spithead, England | HM]
Photo(s) dated 30 May 1940
Allied troops aboard the ship Guinean after being evacuated during Operation Ariel, off Western France, late May 1940Destroyed British Cruiser Mk IV tank in France, on or shortly after 30 May 1940
31 May 1940
  • British sloop HMS Weston sank German submarine U-13 with depth charges 14 miles southeast of Lowestoft, England. The entire crew of 26 were taken prisoner. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-101 attacked Allied convoy HG-31F and sank British ship Orangemoor with 8,150 tons of iron on board west of Guernsey, killing 18. The convoy's escorts attacked U-101 with 41 depth charges over the course of 8 hours; the submarine survived the attack. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Ambassador to Argentina Norman Armour and US Minister in Uruguay Edwin C. Wilson met in Montevideo, Uruguay regarding the deteriorating political situation in Uruguay. They jointly requested Secretary of State Cordell Hull to ask President Roosevelt to sent 40 to 50 warships to the eastern coast of South America as a show of force to prevent Uruguay from partnering with Germany. Later in the day, Hull would inform them that heavy cruiser USS Quincy was dispatched for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil per their suggestion, and she would visit Montevideo on the journey. State Department official Laurence Duggan would suggest Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles to publicize USS Quincy's South American tour. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND joined escort at Capetown for military convoy US3 taking ANZAC troops to UK. ww2dbase [Cumberland | DS]
Belgium
  • No. 829 Squadron FAA took their newly issued Fairey Albacore aircraft into action for the first time with attacks on German E-boats off Zeebrugge, Belgium and road and rail targets at Westende, Belgium. ww2dbase [AC]
France
  • Poor weather clouded over Dunkerque, France, giving the British a chance to bring in modern destroyers into the area to assist the evacuation with less fear of German air attacks; 68,014 (45,072 from harbor and 22,942 from beaches) were rescued on this date, including British Expeditionary Force commanding general Lord Gort. French destroyer Leopart and British destroyers HMS Express, HMS Icarus, HMS Keith, and HMS Winchelsea were damaged by German aerial bombing. German torpedo boats damaged French destroyers Sirocco and Cyclone; Sirocco was finished off by German aircraft, killing 59 crew and 600 troops. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Dunkerque, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | TH]
  • UK Prime Minister Churchill traveled to Paris, France for a Supreme Allied War Council meeting. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | Paris | TH]
  • US-built DB-7 medium bombers of the French Air Force saw combat for the first time against German columns near Saint-Quentin in the Picardy Region of northeastern France. ww2dbase [A-20 Havoc | Saint-Quentin, Picardy | CPC]
  • Oliver Leese was evacuated from a beach near Dunkerque, France. ww2dbase [Oliver Leese | Dunkerque, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Without regard to her own safety, WAAF Corporal Daphne Pearson pulled Pilot Officer Bond, from his crashed Anson aircraft at RAF Detling, Kent, England, United Kingdom moments before the 120-pound bombs still on board exploded. For her selfless bravery, Corporal Pearson would be awarded the British Empire Medal for gallantry (later exchanged for the George Cross ‚Äď the first George Cross awarded to a woman) and a Commission. ww2dbase [Detling, England | AC]
  • In Britain the government (through the newly created Home Defence [Security] Executive) granted Chief Constables the right to intern any German or Austrian men or women where grounds existed for doubting their reliability. ww2dbase [AC]
US Pacific Islands
  • The US Marine Corps 14th Naval District dispatched Captain Samuel G. Taxis to survey Midway Atoll with a small reconnaissance party for the planning of building a US Marine Corps presence there. ww2dbase [Midway Bases | Midway | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 31 May 1940
Aerial view of the destruction at Rotterdam, circa late May 1940Troops of the Japanese 18th Infantry Regiment at the west bank of the Han River, Battle of Zaoyang-Yichang, China, 31 May 1940; note Type 11 light machine gunsOil tanks on fire in the port of Calais, France, set aflame by retreating Allied troops, at 1530 hours on 31 May 1940Sand dunes on the beaches near Calais, France, 31 May 1940; note grave of a soldier to the right
See all photos dated 31 May 1940
1 Jun 1940
  • Overnight, British troops pulled out of the defensive line around Durkirk, France and headed for the ships, leaving French troops to hold a reduced perimeter. After day break, German bombing sank French destroyer Le Foudroyant (killing 19), British destroyers HMS Basilisk (killing 9; scuttled by destroyer HMS Whitehall), HMS Havant (killing 8, scuttled by minesweeper HMS Saltash), and HMS Keith (killing 36). British minesweeper HMS Skipjack was bombed after embarking 275 soldiers from the beach, taking down 19 crew and most of the boarded soldiers. British steamer Scotia was bombed and sunk, killing 32 crew and 200 to 300 soldiers. 47,081 Allied troops were evacuated from the harbor and 17,348 from the beaches. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • British unemployment figure decreased by 92,000 in May 1940 to 881,000. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The wreck of British trawler HMS Warwickshire, sunk by aircraft on 30 Apr 1940 off Trondheim, Norway, was raised and put into service. She would remain in German service until sunk by Soviet submarine S-56 on 19 Jul 1943. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-37 sank Greek ship Ioanna 120 miles west of Cape Finisterre, Spain at 2300 hours. The entire crew survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US freighter Charles R. McCormick departed Bergen, Norway for the United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Lord Gort was made the aide-de-camp to King George VI. ww2dbase [John Vereker | CPC]
  • Heinz Guderian was named the commander of Panzer Group Guderian. ww2dbase [Heinz Guderian | AC]
  • Douglas Bader achieved his first kill, which was a German Bf 109 fighter. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | AC]
  • Slovakia established diplomatic relationship with the Japanese-sponsored puppet state of Manchukuo. ww2dbase [CPC]
France
  • French industrial targets in the Rh√īne Valley were bombed by the German Luftwaffe. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • Under a heavy German air raid at Dunkerque, France, Sergeant George Benton, RAMC, was carrying wounded men on stretchers to a ship at the East Mole when a bomb blew a hole in the walkway. Unflinching, he calmly placed a stretcher over the gap and carried on with the evacuation of the wounded. ww2dbase [Dunkerque, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | AC]
Germany
  • Fleet tender Carl Peters was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Carl Peters | CPC]
Norway
  • British troops at Narvik, Norway began evacuating to reinforce Britain itself from a potential invasion. British ambassador to Norway Sir Cecil Dormer informed Norwegian King Haakon VII of the news and recommended the royal family and the government to evacuate as well. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | TH]
United Kingdom
  • Signposts were taken down throughout Britain to prevent use by possible enemy parachutists. ww2dbase [TH]
United States
  • Battleship Washington was launched at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, United States. She was the first American battleship to be launched since the 1921 launching of battleship West Virginia. ww2dbase [Philadelphia Navy Yard | Washington | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | CPC]
  • A unit of the newly formed US Marine Corps Defense Battalions completed the Minor Landing and Base Defense Exercise at San Clemente Island, California, United States. ww2dbase [San Francisco, California | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 1 Jun 1940
Destruction in the waterfront area of Calais, France, at 1230 hours on 1 Jun 1940Destroyed houses and church in Calais, France, afternoon of 1 Jun 1940Aerial view of burned out trucks at Calais, France, 1 Jun 1940Launching of battleship Washington, Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Pennsylvania, United States, 1 Jun 1940, photo 1 of 2
See all photos dated 1 Jun 1940
2 Jun 1940
  • Due to costly air attacks, British Admiralty decided that evacuation from Dunkirk, France would only be undertaken at night, particularly because nearly all British troops had already left Dunkirk by this time. On this date, 19,561 troops were evacuated from the harbor and 6,695 from the beaches. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • German submarine U-101 sank British ship Polycarp 41 miles south of Lands End in southwestern England at 0300 hours. The entire crew of 43 were rescued by French ship Espiguette. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-58 sank British coastal defense vessel HMS Astronomer 20 miles off the northeast coast of Scotland at 0600 hours after a six-hour chase and three torpedoe hits. 4 were killed; 52 civilian crewmen, 1 gunner, and 48 Royal Navy sailors were rescued by anti-submarine trawlers HMS Stoke City and HMS Leicester City. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In Norway, New Zealand Pilot Officer Louis Jacobsen of No. 263 Squadron RAF shot down six enemy bombers while flying a near obsolete Gladiator biplane fighter. Jacobsen himself would be dead in less than a week. ww2dbase [AC]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND on passage to Freetown, British West Africa (now Sierra Leone) with Convoy US3. ww2dbase [Cumberland | DS]
Ireland
  • US ship President Roosevelt departed Galway, Ireland with 720 American citizens fleeing the European war zone. ww2dbase [Galway | CPC]
Italy
  • US passenger liner Manhattan departed Genoa, Italy with 1,905 passengers fleeing the European war zone. ww2dbase [Genova, Liguria | CPC]
Norway
  • The Allies dispatched Polish and French troops to push German troops eastward from Narvik, Norway, while evacuated British troops. Carriers HMS Ark Royal and HMS Glorious provided air cover for the evacuation of 26,000 British troops. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • HMS Glorious provided escort for British RAF bombers attacking German airfields in Norway. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Glorious | CPC]
3 Jun 1940
  • After nightfall, the Allies began to evacuate Narvik, Norway. Through the night and the following day's daybreak, British destroyers and Norwegian fishing boats ferried Allied personnel to six troops transports in various fjords nearby. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | TH]
  • The last group of British troops at Dunkirk, France was evacuated before the break of dawn. At 1050 hours, Royal Navy Captain William Tennant signaled the completion of Operation Dynamo, but he was overruled by this superiors as there were still some French troops in Dunkirk. During the day, the British Admiralty acknowledged that 222 British naval vessels and 665 other craft were employed for the Dunkirk evacuation; 6 destroyers, 24 small armed vessels, and 226 other ships were lost. British ships returned to Dunkirk after night fall. By this time, German troops were only 2 miles away. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • The British government banned aliens and stateless persons in Britain from leaving home between 2230 hours and 0600 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • French armed merchant cruiser Ville D'Oran, with 212 tons of gold from the French reserves, departed from Pauillac, France. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-37 sank Finnish ship Snabb with the deck gun 300 miles west of Cape Finisterre, Spain, killing 1. Greek ship Kyriakoula rescued 20 survivors. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Oak Leaves to the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross award was established in Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
Australia
  • Roberts Dunstan enlisted in the Second Australian Imperial Force. ww2dbase [Roberts Dunstan | CPC]
Egypt
  • Italian cargo ship SS Umbria arrived at Port Said, Egypt from Genoa, Italy with a secret cargo of 6,000 tons of bombs, 600 cases of detonators, 100 tons of various weapons, more than 2,000 tons of cement, and three Fiat 1100 cars aboard. ww2dbase [Port Said | HM]
France Russia
  • Soviet troops began the preparation for the invasion of the Baltic States of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. ww2dbase [Annexation of the Baltic States | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Winston Churchill ordered the formation of commando units for raiding occupied Europe. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | TH]
  • In Britain, an additional regulation to the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act permitted the police to remove all car radios for reasons of national security. ww2dbase [AC]
4 Jun 1940
  • German Admiral Wilhelm Marschall launched Operation Juno, sending Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Admiral Hipper, and several destroyers from Kiel for Norway, aiming at disrupting the Allied supply lines to Narvik. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • Overnight, 26,175 French troops were evacuated from Dunkirk, France. At 1020 hours, German troops occupied the city and captured the 30,000 to 40,000 French troops, 2,000 British field guns, and 60,000 British vehicles. In total, 338,226 Allied personnel were evacuated through Operation Dynamo. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • Churchill delivered the "We shall never surrender" speech to House of Commons. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | TH]
  • The United Kingdom banned any recreational camping within 10 miles of the east and southeastern coasts, including the Isle of Wight. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Konstantin Rokossovsky was promoted to the rank of major general. ww2dbase [Konstantin Rokossovsky | CPC]
  • Douglas Bader, while attacking a German Do 17 aircraft, nearly collided with the target. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
  • In order to maintain the vital link with North America, British Overseas Airways Corporation commenced a twice-weekly air service between Heston, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom and Lisbon, Portugal, to connect with the scheduled Pan-American Airways New York-Lisbon route. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Vasily Kuznetsov was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. ww2dbase [Vasily Kuznetsov | CPC]
Germany
  • French l'Armee d'Aire attacked M√ľnchen (Munich) and Frankfurt in Germany in response to the German bombing of Paris, France on the previous day. ww2dbase [M√ľnchen, M√ľnchen-Oberbayern | TH]
Photo(s) dated 4 Jun 1940
Burning railway car at the rail station in Calais, France, 4 Jun 1940British and French troops awaiting evacuation from the beaches of Dunkirk, France, 4 Jun 1940. Page 1 of 2.British and French troops awaiting evacuation from the beaches of Dunkirk, France, 4 Jun 1940. Page 2 of 2.
5 Jun 1940
  • Germany began the second phase of the invasion of France, Fall Rot. 130 infantry divisions and 10 armored divisions attacked cross the Somme and Aisne Rivers. 66 French divisions attempted to hold the Weygand Line. Across the English Channel, the Allies transported French troops recently evacuated from Dunkirk back into France via ports still under French control; additionally, the Canadian 1st Infantry Division, elements of British 1st Armored Division, and the British 51st Highland Division were also sent to France. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • French General de Gaulle was appointed the Undersecretary of State for War by Prime Minister Reynaud. ww2dbase [Charles de Gaulle | TH]
  • Small groups of mobile armed men called Ironsides, after the Home Defense Commander, were formed in the United Kingdom to protect against enemy parachutists. ww2dbase [TH]
  • 4,900 Allied troops boarded transport ships at Narvik, Norway during the evacuation operation. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • German submarine U-48 shelled and sank British armed merchant ship Stancor 80 miles northwest of Scotland at 1118 hours. The entire crew of 19 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
France United Kingdom
  • In a BBC radio broadcast the noted author J. B. Priestley berated the British Establishment for its lack of planning and amateurish attitudes. ww2dbase [AC]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt ordered US Navy Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Harold Stark to prepare a US Marine Corps brigade for future deployment to Iceland. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | Washington | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 5 Jun 1940
German military camera crew filming in Dunkirk, France shortly after the conquest, Jun 1940View of ruins of Calais, France from a broken shop window, 5 Jun 1940Sun Liren and wife, 5 Jun 1940Aircraft Mechanic Class 2A posing for their graduation photo in front of a B-18 Bolo bomber at Hickam Field, Oahu, US Territory of Hawaii, 5 Jun 1940
6 Jun 1940
  • German 5th and 7th Panzer Divisions bypassed the strongpoints on the French Weygand defensive line, penetrating near Abeville, Amiens, and Petonne. Nevertheless, the French hedgehog defense along the Weygand Line inflicted German tank losses, with the obsolete 75mm field guns performing surprisingly well as anti-tank guns. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • All Austrian and German citizens in the United Kingdom were ordered to turn in privately-owned radios. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The British government banned the manufacture of a large number of household goods. ww2dbase [TH]
  • German submarine U-46 sank the British armed merchant cruiser Carinthia off the coast of Ireland. ww2dbase [TH]
  • 5,100 Allied personnel were transported to troop transports hiding in fjords near Narvik, Norway over the previous night. They then departed the area with about 15,000 troops aboard, escorted by destroyer HMS Arrow and sloop HMS Stork for the first phase of their trip back to Britain. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • German submarine U-46 torpedoed British armed merchant cruiser HMS Carinthia west of Galway Bay, Ireland. Carinthia would remain afloat for another 30 hours before sinking. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Galland was appointed Gruppenkommandeur III/JG 26. ww2dbase [Adolf Galland | AC]
  • Adolf Hitler arrived at the Wolfsschlucht headquarters at Br√Ľly-de-Pesche, Belgium. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
China Egypt
  • Italian cargo ship SS Umbria departed Port Said, Egypt with a secret cargo of 6,000 tons of bombs, 600 cases of detonators, 100 tons of various weapons, more than 2,000 tons of cement, and three Fiat 1100 cars aboard. ww2dbase [Port Said | HM]
Russia Photo(s) dated 6 Jun 1940
Soldiers of Japanese 13th Division crossing a tributary Han River south of Shayangzhen, Hubei, China, 6 Jun 1940
7 Jun 1940
  • French armed merchant cruiser Ville D'Oran arrived at Casablanca in French Morocco with 212 tons of gold from the French reserves. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Rommel's troops marched down the French coast toward Rouen, while Kleist's troops were held up by French defensive lines between Amiens and P√©ronne. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • Between midnight and 0330 hours, at about 10 miles north of Ireland, German submarine U-48 sank British ship Francis Massey (killing 33 and sinking 7,500 tons of iron ore) and damaged British ship Eros (no deaths). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND arrived Freetown, British West Africa (now Sierra Leone). ww2dbase [Cumberland | DS]
France
  • Flying Officer Edgar Kain DFC, the first five-victory fighter ace of the RAF in WW2 was killed in a flying accident in √Čchemines, France. ww2dbase [√Čchemines, Champagne-Ardenne | AC]
Germany Norway
  • King Haakon VII of Norway, Crown Prince Olav, and members of the Norwegian government departed Troms√ł in Northern Norway at 2000 hours aboard British cruiser HMS Devonshire. They were headed for Britain. ww2dbase [Haakon VII | Troms√ł, Troms og Finnmark | TH]
  • The troop transports of British Group II arrived at Narvik, Norway and embarked 5,200 men overnight. Out at sea, troop transports of Group I which had departed Narvik on the previous day were spotted by German aircraft, but they were mis-identified as empty supply ships heading back to Britain, thus spared from attack. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | TH, CPC]
  • British pilots without proper carrier landing training safely landed 10 Gladiator and 8 Hurricane aircraft aboard HMS Glorious, completing the evacuation of 46 and 263 Squadrons RAF from Norway. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | Glorious | AC]
  • Emden departed Oslo, Norway. ww2dbase [Emden | Oslo, √ėstlandet | CPC]
8 Jun 1940
  • French and Polish troops left dummies on the front lines to trick their German foes and fell back into Narvik, Norway for evacuation. British Group II troop transports took on the final 4,600 Allied troops and departed Narvik, escorted by carrier HMS Ark Royal, cruisers HMS Southampton and HMS Coventry, and 11 destroyers. German aircraft conducted nearly continuous attacks on the convoy, while German troops on land quickly realized the situation and moved into Narvik. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • During Operation Juno, German cruiser Admiral Hipper sank British tanker Oil Pioneer and escorting armed trawler HMS Juniper; 20 were killed and 29 survivors were captured by the crew of Admiral Hipper. Admiral Hipper moved on to sink troop transport Orama; 19 were killed and 280 survivors were captured by German destroyers. When Admiral Hipper encountered hospital ship Atlantis, she allowed her to departed unsolicited. ww2dbase [Admiral Hipper | CPC]
  • German 5th and 7th Panzer Divisions crossed the Seine River in France, and the troops of the 5th Panzer Division captured the city of Rouen. To the east, the 14th Panzer Corps broke through at Amiens, but the 16th Panzer Corps continued to be held down in P√©ronne by hedgehogs manned by troops of the French 7th Army. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND√ɬĘ√Ę‚Äö¬¨√Ę‚Äě¬Ęs escort joined by HM Aircraft Carrier HERMES ww2dbase [Hermes | Cumberland | DS]
Arctic Ocean
  • During Operation Juno, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau opened fired on British carrier HMS Glorious and her escorts about 170 miles west of Narvik, Norway at 1630 hours, sinking destroyer HMS Ardent at 1720 hours (killing 151) and the carrier at 1910 hours (1,515 killed, 43 survived). ww2dbase [Gneisenau | Norwegian Sea | CPC]
  • During Operation Juno, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau opened fired on British carrier HMS Glorious and her escorts about 170 miles west of Narvik, Norway at 1630 hours, sinking destroyer HMS Ardent at 1720 hours (killing 151) and the carrier at 1910 hours (1,515 killed, 43 survived). Scharnhorst suffered one torpedo hit by HMS Ardent. ww2dbase [Scharnhorst | Norwegian Sea | CPC]
  • Captain Guy D'Oyly Huges of HMS Glorious failed to launch scouting aircraft as the carrier sailed for Britain, thus was caught unprepared by the arrival of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau (amidst Operation Juno) about 170 miles west of Narvik, Norway. Aircraft aboard Glorious could not be launched to participate in the battle due to flight deck damage. She was sunk by gunfire at 1910 hours. 1,474 naval officers and ratings and 41 RAF personnel were killed, 43 survived. ww2dbase [Glorious | Norwegian Sea | CPC]
Germany Photo(s) dated 8 Jun 1940
Troops of 2nd Battalion of 23rd Infantry Regiment of Japanese 13th Division fighting in Sha, Hubei, China, 8 Jun 1940Scharnhorst firing her forward guns against HMS Glorious, in the Norwegian Sea west of Narvik, Norway, 8 Jun 1940
9 Jun 1940
  • The Norwegian 6th Division, essentially the last Norwegian unit still actively fighting the German invasion, surrendered to the Germans. An armistice was to take effect at midnight. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • American cruiser USS Vincennes and destroyers USS Truxton and USS Simpson arrived at Casablanca, French Morocco. They began taking on what would be 200 tons of gold from the French reserves to be brought back to the United States for safekeeping. ww2dbase [Vincennes | CPC]
  • British hospital ship Atlantis made rendezvous with battleship HMS Valiant at 1030 hours and reported the sinking of troop transport Orama by German cruiser Admiral Hipper on the previous day. This was the first time the British Admiralty had solid information on the German sortie known as Operation Juno, which had already completed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-46 sank Finnish ship Margareta 350 miles west of Cape Finisterre, Spain at 1300 hours, killing 5. 19 survivors would remain adrift in a lifeboat for four more days before being rescued. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyer USS Dickerson departed Casablanca, French Morocco with American passengers for Lisbon, Portugal, where they would board US passenger liner Washington for Ireland and then the United States. ww2dbase [AC]
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
  • The Italian passenger-cargo ship SS Umbria with a secret cargo of 6,000 tons of bombs, 600 cases of detonators, 100 tons of various weapons, more than 2,000 tons of cement, and three Fiat 1100 cars aboard, was stopped by British warships HMS Grimsby and HMS Leander in the Red Sea. The captain of the Umbria, Muiesan Lorenzo, was unaware that war had been declared between the Allies and Italy until the ship had been stopped. The British ordered the ship to anchor off Silayet Reef outside of Port Sudan, Sudan. The captain then set scuttling charges without the British guards knowing and then asked if he could run an emergency training session for his crew to launch lifeboats. The British guard agreed, once the crews were clear explosions were heard and the Umbria started to sink, attempts were made to stop the ship taking on water but to no avail and the guards had to radio for help. ww2dbase [Port Sudan | HM]
France
  • The German 7th Panzer Division under Rommel pushed the French 10th Army and British 51st Highland Division to the sea at St-Valery-en-Caux, France. To the east, the 14th Panzer Corps under Kleist advanced near Amiens, but his 16th Panzer Corp remained held down at P√©ronne. Further east, Guderian's tanks attacked toward Reims. French General Weygand announced that the battle was lost and France should attempt to negotiate an armistice. Meanwhile, the French government evacuated Paris, France. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Paris | CPC]
  • James Lacey was forced to crash land into a swamp in France, which near drowning him. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
Russia
  • The Soviet Union issued the order for its military to complete preparations for the invasion of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia by 12 Jun 1940. ww2dbase [Annexation of the Baltic States | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 9 Jun 1940
HMS Hermes and HMS Dorsetshire escorting convoy US.3 with Australian and New Zealand troops on board, Atlantic Ocean, 9 Jun 1940British Cruiser Mk IV tank on the back of a Scammell tank transporter at Le Neubourg, France, circa 9 Jun 1940
10 Jun 1940
  • Norway surrendered to Germany. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | TH]
  • Italy declared war on France and the United Kingdom, to be effective on the following day. ww2dbase [TH]
  • American cruiser USS Vincennes and destroyers USS Truxton and USS Simpson departed Casablanca, French Morocco for the United States with 200 tons of gold from the French reserves. ww2dbase [Vincennes | CPC]
  • German aircraft attacked and sank British armed boarding vessel HMS Vandyck off Andenes, Norway, killing 7. 161 survivors were taken prisoner after reaching shore. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British transport ships of Group I reached Clyde, Scotland at 0600 hours with troops evacuated from Narvik, Norway. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Franklin Roosevelt gave a speech at the graduation ceremony of the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, declaring that the Italian declaration of war on France was like "the hand that held the dagger has struck it in the back of its neighbor". His son, Franklin Roosevelt, Jr., was among those who received degrees that day. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Destroyer USS O'Brien arrived at Bahia, Brazil during her shakedown cruise. ww2dbase [O'Brien | CPC]
  • Winston Churchill dismissed Major General Vernon Kell and appointed his deputy, Brigadier Oswald Harker, as Director-General of the Security Service (MI5). ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | AC]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND√ɬĘ√Ę‚Äö¬¨√Ę‚Äě¬Ęs log reports HMS HERMES detached. ww2dbase [Hermes | Cumberland | DS]
Canada
  • Canada declared war on Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
China Czechoslovakia France
  • Erwin Rommel's troops continued to march down the French coast, now west of Paris, France. To the east, 1st Panzer Division, under the overall command of Heinz Guderian, was attacked belatedly in its flanks by 86 Char B and Hotchkiss 35/39 tanks of French 3rd Division Cuirasse de Reserve (DCR) at Juniville; the French armor advanced two miles destroying about 100 German armored fighting vehicles and rescuing an encircled infantry regiment before numbers told. Guderian himself, serving at a captured anti-tank gun, found the Char B tank impervious to repeated 47mm shell hits. The small French success at Juniville did not remove the threat that Guderian's forces posed on Chalons-sur-Marne and Paris beyond, however, thus the French government was relocated to Tours, declaring Paris an open city. In Operation Cycle, 3,321 Allied troops embarked aboard ships at St-Valery-en-Caux for evacuation, and 11,059 embarked ships at Le Havre to be transferred to Cherbourg for continued fighting. Off of Le Havre, British destroyers HMS Bulldog and HMS Boadicea were damaged by aircraft, killing 6. HMS Bulldog would have to be towed back and remained out of commission until Feb 1941. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC, AC]
Germany Malta
  • British submarine HMS Grampus departed Malta to mine the port of Augusta, Sicily, Italy. ww2dbase [HM]
Portugal
  • Rear Admiral David M. LeBreton relieved Rear Admiral Charles E. Courtney as Commander of US Navy Squadron 40-T on board light cruiser USS Trenton at Lisbon, Portugal. ww2dbase [Lisbon | CPC]
  • US passenger liner Washington arrived at Lisbon, Portugal to embark Americans desiring passage to the United States via Ireland. Destroyer USS Dickerson arrived from French Morocco with Americans who wished to board the passenger liner. ww2dbase [Lisbon | CPC]
11 Jun 1940
  • German 7th Panzer Division under Rommel captured Le Havre, France, then turned back and drove 30 miles to the northeast to St-Valery-en-Caux, where the German troops succeeded in encircling 46,000 French and British troops. Elsewhere in northern France, troops under Guderian captured Rheims. In the south, Italian troops began crossing the Alps toward the French border. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Foreign Minister Anthony Eden traveled to France for a Supreme War Council meeting at Chateau du Muguet near Briare. Churchill, detecting feelings of defeat, reminded the French that the 28 Mar agreement noted that none of the two countries could seek a separate peace with Germany without the other country's consent. During this meeting, French Navy Admiral Fran√ßois Darlan assured Churchill that the French fleet would not fall into German hands. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • British law dictated that all British citizens who owned an Anderson shelter must have it installed by this date. ww2dbase [Anderson Shelter | TH]
  • RAF aircraft attacked German vessels at Trondheim, Norway. ww2dbase [TH]
  • German submarines U-48 and U-101 sank Greek ships Violando N. Goulandris and Mount Hymettus off Cape Finisterre, Spain. Nearby, U-46 torpedoed British tanker Athelprince, but failed to sink her; Athelprince would be salvaged and returned to service by Jan 1941. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa declared war on Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Due to the Italian entry into the European War, US President Roosevelt declared the Mediterranean Sea and mouth of Red Sea to be combat zones for American ships in accordance with the Neutrality Act. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Churchill sent a telegram to US President Roosevelt urging the US to send more destroyers to the United Kingdom especially in light of the Italian entry into the European War. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • US passenger liner Washington, en route from Lisbon, Portugal to Galway, Ireland with 1,020 Americans passengers aboard, was stopped by German submarine U-101 as the German submarine misidentified her as a Greek ship. After her identity became clear via blinker signals, U-101 allowed Washington to continue with her journey. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The first Hurricane Mk II prototype aircraft, actually a converted production Mk I example, took its first flight. ww2dbase [Hurricane | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Norwegian trawler Borgund rescued 37 survivors of sunken HMS Glorious and 2 survivors of sunken HMS Acasta. ww2dbase [Glorious | CPC]
France Germany
  • Fleet tender Adolf L√ľderitz was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Adolf L√ľderitz | CPC]
Italy Libya
  • Before dawn, just hours after Italy had entered the war, a squadron of elderly Rolls-Royce armoured cars from the 11th Hussars, the light cavalry of the British 7th Armoured Division, crossed "the wire", a fence built by Italian engineers along the 400 miles of the border between Libya and Egypt. The cars spread out and the raid penetrated deep into Italian territory attacking Italian frontier positions in Cyrenaica. One troop shot up the Italian camp at Fort Capuzzo, another hit Fort Maddalena, while a third ambushed a small convoy. Although few casualties were inflicted the 11th Hussars returned home jubilant and unhurt. Thereafter the Hussars searched in vain but the Italians preferred to remain behind the barricades of their superbly designed fortresses. ww2dbase [CPC, AC]
Malta
  • Ten Italian Z.1007 Alcione bombers attacked Grand Harbour, RAF Hal Far, and Kalafrana in Malta, killing 1 civilian and 6 soldiers. RAF Hal Far was the first of the three major Malta airfields to be attacked during the war. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | RAF Hal Far | Hal Far | TH, CPC]
12 Jun 1940
  • British transports of Group II arrived in the Clyde, Scotland at 2300 hours with troops evacuated from Narvik, Norway. The French troops evacuated were later sent to Brest and Lorient to join the fight against the invading German forces. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Commander-in-Chief of Home Defense of the United Kingdom Edmond Ironside completed a plan for defense against a potential German invasion. ww2dbase [TH]
  • German submarine U-101 sank British ship Earlspark off Cape Finisterre, Spain at 1200 hours, killing 7 and sinking 7,500 tons of coal. Also off Cape Finisterre, U-46 sank British ship Barbara Marie at 1938 hours, killing 32 and sinking 7,200 tons of iron ore, and then sinking Willowbank at 1946 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Navy Department of the United States placed contracts for 22 new warships. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Japan-Thailand Non-Aggression Pact was announced. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Quincy arrived at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • The Soviet Baltic Fleet received orders to blockade Estonia. ww2dbase [Annexation of the Baltic States | CPC]
  • Friedrich-Wilhelm M√ľller was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class medal. ww2dbase [Friedrich-Wilhelm M√ľller | CPC]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND√ɬĘ√Ę‚Äö¬¨√Ę‚Äě¬Ęs escort Joined by HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE until 14th June when replaced by ships from Home Fleet including HM Battleship HOOD and HM Aircraft Carrier ARGUS. ww2dbase [Hood | Argus | Devonshire | Cumberland | DS]
China France
  • German tanks under Guderian crossed the Marne River at Chalons-sur-Marne, 80 miles east of Paris, France. Meanwhile, in the French capital, US Ambassador William Bullitt, the last ambassador of a major nation left in the city, was named the provisional governor of Paris as the French government moved to Tours. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Paris | TH, CPC]
  • French Admiral Fran√ßois Darlan, Commander-in-Chief of the French Navy, assured British Prime Minister Winston Churchill that there would be no question of surrendering the French naval ships. He further asserted that orders would be given to scuttle the ships if such a danger were to exist. ww2dbase [Scuttling of the French Fleet | Fran√ßois Darlan | AC]
French West Africa Germany Mediterranean Sea
  • The elderly Royal Navy Cruiser HMS Calypso (Captain H. H. Rowley) was torpedoed and sunk by an Italian submarine in the Mediterranean Sea south of Crete, Greece. Survivors were picked up by the Cruiser HMS Caledon (pendant H53) and the destroyer HMS Dainty (pendant I53). Out of a complement of 400 to 500 (many of whom were recalled pensioners and reservists of the RNR and RNVR) one RNR officer and 39 ratings were lost. ww2dbase [AC]
13 Jun 1940
  • After sundown and through until the next morning, Orion laid mines off Auckland, New Zealand. ww2dbase [Orion | TH]
  • At dawn, 0243 hours, 15 British Fleet Air Arm Skua aircraft from HMS Ark Royal dive bombed German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau at Trondheim, Norway. Scharnhorst was hit by a 500-pound bomb, but it failed to explode. 8 Skua aircraft were shot down; 6 airmen were killed and 10 were taken prisoner. The remaining 7 aircraft returned to Ark Royal at 0345 hours. Nearby, Ark Royal's escorting destroyers HMS Antelope and HMS Electra collided in fog; both sustained damage that would take them out of action until Aug 1940. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Odin attacked Italian cruisers Fiume and Gorizia. Odin was sunk by destroyers Strale and Baleno, killing the entire crew of 56. It was the first naval skirmish in the Mediterranean Sea. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-25 sank British armed merchant cruiser HMS Scotstoun 80 miles west of Outer Hebrides, Scotland, killing 7. 345 survivors were rescued by British destroyer HMS Highlander and would be landed at the Clyde on 14 Jun. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Rear Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr. relieved Vice Admiral Charles A. Blakely as Commander Aircraft, Battle Force of the US Navy on board carrier USS Yorktown at Lahaina Roads, Maui, US Territory of Hawaii. Halsey received the temporary rank of vice admiral for this assignment. ww2dbase [William Halsey | CPC]
  • William Halsey was promoted to the rank of vice admiral. ww2dbase [William Halsey | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean France
  • Maxime Weygand declared Paris, France an open city. Italian aircraft attacked the naval base at Toulon, France. British Prime Minister Churchill flew to Tours, France for what would become the last meeting of the Supreme War Council. Both Britain and France now acknowledged that defeat would be imminent. Churchill encouraged the French to withdraw to North Africa to continue the fight; his French counterpart Reynaud, however, said that France would like to secure Britain's permission to seek an armistice; Churchill refused the request. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Paris | CPC]
Italy
  • British submarine HMS Grampus reported that naval mines had been deployed at the port of Augusta, Sicily, Italy. ww2dbase [Augusta, Sicilia | HM]
Romania
  • King Carol II allowed the Iron Guard to join the National Renaissance Front political party of Romania. ww2dbase [Carol II | CPC]
Russia United States
  • The American armed vessel Eastern Prince, first of her kind, set sail for Britain. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The battleship USS North Carolina was launched at the New York Navy Yard in Brooklyn, New York, United States. ww2dbase [New York Navy Yard | North Carolina | Brooklyn, New York | AC]
Photo(s) dated 13 Jun 1940
Launching of North Carolina, New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, United States, 13 Jun 1940North Carolina shortly after launching, New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, United States, 13 Jun 1940Christening of North Carolina, New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, United States, 13 Jun 1940; note Isabel Young Hoey breaking champagne bottleLaunching ceremony of North Carolina, New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, United States, 13 Jun 1940, photo 1 of 4
See all photos dated 13 Jun 1940
14 Jun 1940
  • At dawn, 4 French cruisers and 11 destroyers shelled oil storage tanks at the port of Genoa, Italy. French destroyer Albatros was hit by Italian coastal artillery, killing 12, but she was able to return. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-47 sank British ship Balmoralwood southwest of Ireland; the crew of 41 would later be rescued. ww2dbase [U-47 | CPC]
  • German submarine U-101 stopped Greek ship Antonis Georgandis 300 miles west of Cape Finisterre, Spain with two warning shots from the submarine's 20mm deck gun. After the crew abandoned the ship, U-101 sank her with the deck gun. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 sank Greek ship Mount Myrto southwest of Ireland, killing 4. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt signed the Naval Expansion Act, which increased the carrier, cruiser, and submarine tonnage of the US Navy by 167,000 tons, increased auxiliary shipping by 75,000 tons, and increased the number of authorized naval aircraft to 4,500 planes. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Destroyer USS O'Brien departed Bahia, Brazil. ww2dbase [O'Brien | CPC]
  • British Fleet Air Arm Swordfish aircraft from "a training squadron" (later to become No. 830 Squadron on Malta) made the first air attack on Italy, hitting Genoa with French bombs. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The German submarine UA fired a spread of three torpedoes toward British armed merchant cruiser HMS Andania south east of Iceland; all torpedoes missed and the tracks were not noticed by lookouts aboard Andania. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | UA | HM]
Czechoslovakia Estonia
  • The Soviet Union presented an ultimatum to Lithuania, forcing it to allow the establishment of a new Soviet government. Meanwhile, Soviet aircraft and warships blockaded the Estonian coast, shooting down a Finnish passenger aircraft (killing 9, including American and French diplomats) shortly after takeoff at Tallinn to show that the threat was not empty. ww2dbase [Annexation of the Baltic States | Tallinn | CPC]
France
  • In France, German troops captured the open city of Paris, France without any opposition. To the north, the coastal city of Le Havre fell under German control. To the east, the German 1st Army under General Erwin von Witzleben broke through the Maginot Line near Saarbr√ľcken. The French government moved from Tours to Bordeaux and appealed for the United States to enter the war. Also on this date, all remaining British troops in France were ordered to return. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
Italy
  • Cruiser Dupleix, as a part of the French 3rd Squadron (4 heavy cruisers and 11 destroyers in total), bombarded Genoa, Italy, damaing oil storage tanks and military facilities. ww2dbase [Dupleix | Genova, Liguria | CPC]
  • Foch bombarded Vado, Italy. ww2dbase [Foch | Vado, Liguria | CPC]
  • Colbert bombarded Genoa, Italy as a part of Operation Samoy√®de. ww2dbase [Colbert | Genova, Liguria | CPC]
  • The giant French Farman F.220 bomber "Jules Verne" attacked Italian oil storage tanks at Porto Marghera, Venice, Italy. Eight bombs were dropped and at least one oil tank was seen to be set on fire. ww2dbase [F.220 | Venezia, Veneto | AC]
Poland
15 Jun 1940
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt approved a revised copy of the Naval Expansion Act which he had approved on the previous day; it increased naval aviation to a strength 10,000 aircraft instead of the previously lower quantity of 4,500. He also replied to the French Premier's "last appeal", saying that America would redouble her efforts if the Allies continue to resist the dictators. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC, AC]
  • German submarine U-38 attacked Allied convoy HX-47 60 miles west of the Isles of Scilly off of southwestern England at 0100 hours, sinking Norwegian tanker Italia (killing 19, 16 were recsued) and Canadian ship Erik Boye (21 were rescued). British sloop HMS Fowley would bring the survivors to Plymouth, England on the following day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Quintin Brand was appointed the commanding officer of the No. 10 Group at the rank of acting air vice marshal. ww2dbase [Quintin Brand | CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Churchill sent a telegram to US President Roosevelt to again request destroyers, noting that the United Kingdom would carry on the struggle "whatever the odds... but it may well be beyond our resources unless we receive every reinforcement and particularly do we need this reinforcement on the sea". ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • Submarine tender USS Bushnell completed hydrographic surveys of an area of 2,200 square nautical miles off the coast of Venezuela between Cape San Roman and Bahia Vela de Coro, which began on 9 Apr 1940. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Construction began on the new F√ľhrer Headquarters Wolfschlucht II in France; it would be halted within days, however, as the German campaign in France would soon end. ww2dbase [CPC]
France
  • The German 7th Army under General Friedrich Dollmann crossed the Rhine River into France about 40 to 50 miles north of the Swiss border and penetrated the Maginot Line. To the north, the city of Verdun was captured by German troops. On the coast of the English Channel, the Allies launched Operation Ariel to evacuate troops from Cherbourg and St Malo. In Berlin, Germany, Adolf Hitler gave the German Army the permission to demobilize some divisions once the French campaign drew closer to its end. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
Ireland
  • US passenger liner Washington embarked an additional 852 American citizens and set sail from Galway, Ireland for New York, United States. She now carried a total of 1,872 passengers. ww2dbase [Galway | CPC]
Latvia Lithuania Photo(s) dated 15 Jun 1940
USS Helena at anchor, President Roads, Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 15 Jun 1940, photo 1 of 2; photo taken by photographer from USS WaspUSS Helena at anchor, President Roads, Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 15 Jun 1940, photo 2 of 2; photo taken by photographer from USS Wasp
16 Jun 1940
  • Marshal Philippe P√©tain became Prime Minister of France when Paul Reynaud's government resigned. ww2dbase [Philippe P√©tain | TH]
  • German submarine U-101 sank British merchant ship Willington Star in Bay of Biscay. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The Soviet invasion of Latvia and Estonia began. ww2dbase [Annexation of the Baltic States | CPC]
  • Fran√ßois Darlan was named the Vichy French Minister of the Navy. ww2dbase [Fran√ßois Darlan | CPC]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND detached from convoy on arrival in Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Cumberland | DS]
Aden
  • The 8,215-ton Norwegian diesel motor vessel James Stove was steaming through the Gulf of Aden with 10,800 tons of aviation fuel when her master Olaus Eliassen was informed that the ship was being followed by a submarine; Eliassen had determined that the submarine was British. When the ship started to head for the port of Aden the submarine, now revealed to be the Italian submarine Galileo Galilei, ordered her to stop and announced that in 15 minutes an attack would commence. Despite some panic with Chinese crew members, the lifeboats pulled away and the submarine torpedoed the ship from 500 yards range. After two hits the Norwegian vessel started to sink, and the Galileo submerged only to re-surface and launch another torpedo. This struck amid-ships and the vessel burst into flames and sank about 12 miles south of the port of Aden. The crew were rescued, with some difficulty due to burning oil, by the British Admiralty anti-submarine Trawler HMS Moonstone. ww2dbase [HM]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The German submarine UA, which had been following British armed merchant cruiser HMS Andania for the past three days, fired two torpedoes south east of Iceland at 0029 hours; one of them struck the ship aft. Another torpedo launched eight minutes later also hit but failed to detonate. The Andania opened fire with her guns after seeing the torpedo wake but owing to rough seas and the darkness scored no hits. The ship was sinking by the stern and her 347 crew, two of them injured, were taken off by the Icelandic trawler Skallagimur which later transferred the to the destroyer HMS Forester (D 74) and they were taken to Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom. UA fired two more torpedoes at the sinking Andania, but both missed or were duds. The Andania had been a Cunard White Star Line Passenger Liner before being requisitioned by the Admiralty in Sep 1939. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | UA | HM]
  • At 1302 hours the 13,212-ton unescorted British motor merchant ship Wellington Star was hit in the bow by a G7a torpedo from German submarine U-101 about 300 miles west of Cape Finisterre, Spain. After the crew abandoned ship in four lifeboats, the submarine fired three coups de gr√Ęce at her, all three hit, but only one detonated, underneath the bridge. The U-101, commanded by Fritz Frauenheim, surfaced, questioned the survivors then sank the ship with 31 rounds from the deck gun at 1645 hours. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-101 | HM]
  • The British T-class submarine HMS Tetrarch (N 77) (Lieutenant Commander R. G. Mills) torpedoed and sank the 5,978-ton German tanker Samland south west of Lista, Norway. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | North Sea | HM]
  • The 6,465-ton German ship Konigsberg II, built in 1924 and owned by the Nord-Deutscher Lloyd, was scuttled off Vigo, Spain to avoid capture by the Allies. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | HM]
China
  • 114 Japanese aircraft attacked Chongqing, China after sundown; four I-16 fighters of Chinese 24th Pursuit Squadron rose to intercept, shooting down one bomber near Fuling County near the city, with one fighter shot down by the Japanese. ww2dbase [Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities | Chongqing | CPC]
France Mediterranean Sea
  • The 1,249-ton Italian merchant Steamer Rastrello was attacked and sunk by British aircraft off the port of Genoa, Italy. The vessel previously, when named Atle Jarl, had been captured by the German submarine U-78 on 21 Oct 1916, and declared a prize. ww2dbase [HM]
  • The French Requin-class submarine Morse (Lieutenant J. G. C. Paris) struck a mine off Kerkennah Islands, Tunisia. All officers and men aboard were lost. ww2dbase [HM]
  • At 1900 hours, Italian torpedo boat Circe spotted a periscope east of Sicily, Italy. Circe and Polluce, another torpedo boat, attacked the position with depth charges; a mass of wreckage was observed after the ninth depth charge pattern. The destroyed submarine was likely the British submarine HMS Grampus. ww2dbase [HM]
United Kingdom
  • Reginald Jones warned Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding and Air Marshal Sir Philip Joubert that the Germans could have developed a radio navigation system for the guidance of bombers. ww2dbase [Reginald Jones | AC]
  • Company Sergeant Major George Gristock of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment, British Army died in Brighton, England, United Kingdom, from wounds he had received while winning the Victoria Cross on 21 May 1940 in an action near the River Escault, Belgium. ww2dbase [Brighton, England | AC]
United States
17 Jun 1940
  • Soviet troops entered Latvia and Lithuania without little resistance. In Estonia, although a Signal Battalion would resist in Tallinn until 21 Jun, the government, along with the Army and the Estonian Defence League militia organization, surrendered to Soviet occupation. NKO Commissar Semyon Timoshenko ordered the disbanding of the military organizations of the Baltic States, leaving the task of border protection to NKVD troops. In North America, the United States refused to recognize the Soviet occupation of the two Baltic countries. ww2dbase [Annexation of the Baltic States | CPC]
  • Winston Churchill announced to the British people that the United Kingdom would continue to fight until Adolf Hitler was removed from power. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • British unemployment figure decreased by 114,000 in May 1940 to a new low of 767,000. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-46 sank Greek ship Elpis 250 miles west of Cape Finisterre, Spain; the entire crew of 28 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • French Minister for Foreign Affairs Paul Baudouin privately informed Deputy US Ambassador to France Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr., that the French fleet "would never be surrendered to Germany". ww2dbase [Paul Baudouin | CPC]
  • US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Harold R. Stark asked for US$4,000,000,000 to construct a "Two-Ocean Navy". ww2dbase [Two-Ocean Navy Act | Harold Stark | CPC]
  • Heavy cruiser USS Quincy departed Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for Montevideo, Uruguay. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • The deposed German Emperor Wilhelm II sent a congratulatory telegram to Adolf Hitler regarding the victory over France. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov sent German Ambassador Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg a message of congratulations for the successful German conquest of France. ww2dbase [Vyacheslav Molotov | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The 1,147-ton Norwegian merchant steamer Komet, built in 1912 by Laxevaags of Bergen as the Norwegian cargo steamer Pluto for B.Stolt-Nielsen of Haugesund and renamed Charles Schiaffino in 1921 and Komet in 1924, was bombed and sunk by German aircraft in the English Channel near Caen, France. Two of her crew were killed in the attack. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | English Channel | HM]
France
  • Prime Minister Philippe P√©tain ordered the French Army to stop fighting and sued for an honorable peace as the Germans crossed the Loire River near Orleans, France. Taking advantage of the initial demoralizing effect and confusion this caused, the German 7th Panzer Division under Erwin Rommel advanced 125 miles toward Cherbourg; to the east, tanks under Heinz Guderian reached the Swiss border at Pontalier, encircling 17 French divisions on the Maginot Line. Meanwhile, the Allied evacuation operation, Operation Ariel, continued in Cherbourg, Saint-Malo, Brest, and Saint-Nazaire. At Saint-Malo, private vessels of the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club of Jersey arrived to assist with the evacuations. In the Loire estuary near Saint-Nazaire, British passenger liner Lancastria, with 4,000 to 9,000 British civilians and military personnel on board, was sunk by three bombs by Ju 88 aircraft, causing about 3,000 deaths; it was the worst maritime loss in British history. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH, CPC]
  • The 7,405-ton British cargo/passenger ship Teiresias, built in 1914 by Hawthorn Leslie & Co. and owned by Blue Funnel Line, on voyage from Avonmouth, England, United Kingdom to Quiberon Bay, France in ballast, was sunk in an air raid by German bombers, off Saint-Nazaire, France. There was 1 casualty. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | HM]
Hawaii
  • Civilian contractors began expanding Puunene Airport on Maui, US Territory of Hawaii for US Navy use. ww2dbase [Puunene, Maui | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • The French sloop La Curieuse forced the Italian Marcello-class submarine Andrea Provana to surface off the coast of Oran, Algeria and then sank it by ramming; all 62 Italian submariners were killed. The French vessel also sustained heavy damage on her stem. This was the first Italian submarine to be sunk by the French Navy. ww2dbase [HM]
18 Jun 1940
  • The German 7th Panzer Division under Rommel advanced another 75 miles since the prior date, reaching Cherbourg, France but not before most of the Allied personnel had already evacuated the city; also on this date, Le Mans, Belfort, Metz, and Dijon fell under German control. Elsewhere, the Allies completed the Operation Ariel evacuation of La Pallice and Saint-Nazaire, but all the heavy equipment were left behind in the latter location. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • Sweden allowed passage of German troops between Oslo, Norway, and Trelleborg, Sweden, on Swedish rail lines, with the only demand being that the number of troops coming from Germany must equal to the number being evacuated, so that it could not be said that Sweden was helping Germany reinforce the front lines. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Charles de Gaulle made the "Appeal of June 18" speech, asking the French people to resist German occupation. ww2dbase [Appeal of June 18 | CPC]
  • In Brest, French cruisers El Djezair, El Kantara, El Mansour, Ville d'Oran, and Ville d'Alger departed 1,200 tons of French gold for Casablanca, French Morocco while the cruiser Victor-Schoelcher transported 198 tons of Belgian gold (originally held in French banks) from Lorient to the port of Dakar in French West Africa; the French gold would arrive in Casablanca on 21 Jun 1940, but the Belgian gold would be captured by the Germans. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-28 sank Finnish ship Sarmatia southwest of Ireland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-32 sank Spanish trawler S√°lvora, Spanish trawler Nuevo Ons, and Norwegian ship Altair southwest of Ireland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Secretary of State Cordell Hull directed Deputy US Ambassador to France Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr. to inform the French government that if France failed to keep its fleet out of German hands, France would "permanently lose the friendship and goodwill of the Government of the United States". French Minister for Foreign Affairs Baudouin reiterated that the French fleet "would never be surrendered to Germany". ww2dbase [Cordell Hull | CPC]
  • US Minister in Uruguay Edwin C. Wilson reported that Uruguayan government had arrested eight Nazi leaders and that Uruguay's Chamber of Deputies, in secret session the day before, had begun considering a report on Nazi Party activities in their country. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany Indian Ocean
  • In the afternoon, Italian submarine Galileo Galilei spotted a Yugoslavian steamer Drava in the Gulf of Aden and fired a shot across the bow ordering the ship to stop. After seeing the ship was under a neutral flag, the steamer was allowed to leave. However, the gunfire was heard by the anti-submarine warfare trawler HMS Moonstone, which then fired a warning signal. At around 1630 hours, while the submarine was still on the surface, she was attacked by British aircraft. Galileo Galilei was forced to submerge but remained on stations considering a rather weak response to her sighting. When the darkness fell, the boat resurfaced to recharge the batteries, but it was discovered by the British ship forcing the submarine to crash dive and go through a brief but intense depth-charge attack. ww2dbase [Gulf of Aden | HM]
United Kingdom
  • British Prime Minister Winston Churchill made the "the Battle of France is over... I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin" speech before the House of Commons. "Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour'." On the same day, Churchill wrote to the Commander-in-Chief Home Forces asking for ideas for the creation of "Storm Troops" to be "ready to spring at the throat of any small landing or descent"; secretly he intended to use such a force as the basis for Commando raids on the continent. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | London, England | CPC, AC]
  • The British War Office placed an order for 300 Canal Defence Light (CDL) tanks, Matilda tanks mounting a large searchlight in the turret that had been suggested by a Mr. Mitzakis in September 1939. ww2dbase [Infantry Mk II Matilda | AC]
  • After dark, seventy-one Luftwaffe aircraft crossed the English Channel in the first major air raid on Great Britain. Some were attempting to destroy the oil storage tanks at Thameshaven while others were targeting the airfields at Mildenhall and Honington. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | AC]
19 Jun 1940
  • Households in the United Kingdom received pamphlets with information on what to do in case of invasion. ww2dbase [TH]
  • French ships sought refuge in British ports. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The British Jockey Club announced that horse racing would cease until further notice. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Troops of the German 7th Panzer Division under Rommel shelled fortifications defending the port of Cherbourg, France; Cherbourg surrendered at 1700 hours. On the same day, the 5th Panzer Division captured Brest, but found the port facilities destroyed by Allied personnel who had already been evacuated. Along the coast, Operation Ariel continued, evacuating British, and Polish troops from Saint-Nazaire, La Pallice, Bayonne, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and Gironde. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • Orion captured Norwegian ship Tropic Sea. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
  • Lord Beaverbrook, the Minster of Aircraft Production, announced that British aircraft production had since 10 May 1940 exceeded losses from all causes. ww2dbase [Beaverbrook | AC]
  • Peter Drummond was promoted to the rank of acting air vice-marshal. ww2dbase [Peter Drummond | CPC]
Indian Ocean
  • In the morning, Italian submarine Galileo Galilei was laying immobile on the seabed in the Gulf of Aden, hiding from British attackers. The first mild symptoms of methylchloride poisoning appeared in some crew members. Meanwhile, the submarine had been detected again by HMS Moonstone who launched another depth-charge attack. Captain Corrado Nardi ordered the submarine to periscope depth, examined his adversary and noted their single 4-inch cannon and a pair of machine guns. Considering possible effects of methylchloride poisoning if the submarine continued staying submerged, and the modesty of trawler's armament, he decided to face HMS Moonstone on the surface with his two 100-millimeter guns and two machine guns. As the fight began, the bow gun's sighting mechanism on the Galileo Galilei failed, greatly affecting the accuracy of shooting. Moonstone also moved too fast for the submarine's crew to aim their cannons effectively. After about ten minutes Galileo Galilei was hit for the first time, wounding Nardi and killing several people around him. Shortly thereafter, the bow cannon was hit killing the gun crew including second in command. The cannon continued shooting, however, under command of Ensign Mazzucchi. The aft cannon soon jammed, and then another salvo from Moonstone killed all those on the conning tower including Nardi. The bow cannon continued shooting until HMS Kandahar arrived at the scene and Mazucchi, as the most senior on board the submarine, ordered Galileo Galilei to stop shooting and surrender. The submarine had lost 5 officers, 7 non-commissioned officers, and 4 sailors. The submarine was then towed into Aden by Kandahar. Though the British side claimed that the submarine's codebooks and operational documents were captured intact by the Royal Navy, and revealed the exact position of other Italian naval units, Italian survivors (including Ensign Mazzucchi) reported that every document was destroyed before surrender, and that no written operational orders were issued to Italian units, only an oral briefing between captains and the submarine command in Massawa before every mission. The claim was reported only to cover the British intelligence activities in Italian East Africa. In British service, Galileo Galilei was renamed X 2 and would be used for training purposes. ww2dbase [Gulf of Aden | CPC, HM]
Jersey
  • James Lacey was relocated to the island of Jersey in the English Channel together with the No. 501 (County of Gloucester) Squadron RAF. ww2dbase [James Lacey | AC]
New Zealand
  • The 13,245-ton British passenger ship Niagara operated by the Canadian-Australasian Line Ltd. became the first victim of mines laid between Cuvier Island and Great Barrier Island in New Zealand by the German auxiliary cruiser Orion 5 days prior. There were no casualties and abandoning of the vessel was helped by the fact that electrical power was kept on. The ship had just left Auckland harbour when she struck the mine off Bream Head, Whangarei at 0340 hours. She sank at 0532 hours, settling in 121 meters of water. She had been secretly loaded with 295 boxes each containing two ingots of gold, 590 ingots in total, with a value of ¬£2,500,000. This was bound for the United States as payment for munitions and supplies. ww2dbase [HM]
United Kingdom
  • Oberleutnant Joachim von Arnim, of German Luftwaffe Kampfeschwader 4, was reported to have been the first member of the German armed forces to have been captured by British Local Defence Volunteers, forerunners of the Home Guard. His Heinkel III bomber tasked to attack railway goods yards near Cambridge, England, United Kingdom, but was shot down at Fulbourne (five miles from Cambridge) by a Spitfire fighter from No. 19 Squadron and Squadron Leader O'Brien in a Blenheim bomber of No. 23 Squadron. Both of the British aircraft involved were also shot down by return fire; from the Blenheim, O'Brien survived, but his navigator and his gunner were both killed. Parachuting into a potato field, Arnim and two other members of the four-man crew were arrested by LDV member Ron Barnes, a farm labourer, and handed over to a nearby searchlight post from where they were escorted under guard to barracks in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England. These Germans were the first airmen to be captured by the LDV. ww2dbase [Fulbourne, England | AC]
Photo(s) dated 19 Jun 1940
French refugees on a road near Gien, France, 19 Jun 1940
20 Jun 1940
  • Although the French had already reached out to Rome for peace, the Italians were determined to capture French territory in order to bargain for colonial holdings in North Africa; 32 divisions organized in 2 armies stood ready on the Italian-French border. Meanwhile, German troops captured Brest and Lyons. 9,000 Polish soldiers fighting in France were evacuated from Bayonne aboard the Polish ships Batory and Sobieksi. Also on this date, British RAF bombers attacked the German-controlled airfield at Rouen, France. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • The British Parliament met in a secret joint session to discuss the defense against a potential German invasion. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Five weeks after the German conquest of the Netherlands, Dutch civilians began to be conscripted as forced laborers. During the war, 431,500 Dutch civilians would meet this fate. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German battlecruiser Gneisenau and heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper departed Trondheim, Norway for operations near Iceland as a diversion for battleship Scharnhorst's cruise to Kiel, Germany for repairs. British submarine HMS Clyde detected Gneisenau and hit her with a torpedo 80 miles northwest of Trondheim and forced her to return for repairs. ww2dbase [Gneisenau | CPC]
  • German battlecruiser Gneisenau and heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper departed Trondheim, Norway for operations near Iceland as a diversion for battleship Scharnhorst's cruise to Kiel, Germany for repairs. ww2dbase [Admiral Hipper | CPC]
  • Bureau of Ships was established in the United States with Rear Admiral Samuel M. Robinson as its chief; this new bureau replaced the former Bureau of Construction and Repair and the former Bureau of Engineering. Also, Office of Undersecretary of the Navy was created in the United States for duration of national emergency. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Quincy reached Montevideo, Uruguay, as part of the American effort to counteract German propaganda in Latin America. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • Destroyer USS O'Brien reached Buenos Aires, Argentina. ww2dbase [O'Brien | CPC]
  • Vichy France opened northern Indochina to Japanese military mission and supporting troops. ww2dbase [Indochina Campaign | CPC]
  • Light cruiser Voroshilov was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Voroshilov | CPC]
  • French fighter pilot James Denis commandeered a F.222 bomber, took on 19 passengers, and flew from France to Britain, where the group would later join the Free French Air Force. ww2dbase [F.220 | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • At 1730 hours, 7,493-ton Dutch motor tanker Moordrecht was hit in the engine room by a torpedo from German submarine U-48, commanded by Korvettenkapit√§n Hans Rudolf R√∂sing. Moordrecht exploded and sank by the stern within two minutes. The master and 24 crew members were lost. The ship had been in convoy HX-49 until 18 Jun 1940 when it was then ordered to proceed alone to her destination port. Four survivors eventually made it to a lifeboat. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-48 | CPC, HM]
  • At 0336 hours, German submarine U-38, commanded by Kapit√§nleutnant Heinrich Liebe, missed the 1,776-ton unescorted Swedish and neutral steam merchant Tilia Gorthon with a G7a torpedo and then stopped the vessel by gunfire about 45 miles west of the Isles of Scilly in the southwestern tip of England, United Kingdom. At 0412 hours, the Tilia Gorthon was hit in the engine room by another G7e torpedo after the crew had abandoned ship in two lifeboats and sank. The survivors were picked up by the British sloop HMS Leith (U 36). The Tilia Gorthon had previously been on voyage from Bahia, Brazil to Gothenburg, Sweden but was stopped by a British warship and sent to Liverpool, England, United Kingdom and then to Nantes, France, however, near the Loire a new order sent her to Quiberon Bay, France and finally ordered the ship back to Liverpool. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-38 | HM]
  • At 1533 hours, German submarine U-51 (Kapit√§nleutnant Dietrich Knorr) attacked the 4,876-ton British merchant steamer Otterpool of convoy HG-34F, carrying 8,180 tons of iron ore; the attack missed the target. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-51 | HM]
  • German submarine U-30 (Kapit√§nleutnant Fritz-Julius Lemp) attacked Allied convoy HG-34F, but all torpedoes missed. At 2142 hours, a second attack by U-30 succeeded, hitting the 4,876-ton British merchant steamer Otterpool with one stern torpedo. Otterpool sank about 130 miles west of the French island of Ushant. The master, 21 crew members and one gunner were lost. 16 crew members were picked up by British sloop HMS Scarborough (L 25) and landed at Liverpool, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-30 | HM]
  • At 1315 hours, German submarine U-61 (Oberleutnant zur See J√ľrgen Oesten) observed how the unescorted and zigzagging 5,911-ton steam merchant Empire Conveyor was hit on the port side forward by a torpedo about 50 miles south of Barra Head, Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom. The attacker must have been German submarine U-122 (Korvettenkapit√§n Hans-G√ľnther Looff), which was lost shortly afterwards but reported sinking a large freighter in a radio message at 0030 hours on 21 Jun 1940. The Empire Conveyor did not sink immediately, but because the aerials had been damaged the radio operator was unable to call for help. Luckily a flying boat on patrol in the area arrived, dropped bombs to keep the submarine submerged and alerted the British Admiralty. The tug HMS Amsterdam was sent out, escorted by the rescue tug HMS Atherstone (L 05) and the destroyer HMS Campbell (D 60), but at 1600 hours she suddenly sank before the ships arrived. The crew had abandoned ship in three lifeboats and several rafts, but one boat swamped during launch. The master, the second engineer and the cook were lost. 38 crew members were picked up by HMS Campbell (D 60) after six hours. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-122 | HM]
  • The 7,638-ton French tanker Brumarire was torpedoed and damaged by a single torpedo from German submarine U-25 (Korvettenkapit√§n Viktor Sch√ľtze) in the Atlantic Ocean at 0128 hours. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-25 | HM]
Belgium France
  • The 1,177-ton Dutch steamer Berenice departed Bordeaux, France at 1330 hours with 22 passengers on board, mostly Dutch and Belgians refugees, among them the poet H. Marsman and his wife and the Dutch painter T. Bottema. The ship sailed together with the Dutch steamer Orpheus, the coasters Nettie and Ary Scheffer and the tug Seine, but they got dispersed in the following night and only the Nettie was in visual range. ww2dbase [Bordeaux, Aquitaine | HM]
Germany
  • Robert von Greim was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht radio report. ww2dbase [Robert von Greim | CPC]
Hawaii
  • Light cruiser USS Phoenix departed Lahaina, Maui, US Territory of Hawaii for the Panama Canal Zone. ww2dbase [Phoenix | Lahaina, Maui | CPC]
Libya
  • After sundown and into the next date, Lorraine bombarded Italian positions at Bardia, Libya. ww2dbase [Lorraine | Bardia | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • The British submarine HMS Parthian sank Italian submarine Diamante off Tobruk, Libya. ww2dbase [HM]
Portugal
  • Destroyer USS Herbert departed Lisbon, Portugal for French Morocco. ww2dbase [Lisbon | CPC]
Russia
  • Lavrentiy Beria sent Joseph Stalin a list containing names of 232 Soviet prisoners of war returned by Finland and recommended everyone on the list to be executed; in fact, 158 of them had already been killed. ww2dbase [Lavrentiy Beria | Moscow | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The 9,552-ton Panamanian steam tanker James McGee hit a mine in the Bristol Channel off southwestern Britain, broke in two and sank. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | HM]
United States
  • American cruiser USS Vincennes and destroyers USS Truxton and USS Simpson arrived at New York, New York, United States with 200 tons of gold from the French reserves. ww2dbase [Vincennes | New York | CPC]
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt nominated two well-known Republicans with pronounced pro-Ally sympathies, Henry Stimson and Frank Knox, to be Secretaries for War and the Navy respectively. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | AC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Jun 1940
The Gantry Crane over the Pearl Harbor drydocks under construction, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 20 Jun 1940.
21 Jun 1940
  • French cruisers El Djezair, El Kantara, El Mansour, Ville d'Oran, and Ville d'Alger arrived at Casablanca, French Morocco with 1,200 tons of French gold. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • An German Ar 196 aircraft from battlecruiser Scharnhorst mistook German submarine U-99 for an enemy submarine and damaged her with a bomb. U-99 was already en route back to Wilhelmshaven, Germany with a sick sailor; she would now require a longer time to complete repairs. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Estonian Independent Signal Battalion engaged in fighting with Soviet troops at Raua Street in Tallinn, Estonia. The Estonians would be defeated during the night. ww2dbase [Annexation of the Baltic States | CPC]
  • Erich Raeder met with Adolf Hitler to discuss the invasion of Britain. ww2dbase [Erich Raeder | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • At 0846 hours, HMS Cape Howe (X 02), a Special Service Vessel, disguised as the Prunella, was hit on the starboard side near the bridge by one of two torpedoes fired by German submarine U-28 about 100 miles west of the Isles of Scilly at the southwestern tip of Britain. The explosion blew open the hatches of No. 1 hold, put the Asdic and steering gear out of order and mortally injured two crewmen. The panic party abandoned the now slowly circling ship in two lifeboats but the submarine did not surface but fired a coup de gr√Ęce after about an hour that hit on port side amidships, causing her to slowly settle by the bow until sinking with a list to port at 1230 hours. 54 became missing and would be never found; 40 would be rescued. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-28 | CPC, HM]
  • The 7,638-ton French tanker Brumarire was sunk by German aircraft in the Atlantic Ocean. The crew of 37 was saved by the British destroyer HMS Griffin (H 31) and landed in England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | HM]
  • At 0411 hours the 1,144-ton unescorted Finnish freighter Hilda was hit by one torpedo from German submarine U-52 commanded by Kapit√§nleutnant Otto Salman and sank in a few minutes in the Bay of Biscay, killing 5. The master and ten crew members survived aboard a lifeboat. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-52 | Bay of Biscay | HM]
  • At 2007 hours, German submarine U-47 under command of Kapit√§nleutnant G√ľnther Prien fired a torpedo at a tanker in the middle of Allied convoy HX-49 in a position 50 miles south-southwest of Cape Clear in the southwestern tip of Ireland. The tanker was the 13,056-ton British San Fernando which was carrying 13,500 tons of crude oil and 4,200 tons of fuel oil, and she was hit and came to a stop. Prien then fired two more torpedoes but did not observe the result as he had to submerge rapidly to avoid being seen by a nearby steamer. The damaged San Fernando was taken under tow by two tugs. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-47 | HM]
  • At 1636 hours the 8,627-ton British merchant steamer Yarraville in Allied convoy 65-X was hit by a single torpedo from German submarine U-43, caught fire and sank southwest of Figueira da Foz, Portugal. Five crew members were lost. The master and 44 crew members (seven of them wounded) were picked up by the French trawler Marie Gilberte and landed at Gibraltar. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-43 | HM]
  • At 1753 hours the 5,809-ton unescorted Belgian freighter Luxembourg was hit aft by a G7e torpedo from German submarine U-38 and sank west of Saint-Nazaire, France. The ship had been bound for Antwerp, Belgium but was diverted to Bordeaux, France and anchored at Le Verdon on 20 Jun 1940 when she was ordered to leave for Falmouth, England, United Kingdom. Five men were killed and one wounded of the 46 crew members on board. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-38 | Celtic Sea | HM]
Brazil
  • Heavy cruiser USS Wichita, with Commander Cruiser Division Seven Rear Admiral Andrew C. Pickens embarked, arrived at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil en route to join heavy cruiser USS Quincy at Montevideo, Uruguay. ww2dbase [Rio de Janeiro | CPC]
Canada
  • The first successful west-to-east navigation of Northwest Passage began at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ww2dbase [Vancouver, British Columbia | CPC]
France
  • French and German representatives met to negotiate peace at the 1918 Armistice site at Compi√®gne, France, using the very same rail carriage where the WW1 armistice, brought from a French museum, for the negotiations. Hitler personally attended the negotiation, but at 1530 hours abruptly left the meeting to show disrespect for the French. At 2030 hours, French General Huntzinger called his government and informed that the Germans allowed no room for negotiations and demanded harsh terms; he was told to accept the German terms. Meanwhile, in southern France, the 32 Italian divisions deployed on the French border marched through the Little Saint Bernard Pass in the Alps and along the French Riviera; some of the Italians were met with a heavy snow storm and the latter halted by a very small group of French troops at Menton, which was about 5 miles from the border. According to the diary of Galeazzo Ciano, Benito Mussolini was extremely embarrassed by the inability of his troops to break through the French lines. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Compi√®gne, Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie | CPC]
  • At 0817 hours, the 1,177-ton unescorted Dutch steamer Berenice, carrying 1,000 tons of manganese ore and 22 passengers, was hit by one torpedo amidships by German submarine U-65 (Kapit√§nleutnant Hans-Gerrit von Stockhausen) just off the island of Belle √éle, France, causing her to sink within three minutes, killing 21 passengers and some of the crewmembers. A coastal vessel picked up nine survivors, including the master and Marsman's wife, the only surviving passenger. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-65 | Bangor, Bretagne | HM]
  • The 4,281-ton French merchant steamer Mecanicien Principal Carvin was bombed and sunk by German aircraft at Verdon, France on the river Gironde. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | HM]
  • The 4,277-ton Greek freighter Adamantios was bombed by German aircraft and forced to beach on the √éle de R√© off the west coast of France. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Ile de Re, Aquitaine | HM]
French Morocco
  • Destroyer USS Herbert arrived at Casablanca, French Morocco. ww2dbase [Casablanca | CPC]
Guernsey
  • As the British evacuated from Guernsey, the control of the island was turned over to a Controlling Committee under the presidency of Attorney General Ambrose Sherwill. ww2dbase [CPC]
Jersey
  • Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey James Murray Robert Harrison was withdrawn to Britain, leaving Bailiff Alexander Coutanche the sole civilian leader. ww2dbase [CPC]
Netherlands Portugal
  • Destroyer USS Dickerson departed Lisbon, Portugal for Bilbao, Spain. ww2dbase [Lisbon | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • At the urging of Intelligence scientist, Dr. Reg Jones, Winston Churchill ordered up a RAF search aircraft which successfully discovered, in the frequency range predicted by Jones, the Knickebein radio signaled which were used to guide Luftwaffe bombers over Britain. ww2dbase [Reginald Jones | AC]
  • HMS Campbell (D 60) landed 38 survivors of steam merchant Empire Conveyor, sunk by German submarine U-122 on the previous day, at Liverpool, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Liverpool, England | HM]
Photo(s) dated 21 Jun 1940
William Shirer and another journalist reporting on the French surrender, Compiègne, France, 21-22 Jun 1940Carrier Graf Zeppelin under construction, Kiel, Germany, 21 Jun 1940
22 Jun 1940

Atlantic Ocean
  • At 1804 hours, German submarine U-65 reported the sinking of an unescorted tanker of 7,000 tons with a spread of two G7e torpedoes about 70 miles southwest of Penmarch in the Bay of Biscay. The ship was immediately covered in burning oil and apparently broke in two before it sank. The ship was the 7,011-ton French tanker Monique. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-65 | Bay of Biscay | CPC, HM]
  • German submarine U-122 became missing in the Atlantic Ocean somewhere west of Britain and Ireland; the crew of 49 were never seen again. ww2dbase [U-122 | CPC]
  • The 13,056-ton British tanker San Fernando, damaged by German submarine U-47 on the previous day, sank. The master Arthur Richard Buckley and 48 crew members were picked up by the British sloops HMS Fowey (L 15) and HMS Sandwich (L 12) and landed at Plymouth, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [HM]
  • The 9,026-ton Norwegian motor tanker Eli Knudsen had been in Allied convoy HX-49, which was dispersed approximately 100 miles southwest of Cape Clear, Ireland after German submarine U-47 had torpedoed the San Fernando in the middle of convoy at 2007 hours on 21 Jun 1940. At 0336 hours German submarine U-32 torpedoed the Eli Knudsen, one of the slowest ships in convoy. All crew members abandoned ship in lifeboats and were picked up a few hours later by the sloop HMS Sandwich and taken to Liverpool, England, United Kingdom. The tanker remained afloat, although she would not survive the incident. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-32 | Celtic Sea | HM]
  • At 0158 hours the 3,999-ton unescorted Norwegian steam merchant ship Randsfjord, dispersed from Allied convoy HX-49, was hit by one G7a torpedo from German submarine U-30 about 80 miles south-southwest of Queenstown, Ireland. The torpedo struck on the port side in the foreship and caused the tanker to sink after three minutes. The master and three crew members were lost. Two men were crushed and injured between the starboard lifeboat and the side of the ship when they lost their grip while lowering themselves down to the boat. Some men jumped overboard and were later picked up by the boat. The submarine surfaced and the Germans questioned the survivors, handed them a bottle of brandy before leaving the area at full speed after two destroyers were spotted. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-30 | Celtic Sea | HM]
  • The French Flower-class corvette La Bastiase struck a mine whilst on sea trials in the mouth of the River Tees, north east England, United Kingdom. The mines were seen to be dropped by enemy aircraft the previous day. The vessel was a total loss killing her commanding officer Lieutenant de Vaisseau Georges Albert Lacombe, some of her crew and some of the engineers from Smith's Dock who were on board for the trials. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | North Sea | HM]
  • At 0217 hours the 5,154-ton unescorted and unarmed Greek merchant steamer Neion was hit in the engine room by a G7a torpedo from German submarine U-38 while steaming without navigational lights lit on a non-evasive course at 10 knots in the Bay of Biscay about 40 miles west-southwest of Belle √éle off the coast of Bretagne, France. One crew member was lost. The master, eight officers and 22 crew members abandoned ship in one lifeboat before she sank by the stern after five minutes. The cargo of naphtha drums was recovered in 1948. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-38 | Bay of Biscay | HM]
Egypt France Japan
  • Yosuke Matsuoka was named the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Japanese Prime Minister Prince Fumimaro Konoe's new government. ww2dbase [Yosuke Matsuoka | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • The 1,888-ton Swedish steamship Elg√∂ was torpedoed by Italian submarine Capponi and sank to the north of Sfax, Tunisia. ww2dbase [HM]
Spain
  • Destroyer USS Dickerson arrived at Bilbao, Spain to safeguard American interests. ww2dbase [Bilbao | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • In Britain, the second evacuation plan by the London County council resulted in over 100,000 children being evacuated to the west. ww2dbase [London, England | TH]
  • Charles de Gaulle broadcast a speech from London, England, United Kingdom on the BBC; in this broadcast, he used the term Free French for the first time, while declaring himself the French leader in exile. ww2dbase [Charles de Gaulle | London, England | CPC]
  • British Foreign Secretary Halifax had his undersecretary Richard Butler contact Swedish Minister in London, England, United Kindom Bj√∂rn Prytz for a possible Anglo-German negotiations. Germans intercepted Prytz's report back to Stockholm and concluded that the war with Britain was likely to end by the end of the summer. ww2dbase [Halifax | London, England | CPC]
  • The Communist Party of Great Britain published a manifesto calling for a "People's Government", claiming that "the same kind of leaders who brought France to defeat are in high places in Britain". Furthermore the manifesto called upon workers to oust their own ruling classes which would encourage German workers to bring down Adolf Hitler. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Noor Inayat Khan arrived at Falmouth, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom with her family. ww2dbase [Noor Inayat Khan | Falmouth, England | CPC]
  • Following the discovery during the previous night, by Flight Lieutenant Hal Bufton and wireless operator Corporal Mackie, of German Knickebein radio navigation beams intersecting over the Rolls-Royce factory at Derby in Britain, the Air Ministry established No. 80 Wing of the RAF at Radlett, north of London, under Wing-Commander Edward Addison, to operate anti-beam counter-measures. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Eight survivors of Dutch steamer Berenice, which was sunk by German submarine U-65 on the previous day, were landed at Falmouth, England, United Kingdom. The ninth survivor of the sinking, the Berenice's master, died from his wounds after being rescued. ww2dbase [Falmouth, England | HM]
  • The British motor yacht Campeador V (FY002) was requisitioned for war service on harbour patrol duties at hire rate ¬£60.0.0d per month. She was sunk after activating a magnetic mine just south of Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom. 20 people lost their lives; two crew members were picked up. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Portsmouth, England | HM]
United States
  • The US Congress adopted national defense tax measures designed to yield US$994,300,000 per year. ww2dbase [Washington | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 22 Jun 1940
L to R: Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel, Hermann Göring, Rudolf Heß, Adolf Hitler, and Walther von Brauchitsch before the railroad car that hosted the French surrender, Compiègne, France, 22 Jun 1940Keitel in front of the rail car that hosted the German surrender of 1918 and would soon host the French surrender of 1940, Compiègne, France, 22 Jun 1940French Minister of Defense General Charles Huntzinger signing the Franco-German armistice document, Compiègne, France, 22 Jun 1940Hitler (hand on hip) looking at statue of F. Foch before meeting with French delegation for negotiation of the armistice document, Compiègne, France, 22 Jun 1940; still from 1943 film
See all photos dated 22 Jun 1940
23 Jun 1940
  • Battleship Bismarck entered floating drydock No. V-VI to install propellers and the MES magnetic system. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Using information from Italian submarine Galileo Galilei (captured on 19 Jun), British sloop HMS Shoreham located Italian submarine Evangelista Torricelli and forced her to surface with depth charges. Evangelista Torricelli engaged three British destroyers, HMS Kandahar, HMS Kingston, and HMS Khartoum, with her deck gun, but was sunk near Perim Island at the mouth of the Red Sea. Later in the day, HMS Khartoum was badly damaged when one of her own torpedoes explodes on deck, killing one. Khartoum was beached on Perim Island to prevent sinking, but she would eventually be declared lost. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • French Army Commander-in-Chief General Maxime Weygand expelled Charles de Gaulle from the French Army. ww2dbase [Charles de Gaulle | CPC]
  • German submarine U-99, damaged on 21 Jun by German battlecruiser Scharnhorst in a friendly fire incident, was en route to Wilhelmshaven, Germany for repairs when she was bombed by friendly aircraft twice on this date; she suffered only minor additional damage. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German ambassador in Spain noted that the Duke of Windsor, the former King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, was traveling through Portugal. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov sent German Ambassador Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg a message noting that the Soviet Union would like to gain Bessarabia and Bukovina from Romania. This greatly alarmed the German OKW as the German military was dependent on Romania as a source of oil and fodder. ww2dbase [Soviet Demands on Romania and the Second Vienna Arbitration | CPC]
  • The British Long Range Desert Patrol (later to become the Long Range Desert Group) was formed under the command of Major Ralph Bagnold to undertake long-range reconnaissance patrols behind Italian lines in North Africa. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The lifeboat containing the four survivors of Dutch motor tanker Moordrecht, sunk by German submarine U-48 three days prior, were picked up by the Greek steam merchant Orion. ww2dbase [HM]
  • The survivors of Norwegian steam merchant ship Randsfjord, torpedoed by German submarine U-30 on the previous day, was picked up by the British steam merchant Port Hobart in the Celtic Sea. ww2dbase [Celtic Sea | HM]
France
  • Adolf Hitler arrived in Paris, France and did some sightseeing early in the morning; this would be his only visit to Paris. Although Germany and France had already signed an armistice, fighting between Italy and France continued while French delegates negotiated in Rome; General Huntzinger, who signed the German-French armistice at Compi√®gne on 22 Jun, was once again the a member of the French delegation. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Paris | TH]
French Morocco
  • Destroyer USS Herbert departed Casablanca, French Morocco for to Lisbon, Portugal with American refugees. ww2dbase [Casablanca | CPC]
Portugal
  • Portuguese police arrested American 30 sailors of light cruiser USS Trenton in a street brawl in Santo Amaro Oerias outside of Lisbon. Three Americans were injured during the arrest. ww2dbase [Santo Amaro Oerias | CPC]
Spain
  • 11 survivors of Finnish freighter Hilda, sunk by German submarine U-52 in the Bay of Biscay two days prior, reached Castro Urdiales, Spain aboard a lifeboat. ww2dbase [Castro Urdiales, Cantabria | HM]
United Kingdom
  • The 294-ton steam tug HMS Coringa was lost while on British Admiralty service but it was never explained what happened. Accounts from researchers and anecdotal accounts stated she was bombed in the Bristol Channel. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Bristol Channel | HM]
Photo(s) dated 23 Jun 1940
Erwin Rommel in the Paris, France victory parade, late Jun 1940German troops marching in Paris, France, late Jun 1940Adolf Hitler inspecting troops in France with G√ľnther von Kluge, Jun 1940Speer, Hitler, and sculptor Arno Breker in Paris, France, 23 Jun 1940
See all photos dated 23 Jun 1940
24 Jun 1940
  • British commandos launched an aborted raid on Le Touquet, France. ww2dbase [TH]
  • As French warships scattered throughout Dakar, Casablanca, Algiers, and Mers-el-K√©bir in French colonies in Africa, Alexandria in Egypt, and Plymouth and Portsmouth and Britain, French Admiral Darlan promised British Prime Minister Churchill that they would not fall into German hands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-47 sank Panamanian ship Cathrine with the deck gun about 300 miles west of Land's End in southwestern England. As the entire crew of 19 escaped to lifeboats, they were given food and red wine by the crew of U-47 before being set adrift for their eventual rescue. ww2dbase [U-47 | CPC]
  • British sloop HMS Falmouth sank Italian submarine Luigi Galvani in the Gulf of Oman. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japan requested Britain to close the Burma Road, a land supply route into China. ww2dbase [Burma Road and the Hump | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • 52 survivors (including Master Trevor Williams) of British motor merchant ship Wellington Star, sunk by German submarine U-101 eight days prior, were picked up by the French steam merchant Pierre L. D. and were later landed at Casablanca, French Morocco. On the same day, the remaining 17 crew members of the Wellington Star in a lifeboat made landfall at Figueira da Foz near Oporto in Portugal. ww2dbase [HM]
  • The 9,026-ton Norwegian motor tanker Eli Knudsen, disabled by a torpedo from German submarine U-32 two days prior, sank while in tow by British tanker Corinda. ww2dbase [Celtic Sea | HM]
Germany
  • Robert von Greim was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal. ww2dbase [Robert von Greim | CPC]
Italy
  • The Franco-Italian armistice was signed at Villa Olgiata near Rome, Italy by French General Huntziger and Italian General Badoglio. Fighting would continue until the following day when the agreement would take effect. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Rome | TH]
Malta
  • Malta received its first strike aircraft with the arrival and creation of No. 830 Squadron with Fairey Swordfish Mk.1 aircraft; they were left behind by HMS Argus when she departed the Mediterranean Sea. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | AC]
United States
  • Charles Edison resigned as the Secretary of the Navy of the United States; Lewis Compton, Assistant Secretary of the Navy since 9 Feb 1940, took over as the acting secretary. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Rear Admiral Charles A. Blakely relieved Rear Admiral Joseph R. Defrees as the Commandant of the Eleventh Naval District and the Commandant of the Naval Operating Base in San Diego, California, United States. ww2dbase [San Diego, California | CPC]
25 Jun 1940
  • An act by the United States Congress abolished the US Navy Construction Corps. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyer USS O'Brien departed Buenos Aires, Argentina for Rio Grande du Sol, Brazil. ww2dbase [O'Brien | CPC]
  • The Franco-German Armistice, signed on 22 Jun, took effect at 0030 hours. After fighting ceased, French losses totaled 92,000 killed, 250,000 wounded, and 1,500,000 captured. British losses were 68,111 killed, wounded, or captured. German losses were 29,640 killed and 133,573 wounded and missing. Italian losses were 631 killed, 4,782 wounded, and 616 missing. France declared a National day of mourning, while Hitler ordered the flying of flags and pealing of bells in Germany to celebrate "the most glorious victory of all time". ww2dbase [Franco-German Armistice | CPC]
  • German submarine U-51 attacked Allied convoy OA-172 about 370 miles west of Land's End in southwestern England between 1545 and 1930 hours, sinking British steamer Windsorwood (all 40 survived) and British tanker Saranac (4 killed, 39 survived). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Canadian destroyers HMCS Fraser and HMCS Restigouche and British cruiser HMS Calcutta were sent to evacuate 4,000 Allied troops near Bordeaux, France. En route, in rough seas and poor visibility, HMCS Fraser collided with HMS Calcutta. The smaller Canadian destroyer broke into three pieces and sank. 47 of Fraser's crew and 19 of Calcutta's crew were killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Minister of Health Malcolm MacDonald returned to Dublin, Ireland with a proposal from Winston Churchill for a joint union between Eire and Ulster to afford sanctruary for British troops and Irish ports for Royal Navy use. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The Franco-German armistice became effective, officially ending all hostilities. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • Lord Gort departed Britain by flying boat for Rabat, French Morocco to speak with French ministers; political situations would prevent him from successfully meeting with the French. ww2dbase [John Vereker | CPC]
  • Isolationist advertising appeared in the American newspaper New York Times; Germany secretly funded this advertising. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Working together with the Germans, Spain agreed to assist with the German attempt to detain the Duke of Windsor, the former King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Pierre Fran√ßois Boisson was named the Governor-General of French West Africa. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • HMS Snapper (N 39) (Lieutenant W. D. A. King, DSO, RN) torpedoed and sank the 286-ton German armed trawler V 110 south of Stavanger, Norway. The 2,515-ton German merchant Robert Sauber (built 1910) was hit by a dud torpedo and was lightly damaged. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | North Sea | HM]
  • The 3,828-ton Norwegian cargo ship Crux, built in 1923 and owned at the time of her loss by Bergenske Dampskibsselskab A/B, on voyage from Cardiff in Britain to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil, was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine UA in the Atlantic Ocean. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | UA | HM]
  • German submarine U-51 hit 12,049-ton British steam tanker Saranac in Allied convoy OA-172 with one torpedo about 270 miles west-southwest of Lands End at the southwestern tip of Britain at 1551 hours. The ships' crew immediately abandoned the ship. At 1737 hours, the submarine surfaced and failed to sink the tanker by gunfire. At 1915 hours, another torpedo was fired, finally sinking Saranac. Four crew members were lost in this sinking. 31 survivors, including the master Vernon Horace Alcock, were picked up by British destroyer HMS Hurricane (H 06) commanded by Lieutenant Commander H. C. Simms, RN and landed at Plymouth in southern Britain. 9 survivors were picked up by British trawler Caliph and landed at Berehaven, County Cork, Ireland. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-51 | HM]
France
  • After the Germans made the French surrender at Compi√®gne, France, the site of the German surrender in 1918, Adolf Hitler ordered the site destroyed, including the rail car used for both 1918 and 1940 surrenders. The statue of Marshal Ferdinand Foch was spared. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Adolf Hitler | Compi√®gne, Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie | CPC]
  • By this date, the French Army had taken delivery of 480 to 490 37L tracked carriers. ww2dbase [37L | CPC]
Germany United Kingdom
  • British steam merchant Port Hobart landed the survivors of Norwegian steam merchant ship Randsfjord, torpedoed by German submarine U-30 three days prior, at Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. Three of the survivors were admitted to hospital. ww2dbase [Glasgow, Scotland | HM]
Photo(s) dated 25 Jun 1940
Map detailing the German and Italian advances in France, 13-25 Jun 1940Damaged dock facilities and sunken tug boat at Brest, France, Jun 1940
26 Jun 1940
  • General de Gaulle created the French Volunteer Legion in United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Charles de Gaulle | TH]
  • The United Kingdom extended the blockade to include the all of France. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Norwegian merchant ship Crux was sunk 300 miles west of Cape St. Vincent, Portugal at 0228 hours by a German submarine; the crew of 30 took to lifeboats and would be rescued on the following day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-29 stopped Greek ship Dimitris with a shot across her bow off Cape Finisterre, Spain at 1530 hours. After the crew abandoned ship, the Greek ship was sunk by gunfire. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet Union presented an ultimatum demanding territory in Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina from Romania. Adolf Hitler suggested the Romanians government to give in and satisfy the Soviet demands as Hitler was fearful that Romanian resistance might lead to a Soviet occupation of the entire Romania, which would threaten the oil and fodder that the German military was dependent upon. ww2dbase [Soviet Demands on Romania and the Second Vienna Arbitration | CPC]
  • Corvette Trillium was launched. ww2dbase [Trillium | CPC]
  • The French Foreign Minister of the Bordeaux Government announced that the French Ambassador in London, M. Corbin, had resigned. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Wolfgang Falck was officially named the commanding officer of the German nightfighters, Nachtjagdfliegerdienst. ww2dbase [Wolfgang Falck | CPC]
  • RMS Queen Mary, with 5,000 British troops aboard, set sail for the Middle East. ww2dbase [Queen Mary | CPC]
Russia
  • The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet in Moscow, Russia called for a 7-day work week and banned the quitting of jobs without official authorization. Also, being late to work for more than 20 minutes was now a criminal offense punishable by prison terms of two to six months. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom United States
  • Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, United States received the license from Rolls-Royce to build Merlin engines for the P-51 Mustang fighters, with an order at the size of US$130,000,000 being placed. The first Packard-built Merlin engine, designated V-1650-1, would be ready in Aug 1941. ww2dbase [P-51 Mustang | Detroit, Michigan | CPC, DS]
27 Jun 1940
  • German forces reached the Franco-Spanish border. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • German submarine U-47 shelled Norwegian merchant ship Lenda off southwest Ireland at 0400 hours; 1 was killed and 27 survived. At 1700 hours, U-47 shelled Dutch tanker Leticia in the same area; 25 of the crew took to lifeboats, while the other 3 who dove into the water were rescued by U-47 and brought to the lifeboats; the crew of U-47 offered the survivors first aid material, sausages, and wine before leaving. ww2dbase [U-47 | CPC]
  • Romania ceded Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Soviet Demands on Romania and the Second Vienna Arbitration | CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt declared a national emergency and re-invoked the Espionage Act of 1917 to control shipping in American waters and in waters near the Panama Canal Zone. On the same day, he also established the National Defense Research Committee under chairman Vannevar Bush to coordinate the development of war related sciences and technologies. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Heavy cruiser USS Wichita, with Commander Cruiser Division Seven Rear Admiral Andrew C. Pickens aboard, departed Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyer USS O'Brien arrived at Rio Grande du Sol, Brazil. ww2dbase [O'Brien | CPC]
  • The escaping French battleship Jean Bart, which had been fitting out at Saint-Nazaire when France fell, reached safety at Casablanca, French Morocco. ww2dbase [Jean Bart | AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The destroyer HMS Versatile (D 32) (Commander J.H. Jauncey, RN (retired)) picked up 13 survivors from the British special service vessel HMS Cape Howe about 150 nautical miles off Ushant, France. The Q-ship, disguised as the Prunella, had been torpedoed and sunk on 21 Jun 1940 by German submarine U-28. ww2dbase [HM]
Mediterranean Sea
  • The Italian submarine Console Generale Liuzzi was attacked by the British destroyers HMS Dainty, HMS Ilex, HMS Decoy and HMS Defender together with Australian destroyer HMAS Voyager south of the island of Crete, Greece. The Italian commander Capitano di Corvetta Lorenzo Bezzi ordered the submarine to be scuttled and chose to go down with the ship. ww2dbase [Console Generale Liuzzi | HM]
United Kingdom
  • Despite Admiral Darlan's previous assurances that French ships would not fall into German hands, the British War Cabinet ordered the Royal Navy to seize or destroy all French warships in British and North African ports. In turn, Vice Admiral Sir James Somerville was ordered to take the newly-formed Force H to Algeria. ww2dbase [British Attacks on the French Fleet | CPC]
United States
  • The keel for battleship Iowa was laid down at the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard in New York, United States. ww2dbase [Iowa | Brooklyn, New York | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 27 Jun 1940
Rear Admiral Clark Woodward driving the first rivet for battleship Iowa at the keel laying ceremony, New York Navy Yard, New York, United States, 27 Jun 1940Submarine Gar under construction, Groton, Connecticut, United States, 27 Jun 1940; topside view looking aft
28 Jun 1940
  • Soviet Union occupied Bessarabia and the Northern Bukovina, ceded by Romania. ww2dbase [Soviet Demands on Romania and the Second Vienna Arbitration | TH]
  • General Charles de Gaulle was recognized by the United Kingdom as the leader of Free French forces. ww2dbase [Charles de Gaulle | TH]
  • Pope Pius XII offered to be a mediator for the warring powers. ww2dbase [Pius XII | TH]
  • British Blenheim bomber attacked Tobruk in North Africa. Following the raid, Italian Governor-General of Libya Marshal Italo Balbo returned from a reconnaissance flight. Italian anti-aircraft crews, still jumpy from the raid, mis-identified his aircraft for a British bomber and opened fire, killing Balbo. Given Balbo's opposition to Mussolini's alliance with Germany, some believe this friendly fire incident was actually an assassination. ww2dbase [TH]
  • German submarine U-30 sank British ship Llanarth 250 miles west of Brest, France at 0200 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British trawler Castleton became missing in the Orkney Islands in northern Scotland, probably sunk by U-102 which did not return from this patrol. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Stafford Cripps was appointed the British Ambassador to the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [CPC]
Guernsey
  • The British Channel Islands were partially evacuated after being demilitarized to minimize casualties to be caused by the imminent German attacks. On the same day, German Luftwaffe aircraft bombed Guernsey and Jersey, killing 33 and injuring 40. ww2dbase [Guernsey | TH]
United Kingdom
  • Douglas Bader was named the commanding officer of No. 242 Squadron RAF, flying Hurricane fighters, based at RAF Coltishall at Norwich, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | Norwich, England | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 28 Jun 1940
Refugees lining up outside a support center for refugees set up by the German occupation, Cherbourg, France, Jun 1940Soviet BA-10 armored cars entering Romania, late Jun 1940Soviet T-26 tank leading a column of BA-10 armored cars into Romania, circa late Jun 1940Soviet BA-10 armored cars in Romania, circa late Jun 1940
29 Jun 1940
  • Operation Catapult: The British Admiralty gave Vice Admiral Somerville explicit instructions to secure the transfer, surrender, or destruction of the French warships at Mers-el-K√©bir, Algeria. Force H under his command consisted of battleships HMS Valiant and HMS Resolution, battlecruiser HMS Hood, aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, cruisers HMS Arethusa and HMS Enterprise, and 11 destroyers. ww2dbase [British Attacks on the French Fleet | CPC]
  • German submarine U-99 was again subjected to friendly fire. Upon leaving Wilhelmshaven, Germany, she was attacked by a German aircraft with 3 bombs. She dove under the surface to avoid the bombs, but sustained minor damage when she hit the sea floor. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-51 sank British decoy ship HMS Edgehill with three torpedoes southwest of Ireland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-47 torpedoed and sank British ship Empire Toucan southwest of Ireland, which broke in half; 3 were killed and 31 were rescued. Destroyer HMS Hurricane scuttled the aft portion of the ship which remained afloat. ww2dbase [U-47 | CPC]
  • German submarine U-26 sank Greek steamer Frangoula B. Goulandris southwest of Ireland; 6 were killed and 32 were rescued. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyer USS O'Brien departed Rio Grande du Sol, Brazil for Santos, Brazil. ww2dbase [O'Brien | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler arrived at his headquarters at Tannenberg in southern Germany. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
  • Maximilian von Weichs was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal. ww2dbase [Maximilian von Weichs | CPC]
  • HMS Hermes received orders to set sail toward Dakar, French West Africa. ww2dbase [Hermes | CPC]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND joined escort at Greenock for Middle East convoy WS1 for passage to Capetown, South Africa. ww2dbase [Cumberland | DS]
United Kingdom
  • Greek steam merchant Orion landed the four survivors of Dutch motor tanker Moordrecht at Liverpool, England, United Kingdom. Moordrecht had been sunk by German submarine U-48 nine days prior. ww2dbase [Liverpool, England | HM]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt departed Washington DC, United States aboard the yacht Potomac; the ship was accompanied by auxiliary vessel Cuyahoga. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | Washington | CPC]
30 Jun 1940
  • German submarine U-65 and U-43 attacked Allied convoy SL-25 300 files west of Brest, France. At 2227 hours, U-43 sank British ship Avelona Star; 1 was killed and 84 were rescued. U-65 damaged British ship Clan Ogilvy, which would need to be towed away; she would remain out of commission until Oct 1940. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-47 sank Greek ship Georgios Kyriakides west of Ireland; all 30 crew members survived. ww2dbase [U-47 | CPC]
  • As of this date, the US Navy reported the strength of 1,099 vessels and 203,127 personnel (160,997 Navy, 28,384 Marine Corps, and 13,766 Coast Guard). In a separate report, the US Marine Corps reported the active duty strength to be 1,732 officers and 26,545 enlisted men for the total of 28,277. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Heavy cruiser USS Wichita, with Commander Cruiser Division Seven Rear Admiral Andrew C. Pickens aboard, arrived at Montevideo, Uruguay, joining USS Quincy that was already there. The visit was "to furnish a reminder of the strength and the range of action of the armed forces of the United States". ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Alfred Jodl noted in his diary that the United Kingdom was certain to fall in time, regardless of the fact whether an actual invasion was necessary. ww2dbase [Alfred Jodl | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-26 sank Estonian ship Merkur (killing 4) and Norwegian ship Belmoira (all 25 crew members survived) off of France. ww2dbase [CPC]
France
  • After repeated attacks, by Stuka aircraft and rail guns, had failed to make any impression, a direct order from General Maxime Weygand finally pursuades the remaining French garrisons still holding out in the Maginot fortresses to leave their defences. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Maxime Weygand | AC]
Guernsey
  • Three German personnel landed on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel by aircraft and demanded surrender from a local policeman. ww2dbase [Guernsey | TH]
  • A German reconnaissance aircraft landed on Guernsey in the Channel Islands and unofficially received the surrender of the islanders. ww2dbase [CPC]
Russia
  • Submarine S-7 was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [S-7 | CPC]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt returned to Washington DC, United States after touring the Potomac River aboard the presidential yacht Potomac. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | Washington | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 30 Jun 1940
Battleship North Carolina off New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, United States, late Jun 1940
1 Jul 1940
  • German forces took Jersey, completing the occupation of the Channel Islands. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Marshal Philippe P√©tain's government moved to from Bordeaux to Vichy, France. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Germany requested neutral nations to withdraw their diplomatic missions from Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, and Luxembourg. ww2dbase [TH]
  • By this date, about 900,000 tons of Allied shipping had been sunk by German U-boats in 6 months of war. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British milk price ceiling was increased to 4 pence per pint. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Operation Seel√∂we (Sealion), a plan for the invasion of Britain, was first mentioned by the German General Staff. On the same day, German bombers began a campaign against British industrial centers, beginning with a daylight raid on Hull, England and Wick, Scotland, killing 12 and wounding 22. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • German submarines attacked various Allied ships off the French coast. 300 miles west of Brest at 0400 hours, U-30 sank British ship Beignon of Allied convoy SL-36, 6 were killed, 30 crew and 81 survivors of British ship Avelona Star, sunk on the previous day, were rescued. U-102 sank British ship Clearton of Allied convoy SL-36, killing 8; British destroyer HMS Vansittart found U-102 and sank her with depth charges, killing the entire crew of 43; 26 survivors from Clearton were picked up by HMS Vansittart. U-65 sank Dutch ship Amstelland; 1 was killed and 39 survived. U-29 sank Greek ship Adamastos; all 25 crew members survived. Meanwhile, southwest of Ireland, German submarine U-26 damaged British steamer Zarian of Allied convoy OA-175; British corvette HMS Gladiolus forced U-26 to surface with depth charges, which was then bombed by a Sunderland aircraft of the No. 10 Squadron RAAF; the crew of U-26 scuttled the boat before surrendering. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Joseph Stalin told his Ambassador to Tokyo that the non-aggression pact with Germany "was dictated by the desire to unleash war in Europe". ww2dbase [AC]
  • British RAF Fighter Command chief Hugh Dowding's son Derek became a pilot with the No. 74 Squadron. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Quintin Brand was promoted to the temporary rank of air vice marshal. ww2dbase [Quintin Brand | CPC]
  • The responsibility for nuclear fission research in the United States was transferred to the National Defense Research Committee under Vannevar Bush. ww2dbase [Operation Trinity and Manhattan Project | CPC]
  • Rodolfo Graziani was named the Governor-General of Italian Libya. ww2dbase [Rodolfo Graziani | CPC]
  • Destroyer USS O'Brien arrived at Santos, Brazil. ww2dbase [O'Brien | CPC]
  • The US Navy issued contracts for the construction of 44 new ships. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Navy awarded a US$30,870,000 contract to build naval facilities across the Pacific. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Albrecht Lanz was declared the military governor of the Channel Islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Maximilian von Weichs was promoted to the rank of Generaloberst. ww2dbase [Maximilian von Weichs | CPC]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND joined Ocean Escort for military Convoy WS1 during passage to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) (Note: WS1 comprised RMS AQUITANIA, RMS MAURETANIA and RMS QUEEN MARY taking troops to join 8th Army in EGYPT). ww2dbase [The Magnificent Queens | Cumberland | Queen Mary | DS]
  • After arrival of WS1 at Capetown, South Africa, HMS CUMBERLAND carried out unsuccessful search for the German commerce raider THOR reported in South Atlantic. ww2dbase [Cumberland | Thor | DS]
France
  • US Ambassador to France William C. Bullitt met with French Marshal Philippe P√©tain, who ensured that orders had been given "to every captain of the French Fleet to sink his ship rather than permit [it] to fall into German hands". Later on the same day, Bullitt visited French Admiral Fran√ßois Darlan, who noted that French ships had been ordered to sail for Martinique and Guantanamo should there be a risk that the Germans would gain the French fleet, and if sailing not possible, the ships would be scuttled. ww2dbase [British Attacks on the French Fleet | CPC]
Guernsey
  • German troops landed on the island of Guernsey off the French coast, meeting no opposition. ww2dbase [CPC]
Jersey
  • German troops landed on the island of Jersey off the French coast, meeting no opposition. ww2dbase [CPC]
Romania
  • King Carol II of Romania renounced the guarantees given to him by the United Kingdom in 1939 and announced that hence-forward his country's alliegance would be with Germany. ww2dbase [Carol II | AC]
United Kingdom
  • British liner Arandora Star departed Liverpool, England for Canada with 479 German and 734 Italian civilian internees, 86 German prisoners of war, and 374 British crew and guards. Some of the civilian internees were Jewish refugees who had previously been able to escape from Nazi Germany. Arandora Star failed to display a red cross to denote that she was carrying civilians and prisoners of war. ww2dbase [Liverpool, England | CPC]
  • The Free French government-in-exile established its own Military Intelligence Service under Major Andr√© Dewavrin - Service de Renseignements. ww2dbase [London, England | AC]
  • Winston Churchill recorded in his diary that during a meeting with the US Ambassador, Joseph Kennedy had stated that Britain was beaten and that Adolf Hitler would be in London by the 15th of August. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | London, England | AC]
United States
  • The Headquarters Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force was established at the Marine Corps Base, San Diego, California, United States under Brigadier General Ross E. Rowell. ww2dbase [San Diego, California | CPC]
  • The noted American aviator James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle was recalled to active service as a Major and began assisting US car manufacturers as they switched to aircraft production. ww2dbase [James Doolittle | AC]
  • Joseph Stilwell was made the commanding officer of the 7th Division at Fort Ord, Seaside, California, United States. ww2dbase [Joseph Stilwell | Seaside, California | CPC]
  • USS S-26 returned to full duty while at New London, Connecticut, United States. ww2dbase [S-26 | New London, Connecticut | CPC]
2 Jul 1940
  • The British government canceled the Aug 1940 bank holiday. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The US Congress passed the Export Control Act, giving the US President the power to control the export of military equipment whenever he thought it was "necessary in the interest of national defense". ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-47 sank the British liner Arandora Star off the coast of Ireland; the liner was carrying 1,500 Italian and German prisoners of war to Canada. ww2dbase [U-47 | TH]
Germany
  • Adolf Hitler ordered the planning to begin for Operation Sealion, the invasion of Britain. ww2dbase [TH]
Guernsey
  • German troops traveled from Guernsey to the islands of Alderney and Sark in the Channel Islands, meeting no opposition. ww2dbase [CPC]
Romania
  • King Carol II invited a Germany military mission to be established in Romania to train Romanian troops. ww2dbase [Carol II | CPC]
3 Jul 1940
  • Due to such heavy losses from the Luftwaffe the British suspended all traffic through the English Channel. Meanwhile, the British decided that harbors on the Channel coast and German shipping should be the primary targets of bombing. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Battle of Mers-el-K√©bir: At 0545 hours, Vice Admiral James Somerville and his British Royal Navy Force H arrived off of Mers-el-K√©bir, Algeria where a power fleet under French Admiral Marcel Gensoul resided. At 1756 hours, after Gensoul refused to surrender, the British fleet opened fire for 10 minutes. The magazine of French battleship Bretagne was hit, sinking her, taking down 977 French sailors. Battleship Provence, battleship Dunkerque, and destroyer Mogador were damaged. In total, 1,297 French sailors were killed and 350 were wounded. After the battle, French battleship Strasbourg, carrier Commandant Teste, and four destroyers were able to escape from Mers-el-K√©bir. ww2dbase [British Attacks on the French Fleet | CPC]
  • General Franz Halder, the German Army Chief of Staff, asked his staff to consider a "military blow" in the east, to keep the Soviet armed forces at arm's length. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | AC]
  • At dawn, the British Royal Navy boarded two French battleships, nine destroyers, and a number of other smaller warships that were docked at Plymouth and Portsmouth, England; 3 British and 1 French sailors were killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Upon hearing the news of British attacks on French warships, six French cruisers and 4 destroyers left various ports in Algiers for Toulon, France. They were attacked by British Swordfish carrier aircraft from HMS Ark Royal en route, but they would arrive at Toulon on 4 Jul 1940. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German Luftwaffe aircraft bombed Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • USS Tautog was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Tautog | CPC]
  • The British founded the Long Range Desert Group under the command of Acting Brigadier Ralph Bagnold with purpose of long range reconnaissance patrols behind the Italian lines, into Libya, to gather intelligence. ww2dbase [AC]
  • USS Wichita and USS Quincy departed Montevideo, Uruguay for Brazilian waters. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • USS O'Brien departed Santos, Brazil, for Par√°, Brazil. ww2dbase [O'Brien | CPC]
Egypt
  • British Navy Vice Admiral Sir Andrew Cunnigham demanded the French warships under French Admiral Ren√©-√Čmile Godfroy, docked at Alexandria in Egypt, to surrender. Negotiations would continue until 7 Jul 1940. ww2dbase [British Attacks on the French Fleet | Alexandria | CPC]
  • Suffren was interned by the British at Alexandria, Egypt. ww2dbase [Suffren | Alexandria | CPC]
Panama Canal Zone
  • USS Phoenix arrived at Balboa, Panama Canal Zone. ww2dbase [Phoenix | Balboa | CPC]
Spain
  • Destroyer USS Dickerson departed Bilbao, Spain. ww2dbase [Bilbao | CPC]
  • USS Dickerson departed Bilbao, Spain, for Lisbon, Portugal. ww2dbase [Bilbao | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 3 Jul 1940
French battleship Strasbourg under attack at Mers-el-Kébir, French Algeria, 3 Jul 1940French destroyer Mogador burning after being damaged at the Battle of Mers-el-Kébir, French Algeria, 3 Jul 1940French battleship Bretagne under attack during the Battle of Mers-el-Kébir, French Algeria, 3 Jul 1940French warships during Battle of Mers-el-Kébir, French Algeria, 3 Jul 1940
See all photos dated 3 Jul 1940
4 Jul 1940
  • Despite having his left leg shattered by a bomb blast, British Leading Seaman Jack Mantle continued to fire his anti-aircraft guns as the merchant cruiser HMS Foylebank sank beneath him during an air raid on Portland naval base in England, United Kingdom. Mantle was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross medal. ww2dbase [AC]
Algeria Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
  • Italians forces captured a number of British forts, including Kassala and Gallabat, in East Africa. The Italian forward units paused to establish anti-tank defenses. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Kanalkampf: German Stuka dive bombers and motored torpedo boats attacked British Allied Convoy OA178 south of Bournemouth, England, United Kingdom, which was near Portland. Five merchant ships were sunk, which were British ships Elmcrest and Dallas City, Dutch ships Britsum and Decalion, and Estonian ship Kolga; several other ships were damaged. Meanwhile, German aircraft bombed the Royal Navy base in Portland, sinking British auxiliary anti-aircraft ship Foyle Bank, killing 176, as well as tug boat Silverdial. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | English Channel | TH]
China France French West Africa Gibraltar Guernsey
  • The Dame of Sark, ruler of the island of Sark in the English Channel, surrendered to the German forces. ww2dbase [Sark | CPC]
  • Sark in the Channel Islands, having been occupied by the Germans since two days prior, officially surrendered. ww2dbase [Sark | CPC]
Malta
  • Italian bombers again raided Malta. ww2dbase [TH]
Romania
  • King Carol II swore in Iron Guard member Ion Gigurtu as the new Prime Minister of Romania. ww2dbase [Carol II | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Winston Churchill received his first standing ovation in the House of Commons as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after delivering a speech justifying the attack on French warships. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | London, England | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 4 Jul 1940
Tautog
5 Jul 1940
  • Romania announced that it had joined the Axis Powers. ww2dbase [The Tripartite Pact | TH]
  • RAF launched night bombing raids on Kiel and Wilhelmshaven, Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | TH]
  • The United States banned the trade of strategic materials with Japan. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Nine British Royal Navy Swordfish aircraft of 813 Squadron from HMS Eagle flew 100 miles west from Sidi Barrani, Egypt to attack the Italian naval base at Tobruk, Libya. Destroyer Zeffiro was sunk, destroyer Euro's bow was blown off, troop transport Liguria was damaged and was beached to prevent sinking, merchant vessel Manzoni was sunk, and merchant vessel Serenitas was damaged. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
  • German submarine U-34 sank British destroyer Whirlwind off Land's End, southwestern tip of England, United Kingdom. 50 miles southwest of Ireland, U-34 torpedoed British destroyer HMS Whirlwind, killing 59; 51 survivors were rescued by destroyer HMS Westcott before Wescott scuttled Whirlwind. Also off Ireland, U-99 damaged Canadian steamer Magog, breaking her into two; the stern section sank immediately, but the remainder of the ship remained afloat largely due to the timber she was carrying; 23 survivors were rescued by Swedish merchant ship Fidra. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • German auxiliary minesweepers M1803 (trawler Spitzbergen), M1806 (trawler Cuxhaven), and M1807 (trawler Mulsum) attacked and damaged British submarine HMS Shark in Boknafjord near Stavanger, Norway at 2200 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Vichy France broke off diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt used the power given by the Export Control Act, which was was just passed into law three days prior, to restrict the export of strategic minerals, strategic chemicals, aircraft engines, aircraft engine parts, and other equipment to Japan without special license. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • USS Wichita and USS Quincy arrived in Rio Grande du Sol, Brazil. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • Hitler presented the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross to Generalluftzeumeister Ernst Udet, the Director General of Luftwaffe Equipment. ww2dbase [AC]
Germany
  • Adolf Hitler departed from his headquarters at Tannenberg in southern Germany, returning to Berlin. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | Berlin | CPC]
Panama Canal Zone
  • USS Phoenix departed Balboa, Panama Canal Zone for Valparaiso, Chile. ww2dbase [Phoenix | Balboa | CPC]
Portugal
  • USS Omaha relieved USS Trenton as Rear Admiral David M. LeBreton's flagship for Squadron 40-T at Lisbon, Portugal. ww2dbase [Lisbon | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Operation Fish: British battleship HMS Revenge, cruiser HMS Bonaventure, destroyer HMS Garth, and troop transports Monarch of Bermuda, Sobieski, and Batory departed Greenock, Scotland at 0545 hours. The cargo of US$1,750,000,000 worth of gold and securities from the Bank of England was destined for the Bank of Canada's vault in Ottawa. They would arrive at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada safely on 12 Jul. ww2dbase [Greenock, Scotland | CPC]
  • In Britain, the south coast of England for twenty miles inland from Bexhill was declared to be a "Defence Area". ww2dbase [England | AC]
United States
  • Admiral James O. Richardson arrived in Washington DC, United States to meet with US President Franklin Roosevelt, officials from the Department of the Navy, and the State Department regarding the retention of the US Fleet in Hawaiian waters. ww2dbase [Washington | CPC]
6 Jul 1940
  • The first German U-boat base in France was opened at Lorient. ww2dbase [TH]
  • German aircraft and minesweepers sank four British submarines (Narwhal, Spearfish, Shark, and Thames). ww2dbase [TH]
  • Operation Lever: British Royal Navy Force H under Vice Admiral James Somerville returned to Mers-el-K√©bir, Algeria. At dawn, Swordfish aircraft from carrier HMS Ark Royal scored several torpedo hits on French battleship Dunkerque, killing 154 and wounding 8. One torpedo hit patrol boat Terre Neuve, detonating depth charges, killing 8; shock waves from the explosion further damaged Dunkerque. ww2dbase [British Attacks on the French Fleet | CPC]
  • British cruisers HMS Capetown and HMS Caledon and destroyers HMS Janus, HMS Juno, HMS Ilex, and HMS Imperial shelled Bardia, Libya near the Egyptian border at 0537 hours, sinking Italian ship Axum and damaged another merchant ship. Italian bombers arrived at 0820 hours, but caused no damage against the British warships. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Shark, damaged by attacks from German auxiliary minesweepers M1803 (trawler Spitzbergen), M1806 (trawler Cuxhaven), and M1807 (trawler Mulsum) in Boknafjord near Stavanger, Norway on the previous day, became captured by the Germans. She was in the process of being towed by the German ships when she suddenly sank, killing 3. The remaining 32 crew members were rescued and became prisoners of war. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German radio stations played the song "Denn wir fahren gegen Engeland" for the first time. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-34 sank Estonian collier Vapper south of Cape Clear, Ireland; 1 was killed and 32 took to lifeboats; German submarine U-99, which had chased Vapper for the past 90 minutes, observed the sinking. To the south, U-30 sank Egyptian ship Angele Mabro west of Brest, France, killing all aboard. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Stephen Beattie was made the commanding officer of destroyer HMS Vivien. ww2dbase [Stephen Beattie | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 6 Jul 1940
Ordnance QF 4.5 inch Howitzer and its New Zealand Expeditionary Force crew during an inspection by King George VI at Burley in the New Forest, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom, 6 Jul 1940
7 Jul 1940
  • Italy granted France permission to keep her Mediterranean bases armed. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Kanalkampf: Six British fighters were shot down during aerial battles with German aircraft, killing four. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • German submarine U-99 sank British ship Sea Glory at the very start of the day, killing the entire crew of 29. Toward the end of the day, U-99 struck again, sinking Swedish ship Bissen 80 miles south of Cape Clear, Ireland; the entire crew of 20 survived. Also on this date, U-34 sank Dutch tanker Lucrecia 100 miles west of Land's End in southwestern England, United Kingdom, killing 2; 30 survivors were later rescued by Portuguese ship Alfarrarede. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
Egypt
  • Ren√©-√Čmile Godfroy agreed to keep the French Navy Force X at Alexandra, Egypt, which included the battleship Lorraine and four cruisers, according to British demands. Godfroy secured Andrew Cunningham's pledge that the ships would remain under Godfroy's command and that the sailors would be repatriated. ww2dbase [Ren√©-√Čmile Godfroy | Alexandria | CPC]
French West Africa
  • Operation Catapult: British Swordfish torpedo bombers from carrier HMS Hermes attacked the French battleship Richelieu in dock at Dakar, French West Africa. A torpedo hit caused a 40-foot hole, bringing her to the bottom of the harbor (the harbor was shallow enough for her to be refloated shortly after). ww2dbase [British Attacks on the French Fleet | Dakar | CPC]
  • After dark, a boat from HMS Hermes attempted to drop depth charges underneath French battleship Richelieu in Dakar, French West Africa; the attack was not successful. ww2dbase [British Attacks on the French Fleet | Hermes | Dakar | CPC]
Guernsey
  • British submarine HMS H43 landed Lieutenant Hubert Nicolle on the Channel Island of Guernsey during the night to collect intelligence for the planned commando raid code named Operation Ambassador. ww2dbase [Guernsey | CPC]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt informed the US Congress that he intended to deploy a US Marine Corps brigade to Iceland. ww2dbase [Invasion of Iceland | Washington | CPC]
8 Jul 1940
  • Expanding on their previous agreement, Sweden allowed Germany to transport war materiel across their rail lines. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British Metropolitan Police was ordered to be armed when guarding important locations. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-99 sank British ship Humber Arm of Allied convoy HX-53 60 miles south of Ireland at 0753 hours; 42 crew members and 1 passenger were later rescued by destroyer HMS Scimitar. The submarine was attacked with 107 depth charges from various escorting vessels for the following 14 hours, but the German boat under the command of Otto Kretschmer would be able to escape harm. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Italian submarine Marconi torpedoed and damaged destroyer HMS Escort southwest of Minorca, Balearic Islands, in the Mediterranean Sea, killing 2 and wounding 13; HMS Escort would sink later while under tow by destroyer HMS Forester. On the same day, Italian aircraft bombed cruiser HMS Gloucester, hitting the compass platform of the bridge, wounding 9 and killing 12; the commanding officer was among those killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British RAF Fighter Command established the 10 Group for the defense of southwestern Britain. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Wichita and USS Quincy departed Santos, Brazil for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • USS Phoenix departed Valparaiso, Chile for Callao, Peru. ww2dbase [Phoenix | CPC]
  • The US Joint War Planning Committee completed a plan calling for an expeditionary force to be dispatched from New York, New York, United States to the French colony of Martinique; the US 1st Marine Brigade was earmarked for the initial landing force. ww2dbase [CPC]
French Morocco French West Africa
  • British Swordfish torpedo bombers from carrier HMS Hermes hit French battleship Richelieu at Dakar, French West Africa for the second consecutive day, despite that Richelieu had already touched bottom from the attacks on the previous day. ww2dbase [British Attacks on the French Fleet | Richelieu | Dakar | CPC]
Germany
  • British bombers attacked German heavy cruiser L√ľtzow in dock at Kiel, Germany. L√ľtzow, under repair for extensive torpedo damage to her stern caused by HMS Spearfish on 11 Apr 1940, was hit by a bomb that failed to detonate. ww2dbase [Deutsche Werke Kiel | Deutschland | Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein | CPC]
United Kingdom
9 Jul 1940
  • RAF considered this date the official start of their night bombing campaign against Germany. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British submarine HMS Salmon was lost 60 miles off of Stavanger, Norway; the entire crew of 39 was never heard from again. She was presumed to have hit a naval mine. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The German raider Komet left Bergen, Norway for operations in the Pacific Ocean via the Northern Sea Route in the Arctic Ocean assisted by Russian icebreakers. ww2dbase [Komet | TH]
  • British government implemented rationing on tea: each person was allowed 2 ounces of tea per week. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British House of Commons passed a ¬£1,000,000,000 war credit. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • During the night, 11 British Hampden aircraft (out of 14 dispatched) attacked battleship Tirpitz to little effect. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
  • German Luftwaffe aircraft attacked shipping in the English Channel and off the British coast. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • USS O'Brien arrived at Par√°, Brazil. ww2dbase [O'Brien | CPC]
  • German Nachtjagdgeshchwader 1 wing scored its first kill. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-34 sank Estonian ship Tiiu southwest of Ireland at 1232 hours; the crew of 20 were rescued by a British trawler. In the same general area, at 2119 hours, German submarine U-43 sank British ship Aylesbury; the crew of 35 were rescued by destroyers HMS Harvester and HMS Havelock. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • At 1515 hours, 50 miles south of Italy, heavily escorted Italian convoy for Benghazi, Libya ran into an equally powerful British convoy for Malta. British battleship HMS Warspite hit Italian battleship Giulio Cesare at the range of 24 kilometers, making it one of the longest naval gun hits of the war. Although Italian ships withdrew first, Italian aircraft forced the British ships back by 1700 hours. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | Warspite | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Douglas Bader's No. 242 Squadron RAF, based at RAF Coltishall at Norwich, England, United Kingdom, was declared fully operational. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | Norwich, England | CPC]
  • HMS Dianthus was launched at Leith, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Dianthus | Leith, Scotland | CPC]
  • King George VI made a royal visit to RAF Digby during which he presented a Distinguished Flying Cross to Flying Officer Guy Gibson, the future leader of the Dambusters Squadron. ww2dbase [George VI | Scopwick, England | AC]
  • Flying Officer Guy Gibson, who would later win the Victoria Cross for leading the daring attack on the Ruhr dams in Germany in May 1943, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) after completing 34 operations in five months with No. 3 Squadron RAF. ww2dbase [AC]
United States
  • US Coast Guard cutter Campbell arrived at Boston, Massachusetts, United States with US Consul to Greenland James K. Penfield, Governor of North Greenland E. Brun, and a group of Danish officials on board. They came to Boston to discuss commerce and trade of Greenland as an independent entity due to the German occupation of Denmark. ww2dbase [Boston, Massachusetts | CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • US Marine Corps Captain Kenneth W. Benner was ordered to continue the survey of Midway Atoll with another officer, 8 enlisted Marines, and 2 US Navy corpsmen. He was to relieve Captain Samuel G. Taxis who had been been there since early Jun 1940 on the same mission. ww2dbase [Midway Bases | Midway | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 9 Jul 1940
Zara firing during the Battle of Calabria, 9 Jul 1940
10 Jul 1940
  • The Japanese deployed the new A6M Zero fighters against Chinese forces. ww2dbase [A6M Zero | CPC]
  • The British government banned the fascist British Union Party. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British authorities put 200 Italian prisoners of war, 251 German prisoners of war, 55 British Nazi sympathizers, and 2,036 civilians from Germany (mostly Jewish refugees), collectively categorized as "enemy aliens", on the British troop ship Dunera whose intended passenger capacity was only 1,600. Over the next 57 days, while en route to Australia, these people would be robbed, beaten, and in one case bayoneted by the British guards while many of them suffered from dysentery. Several of the guards were later court-martialed, including Lieutenant Colonel William Scott. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Scir√® sank French ship Cheik 54 miles northwest of Sicily, Italy. Cheik's crew was rescued by Scir√®. ww2dbase [Scir√® | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Widder sank British ship Davisan 500 miles of the coast of Florida, United States. The entire crew of Widder was taken prisoner. ww2dbase [Widder | CPC]
  • German submarine U-34 sank Finnish ship Petsamo close to the southern coast of Ireland, killing 4. On the same day, U-61 torpedoed Dutch ship Alwaki 10 miles off Cape Wrath, Scotland, United Kingdom; the torpedo failed to detonate, but it knocked a hole in the hull, and the ship listed to port; all 41 crew and 10 passengers aboard were rescued by British ship Harmonic. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Henry Stimson became the United States Secretary of War. ww2dbase [Henry Stimson | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Kanalkampf: A large German aerial formation attacked one of the eight British convoys in the English Channel; the target convoy was code named Bread, escorted by 6 Hurricane fighters. Upon detecting the incoming aircraft, four squadrons of British fighters were launched to counter the attack. At the end of the battle, seven British aircraft were destroyed and one of the Bread ships was sunk. The Germans lost 13 aircraft. This surprising victory led to the British announcing that 10 Jul was the start of the Battle of Britain. Elsewhere, the German Luftwaffe's first major targets on land included the Swansea docks and the Royal Ordnance Factory in Pembrey. The British tanker Tascalusa was sunk during one of the attacks. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | English Channel | CPC]
  • HMS Hermes collided with armed merchant cruiser HMS Corfu in the Atlantic Ocean in poor weather, injuring two and killing one aboard HMS Hermes. ww2dbase [Hermes | CPC]
Guernsey
  • British Lieutenant Hubert Nicolle, who had been conducting reconnaissance in the Channel Island of Guernsey, returned to Britain. he reported that there were 469 German soldiers on the island, mainly in St. Peter Port, with machine gun posts 2 to 5 miles away along the coast. He estimated that a commando raid would have 20 minutes to wipe out the machine gun posts before reinforcements from St. Peter Port would arrive. ww2dbase [Guernsey | CPC]
Italy
  • Nine British Swordfish torpedo bombers from carrier HMS Eagle attacked Augusta, Sicily, Italy at 0940 hours, sinking destroyer Leone Pancaldo. ww2dbase [Eagle | Augusta, Sicilia | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 10 Jul 1940
2-pounder anti-aircraft gun aboard HMCS Assiniboine en route between Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and Britain, 10 Jul 19402-pounder anti-aircraft gun aboard HMCS Assiniboine firing in exercise en route between Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and Britain, 10 Jul 1940Hungarian Prime Minister P√°l Teleki and Hungarian Foreign Minister Istv√°n Cs√°ky in M√ľnchen, Germany, 10 Jul 1940; note German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop at left
11 Jul 1940
  • British Minister for Aircraft Production Lord Beaverbrook announced that there would be virtually no limit to expenditures on US aircraft, with costs working out to over ¬£2 million per day on planes for the RAF. ww2dbase [Beaverbrook | TH]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis sank British ship City Of Baghdad 400 miles southeast of Ceylon. 2 men were killed and 81 were taken prisoner. ww2dbase [Atlantis | CPC]
  • German submarine U-34 sank Norwegian ship Janna 100 miles southwest of Ireland at 0700 hours. The entire crew of 25 took to lifeboats and would reach Mizen Head, Ireland 3 days later. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Italian submarine Tarantini sank Panamanian tanker Beme 60 miles south of Cyprus. The entire crew was rescued by Tarantini. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Army approached 135 American automotive manufacturers to submit designs to replace its existing, aging light motor vehicles. They were told that they must submit their first prototypes within 49 days and have 70 test vehicles prepared in 75 days. ww2dbase [Jeep | DS]
  • Bernard Montgomery was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath. ww2dbase [Bernard Montgomery | CPC]
  • Frank Knox took office as the US Secretary of the Navy. ww2dbase [Frank Knox | CPC]
  • USS Wichita and USS Quincy departed Rio Grande du Sol, Brazil for Santos, Brazil. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • Captain Laurence Wild relieved Captain Edward W. Hanson as Governor of American Samoa and Commandant of Naval Station, Tutuila, Samoa. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Joachim von Ribbentrop requested Spain to assist in the detaining of the Duke of Windsor, the former King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Joachim von Ribbentrop | CPC]
  • Douglas Bader shot down a German Do 17 aircraft off the coast of Norfolk, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
  • Richard Saul was Mentioned in Despatches. ww2dbase [Richard Saul | CPC]
  • Richard O'Connor was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath. ww2dbase [Richard O'Connor | CPC]
France
  • Marshal Philippe P√ɬ©tain declared himself head of state of the French Republic. ww2dbase [Philippe P√©tain | TH]
  • Pierre Laval became the 120th Prime Minister of France with the title of the Vice President of the Council. ww2dbase [Pierre Laval | CPC]
Germany
  • A meeting between Admiral Erich Raeder and Adolf Hitler took place at the Obersalzberg, Berchtesgaden, Germany where matters of how things were in Norway and Hitler's plans for that area were made clear. How to continue the war against Britain was discussed and again Hitler made it clear of his aims and that no invasion was to take place until all efforts had been made to bring the British government to sue for peace. However, within the next few days Hitler would change his mind. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | Erich Raeder | Berchtesgaden, M√ľnchen-Oberbayern | CPC, HM]
United Kingdom
  • German aircraft attacked the British Royal Navy Base at Portland in southern England, United Kingdom; 1 British Hurricane fighter, 2 British Spitfire fighters, 2 German Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers, and 2 German Bf 109 fighters were shot down. Off the eastern coast of England Hurricane fighters of No. 66 Squadron RAF attacked a Do 17 bombers on a reconnaissance mission, shooting it down but they also one of their own. Off the coast of Kent in southern England, a German rescue seaplane escorted by 12 Bf 109 fighters was shot down by the British while en route to rescue downed German airmen; 2 of the 6 Spitfire fighters and 2 of the 12 Bf 109 fighters were also lost. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • 1,120-ton converted steam luxury yacht HMS Warrior II was on her way back to Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom when she was seen by a flight of over 50 German bombers. The aircraft attacked in two waves, dropping bombs all around the zigzagging ship. Armed only with a single Lewis machine gun she fought back but was hit by a bomb dropped in the second wave. The bomb went through the decks and Warrior II started to sink. All the crew got away from the ship save for the Chief Steward who had been in the wardroom when the bomb passed through the ship. Warrior II had been built by Fredrick Vanderbilt in 1904 and was then the most luxurious yacht in the world. After almost being wrecked she was sold, she served as HMS Warrior during WW1 and then was used as a hospital ship in the Spanish Civil War, then sold off and then taken over by the British Admiralty. Fitted out with depth charges and a Lewis machine gun she was given the task of escorting British submarines between ports of Portsmouth and Plymouth. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | England | HM]
12 Jul 1940
  • USS Phoenix arrived at Valparaiso, Chile on a mission "to cultivate friendly relations". ww2dbase [Phoenix | CPC]
  • USS O'Brien departed Par√°, Brazil for La Guaira, Venezuela. ww2dbase [O'Brien | CPC]
  • Destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright arrived at Par√°, Brazil with Marines for cruisers USS Wichita and USS Quincy. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Turkish Prime Minister stated that Turkey intended to remain faithful to her friendships, but that any threat to her independence would be met by resort to arms. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-56 attacked British transport ship Dunera with a torpedo in the North Channel between England, United Kingdom and Ireland; the torpedo glanced off the ship without exploding; the commanding officer of U-56 did not realize that Dunera was carrying, among others, Italian and German prisoners of war bound for Australia. To the southwest, 160 miles southwest of Ireland, German submarine U-99 sank Greek ship Ia at 0200 hours; 3 were killed and 27 were later rescued. At 2300 hours, U-99 struck again and fired a torpedo at Estonian ship Merisaar, but missed; with shots from the deck gun, she stopped the Estonian ship and forced her to sail into the German-occupied French port of Bordeaux (before reaching Bordeaux, however, a German aircraft would sink her on 15 Jul). ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
Canada
  • Operation Fish: British ships arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada with US$1,750,000,000 worth of gold and securities from the Bank of England was destined for the Bank of Canada's vault in Ottawa. ww2dbase [Halifax, Nova Scotia | CPC]
China
  • Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong ordered his troops to move against Nationalist positions in Jiangsu Province, China. ww2dbase [Battle of Huangqiao | CPC]
France
  • Jean de Lattre de Tassigny was made a Grand Officier of the Ordre national de la L√©gion d'honneur. ww2dbase [Jean de Lattre de Tassigny | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • In the Mediterranean Sea, Italian bombers attacked British battleship HMS Warspite and cruiser HMS Liverpool between 0850 and 1150 hours. HMS Liverpool was hit by a dud, but it still killed 1 and wounded 2. One Italian bomber was shot down by a Sea Gladiator carrier biplane fighter from HMS Eagle. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | Warspite | CPC]
Poland Portugal
  • US passenger liner Manhattan departed Lisbon, Portugal with about 800 American citizens and their families fleeing the European War. ww2dbase [Lisbon | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German He 111 and Do 17 bombers attacked Allied convoy code named Booty off of Essex and Suffolk, England, United Kingdom; 2 British Spitfire fighters and 1 British Hurricane fighter were lost in the battle, but they prevented sinkings. In southern England, German Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers attacked Portland and Exeter, losing two aircraft. At Aberdeen, Scotland, a He 111 bomber on a reconnaissance mission was intercepted and shot down, but was able to release one bomb on the city before crashing into the city's ice rink. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 12 Jul 1940
Aerial view of Ewa Field, Oahu, Hawaii, Jul 12, 1940. Although clearly an airship mooring field, this photo was not taken from an airship since no airship ever came within sight of this field.
13 Jul 1940
  • Kanalkampf: German bombers attacked Allied Convoy CS5 near Dover, England; escorting destroyer HMS Vanessa was damaged by near misses and had to be towed to port by destroyer HMS Griffin. Convoy Bread was attacked once again, this time off the Dorset coast; 6 German bombers were shot down while several British fighters were also lost, killing 3 pilots. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • German raider Atlantis sank British steamer Kemmendine 500 miles southeast of Ceylon; 57 crew and 25 passengers were taken prisoner. ww2dbase [Atlantis | CPC]
  • German raider Widder sank British ship King John 200 miles northeast of Antigua; 5 crew and 21 survivors of Panamanian ship Santa Margarita (sank on 2 Jul) were taken prisoner. The total prisoner count aboard Widder was now 100, exceeding her capacity, thus some were put to lifeboats so that they could paddle toward islands in the Carribean Sea on their own. ww2dbase [Widder | CPC]
  • USS Wichita and USS Quincy (CA-39) arrived at Santos, Brazil. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • USS Walke and USS Wainwright departed Par√°, Brazil for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British Army's new parachute force began training at Ringway Airport, Manchester, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Adolf Hitler met with top German military leaders at Obersalzberg, M√ľnchen-Oberbayern, Germany. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
  • Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov leaked diplomatic communications between Britain and the Soviet Union, which should had been held confidentially between the two countries per general rules of international diplomacy, to Germany. ww2dbase [Vyacheslav Molotov | CPC]
  • While under heavy attack by Axis aircraft, Sea Gladiator aircraft launched from HMS Eagle shot down three Italian bombers in the Mediterranean Sea. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
Japan
  • Kichisaburo Nomura was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure. ww2dbase [Kichisaburo Nomura | CPC]
United States
  • Tatsuta Maru arrived at San Francisco, California, United States; among the passengers disembarked were 40 Jewish refugees from Russia, Austria, Germany, Norway, and Britain. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | San Francisco, California | CPC]
14 Jul 1940
  • Battleship Bismarck departed the drydock after completing the propeller and MES magnetic system installation. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • German aircraft attacked the Allied convoys in the English Channel, sinking or damaging only 5 ships despite the large number of aircraft sent. German bombers also attacked RAF airfield at Manston in Kent in southern England, United Kingdom and a destroyer in Swanage Harbor, Dorset, causing little damage. BBC reporter Charles Gardner provided the first eyewitness radio report of the Battle of Britain as he watched German aircraft attacking a convoy in the English Channel. Meanwhile, the British Royal Air Force leadership directed its pilots to ignore German aircraft with Red Cross markings, as such aircraft were suspected of conducting military reconnaissance missions in the English Channel. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Vichy French bombers attacked Gibraltar, causing no damage. ww2dbase [British Attacks on the French Fleet | CPC]
  • British RAF Bomber Command launched raids against two Luftwaffe bases in Germany, with 9 Whitley bombers of No. 102 Squadron hitting Paderborn and 12 Whitley bombers of No. 10 Squadron and No. 51 Squadron hitting Diepholz. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German armed merchant cruiser Thor sank British ship Gracefield 500 miles off the coast of Brazil. The crew of 36 was taken prisoner. ww2dbase [Thor | CPC]
  • The 5,832-ton Norwegian steam tanker Sarita was in ballast and bound for Trinidad when she was hit at 1145 hours on her port side by a single torpedo fired from German submarine UA (Kapit√§nleutnant Hans Cohausz). The impact at the #7 tank caused enough damage for the master Carsten Gr√łm to order the abandonment of the vessel. The crew took to a lifeboat and two rafts. After an hour the submarine surfaced and opened fire, after 34 rounds, 11 of which were hits. Sarita listed to port but did not seem to be sinking; the empty starboard tankers were keeping the ship afloat. UA moved in closer and started to fire at the hull with the 2cm anti-aircraft gun. Sarita went under at 1138 hours after which the Germans pulled alongside and took the master onboard with the ship's papers and took care of two injured crew. Cohausz also offered to send a telegram to the ship's agents in St. Vincent to request assistance. Having returned to survivors in the water after speaking to the Germans, the master split the survivors between the lifeboat and rafts. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | UA | HM]
  • German submarine U-52 sank Greek ship Thetis A. off Brest, France at 1818 hours. 9 were killed and 20 survived. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
Guernsey
  • The British commando raid on Guernsey was met with little result. ww2dbase [Guernsey | TH]
United Kingdom
  • Free French leader Charles de Gaulle celebrated Bastille Day at the Cenotaph in London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Charles de Gaulle | London, England | CPC]
  • British armed merchant cruiser HMS Esperance Bay departed Plymouth, England, United Kingdom at 1250 hours with ¬£10,000,000 in gold. She was intercepted and bombed by German aircraft 100 miles west of the port, killing 7, but she was able to return to Plymouth without losing her cargo. ww2dbase [Plymouth, England | CPC]
15 Jul 1940
  • Italians captured British territories in Kenya. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Unemployment figure in Britain increased by 60,431 to 827,266 in Jun 1940 when compared to the previous month, but it was still drastically lower than the level one year prior. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British Home Office banned fireworks, flying kites, and flying balloons. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The YO-49 Vigilant prototype aircraft took its first flight with pilot Al Schramm. ww2dbase [L-1 Vigilant | CPC]
  • Richelieu was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Richelieu | CPC]
  • The rector of Old Bolingbroke, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom was sentenced to four weeks in prison for ringing his church bell, which violated the 14 Jun 1940 restriction. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Corvette HMS Godetia was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British corvette Mignonette was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British destroyer HMS Panther was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Germany demanded unrestricted access through French North Africa. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-108 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Soviet Union announced that recently held plebiscites in Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia revealed that the three Baltic States show near-unanimous support for joining the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Annexation of the Baltic States | CPC]
  • Captain Shutoku Miyazato was relieved as the commanding officer of repair ship Akashi. ww2dbase [Akashi | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-34 sank neutral Greek ship Evdoxia with a G7a torpedo amidships 40 miles southwest of Ireland at 0321 hours; 1 was killed and 22 survived. The torpedo used was the last torpedo aboard U-34. The survivors were later landed at Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | U-34 | CPC, HM]
  • German aircraft bombed and sank Estonian ship Merisaar off Cobh, County Cork, Ireland. The bombers failed to realize that the ship had been captured by the German Navy back on 12 Jul. The German crew survived the sinking, but would be rescued by the British and would become prisoners of war. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The 1,237-ton Irish passenger transport SS City of Limerick was bombed and sunk in the Bay of Biscay at 0800 hours despite her neutral markings following the German demand that Ireland cease food deliveries to Britain. Two crew lost their lives. The survivors took to their lifeboats and were picked up by a Belgian trawler at 1200 hours. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | HM]
  • 835-ton Portuguese cargo steamer Alpha (built in 1907 by Sir Raylton Dixon's Shipyard, Midddlesbrough, England, United Kingdom as the SS Ibo for Empreza Nacional de Navegacao a Vapor, Lisbon, Portugal; now owned by Luso-Marroquina) was bombed and sunk in an air raid south of the Isles of Scilly, southwest England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | HM]
  • On a voyage from Barcelona, Spain to Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom with a cargo of potash, the 1,255-ton Panamanian steamship Frossoula was bombed by a German aircraft and sank 240 miles north-northwest of Cape Finisterre, Spain. 33 of her crew were lost. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | HM]
Germany
  • The German Supreme Command informed the Naval Staff that Adolf Hitler required the invasion operation for Britain to be so prepared that it could be launched at any time from 15 Aug 1940. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | HM]
Guernsey
  • Operation Ambassador: Destroyers HMS Scimitar and HMS Saladin delivered 140 British commandos to the Channel Island of Guernsey. 40 men from the No. 3 Commando reached the shore on launches, but found their target barracks actually not used by Germans; 37 men returned to the destroyers, leaving 3 who could not swim behind to later become prisoners of war. Elsewhere, some of the launches landed at the Channel Island of Sark by mistake. ww2dbase [CPC]
Norway
  • The Norwegian salvage vessel Draugen was en route from Alesund, Norway to Sagvag, Sunnhordland, Denmark when she entered a German minefield, struck a mine and sank. Out of the ten crew on board, six died when she sank halfway between Steinsneset and Danmarkneset. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | HM]
Poland Portugal
  • USS Trenton departed Lisbon, Portugal with members of the royal family of the Duchy of Luxembourg aboard. ww2dbase [Lisbon | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Low cloud and rain kept most aircraft grounded, but small formations of German bombers still ventured into British air space. The attack along the Scottish coast was unfruitful, and the raid on the Westland Aircraft factory at Yeovil, Somerset, England, United Kingdom damaged one runway and one hangar. German bombers were also sent to attack the convoy code named Pilot, but British fighters drove off the bombers before they reached the convoy. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • The United States Marine Corps established the Marine Detachment, London in Britain, consisted of the 12th Marine Company. ww2dbase [London, England | CPC]
  • 1,199-ton British cargo steamer Bellerock (built in 1909) was mined and sunk in the middle of the Bristol Channel in southwestern Britain, between Foreland Point and Porthcawl, with the loss of 17 lives. ww2dbase [Bristol Channel | HM]
  • Hampden bombers from RAF Hemswell in England, United Kingdom were sent, in one of the most daring attacks of the war, to raid Wilhelmshaven, Germany in an attempt to cripple the Tirpitz and Admiral Scheer. Six aircraft were detailed to attack Tirpitz and two to attack Admiral Scheer. Other aircraft were detailed to carry out diversionary raids. The raid was not a success. Four bombers were shot down and most of the survivors damaged (one was found to have 150 holes on its return). No damage was incurred by the German warships. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | Hemswell Cliff, England | AC]
  • Resulting from a debate in the British Parliament on 10 July 1940 in which some members had argued that internment of foreign aliens was wasteful of human resources and was bringing Britain's reputation into disrepute, it was announced that internment of enemy aliens would stop immediately except for a few special cases. Over the rest of the year and into the next large number of internees would be released with just a small number, who were still considered to be a danger to national security, remaining caged for the remainder of the war. ww2dbase [London, England | AC]
  • 2,124-ton Polish merchant steamer Zbaraz and 2,855-ton British merchant steamer Heworth were sunk by German bombers 10 miles south of Aldeburgh Light off the coast of Norfolk, England, United Kingdom. Attempts to get Heworth under tow failed and she floundered and sank; four of her crew perished in the attack. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | England | HM]
United States
  • The US 2nd Armored Division was formed at Fort Benning, Georgia, United States under the command of Major General Charles L. Scott with Colonel George S. Patton Jr., a brigade commander in the division, in charge of training. ww2dbase [George Patton | Columbus, Georgia | AC]
Photo(s) dated 15 Jul 1940
Midshipmen and sailors boarding a 50-foot motor launch from New York, during the summer 1940 US Naval Academy MidshipmenA German soldier looking at Strasbourg, France from the tower of the city
16 Jul 1940
  • Vichy France revoked the French citizenship of naturalized Jews. Meanwhile, in German-occupied Alsace-Lorraine, 22,000 French citizens were forcibly deported to France. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Phoenix attacked Italian torpedo boat Albatros southeast of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, with all torpedoes missing their target. Albatros responded with torpedoes of her own, sinking HMS Phoenix and killing the entire crew of 55. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Thor sank British ship Wendover in the South Atlantic, killing 4 and capturing 36 civilian crew and 1 Royal Navy gunner. ww2dbase [Thor | CPC]
  • German submarine U-61 torpedoed British tanker Scottish Minstrel 130 miles northwest of Ireland, killing 9; 32 were later rescued by corvette HMS Gardenia. With her cargo of 9,200 tons of fuel oil burning, the tanker would remain afloat for another day before sinking. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Vichy France de-naturalized its Jewish citizens. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyer Whaddon was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British destroyer Dulverton was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British submarine Saracen was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Hugh Dalton was appointed the political chief of the British Special Operations Executive. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian bombers attacked the British base at Haifa, British Mandate of Palestine. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British and Australian warships bombarded Bardia, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Spanish agents met with the Duke of Windsor, the former King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, and warned him that his fellow countrymen were sending him to be the governor of the Bahamas to remove him from power. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Carsten Gr√ɬłm, master of Norwegian steam tanker Sarita which was sunken by German submarine UA two days prior, still adrift in the Atlantic Ocean, ordered all survivors to disembark rafts and to board the lifeboat, which kept course for Barbados. ww2dbase [UA | HM]
  • The 8,194-ton ocean liner SS Lady Somers, serving as an auxiliary cruiser under Commander George L. Dunbar, with 175 crew and passengers, was torpedoed and sunk by the Italian submarine Morosini, Commander C. C. Athos Fraternale, in the North Atlantic. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | HM]
China
  • 54 Japanese aircraft based in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China attacked Chongqing, China in two waves; 31 Chinese fighters (I-15bis, I-16, and Hawk III models) rose to intercept, claiming damage on several bombers. ww2dbase [Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities | Chongqing | CPC]
  • Liu Zhesheng shot down two Japanese aircraft. ww2dbase [Liu Zhesheng | CPC]
Germany
  • Adolf Hitler issued F√ľhrer Directive 16 for the preparation of an invasion plan for southern Britain in mid-Aug. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
Libya
  • The British submarine HMS Taku sank the Italian auxiliary minesweeper-schooner Vincenzo P. with gunfire in the Gulf of Sidra. ww2dbase [Sidr | HM]
Mediterranean Sea
  • British submarine P33 attacked an Italian convoy south of Punta Sciaccazza, Pantelleria, Italy and sank the 5,293-ton Italian passenger-motor vessel Barbarigo. ww2dbase [HM]
United Kingdom
  • British destroyer HMS Imogen collided with cruiser HMS Glasgow in heavy fog off Pentland Firth and Duncansby Head, in northern Scotland, United Kingdom. She caught fire and was later abandoned, drifting 20 miles before sinking; 17 were killed and 133 were rescued. HMS Glasgow saw 2 killed and suffered a 6-foot hole above the waterline; she would be under repair at Liverpool, England, United Kingdom until 4 Sep. ww2dbase [Glasgow | Pentland Firth, Scotland | TH]
  • Low cloud, fog, and heavy rain kept German aircraft grounded until the early afternoon. In the mid-afternoon, German bombers crossed the English Channel. One German Ju 88 bomber was shot down over the Isle of Wight by Spitfire fighters of No. 601 Squadron, and one German He 111 bomber was shot down in northeastern Scotland, United Kingdom during the bombing of Fraserburgh and Peterhead by Spitfire fighters of No. 603 Squadron. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • The 268-ton British merchant cargo ship Farfield (built in 1921 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell Ltd. and owned at the time of her loss by Coppack Brothers & Co.) was sunk by German aircraft seven miles off South Stack Light off the north-west coast of Holy Island, Anglesey, Wales, United Kingdom whilst enroute to Gloucester from Penmenmawr. Eight people lost their lives. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | South Stack, Wales | HM]
17 Jul 1940
  • The United Kingdom announced that the Burma Road would be closed as it diverted resources to deal with the war at home. ww2dbase [Burma Road and the Hump | CPC]
  • Italian bombers sank Finnish ship Wiiri 30 miles off of Malta; the entire crew of 26 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Admiral of the Fleet Roger Keyes became the first Director of Headquarters, Combined Operations, a War Office department tasked with organising raids against enemy occupied Europe. ww2dbase [AC]
  • After sundown, British bombers attacked Caen, France. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British mooring vessel HMS Steady struck a mine and sank off Newhaven in southern England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British destroyer Beaufort was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German Luftwaffe placed Colonel Josef Kammhuber in charge of organizing nightfighter units to counter British bombings. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyer USS Plunkett was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German OKW assigned forces for the invasion of Britain, planning to put 90,000 men on British shores on the first attack wave. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Lieutenant Colonel Dunford-Slater, Second Lieutenant Peter Young and Regimental Sergeant Major Harry Beesley landed on the German-occupied island of Guernsey in the first Commando raid of the war. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • 135 miles northwest of Bloody Foreland, Ireland at 1040 hours, U-43 sank British ship Fellside (12 were killed and 21 were rescued). 120 miles south of Ireland, German bombers sank Estonian ship Leola, killing 2. North of Scotland, United Kingdom, U-57 sank Swedish ship O. A. Brodin (at 0455 hours; 3 were killed and 21 were rescued) and British ship Manipur (at 2222 hours; 14 were killed and 65 were rescued). Meanwhile, 5 miles off the Netherlands, British submarine H31 sank German anti-submarine trawler Steiermark; other anti-submarine trawlers attacked with depth charges in response, but failed to destroy H31. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • German submarine U-34 sank 3,531-ton Greek cargo ship Naftilos (built in 1904 and owned by D. J. Goulandris; en route from San Nicolas for Dublin, Ireland with 5,801 tons of grain) with gunfire south of Ireland at 0110 hours. All 28 abandoned the ship, but 1 of them would later die of wounds suffered during this attack. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | U-34 | HM]
United Kingdom
  • German bombers attacked Bristol in western England and Scottish industrial towns on the east coast of Britain. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
United States
  • Admiral James O. Richardson concluded the conferences in Washington DC, United States regarding the rentention of the US Fleet in Hawaiian waters. ww2dbase [Washington | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Jul 1940
Fumimaro Konoe at a press conference at the Peerage Club House in Tokyo, Japan upon being asked to form a new government, 17 Jul 1940
18 Jul 1940
  • HMS Cumberland departed Simonstown, near Cape Town, South Africa in search for the German armed merchant cruiser Thor, suspected to be off the Brazilian coast. ww2dbase [Cumberland | CPC]
  • German submarine U-99 sank British ship Woodbury 150 miles southwest of Ireland; the entire crew of 35 survived and took to lifeboats. German submarine U-58 sank Norwegian ship Gyda 30 miles northwest of Ireland at 1641 hours; 11 were killed and 9 survived. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Adolf Galland was promoted to Major. ww2dbase [Adolf Galland | AC]
  • British bombers attacked the Dortmund-Ems Canal in Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • British destroyer Cotswold was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minesweeper Polruan was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German began broadcasting propaganda through Radio Caledonia, aiming at urging Scottish separatism. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-95 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • British steam merchant Dunstan spotted the lifeboat containing survivors of Norwegian steam tanker Sarita, which was sunken by German submarine UA four days prior, in the Atlantic Ocean. The survivors were picked up and would be taken to Pernambuco, Brazil. ww2dbase [UA | HM]
Austria Canada
  • Canadian corvette Wetaskiwin was launched in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ww2dbase [North Vancouver, British Columbia | CPC]
  • The Canadian Navy placed an order for 12 motor torpedo boat with Canadian Power Boat Company, Limited in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; this order would later result in MTB 332 through 343. ww2dbase [Montreal, Quebec | CPC]
Gibraltar
  • French aircraft bombed Gibraltar in retaliation for recent British attacks on French warships, but most of the bombs fell into the sea. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • 15 Spitfire fighters of No. 152 and No. 610 Squadron engaged 30 Bf 109 fighters off Beachey Head on the southern coast of England, United Kingdom, resulting in 1 British fighter lost. Elsewhere, German bombers attacked Montrose Aerodrome on the east coast of Scotland, United Kingdom, killing 2 and wounding 3. Further to the south, German bombers sank the East Goodwin Light Vessel. In the evening, at 1900 hours, the British retaliated by sending 18 British Blenheim bombers, escorted by 24 fighters, to attack German barges at Boulogne, France. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • The United Kingdom recognized the Czechoslovakian government-in-exile in London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [London, England | CPC]
United States
  • Franklin Roosevelt received an almost unanimous invitation at the Democrat Convention in Chicago, Illinois, United States to stand as the party's candidate for the 1940 presidential election. If elected he would become the first US President to remain in office for more than two terms. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | Chicago, Illinois | CPC, AC]
19 Jul 1940
  • The Two-Ocean Navy Act was passed by the US Congress. ww2dbase [Two-Ocean Navy Act | CPC]
  • British General Alan Brooke took over as Commander-in-Chief of Home Forces, relieving Edmund Ironside. Ironside was promoted to Field Marshal as consolation; he had only been at the helm of Home Forces for two months. ww2dbase [Alan Brooke | TH]
  • Hermann Hoth was promoted to the rank of general. ww2dbase [Hermann Hoth | CPC]
  • Battle of Cape Spada: British destroyers HMS Hyperion, HMS Hasty, HMS Ilex, and HMS Hero engaged Italian cruisers Giovanni dalle Bande Nere and Bartolomeo Colleoni. As the British destroyers began to flee from fight, Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney and British destroyer HMS Havock arrived to lend help. Sydney disabled Bartolomeo Colleoni with gunfire, and Ilex and Hyperion launched torpedoes to sink her, killing 121. Giovanni dalle Bande Nere was able to withdraw. 555 survivors of Bartolomeo Colleoni was rescued by Ilex and Hyperion after the battle. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-62 sank a British ship 30 miles northwest of Ireland; 13 were killed and 26 survived. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Thor sank Dutch ship Tela off the coast of Brazil. The entire crew of 33 were taken prisoner. ww2dbase [Thor | CPC]
  • Werner M√∂lders was promoted to the rank of Major. ww2dbase [Werner M√∂lders | CPC]
  • Daphne Pearson was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal for her 31 May 1940 rescue of a pilot from a crashed bomber at RAF Detling, unspent ammunition exploding all around her. The medal was later updated to the George Cross in 1941. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British Army Intelligence Corps was established. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The British Government removed the right of workers to strike. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Cruisers USS Wichita and USS Quincy arrived at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright arrived later on the same day with Marines for Wichita and Quincy, respectively. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • Heinz Guderian was promoted to the rank of Generaloberst (Colonel General). ww2dbase [Heinz Guderian | AC]
  • Eduard Dietl became the first person to receive Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. ww2dbase [Eduard Dietl | CPC]
  • Ernst Udet was promoted to Generaloberst (equivalent to Air Chief Marshal of the British RAF). ww2dbase [AC]
  • Denmark withdrew from the League of Nations. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Wolfgang Falck was ordered to see Hermann G√∂ring; during this meeting, Falck would be promoted to the rank of Major. ww2dbase [Wolfgang Falck | CPC]
Germany Gibraltar
  • British troopship Royal Ulsterman departed from Gibraltar for Madeira with evacuated civilians; she was escorted by destroyer HMS Velox. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Defiant turret fighters of No. 141 Squadron RAF were launched to protect a convoy off Folkestone, England, United Kingdom but they were inadequate in defending against German aerial attacks. 6 of them were shot down by 12 German Bf 109 fighters within the first eight minutes of combat (10 killed, 2 survived), with the 3 remaining saved only by the arrival of Hurricane fighters of No. 111 Squadron RAF. Elsewhere, German bombers attacked various targets in southern and eastern Britain, leading to the loss of 3 Hurricane fighters, the death of 42 civilians in Glasgow, damage aboard destroyers HMS Griffin and HMS Beagle, and the sinking of tanker War Sepoy. The Germans lost 3 bombers and 3 fighters on this day. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • The first prototype of the cavity magnetron was delivered to the British radar research center near Swanage, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British corvette HMS Kingcup was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British submarine HMS Umbra was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British corvette HMS Bluebell was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British corvette HMS Picotee was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS P611 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMS Crestflower was bombed and sunk by German aircraft off Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a proposal to the British War Cabinet suggesting the creation of Special Operations Executive (SOE) to conduct unscrupulous, underhand methods to be pursued against Germany. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | London, England | AC]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt departed Washington Navy Yard, Washington DC, United States aboard presidential yacht Potomac, along with auxiliary vessel Cuyahoga, for a cruise in the Chesapeake Bay. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | Washington | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 19 Jul 1940
Adolf Hitler with newly appointed Field Marshals, Kroll Opera House, Berlin, Germany, 19 Jul 1940Fumimaro Konoe, Yosuke Matsuoka, Zengo Yoshida, and Hideki Tojo at the Ogikubo Talk at Konoe
20 Jul 1940
  • German aircraft sank transport Pulborough and damaging destroyer HMS Brazen off Dover, England, United Kingdom at the cost of 3 aircraft, shot down by Brazen's anti-aircraft guns. 10 miles off of the Isle of Wight, destroyer HMS Acheron was bombed and damaged by near misses. The day's actions cost the RAF 5 Hurricane fighters, 1 Spitfire fighter, and 1 Blenheim bomber, while 7 pilots and 1 gunner were killed; the Germans lost at least 6 fighters, 2 bombers, and 1 seaplane. The British government released the report that claimed 40 German aircraft shot down in the past week. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • During the night, British aircraft from Hemswell-Lincolnshire attacked Tirpitz to little effect. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
  • Six British Swordfish torpedo bombers from carrier HMS Eagle attacked Tobruk, Libya in search of Italian cruiser Giovanni dalle Bande Nere that escaped the Battle of Cape Spada on the previous day. The cruiser was not found in port, thus destroyers Ostro and Nembo and transport Sereno were attacked and sank instead. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
  • Destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright departed Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for Rio Grande du Sol, Brazil. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German pilot Werner Streib of the Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 wing achieved the first night kill of the unit by shooting down a British Whitley bomber. ww2dbase [CPC]
Canada
  • Canadian patrol vessel HMCS Ambler departed Quebec City, Quebec, Canada to patrol Riviere du Loup. ww2dbase [Quebec City, Quebec | CPC]
  • The keel of Canadian corvette HMCS Trail was laid down in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ww2dbase [North Vancouver, British Columbia | CPC]
  • Canadian patrol craft HMCS Norsal was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany Greece
  • British submarine HMS Parthian disembarked a British agent on Crete, Greece. ww2dbase [Crete | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The British government banned the sale of new cars. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS P612 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • James Lacey shot down his first enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain, a Bf 109E fighter of German Jagdgeschwader 27 wing. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Jul 1940
HMS Eagle at Alexandria, Egypt, 20 Jul 1940; note HMS Warspite in background
21 Jul 1940
  • Battleship Bismarck underwent an inclining test. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • British Hampden bombers from No. 61 and No. 144 Squadrons attacked German cruiser Admiral Scheer at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, causing no damage. ww2dbase [Admiral Scheer | CPC]
  • British Hampden bombers from No. 61 and No. 144 Squadrons attacked German battleship Tirpitz at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, causing no damage. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
  • German submarine U-30 sank British ship Ellaroy 180 miles west of Cape Finisterre, Spain. The entire crew of 16 took to lifeboats and were later rescued by Spanish trawler Felix Montenegro. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Mikio Furusho passed away. ww2dbase [Mikio Furusho | CPC]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND reports HM Cruiser KENT joined Ocean Escort for Convoy WS1 in position 34.20S 33.00E. ww2dbase [Cumberland | DS]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German aircraft attacked convoys in the English Channel. 1 British Hurricane fighter and 1 British Spitfire fighter were shot down, while the Germans lost 3 fighters and 1 Do 17 bomber. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | English Channel | CPC]
France Germany
  • The German Army High Command submitted a plan to Adolf Hitler for an operation in the Baltic States and the Ukraine. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | AC]
  • 3 bombers of No. 51 Squadron RAF attacked Hamm, Germany; the rail marshalling yard was the primary target. 10 bombers of No. 77 Squadron RAF and 10 bombers of No. 102 Squadron RAF attacked Kassel, Germany; the aircraft factory was the primary target. Finally, 5 bombers of No. 78 Squadron RAF attacked Soest, Germany; the rail marshalling yard was the primary target. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
Lithuania
  • The Soviet Union revealed the result of plebiscites in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania held on 14 Jul 1940, claiming that the citizens of the three countries approved the Soviet annexation of their countries. The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic was declared. ww2dbase [Annexation of the Baltic States | CPC]
United Kingdom United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt returned to Washington Navy Yard, Washington DC, United States after a cruise in the Chesapeake Bay aboard presidential yacht Potomac. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | Washington | CPC]
22 Jul 1940
  • USS Phoenix arrived at Callao, Peru. ww2dbase [Phoenix | CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Beagle shot down a German Ju 87 aircraft. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • British submarine HMS Clyde fired 6 torpedoes at another British submarine HMS Truant, in the North Sea off Fejeosen, Norway in an episode of mis-identification. All torpedoes missed their target. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
Canada
  • Canadian corvette HMS Eyebright was launched at Montreal, Quebec, Canada. ww2dbase [Montreal, Quebec | CPC]
France Germany
  • Wolfgang Falck received a call from Hermann G√∂ring, who thanked him for the efforts to create an effective nightfighting unit within the Luftwaffe. ww2dbase [Wolfgang Falck | CPC]
  • Whitley bombers of 4 Group of British RAF Bomber Command attacked various targets in Germany; 8 bombers of No. 10 Squadron and 8 bombers of No. 58 Squadron attacked the aircraft factory at Bremen (3 of No. 58 Squadron attacked alternate targets), and 7 bombers of No. 51 Squadron attacked industrial targets in the Ruhr region. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
Japan
  • Japanese luxury ocean liner Hikawa Maru departed Yokohama, Japan for Seattle, Washington, United States. Aboard were 82 Jewish refugees originally from Germany. ww2dbase [Hikawa Maru | Yokohama, Kanagawa | CPC]
  • Hideki Tojo was appointed the Army Minister in Japanese Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe's new cabinet. ww2dbase [Hideki Tojo | Tokyo | CPC]
  • Prince Fumimaro Konoe became the 38th Prime Minister of Japan. This was his second time in this office. ww2dbase [Fumimaro Konoe | Tokyo | CPC]
  • Hachiro Arita stepped down as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. ww2dbase [Hachiro Arita | CPC]
Russia
  • Soviet submarine Shch-138 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The British War Cabinet approved the 19 Jul 1940 document by Neville Chamberlain to create the new secrete Special Operations Executive (SOE) organization. ww2dbase [London, England | TH, CPC]
  • British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Lord Halifax rejected Adolf Hitler's proposal for peace of 19 Jul 1940. "No one here wants the war to go on for a day longer than is necessary. But we shall not stop fighting until freedom, for ourselves and others, is secure." This was a departure from his previous stance, urging Winston Churchill to negotiate a peace with Germany. ww2dbase [Halifax | London, England | CPC]
  • During the day, German Luftwaffe flew only reconnaissance missions over the English Channel, launching no attacks despite of the good weather; British Hurricane fighters of No. 145 Squadron shot down a lone Do 17 bomber off Selsey Bill, West Sussex in southern England, United Kingdom. After sundown, many small German raids bombed coastal towns or lay naval mines off the coast. A radar-equipped Blenheim Mark 1F nightfighter of the British RAF Fighter Command shot down a German aircraft, possibly a Do 17 bomber, in combat over Britain; it was the first victory for this aircraft type. ww2dbase [Blenheim | Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • The keel of British minesweeper HMS Lyemun was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British minesweeper HMS Lantan was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • While escorting convoy CW7, British B-class destroyer HMS Brazen was heavily damaged by German Ju 87 aircraft. She was placed under tow in an attempt to save her, but she would nevertheless sink at 2040 hours about 10 kilometers (5 miles) southeast of Folkestone, Kent, England, United Kingdom. One member of her crew was killed during her loss. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | Folkestone, England | CPC]
  • The keel of British destroyer HMS Paladin was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMT Campina, a newly converted anti-submarine armed trawler, sank after hitting a mine off Holyhead, Anglesey, Wales, United Kingdom whilst on British Admiralty service. Eleven of the 22 crew wre killed in the explosion. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | Holyhead, Wales | HM]
Photo(s) dated 22 Jul 1940
Japanese Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe and his second cabinet at the Kantei, Tokyo, Japan, 22 Jul 1940
23 Jul 1940
  • The British Secretary of War announced that 1,300,000-strong Local Defence Volunteers was to be renamed the Home Guard. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Kingsley Wood announced the third War Budget, rise in various taxes, and the estimation that war expenditure would be about ¬£3,470,000,000 in the following next year. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 8,077 Canadian troops bound for Britain departed from Halifax, Nova Scotia on troopships Batory, Antonia, Monarch Of Bermuda, Sobieski, Duchess Of York, and Samaria, escorted by Canadian destroyers HMCS Assiniboine and HMCS Saguenay and British cruiser HMS Emerald. The convoy would arrive safely in Scotland on 1 Aug 1940. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British third war budget raised Income Tax to 8 shillings and 6 pence per pound. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright arrived at Rio Grande du Sol, Brazil. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German aircraft conducted raids on coastal cities in Britain and deployed naval mines overnight. A German Do 17 bomber of 1/KF1Gr 606 attacked British submarines HMS Narwhal and HMS Truant 125 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland, sinking the former. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • The British Minister of State for Air Sir Archibald Sinclair reported that the British bomber fleet was capable of dropping 65-70 tons of bombs on Berlin every night for one week. It was a goal to increase that number of 200 tons in the near future. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Sydney Camm, Chief Designer at Hawker aviation, managed to get the Typhoon and Tornado programmes reinstated with reduced priority after the British Air Ministry had decided to throw all resources at the manufacture and repair of existing types. ww2dbase [Typhoon | AC]
24 Jul 1940
  • During the night, 14 British Whitley aircraft attacked battleship Tirpitz to little effect. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • 1,277 French Navy sailors captured by the British on 3 Jul departed Southampton, England, United Kingdom aboard French passenger liner Meknes for Marseille in southern France for repatriation. At 2230 hours, German torpedo boat S-27 fired a torpedo at the French ship off the northern Brittany coast in the English Channel despite her displays of neutrality, killing 416. British destroyers HMS Viscount, HMS Wolverine, HMS Sabre, and HMS Shikari rescued the survivors. ww2dbase [Southampton, England | TH]
  • Reports of the Lancastria disaster (which was sunken by air attack on 17 Jun 1940 with 1,738 killed) were released in London, England, United Kingdom after Winston Churchill lifted the media ban. ww2dbase [London, England | CPC]
  • At 0630 hours, German Luftwaffe aircraft bombed the Rolls Royce factory at Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, but instead the nearby printing works was damaged. At 0730 hours, German Ju 88 bombers attacked shipping in the Bristol Channel, with 1 Ju 88 shot down by British Spitfire fighters of the No. 92 Squadron. At 1200 hours, 18 Do 17 bombers escorted by 40 Bf 109 fighters attacked shipping in the Thames estuary, sinking minesweeping trawler Fleming, killing 19; ensuing dogfight above resulted in 9 Bf 109 fighters and 2 Spitfire fighters shot down. Finally, German bombers sank anti-submarine trawler Kingston Galena (killing 16) and minesweeper Rodino (killing 4) off Dover. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
25 Jul 1940
  • The German Reich Economic Minister outlined the New Order for Europe, citing use of forced labor from occupied nations. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Commander of the Swiss military General Henri Guisan vowed that Switzerland would defend against any German or Italian invasion. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The United States banned the sale of scrap metal and petroleum to Japan. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German battleship Gneisenau completed its torpedo damage repairs and departed Trondheim, Norway for Kiel, Germany for more thorough repairs. She was escorted by cruiser N√ľrnberg and destroyers Galster, Lody, Jacobi, and Ihn; torpedo boats Luchs, Jaguar, Kondor, Iltis, and T.5 would join the convoy overnight near Stavanger, Norway. ww2dbase [Gneisenau | CPC]
  • USS Wichita and USS Quincy departed Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for Bahia, Brazil. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • USS Trenton arrived at Annapolis, Maryland, United States and disembarked members of the royal family of the Duchy of Luxembourg. ww2dbase [CPC]
Gibraltar
  • The United Kingdom evacuated women and children from Gibraltar. ww2dbase [TH]
United Kingdom
  • German aircraft attacked shipping and naval bases at Dover, Portsmouth, Poole, and Portland in Britain; also on this day, aircraft and torpedo boats attacked convoy CW8 in the Dover Strait, sinking 5 vessels and killing 9 men. By the end of the day, 21 German aircraft and 6 British fighters were lost. The British claimed that 25 German aircraft were shot down on this day, which was the highest daily claim yet. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | TH]
  • The first design conference for the Blackburn B-37 project took place. ww2dbase [Firebrand | AC]
26 Jul 1940
  • Joseph Avenol, the Secretary-General of the League of Nations, resigned from his post. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British submarine HMS Thames detected the convoy centered around German battleship Gneisenau 50 miles southwest of Stavanger, Norway; it was bound for Kiel, Germany. A torpedo was fired at Gneisenau, but it hit torpedo boat Luchs instead, sinking her immediately. Thames was never heard from again; it was not certain whether she was lost during this action or hit a naval mine shortly after. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-34 attacked convoy OB-188 with three torpedoes 320 miles west of Ireland at 1447 hours, sinking British passenger ship Accra (which was also carrying 1,700 tons of cargo on this trip), killing 24; 465 survivors were rescued by British ship Hollinside, Norwegian ship Loke, British sloop HMS Enchantress, and British corvette HMS Clarkia. British merchant ship Vinemoor was also hit but without any fatalities; she would remain afloat until the following day after her crew of 32 were rescued by HMS Clarkia. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt, using powers granted to his office by the Export Control Act, restricted the export of aviation gasoline and certain classes of iron and steel scrap to Japan without special license. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • USS Phoenix departed Callao, Peru. ww2dbase [Phoenix | CPC]
  • Joachim von Ribbentrop was updated by German agents in Spain and Portugal regarding the attempt to dissuade the Duke of Windsor, the former King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, from leaving for the Bahamas. ww2dbase [Joachim von Ribbentrop | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Several German raids launched against Britain were turned away by a combination of bad weather and timely RAF fighter arrivals. On this day, 3 German Bf 109 fighters and 1 British Hurricane fighter were shot down. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
27 Jul 1940
  • 15 German dive bombers attacked 6 British minesweeping trawlers and escort destroyers in the English Channel 20 miles off Aldeburgh, Suffolk, England. Destroyer HMS Wren sank after one of the several near misses she suffered made a large hole below the waterline (killing 37), while destoyer HMS Montrose lost her bow and had to be towed to Harwich, Essex. German aircraft also bombed Dover in southern England, sinking destroyer HMS Codrington who was undergoing boiler cleaning (wounding 3 and killing several civilian workers). At the end of the day, the Germans lost 2 fighters and 1 Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber, while the British lost 1 Spitfire fighter and 1 Hurricane fighter. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • The first five Beaufighter IF fighters were handed over to the RAF for evaluation. ww2dbase [Beaufighter | AC]
  • A Board of Enquiry was held regarding the sinking of HMS Effingham two months prior. ww2dbase [Effingham | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-34 attacked Allied convoy OB-188 350 miles west of Scotland, United Kingdom before sunrise, sinking 5,260-ton British Royal Mail merchant ship Sambre at 0258 hours. Sambre was hit in the stern and sank slowly; the master and the entire crew of 47 were picked up by HMS Winchelsea (D 46) and later landed at Liverpool, England, United Kingdom. At 0313 hours, U-34 torpedoed and sank the 10,364-ton British motor tanker Thiara; she was hit in the bow by a G7e torpedo and sank about 170 miles southwest of Rockall. 25 crew members aboard Thiara were lost. The master, 31 crew members and four passengers were also picked up by HMS Winchelsea and landed at Liverpool. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC, HM]
United Kingdom
  • The 11,938-ton whale factory ship Salvestria was mined and sunk three miles from Inchkeith Lighthouse at the entrance to the river Water of Leith, Scotland, United Kingdom. Ten men were killed. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | Edinburgh, Scotland | HM]
  • The 477-ton dredging ship Durdham sank after striking a mine off Lavernock Point, Wales, United Kingdom. She was owned by the Bristol Sand Company, and was clearing channels out of the port of Avonmouth in the Severn Estuary. Seven crew were killed in the explosion. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | Lavernock, Wales | HM]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, and US Congress House of Representatives' Naval Affairs Committee chairman Carl Vinson departed Washington Navy Yard, Washington DC, United States aboard presidential yacht Potomac for Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, United States. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | Washington | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 27 Jul 1940
Romanian Prime Minister Ion Gigurtu and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in Salzburg, German-occupied Austria, 27 Jul 1940
28 Jul 1940
  • All rail lines between occupied France and Vichy France were cut by the Germans. ww2dbase [TH]
  • President Jozef Tiso and Prime Minister Vojtech Tuka of the Slovak Republic met with Hitler and Ribbentrop at Berchtesgarden. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British HMS Alcantara was hit by 3 shells from German armed merchant ship Thor 740 miles off Brazil, near the island of Trindade; 2 were killed and 7 were wounded; as Thor turned away to disengage from battle, Alcantara fired and hit Thor with 2 shells, killing 3. On the same day, German submarine U-99 sank British merchant ship Auckland Star 80 miles west of Ireland at 0557 hours. The entire crew of 74 were taken to lifeboats and would make it to the Irish shore. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | Thor | CPC]
  • Werner M√∂lders flew his first combat sortie in the Battle of Britain; he sustained injuries after being hit by RAF Flight Lieutenant J. L. Webster over Dover, England, keeping him out of action for a month. ww2dbase [Werner M√∂lders | CPC]
  • The German Army examined closely the German Navy's draft plan for an invasion of England, United Kingdom, but it was horrified to note that the Navy estimated that it would take ten days to put the first assault ashore in the Dover area. ww2dbase [AC]
China Japan
  • Japanese police arrested nine British nationals residing in Japan. ww2dbase [AC]
United Kingdom
  • 100 German aircraft in 5 waves crossed the Strait of Dover at 1335 hours and were intercepted by 4 squadrons of British fighters; 5 German Bf 109 fighters, 2 German He 111 bombers, and 2 British Spitfire fighters were destroyed during the ensuing battle. A few hours later, the Royal Navy withdrew all destroyers from Dover to Portsmouth in southern England, United Kingdom. Overnight, German aircraft deployed mines and bombed British coastal cities. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
29 Jul 1940
  • 40 German Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers attacked Dover Harbor in southern England, United Kingdom at 0730 hours, escorted by 40 Bf 109 fighters; British fighters from No. 41, No. 43, No. 56, and No. 64 Squadrons shot down 8 German dive bombers and 7 fighters and anti-aircraft guns shot down 2 German dive bombers, while 2 British Spitfire fighters and 1 British Hurricane fighter were shot down. At 1700 hours, destroyer HMS Delight left Portland in southern England; at about 1830 hours, she was hitting by a bomb from a German aircraft from Cherbourg, France, killing 18 and wounding 59, but she was able to return to Portland under her own power. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | TH]
  • British Air Ministry accused Germany of using rescue aircraft with Red Cross markings for reconnaissance purposes. ww2dbase [TH]
  • At a conference held in a converted railway carriage, Colonel-General Alfred Jodl, Adolf Hitler's Chief of Operations, announced that the F√ľhrer had decided "once and for all" to rid the world of the Soviet menace. However, recognizing that the war against the United Kingdom took a higher priority at this point in time, Hitler pushed the invasion date to the spring of 1941. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | AC]
  • British submarine HMS Sealion detected German submarine U-62 on the surface 60 miles southwest of Stavanger, Norway and attacked with 3 torpedoes (which all missed) followed by shots from the deck gun. U-62 dove and escaped the area. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright departed Rio Grande du Sol, Brazil for Buenos Aires, Argentina. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Sea Gladiator fighters from HMS Eagle shot down an Italian SM.79 bomber while escorting a convoy in the Mediterranean Sea. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
  • Portugal and Spain added a clause to the 1939 friendship treaty; it was later known as the Iberian Pact. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-99 spotted the 7,336-ton British steam merchant ship Clan Menzies west of Ireland. Clan Menzies was originally built by Greenock Dockyard Company for Clan Line Steamers Limited of Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. She was on a Sydney-Melbourne-Panama-Liverpool route. She was sailing alone following a zigzag course when a torpedo from U-99 hit on the starboard side near the engine room where the engineers on duty were killed. The explosion damaged the starboard lifeboats beyond use and made the radio equipment inoperable so that no distress message could be sent. The crew of 88 abandoned ship at about 0215 hours in the remaining lifeboats, 52 survivors in one boat and 36 in the other. The Master was required to give information to the Germans, and they were ordered not to show lights. The Master, Captain Hughes, navigated his boat into the port of Enniscrone whilst a passing Irish vessel, the Kyleclare, picked up the lifeboat with 52 survivors off Mayo Coast on the 30 Jul 1940. All told, 6 were killed. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | U-99 | CPC, HM]
  • The 5,925-ton British cargo steamer Clan Monroe struck a mine off Harwich, England, United Kingdom whilst acting as an auxiliary transport. She was taken in tow and beached in Hollesley Bay in a depth of 27 feet at low water. Thirteen people were killed. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | North Sea | HM]
  • The 1,262-ton British merchant steamer Moidart hit a mine and sank whilst on passage from Greenhithe near London for Newcastle in northern England, United Kingdom, carrying a cargo of cement. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | North Sea | HM]
Ceylon
  • HMS CUMBERLAND detached from Convoy WS1 on arrival in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) where troops were transferred to smaller transports for onward passage. (Note: As the two liners were not required to pass through the Red Sea they went to Trincomalee, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) after disembarkation.) ww2dbase [Cumberland | Colomob | DS]
Germany
  • German naval command (Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine) issued a memo noting that the mid-Sep 1940 invasion date for Britain as demanded by Adolf Hitler was possible, but considering the present state of affairs, a postponement to May 1941 was suggested. Meanwhile, a special economic board was set up to oversee the looting of British industry upon conquest. ww2dbase [TH]
Japan
  • The Japanese reported that Mr. Melville Cox, one of nine British residents arrested in Japan on the previous day, had "committed suicide" by throwing himself out of a police station window. ww2dbase [AC]
United Kingdom
  • The weapons firm Albright & Wilson of Oldbury, England, United Kingdom demonstrated to the British Royal Air Force a self-igniting explosive containing petrol and phosphorus. ww2dbase [No. 76 | CPC]
  • Jackie Sorour joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force in England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Jackie Moggridge | England | CPC]
  • The 1,264-ton ex-Danish merchantman Gronland was sunk by German aircraft at the outer harbour at Dover, England, United Kingdom whilst on passage from Blyth to Plymouth. The 201-ton large private yacht Gulzar was also sank. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | Dover, England | HM]
  • The 5,601-ton British cargo steamer Ousebridge was mined on the in the Queens Channel leading to the docks of Liverpool, England, United Kingdom; she was on route from Pepel, Sierra Leone for Manchester, England with a cargo of iron ore. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | Liverpool, England | HM]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, and House Naval Affairs Committee chairman Carl Vinson arrived at Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, United States, via presidential yacht Potomac, for an inspection. After the navy yard, they also visited US Army's Langley Field and the Newport News Ship Building and Drydock Company. ww2dbase [Norfolk Navy Yard | Franklin Roosevelt | Portsmouth, Virginia | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 29 Jul 1940
Slovakian President Jozef Tiso and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in Salzburg, German-occupied Austria, 29 Jul 1940, photo 1 of 2German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop shaking hands with Slovakian President Jozef Tiso, Salzburg, German-occupied Austria, Jul 1940Slovakian President Jozef Tiso and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in Salzburg, German-occupied Austria, 29 Jul 1940, photo 2 of 2Slovakian Prime Minister Vojtech Tuka, German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, and Slovakian President Jozef Tiso, Salzburg, German-occupied Austria, 29 Jul 1940
30 Jul 1940
  • The heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Captain B. C. S. Martin, RN) departed Freetown, Sierra Leone to patrol in the South Atlantic to search for the German raider Thor. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | HM]
Argentina
  • Destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright arrived at Buenos Aires, Argentina. ww2dbase [Buenos Aires | CPC]
Austria Cuba
  • The Act of Havana was signed by the representatives from 21 nations in the Americas; it provided an emergency establishment of a regime of provisional administration "when islands or regions in the Americas now under the possession of non-American nations are in danger of becoming the subject of barter of territory or change of sovereignty". ww2dbase [Havana | CPC]
Italy
  • The British submarine HMS Oswald (Lieutenant Commander D. A. Fraser, RN) made an unsuccessful attack on a large Italian convoy about 20 nautical miles to the south of Capo dell'Armi in the Liguria region of Italy. The Italian destroyer Grecale which was near the merchant vessel Col di Lana reported being missed. The convoy attacked by Oswald had departed Naples earlier and had, besides the Grecale, an escort of four torpedo boats and the destroyers Maestrale, Libeccio, and Scirocco. ww2dbase [Motta San Giovanni, Liguria | HM]
Panama Canal Zone
  • USS Phoenix arrived at Balboa, Panama Canal Zone. ww2dbase [Phoenix | Balboa | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Low clouds and rain restricted both German and British flights all day. Five German raids targeted the northeastern British coast in the morning, while other waves of aircraft attacked convoys in the English Channel off Essex and Suffolk, England. A small number of German aircraft were shot down on this day at no cost to the British RAF. Overnight, German bombers conducted raids over southern and central England and southern Wales. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • The 5,183-ton merchant steamer Umvoti, built in 1903, was taken of of service and scuttled at the entrance to Portsmouth harbour in southern Britain. The ship was subsequently cut in half and the two halves were moved to East Sands where in 1944 the wreck was broken up. ww2dbase [Portsmouth, England | HM]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt returned to Washington Navy Yard, Washington DC, United States via presidential yacht Potomac. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | Washington | CPC]
31 Jul 1940
  • German submarine U-99 sank British ship Jamaica Progress at 0138 hours (killing 7) and British ship Jersey City at 1324 hours (killing 2) 50 miles north of Ireland. She was attacked by depth charges by escort vessels and a bomb from a flying boat, but she was able to escape undamaged. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Whitshed hit a mine off Harwich, Essex, England and lost most of her bow, but she able to be towed to Harwich by the stern by destroyer HMS Wild Swan. She would remain under repair at Chatham, Kent, England until 21 Dec 1940. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Pinguin sank British ship Domingo De Larringa in the South Atlantic 1,000 miles east of Pernambuco, Brazil. 8 were killed and 30 were taken prisoner. ww2dbase [Pinguin | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Spearfish departed Rosyth, Scotland, United Kingdom to patrol off the Norwegian coast. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Heavy cruisers USS Wichita and USS Quincy arrived at Bahia, Brazil. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler announced that he would decide whether the invasion of Britain was to take place in mid-Sep 1940 or May 1941 in a few days; the progress of the Luftwaffe campaign over Britain would be among the key factors in his decision process. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
  • Joachim von Ribbentrop, upon learning that the Duke of Windsor, the former King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, was departing for the Bahamas soon, issued an order to send the British royalty another message overnight, stressing the fact that Germany was attempting to avoid armed conflict with the United Kingdom, which could be achieved with the duke was willing to assist, beginning by not departing Europe for the Bahamas. ww2dbase [Joachim von Ribbentrop | CPC]
  • Philippe Leclerc was promoted to the rank of major (Chef d'escadron). ww2dbase [Philippe Leclerc | CPC]
Germany
  • At Adolf Hitler's residence near Berchtesgaden, M√ľnchen-Oberbayern, Germany, German military leaders were advised of Hitler's plan to attack the Soviet Union. Hitler made it clear that an invasion of the USSR was a way of securing mastery of Europe, as the fall of the USSR would certainly force Britain to surrender. The military leaders were told to expect the invasion to start in May 1941, and would likely last about five months. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | Berchtesgaden, M√ľnchen-Oberbayern | TH]
Japan
  • Mitsubishi delivered the first production Zero fighter to the Japanese Navy. ww2dbase [A6M Zero | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • While German Army and Navy leadership continued to disagree over the plans for the invasion of Britain (with Admiral Erich Raeder convincing Adolf Hitler to delay the invasion until mid-Sep 1940), the Luftwaffe moved forth with its plans and began to shift the main target from English Channel shipping to RAF airfields in southern England. Although 77 RAF aircraft were destroyed and 43 were damaged (along with 67 airmen killed and 23 wounded), aircraft production during the month was greater than aircraft lost. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | TH]
  • American ambassador in London, England, United Kingdom Joseph Kennedy relayed to US Secretary of State Cordell Hull another request from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill for destroyers. "If we cannot get reinforcement," Churchill noted, "the whole fate of the war may be decided by this minor and easily remediable factor." ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | London, England | CPC]
United States
  • The United States Government prohibited the export of aviation petrol outside of the American continent. ww2dbase [AC]
1 Aug 1940
  • Soviet Foreign Minister reaffirmed Soviet neutrality while bad-mouthing the United States and the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [TH]
  • A convoy consisted of 6 troop transports carrying 8,077 Canadian troops arrived in Scotland from Nova Scotia. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Goffredo Mameli sank Greek ship Roula 40 miles south of Crete, Greece; the entire crew was rescued. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Dutch submarine O-21 fired two torpedoes at German submarine U-60 at the distance of 2 kilometers off Norway, but both of them missed their target. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The US Navy established the new Alaskan Sector command within the Thirteenth Naval District. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Galland was awarded the Knights Cross for achieving 17 kills. ww2dbase [Adolf Galland | AC]
  • The Duke of Windsor, the former King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, received German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop's message. He turned down Ribbentrop's request for him to help bring peace between Britain and Germany, citing his loyalty to the British government. He did, however, maintain a channel of communications with Germany in the future should his assistance be helpful once again. To Ribbentrop's dismay, the duke departed for the Bahamas by the end of the day, ending the German attempt to use him to form a new pro-German leadership in Britain. ww2dbase [Joachim von Ribbentrop | CPC]
  • Franz Halder and his staff began planning for the invasion of the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
  • Yoshijiro Umezu was promoted to the rank of general. ww2dbase [Yoshijiro Umezu | CPC]
  • HMS CUMBERLAND deployed on interception patrol and trade defence in South Atlantic. ww2dbase [Cumberland | DS]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-34 detected British submarine HMS Spearfish on the surface in the North Sea and sank Spearfish with her last torpedo at 1904 hours, killing 41; one survivor, Able Seaman William Pester, was taken aboard U-34 as a prisoner of war. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | North Sea | CPC]
  • German submarine U-59 sank Swedish ship Sigyn at 0345 hours 60 miles northwest of Ireland; the entire crew was rescued. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
France
  • In the morning, a British Spitfire fighter on a photo reconnaissance mission found a build-up of German aircraft on the Cotentin Peninsula in France. At 1540 hours, 13 British bombers escorted by 10 fighters attacked, causing some damage but in turn losing 1 bomber and 2 fighters. ww2dbase [Bombing of Cities in France and Low Countries | Basse-Normandie | TH]
Germany
  • Prinz Eugen was commissioned into servce with Helmuth Brinkmann in command. ww2dbase [Prinz Eugen | CPC]
  • RAF bombers attacked the Krupp factory in Essen, Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | Essen | CPC]
  • U-576 was laid down by the firm Blohm und Voss in Hamburg, Germany. ww2dbase [Blohm und Voss | U-576 | Hamburg | CPC]
  • The work to convert F4 from a fleet escort ship to a torpedo recovery vessel ceased. ww2dbase [F4 | CPC]
Italy
  • Italian destroyer Ugolino Vivaldi detected British submarine HMS Oswald on the surface 15 miles off of the coast of southern Italy in the Mediterranean Sea, charging batteries and performing routine maintenance. Oswald made no attempt to escape or to attack the Italian ship, possibly because the commander suffers from night blindness when he was suddenly called to the bridge. Oswald was sunk by ramming and depth charges; 3 were killed and 52 were taken prisoner. The British commander (who ordered abandon ship before the ramming occurred, when Vivaldi was 100 yards away) was later court martialled on 5 charges for the loss of his ship and found to have been negligent in performing his duties. He was sentenced to forfeit all seniority as a lieutenant commander, to be dismissed and to be severely reprimanded. ww2dbase [CPC, HM]
Japan
  • Japanese Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka asked French Ambassador to Tokyo Ars√®ne Henry whether Japanese troops might be allowed to enter Indochina to occupy certain airfields; Henry implied that his government would reject such a request. Meanwhile, Japanese Army aircraft were transferred from Northern China to Southern China. ww2dbase [Indochina Campaign | Tokyo | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • Operation Hurry: British carrier HMS Argus set sail for Malta with 12 Hurricane fighters for reinforcement. She was escorted by Force H with battlecruiser HMS Hood, battleship HMS Valiant, aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, cruisers HMS Arethusa and HMS Enterprise, and 10 destroyers. Meanwhile, the Mediterranean fleet departed Alexandria, Egypt to conduct diversionary maneuvers in the area of Crete, Greece. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • 30 German He 111 aircraft reached Norwich, England, United Kingdom and bombed the Boulton-Paul Aircraft Works and the Norwich railway station without any opposition, killing 6 and wounding 54 civilians. Meanwhile, in Germany, Hitler issued Directive No. 17, calling for a temporary halt on attacks on British shipping, shifting attention to the RAF. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | Norwich, England | TH]
2 Aug 1940
  • Lord Beaverbrook was appointed to the British War Cabinet. ww2dbase [Beaverbrook | TH]
  • French military court sentenced General de Gaulle to death in absentia. ww2dbase [Charles de Gaulle | TH]
  • Overnight, British submarine HMS Thames hit a mine and sank southwest of Stavanger, Norway, killing the entire crew of 62. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German Ju 87 aircraft attacked German submarine U-60 with bombs by mistake off Hagesund, Norway; U-60 was able to escape without damage. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-99 torpedoed British merchant ship Alexia, British merchant ship Lucerna, and Norwegian merchant ship Strinda of convoy OB-191. All three were damaged but none of them sank. No men were killed as the result of the attack. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt and his cabinet discussed the methods to which the transferring 50 or 60 destroyers to the United Kingdom could be conducted. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Hulbert was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Hulbert | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • Operation Hurry: 12 British Hurricane fighters were launched from carrier HMS Argus southwest of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea and flew about 300 miles to Malta; they were to form the new No. 261 Squadron. The escorting surface warships turned back for Gibraltar and England, while the escorting carriers (escorted by battlecruiser HMS Hood, cruiser HMS Enterprise, and 4 destroyers) launched an attack consisted of 8 Swordfish torpedo bombers on the Italian airfield at Cagliari, Sardinia, destroying several aircraft and deploying several mines. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Moldova
  • Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic was formed. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Before dawn, two German He 115 seaplanes attacked British ship Highlander of convoy FN.239 20 miles south of Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom; one of the aircraft was shot down by sloop HMS Weston, while the other crashed onto Highlander's poop deck after clipping the mast. During the day, German aircraft attacked convoys in the English Channel and along the east coast of Britain, sinking anti-submarine trawler HMT Cape Finesterre off Harwich, Essex, England, United Kingdom, killing 1. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Josef Frantisek joined the British Royal Air Force and was assigned to No. 303 Squadron based at RAF Northolt in South Ruislip near London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Josef Frantisek | South Ruislip, England | CPC]
3 Aug 1940
  • Winston Churchill warned the British people against believing rumors that invasion threat is over. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japanese luxury ocean liner Hikawa Maru disembarked 82 Jewish refugees at Pier 89, Seattle, becoming the first Japanese ship to take on Jewish refugees to North America. ww2dbase [Hikawa Maru | CPC]
  • German submarine U-57 sank Swedish ship Atos at 0810 hours north of Ireland; 1 was killed and 27 were rescued. German submarine U-A stopped Yugoslavian ship Rad at 1900 hours 300 miles off of the coast of Senegal in western Africa and later found out she was carrying chemicals from the United States for South Africa; the crew of 29 was put to lifeboats, and U-A sank Rad with a torpedo. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic became a member nation of the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Annexation of the Baltic States | CPC]
  • Rear Admiral H. Kent Hewitt was assigned the Commander Special Service Squadron aboard gunboat Erie, relieving Rear Admiral John W. Wilcox, Jr. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright departed Buenos Aires, Argentina for Santos, Brazil. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • A second batch of five Beaufighter IF fighters were handed over to the RAF for evaluation. ww2dbase [Beaufighter | AC]
British Somaliland Hong Kong
  • By this date, all service families and registered non-service British women and children in Hong Kong were evacuated to the Philippines and elsewhere. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Heavy fog restricted the German Luftwaffe to conducting only a small number of raids on Britain during the day. Overnight, German bombers attacked Bradford, Liverpool, Crewe, and the Firth of Forth. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Two Japanese businessmen were arrested in London, England, United Kingdom. In response to a protest by the Japanese Ambassador, the authorities denied that their arrest was a reprisal for the arrest of British citizens in Japan six days prior. ww2dbase [London, England | AC]
4 Aug 1940
  • Italian troops marched in three columns toward Berbera, British Somaliland. The main column marched along the main road through Hargeisa, while two smaller columns flanked to the east and west. ww2dbase [Invasion of British Somaliland | CPC]
  • German submarine U-58 sank Greek ship Pindos with two torpedoes 10 miles from the Irish coast at 2120 hours; 3 were killed and 29 took to lifeboats. 300 miles northwest of Ireland, German submarine U-52 sank three transports in convoy HX-60: Geraldine Mary (3 killed, 48 survived), Gogovale (all 37 survived), and King Alfred (7 killed, 34 survived); U-52 was depth charged by Royal Navy escort vessels, causing significant damage, but she was able to escape and sail to Kiel, Germany for repairs; she would be out of action until 17 Nov 1940. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Sealion sank Norwegian ship Torun off of the Norwegian southern coast. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • After sundown, German armed merchant cruiser Widder stopped Norwegian tanker Beaulieu with one shot from her gun in the Atlantic Ocean about 1,700 miles east of Florida, United States, killing 4 in the process. 28 survivors were taken to lifeboats and abandoned; they would be rescued by British tanker Cymbeline on 13 Aug 1940. Beaulieu was sunk by scuttling charges. ww2dbase [Widder | CPC]
  • Three British minesweeping trawlers hit German naval mines on this date at different locations on the British coast and were all destroyed: HMT Drummer (2 killed), HMT Marsona (11 killed), and Oswaldian (12 killed, 7 survived). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German anti-submarine trawler Perseus (UJ-175) hit a naval mine and sank off Ameland Island off northwestern Netherlands. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • Egmont Prinz zur Lippe-Wei√üenfeld was transferred to the Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 wing based in G√ľtersloh, Germany. ww2dbase [Egmont | G√ľtersloh | CPC]
5 Aug 1940
  • Churchill and de Gaulle agreed on Free French forces organization. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Germany announced that all citizens will be required to carry a Certificate of Ancestry (Ahnenpass) that proves their Aryan purity dating back to 1800. ww2dbase [TH]
  • During the night, British Hampden aircraft attacked battleship Tirpitz to little effect. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
  • Lieutenant General Bertoldi's Italian troops captured Zeila, British Somaliland, preventing forces in French Somaliland from reinforcing the British forces from the west. ww2dbase [Invasion of British Somaliland | CPC]
  • German submarine U-56 attacked British ship Boma at 2138 hours 20 miles north of Ireland; 3 were killed and 50 survived; Boma would sink on next day. British ship Cape St. George hit the wreck of Yugoslavian ship Rad off of the coast of Senegal in western Africa, which was sunk by German submarine U-A two days earlier; as Cape St. George sank, the crew of 65 were rescued by British ship Grodno, which was carrying the survivors of Rad. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMT River Clyde hit a naval mine off Aldeburgh, Suffolk, England and sank, killing 12. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The US Navy Chief of Naval Operations established general ground rules to govern the exchange of scientific and technical information with the British mission under Sir Henry Tizard. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Heavy cruisers USS Wichita and USS Quincy departed Bahia, Brazil for Pernambuco, Brazil. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • HMS Hermes joined a South Africa-bound convoy in the South Atlantic. ww2dbase [Hermes | CPC]
Latvia United Kingdom
  • The United Kingdom and Poland signed a military agreement. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Large German Luftwaffe formations patrolled the Strait of Dover and attacked convoys off the east and southeast coast of England, United Kingdom; 4 German Bf 109 fighters and 1 British Spitfire fighter were shot down as RAF fighters rose to intercept. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
United States
  • US Navy Rear Admiral John W. Greenslade and French Vice Admiral Georges A. M. J. Robert amicably discussed the presence of French warships (aircraft carrier B√©arn, light cruiser √Čmile Bertin, training cruiser Jeanne d'Arc, and auxiliary cruisers Esterelle, Quercy, and Barfleur) and aircraft (44 SBC-4 dive bombers, 15 Hawk 75 fighters, and 6 Brewster fighters) in the western hemisphere. ww2dbase [CPC]
6 Aug 1940

Brazil
  • Destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright arrived at Santos, S√£o Paulo, Brazil. ww2dbase [Santos, S√£o Paulo | CPC]
British Somaliland Burma
  • Ba Maw, the pro-Japanese anti-British former Premier of Burma, was arrested for attacking Premier U Pu's policy of supporting Britain in the war against Germany. Ba Maw received a one year jail sentence. ww2dbase [Ba Maw | AC]
Finland
  • US Army transport American Legion reached Petsamo, Finland to embark American nationals from Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands wishing to return to the United States. ww2dbase [Petsamo | CPC]
Malta
  • Operation Tube: British submarine HMS Pandora reached Malta from Gibraltar with ground equipment and spare parts for the Hurricane fighters delivered by aircraft carrier HMS Argus 2 Aug during Operation Hurry. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • The Italian cruisers Da Barbiano (Ammiraglio di divisione Marenco di Moriondo) and Di Giussano together with destroyers Pigafetta and Zeno deployed 394 mines south south-east of the Italian island of Pantelleria (Barrage 7 AN), under the escort of torpedo boats Cassiopea, Cigno, Pleiadi and Aldebaran. ww2dbase [HM]
Norway
  • British submarine HMS Sealion was rammed by German anti-submarine vessel UJ-123 while running at periscope depth attacking a convoy 20 miles off the southern coast of Norway. Sealion would be able to return to the Tyne on 15 Aug and would remain in repair until 23 Oct. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • At 0630 hours, Hurricane fighters of No. 85 Squadron RAF shot down a German Do 17 aircraft on a reconnaissance mission over a convoy east of Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom. Also on this day, a lone German aircraft bombed the RAF station at Llandow, Wales, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
United States
  • Delos Emmons departed the United States for London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Delos Emmons | CPC]
7 Aug 1940
  • The 1st Battalion, 2nd Punjab Regiment arrived in British Somaliland to reinforce against the Italian invasion. ww2dbase [Invasion of British Somaliland | CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 torpedoed and sank British troopship Mohamed Ali El Kebir 160 miles off Ireland at 2140 hours en route from England to Gibraltar, killing 86 of the 697 military passengers and 10 of the 165 crew aboard. Destroyer HMS Griffin depth charged U-38 for two hours and then returned to pick up all 766 survivors. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Werner M√∂lders returned to duty without receiving medical clearance. ww2dbase [Werner M√∂lders | CPC]
  • American destroyer Grayson was launched. ww2dbase [Grayson | CPC]
Japan
  • Lord Halifax of the United Kingdom and US Ambassador to Tokyo Joseph Grew voiced concerns over Japanese demands for French Indochina. ww2dbase [Indochina Campaign | Tokyo | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German aircraft bombed one convoy, but otherwise very little activity was seen during the day over and near Britain. Overnight, German aircraft bombed coastal cities and laid mines in the English Channel and between Land's End and Liverpool. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
United States
8 Aug 1940
  • Laws restricting education and employment were introduced in Romania. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Wages of British military personnel increased by 6 pence per day; with this increase, a British Army private's weekly pay was increased to 17 shillings and 6 pence. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Troops of the 2nd Battalion, UK (Scottish) Black Watch arrived in British Somaliland to reinforce against the Italian invasion. ww2dbase [Invasion of British Somaliland | CPC]
  • German submarine U-37 sank British ship Upwey Grange, carrying 5,380 tons of frozen beef from Argentina to Britain, 200 miles west of Ireland at 0114 hours; the entire crew of 86 took to lifeboats, but one of the boats, carrying 36, was never seen again. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler ordered Walter Warlimont, Alfred Jodl's deputy, to determine the positions of Soviet troops in preparation for Operation Barbarossa. On the same day, Wilhelm Keitel signed the Aufbau Ost directive, which called for the mobilization of the German military in eastern Germany. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
  • Edward Brooks was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. ww2dbase [Edward Brooks | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • After several days of little action, the Germans launched continuous operations against the large convoy CW9, codenamed Peewit, of 25 merchant ships with Royal Navy escorts in the Strait of Dover. Torpedo boats attacked before dawn, sinking British ships Ouse, Holme Force (killing 6), and Fefe Coast (killing 5). As the convoy traveled westward, 300 Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers escorted by 150 fighters struck, sinking Dutch ship Ajax (killing 4), British ship Coquetdale, and British ship Empire Crusader (killing 5); as the British fought back, 17 Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers, 26 Bf 109 fighters, and 9 Bf 110 fighters were shot down, but the RAF also lost 13 Hurricane fighters, 4 Spitfire fighters, and 1 Blenheim bombers. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | Strait of Dover | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Widder sank Dutch collier Oostplein carrying 5,850 tons of coal from Britain to Buenos Aires, Argentina; the entire crew of 34 were rescued by Widder. ww2dbase [Widder | CPC]
Japan Malta
  • Operation Tube: British submarine HMS Proteus reached Malta from Gibraltar with spares for the newly-arrived Hurricane fighters. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • After sundown, Italian minelayer Scilla deployed 216 mines west of the Italian island of Pantelleria. ww2dbase [HM]
  • Starting after sundown and lasting through the end of the following next, Italian destroyers Maestrale, Grecale, Libeccio and Sirocco each deployed 216 mines off of the Italian island of Pantelleria. ww2dbase [HM]
  • Italian torpedo boats Antares and Sagittario provided escort for minelaying vessels operating off of the Italian island of Pantelleria. ww2dbase [HM]
9 Aug 1940
  • Hermann G√∂ring believed Luftwaffe had control of the air having successfully attacked many convoys and excluded Royal Navy ships from the English Channel during daylight. Overestimated downed RAF planes and underestimated Luftwaffe losses further convinced him the RAF was almost beaten; in reality, RAF was stronger than a month ago, with losses (84 fighters) less that half the Luftwaffe's (227 aircraft). G√∂ring ordered new tactics to destroy RAF's fighting capacity by attacking their airfields, control centers and radar. These tactics could not be put into effect, however, as cloudy weather allowed only reconnaissance patrols; 1 He 111 aircraft was shot down. At 1645 hours, R. D. Ritchie of No. 605 Squadron crashed his Hurricane fighter into the sea and died off Dunbar on the east coast of Scotland. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | AC]
  • Orion was ordered to make rendezvous with supply ship Regensburg in the Marshall Islands. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
  • Heavy cruisers USS Wichita and USS Quincy arrived at Pernambuco, Brazil. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • Destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright departed Santos, Brazil for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic was officially incorporated into the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Annexation of the Baltic States | CPC]
  • Friederich Schumacher was named the civilian administrator of the Channel Islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • It was announced that British troops were to be withdrawn from Shanghai and North China. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-30 sank Swedish merchant ship Canton 70 miles west of Ireland at 2032 hours; 16 were killed and 16 survived. Canton was carrying 7,900 tons of cargo (including iron) from India and South Africa to Britain. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | AC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • After sundown, Italian minelayer Scilla deployed 200 mines west of the Italian island of Pantelleria. ww2dbase [HM]
  • Italian torpedo boats Antares and Sagittario provided escort for minelaying vessels operating off of the Italian island of Pantelleria. ww2dbase [HM]
Panama Canal Zone
  • Gunboat USS Erie, with Rear Admiral H. Kent Hewitt aboard, departed from the Panama Canal Zone for Ecuador. ww2dbase [CPC]
10 Aug 1940
  • German submarine U-56 struck HMS Transylvania 20 miles north of Ireland at 0100 hours with U-56's last torpedo, killing 36. Destroyer HMS Ashanti and several trawlers rescued 300 survivors, and then attempted to tow Transylvania back to port, but Transylvania would sink during the process. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | TH]
  • German occupation government in Luxembourg deemed the French language illegal; the German occupation government in Belgium declared that listening to BBC broadcasts was illegal. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Romania passed anti-Semitic laws. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Widder stopped Finnish sailing ship Killoran 300 miles southwest of the Azores. Most of the German crew were against sinking this old ship built in 1900, Widder's on-board surgeon wanted a dramatic finale for a film he was making, and persuaded Captain Ruckteschell to sink the sailing ship by gunfire after detaining the crew of 18. ww2dbase [Widder | CPC]
  • Allied convoy OA-196's Dutch ship Albula and American ship Crescent City collided just north of Scotland; Albula sank with the entire crew taken aboard by destroyer HMS Jaguar. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Orion detected ship Triona off Brisbane, Australia but determined that she was not fast enough to attack this ship. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
  • Destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright arrived at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Japanese naval blockade of China was expanded to cover southern China. ww2dbase [CPC]
France Germany Gibraltar
  • British troop ship SS Neuralia departed Gibraltar, escorted by destroyer HMS Gallant, with 2,000 civilian evacuees bound for the Portuguese island of Madeira 600 miles to the west in the Atlantic Ocean. ww2dbase [CPC]
Italy
  • The Italian Naval Staff issued its first operational order of WW2 for a Sep 1940 mission against Alexandria, Egypt and an Oct 1940 mission against Gibraltar. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Hermann G√∂ring's Adler Tag offensive against RAF airfields was canceled due to the weather; only reconnaissance patrols and small attacks on isolated trawlers and merchant ships were launched. Overnight, German aircraft mined the coast of Britain. No aircraft were lost by either side on this day. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | TH]
  • The British government announced the withdrawal of all its forces from Shanghai and other concessions in northern China. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States
  • In the United States, President Roosevelt inspected Portsmouth Navy Yard in New Hampshire and Boston Navy Yard in Massachusetts, making the travel aboard presidential yacht Potomac. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
11 Aug 1940
  • British Major General Reade Godwin-Austen arrived in Berbera, British Somaliland to take over the defense. The British had maintained prepared defenses at Tug Argan on 6 hills overlooking the Hargeisa-Berbera road, knowing that this was the most likely invasion route. Italian troops attacked 3 of the hills and captured the one defended by the 3rd Battalion of the 15th Punjab Regiment. ww2dbase [Invasion of British Somaliland | CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 sank British ship Llanfair 125 miles west of Ireland at 1519 hours; 3 were killed and 30 were rescued by American merchant ship California. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • With trade with the outside world seriously effected by the invasion of France, Switzerland signed a new trade agreement with Germany. ww2dbase [AC]
China
  • Liu Zhesheng damaged a Japanese G3M2 bomber. ww2dbase [Liu Zhesheng | CPC]
  • 1940-08-11 90 Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing, China. Major Cheng Shao-yu led five others in I-15bis fighters in deploying an innovative new weapon. They dropped time-used 22-pound parachute bombs over the Japanese formation. Although the bombers were unharmed, the confusion caused by the unexpected explosions in the middle of the formation caused several bombers to break away, and one G3M bomber was subsequently shot down by the few fighters that the Chinese was able to scramble. ww2dbase [Chongqing | CPC]
Russia
  • With the three Baltic States now annexed by the Soviet Union, Vyacheslav Molotov asked Germany to recall their ambassador to Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia within the next two weeks, and to close the embassies by 1 Sep 1940. ww2dbase [Annexation of the Baltic States | Moscow | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Although the weather was fine, the German Luftwaffe did not start its offensive against RAF airfields, instead mounting a carefully prepared feint. Starting at 0730 hours, Bf 109 and Bf 110 fighters bombed and strafed Dover Harbor in southern England, United Kingdom as a prelude to a larger attack on Portland Naval base and Weymouth, aiming to draw RAF fighters. Spitfire fighters of No. 64 and No. 74 Squadrons responded, but most RAF units remain on the ground per Keith Park's strategy of sending up only enough fighters to counter the German attack and withholding the remaining in reserve. As a larger formation consisted of 56 Ju 88 bombers and 20 He 111 bombers arrived with 97 Bf 110 fighters in escort was detected in the direction of Cherbourg, France at 0945 hours, there were enough British fighters to counter that attack; the ensuing battle caused 20 British Hurricane fighters, 5 British Spitfire fighters, 27 German bombers, and 10 German Bf 110 fighters to become destroyed. The day's German bombing damaged 4 British destroyers: HMS Windsor in the Thames Estuary, HMS Esk at Harwich, and HMS Scimitar and HMS Skate in Portland Harbor. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • British Commander-in-Chief Middle East Major General General Wavell was in London, England, United Kingdom to discuss the defense of British colonies in Africa and the Middle East. Seeing events in Somaliland and expecting an Italian attack on Egypt, Winston Churchill's War Cabinet made a far-reaching decision to send tanks to defend the vital Suez Canal. Despite the ongoing threat of invasion, 150 tanks (about half the total in Britain), 48 anti-tank guns, 48 field guns, and 20 Bofors anti-aircraft guns were ordered to Egypt. ww2dbase [London, England | CPC]
United States
  • US President Roosevelt departed Boston Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts, United States aboard presidential yacht Potomac, escorted by destroyer USS Mayrant, for Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, arriving later on the same day. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | Boston, Massachusetts | CPC]
12 Aug 1940
  • It officially became illegal to waste food in the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Italian troops renewed the attack at Tug Argan, British Somaliland, capturing the hill defended by the Northern Rhodesian Regiment as well as two of the four 3.7-inch howitzers. ww2dbase [Invasion of British Somaliland | CPC]
  • Italian submarine Malaspina sank British tanker British Fame with 6 torpedoes near the Azores, killing 3. Malaspina spent the remainder of the day towing a lifeboat full of survivors to safety. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Flight Lieutenant Rod Learoyd of 49 Squadron based at RAF Scampton won a Victoria Cross for pressing home an attack on the Dortmund-Ems Canal despite his Hampden bomber being badly shot up. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Gunboat USS Erie, with Rear Admiral H. Kent Hewitt aboard, arrived at Guayaquil, Ecuador for a goodwill visit. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Military Collegium of the Soviet NKVD sentenced Red Army divisional commanding officer Grigoriy Fyodorovich to death for deserting his unit in combat during the Winter War. ww2dbase [CPC]
Italy
  • Iride departed La Spezia, Italy for Libya with four manned torpedoes on board. ww2dbase [Iride | La Spezia, Liguria | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • 20 German Bf 109 and Bf 110 fighters, especially converted as fighter-bombers, raided British radar stations along the coast. As the radar station operations were disrupted, almost 100 Ju 88 bombers escorted by 145 Bf 110 fighters attacked Portsmouth and the Ventnor radar station on the Isle of Wight, while Do 17 bombers attacked RAF airfields of Manston, Lympne, and Hawkinge in southern England, United Kingdom. Most of the radar stations would be repaired by the end of the day, but the Ventnor radar station would be out of commission for two weeks. Portsmouth was also bombed, killing 100 civilians. Minesweeping trawler HMT Pyrope was sunk (killing 6), so was HMT Tamarisk (killing 7), by German aircraft during this day. 55 German aircraft were shot down during aerial combat at the cost of 6 British Spitfire fighters and 9 British Hurricane fighters. British anti-aircraft guns claimed 7 bombers. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • James Lacey was shot down over Britain. ww2dbase [James Lacey | England | AC]
United States
  • US President Roosevelt departed Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, United States aboard presidential yacht Potomac, escorted by destroyer USS Mayrant, for Newport, Rhode Island, United States to inspect the Torpedo Station and the Naval Training Station with Secretary of the Navy Knox, Senator David I. Walsh and Rear Admiral Edward C. Kalbfus. He then sailed for the Submarine Base at New London, Connecticut, United States, inspecting submarine operations en route and visiting Electric Boat Company facilities in New London. Finally, he set sail for Washington Navy Yard, Washington DC, United States, arriving at night. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | New London, Connecticut | CPC]
13 Aug 1940
  • The British Royal Navy cruiser HMS Carlisle shot down an Italian aircraft attacking Berbera, British Somaliland. On the same day, destroyer HMS Kimberley and sloop HMS Auckland shelled the port of El Sheikha, which had recently been captured by Italian forces. On the ground, Italian troops attacked British defenses at Tug Argan, but the defense held. ww2dbase [Invasion of British Somaliland | CPC]
  • German submarine U-60 sank Swedish ship Nils Gorthon 10 miles north of Ireland at 2147 hours; 5 were killed and 16 survived. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt met with Secretary of the Navy Knox, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, and Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles regarding the possibilities of transferring destroyers to the United Kingdom. Later on the same day, Roosevelt sent a telegram to British Prime Minister Churchill via Acting Secretary of State Sumner Welles and Ambassador to London Kennedy, noting that "it may be possible to furnish to the British Government... at least 50 destroyers" in exchange for the promise of the Royal Navy never turning over its ships to the Germans even in the event of a Germany victory over the United Kingdom and for 99-year leases for land for military bases. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Heavy cruisers USS Wichita and USS Quincy departed Pernambuco, Brazil for Montevideo, Uruguay. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • The first shells fired from the French side of the English Channel fell upon Dover, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Erich Raeder met with Adolf Hitler and attempted to convince Hitler to reduce the landing front for the planned invasion of Britain as the German Navy had little means to maintain the security of a wide landing area. ww2dbase [Erich Raeder | CPC]
China
  • Admiral Thomas C. Hart of the US Navy Asiatic Fleet shifted his flag from heavy cruiser USS Augusta to submarine USS Porpoise at Qingdao, Shandong, China and departed for Shanghai. It was the first time a Asiatic Fleet chief had traveled in a submarine. ww2dbase [Porpoise | Qingdao, Shandong | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German Luftwaffe launched Adlerangriff, Eagle Attack, in the afternoon, but miscommunications in the morning meant some aircraft took off early and suffered heavy casualties. At 1500 hours, 300 German aircraft were launched. 86 British Fleet Air Arm and 1 RAF Fighter Command aircraft were destroyed on the ground and 13 RAF Fighter Command aircraft (2 Spitfire and 11 Hurricane) shot down; the Germans lost 87 airmen killed or captured; 40 German bombers and 36 German fighters were lost. Overnight, German aircraft damaged aircraft factories in Belfast and Castle Bromwich. The minesweeping trawler HMT Elizabeth Angela was sunk by air attack on this day off Dover, killing 1. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • James Lacey was shot down by a German He 111 aircraft over Britain. ww2dbase [James Lacey | England | AC]
14 Aug 1940
  • Roosevelt approved what later became the Two-Ocean Navy Act. ww2dbase [Two-Ocean Navy Act | CPC]
  • The British Ministry of Home Security announced that parachutes had been found in Derbyshire, Yorkshire, and Scotland, though there were no evidence of German troops on British soil. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British and Commonwealth troops engaged in heavy fighting with Italian forces near Berbera, British Somaliland; British commander in area Major General Godwin-Austen requested permission to fall back into Berbera and to prepare for evacuation. ww2dbase [Invasion of British Somaliland | CPC]
  • On his way to ignite a coup in the Irish Republic and an uprising against Ulster, IRA Chief of Staff, Sean Russell, died aboard a German U-boat of a perforated ulcer. Trained in sabotage by the Germans, he was buried at sea wrapped in a Swastika flag. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Cloudy weather prevented Germans from launching large scale raids against Britain early in the day as planned. At 1200 hours, 300 German aircraft flew over the Dover Strait and attacked Dover and Folkestone in southern England, which drew out the No. 65 Squadron RAF for defense, leaving RAF Manston undefended during the attack that came shortly afterwards (though anti-aircraft gun crews were able to shoot down two Bf 110 fighters). At 1545 hours, RAF Middle Wallop in Hampshire was bombed by Ju 87 dive bombers and He 111 medium bombers, killing 3 airmen and 1 civilian. In Portland Harbour, British sloop HMS Kingfisher and tug Carbon were damaged by bombing. On this day, the Germans lost 30 aircraft while the British lost 3 Spitfire fighters and 5 Hurricane fighters. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • German submarine U-59 sank British ship Betty 15 miles north of Ireland at 2034 hours, killing 30. 4 survivors were later rescued by British anti-submarine trawler HMS Man o' War. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Malcolm, destroyer HMS Verity, and three motor torpedo boats attacked a German convoy of 6 trawlers escorted by three motor torpedo boats off Texel Island, the Netherlands. One German motor torpedo boat and one German trawler were sunk. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Orion spent most of this day looking for her Ar 196 floatplane which had been forced to make a water landing due to mechanical issues while conducting reconnaissance on Noum√©a, New Caledonia. The aircraft was found and recovered. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
  • Destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright departed Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for Bahia, Brazil. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler heard from Walther von Brauchitsch, who insisted that the German Army would like to attack Britain on a wide front with four or more main landing sites. ww2dbase [Walther von Brauchitsch | CPC]
  • Oberst Alois Stoeckl, the commanding officer of the German Kampfgeschwader 55 wing, was killed in action. ww2dbase [CPC]
China
  • US Navy Asiatic Fleet chief Admiral Thomas C. Hart arrived in Shanghai, China aboard USS Porpoise. Upon arrival, he transferred his flag to yacht Isabel. ww2dbase [Porpoise | Shanghai | CPC]
15 Aug 1940
  • Roosevelt approved the National Defense Research Committee, which was a collection of civilian scientists working for the military. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Italian troops continued the attack at Tug Argan, British Somaliland, taking another one of the six hills overlooking the main road. Overnight, British forces withdrew towards Berbera, with African troops, Indian troops, and troops of the Scottish regiment Black Watch forming a rearguard at Barkasan. ww2dbase [Invasion of British Somaliland | CPC]
  • German submarine U-A sank Greek ship Aspasia 700 miles west of Gibraltar at 2000 hours with two torpedoes, killing the entire crew of 19. Far to the north, 190 miles northwest of Rockall, Ireland, German submarine U-51 sank British tanker Sylvafield, which was carrying 7,860 tons of fuel oil, killing 3; 20 survivors were rescued by Belgian trawler Rubens and 16 survivors were rescued by British minesweeping trawler HMS Newland. In Germany, German Navy ordered the construction of 86 new submarines. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Eric Wilson of British Somaliland Camel Corps manned his machine gun during the Italian attack at Tug Argan Gap, British Somaliland despite being overpowered. A retreat order had already been given but it never got to him. He was captured; he was subsequently freed and joined the Long Range Desert Group. He would later win the Victoria Cross for the action at Tug Argan Gap. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Churchill responded to US President Roosevelt's telegram of 13 Aug 1940 regarding the offer of destroyers, noting "moral value of this fresh aid from your Government and your people at this critical time will be very great and widely felt." ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • The US Navy established a Naval Air Station in Miami, Florida, United States with Commander Gerald F. Bogan in command. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright arrived at Bahia, Brazil. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Oberstleutnant Hans Korte was named the commanding officer of the German Kampfgeschwader 55 wing. ww2dbase [CPC]
Greece
  • Italian Air Force bombers attacked Greek destroyers Vasilissa Olga and Vasilevs Georgios I near the islands of Tinos and Syros. ww2dbase [South Aegean | CPC]
  • The 2,640-ton Greek cruiser-minelayer Elli was torpedoed by the Italian Squallo-slass submarine Delfino during a religious festival Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos while at anchor at Tinos Island, Greece at 0825 hours; 9 were killed, 24 were wounded. Delfino also fired a torpedo at anchored passenger ships Elsi and Esperos, but those torpedoes missed, damaging the wharf instead. ww2dbase [Elli | Tinos, South Aegean | CPC, HM]
United Kingdom
  • As the weather over Britain cleared up, the German Luftwaffe launched a major strike, with aircraft from Norway and Denmark joining their counterparts based in France. A formation of 1,100 German aircraft crossed the Dover Strait before diverging to different targets, damaging aircraft, runways, hangars, and radar stations. At 1850 hours, German Bf 110 fighter-bombers bombed Croydon airfield south of London, England, United Kingdom by mistake, meeting stiff resistance; one of the shot down Bf 110 aircraft crashed into a London suburb, killing 60 and wounding 120. At the end of the day, 161 aircraft, mostly bombers, were lost, leading to the nicknaming of this day Black Thursday. The RAF lost 34 fighters and 18 pilots. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • US Assistant Chief of Naval Operations Rear Admiral Robert L. Ghormley, US Army Air Corps Major General Delos C. Emmons, and US Army Brigadier General George V. Strong arrived in London, England, United Kingdom for an informal meeting with British officers. ww2dbase [London, England | CPC]
  • James Lacey damaged a German Do 17 aircraft over Britain. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
United States
  • The US Army contracted with the automobile manufacturer Chrysler to build the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant in Michigan, United States. It was to be the country's first government-owned contractor-operated facility. ww2dbase [Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant | Warren, Michigan | CPC]
16 Aug 1940
  • British and Commonwealth troops began evacuating Berbera, British Somaliland, while Italian troops marched closer to the capital, though very cautiously and did not attack the British rearguard at Barkasan. Italian aircraft, for the most part, allowed the evacuation operation to take place in order to maintain good relations with Britain. ww2dbase [Invasion of British Somaliland | CPC]
  • Despite fine weather, German attacks on Britain were limited to small raids. At noon, German bombers attacked shipping in the Thames estuary and various airfields in southern England; at 1630 hours, some of the same targets were hit a second time. Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers attacked RAF Tangmere and Ventnor radar station, destroying many Hurricane fighters and Blenheim bombers in the hangar at the former and damaging radar installations at the latter. Pilot Officer W. M. "Billy" Fiske, an American pilot in the RAF, would become injured during one of the raids and would die on the following day, becoming the only American killed in combat during the Battle of Britain. On this day, the RAF lost 22 fighters while the Luftwaffe lost 72. In Germany, the 5th Directive (intelligence section) of the German Luftwaffe High Command reported the RAF Fighter Command only had about 300 fighters left; in actuality, it had about 400 Hurricane fighters and 200 Spitfire fighters available at the time, which was twice of the estimate. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Despite being badly wounded and with his Hurricane fighter on fire, Flight Lieutenant James Nicolson shot down a German Bf 109 fighter before bailing out. He would later win the only Victoria Cross awarded to a fighter pilot during the Battle of Britain. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine Osiris sank Italian ship Morea 50 miles west of Durr√ęs, Albania. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-100 sank British ship Empire Merchant 150 miles northwest of Ireland, killing 7. 48 survivors were rescued by tug HMS Salvonia. 150 miles further northwest, a German submarine wolfpack consisted of U-30, U-46, and U-48 attacked Allied convoy OB-197, sinking Swedish ship Hedrun (8 killed, 20 survived) and British ship Clan Macphee (67 killed, 41 survived), and damaging Dutch ship Alcinous. In the same general area 170 miles northwest of Ireland, British Coastal Command Sunderland flying boats of 210 Squadron attacked German submarine U-51 with depth charges; U-51 narrowly survived the attack; this was the first successful use of aircraft against a German submarine. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Hungary and Romania began negotiating over Transylvania, which Hungary wished to take over from Romania. The negotiation soon turned into a deadlock. ww2dbase [Soviet Demands on Romania and the Second Vienna Arbitration | CPC]
  • Orion attacked and sank French ship Notu which was en route to Noum√©a, New Caledonia. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
  • Adolf Galland recieved the Pilot's Badge in Gold with Diamonds from Hermann G√∂ring. ww2dbase [Adolf Galland | CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt announced in a press conference that the United States had engaged with the United Kingdom to acquire land for military bases in the Western Hemisphere. No mention was made regarding the transfer to destroyers from the US to the UK. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • US Army Transport American Legion departed Petsamo, Finland for New York, United States with Crown Princess Martha of Norway and her three children on board. Also on board was a 40-millimeter Bofors gun purchased by the US Navy. American Legion was the last neutral ship to be allowed to depart from Petsamo. ww2dbase [40 mm Bofors | CPC]
  • Wilhelm Keitel issued the order that, per Adolf Hitler's decision, the landing area in the invasion plan for Britain was to be slightly narrowed as a compromise between the Army (which wanted a wide front) and the Navy (which lacked the warships to secure too many landing sites). ww2dbase [Wilhelm Keitel | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • James Lacey claimed a probable kill on a German Bf 109 fighter over Britain. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
United States
  • A "Test" Platoon led by Major William Lee and consisting of 48 volunteers from the US 29th Infantry Regiment made the first US Army parachute jump from an aircraft in order to explore the prospect of bringing troops and equipment into battle by air. ww2dbase [AC]
17 Aug 1940
  • Destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright departed Bahia, Brazil for Par√°, Brazil. ww2dbase [CPC]
Afghanistan
  • The Parliament of the Kingdom of Afghanistan was established. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • Adolf Hitler announced an air and sea blockade of Britain, threatening that all ships approaching Britain would be sunk without warning. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | TH]
  • German leaders designated Berlin as the European financial center after Germany's victory. ww2dbase [Berlin | TH]
South Africa
  • HMS Hermes began receiving repairs at Simon's Town, South Africa for damage caused by the 10 Jul 1940 collision with armed merchant cruiser HMS Corfu. ww2dbase [Hermes | Simon's Town | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Pilot Officer Billy Fiske of No. 601 Squadron RAF died from his injuries at Royal West Sussex Hospital in Chichester, England, United Kingdom after being shot down and badly burned on the previous day. Billy Fiske, an American volunteer, was remembered by a plaque in London's St. Paul's Cathedral as "An American Citizen who Died That England Might Live". ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | Chichester, England | AC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Aug 1940
Destroyed Adam Mickiewicz Monument in Kraków, Poland, 17 Aug 1940German occupation administration destroying Adam Mickiewicz Monument in Kraków, Poland, 17 Aug 1940
18 Aug 1940
  • The British evaucation of Berbera, British Somaliland was completed after troopships Chakdina, Chantala, Laomedon, and Akbar and hospital ship Vita departed the port, destined for Aden. Australian cruiser HMAS Hobart was left behind to collect stragglers and destroy vehicles, fuel, and stores. Colonial troops of the Somaliland Camel Corps chose to remain in their homeland; their British officers respected their decision and allowed them to keep their weapons. ww2dbase [Invasion of British Somaliland | CPC]
  • No. 302 (Polish) and No. 310 (Czechoslovakian) squadrons were activated by the RAF. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • On this "Hardest Day", German aircraft attacked Kenley and Biggin Hill airfields in southern England in the United Kingdom, among other locations, subjecting the airfields to heavy bombing. Losses on both sides were heavy with the Germans losing 69 aircraft and the RAF Fighter Command 29. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | TH]
United States
  • US President Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister King signed the Ogdensburg Agreement in Heuvelton, New York, United States, which established the Permanent Joint Board for the Defense of the United States and Canada. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | Heuvelton, New York | CPC]
  • The keel of Columbia was laid down by New York Shipbuilding Corporation in Camden, New Jersey, United States. ww2dbase [Columbia | Camden, New Jersey | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 18 Aug 1940
Wreckage of a Do 17 aircraft in Britain, 18 Aug 1940
19 Aug 1940
  • Italian troops captured Berbera, British Somaliland. The 17 day conflict has cost the British 250 casualties but the Italians more than 2,000. ww2dbase [Invasion of British Somaliland | AC]
  • German submarine U-48 sank Belgian passenger ship Ville de Gand off Ireland just after midnight; 15 were killed and 38 survived. Also off Ireland, at 0154 hours, U-101 sank British ship Ampleforth; 9 were killed and 29 were rescued by British destroyer HMS Warwick. U-A sank British ship Hungarian Kelet off Ireland at 1000 hours, killing 6, all of whom were survivors of the ship Clan Macphee that was sunk by U-30 on 16 Aug 1940; 33 crew and 35 other Clan Macphee survivors were rescued by Norwegian merchant ship Varegg. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • The North American B-25 Mitchell medium bomber took its first flight. ww2dbase [B-25 Mitchell | CPC]
China
  • Twelve A6M2 Model 11 Zero fighters escorted fifty four G3M2 Type 96 bombers on a mission against the Chinese city of Chongqing; this was the first combat mission of the Zero fighter. ww2dbase [A6M Zero | Chongqing | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Cloud and rain limited German reconnaissance capability in the morning. In the afternoon, German Luftwaffe changed its tactics, sending single aircraft, mainly Ju 88 bombers, to attack targets along the southern coast of England and Wales in the United Kingdom. The Germans lost 1 Bf 109 fighter and 4 Ju 88 bombers during the day, while the British lost 1 Spitfighter fighter in the fighting and 1 Blenheim fighter over southern Norway during a reconnaissance mission. Meanwhile, the government in London declared the entire United Kingdom a defense area. To reinforce the RAF, a Royal Canadian Air Force squadron arrived in Britain. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
United States
  • USS R-5 was recommissioned into service. ww2dbase [R-5 | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 19 Aug 1940
Working on the rudder of battleship North Carolina, New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, United States, 19 Aug 1940
20 Aug 1940
  • Hermann G√∂ring sent peace proposals to Britain via Dutch and Turkish foreign ministries, but the proposals were ignored by the British. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Joseph Stalin's political enemy Leon Trotsky was attacked in his home in Mexico with an ice axe by undercover NKVD agent Ram√≥n Mercader. Trotsky would die on the next day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Orion spotted British ship Turakina 350 miles east of New Plymouth, New Zealand, finally sinking her with gunfire and one torpedo after a prolonged chase; 38 crew members were killed. Despite knowing the New Zealand Navy might already be on the way, Orion's commanding officer nevertheless decided to remain in the area for 5 hours to rescue 21 of Turakina's survivors. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
  • Theodor Osterkamp, the commanding officer of Jagdgeschwader 51, was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz). Forty-eight year old Osterkamp was one of only a handful of aviators to see combat in both World Wars. During the Great War he had been awarded both the Knight's Cross of the Royal Hohenzollern House Order with Swords and the Pour le M√©rite, and finished the war with thirty kills to his name. In 1940 he added six more victories before his superiors insisted that his further career should be chairbound. ww2dbase [Theodor Osterkamp | AC]
Atlantic Ocean China
  • Chinese communist forces launched the Hundred Regiments Offensive in Hebei and Shanxi Provinces in China. ww2dbase [Hundred Regiments Offensive | CPC]
Germany
  • Luftwaffe leadership ordered that no more Ju 87 Stuka aircraft were to be sent into action over Britain, after suffering unsustainable loss rates; almost 60 were shot down in the past 11 days. ww2dbase [Ju 87 Stuka | TH]
United Kingdom
  • At 1445 hours, 190 German aircraft flew over the Thames Estuary in search of British shipping, but failed to find any; British fighters arrived and shot down five German aircraft. Meanwhile, RAF Manston in northeastern Kent, England, United Kingdom was attacked; 1 Spitfire fighter was shot down while attempting to defend the airfield. In total, 7 Luftwaffe aircraft and 3 RAF aircraft were lost today. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Winston Churchill made the "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few" speech in the House of Commons in London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | Winston Churchill | London, England | CPC]
21 Aug 1940
  • Joseph Stalin's political enemy Leon Trotsky died of severe brain damage as the result of the previous day's assassination attempt by undercover NKVD agent Ram√≥n Mercader. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Widder sank British collier Anglo Saxon 1,000 miles west of Africa. Survivors in lifeboats were machine gunned. In total, 34 crew members were killed. 7 survivors got away in a lifeboat, but would not reach land, Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas, 2,500 miles away, for 71 days; by that time, only 2 were still alive. One of the survivors, Able Seaman Robert Tapscott, would later provide testimony to convict Captain Ruckteschell of Widder as a war criminal. ww2dbase [Widder | CPC]
  • Italian submarine Dandolo damaged Dutch tanker Hermes 200 miles west of Lisbon, Portugal. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright arrived at Par√°, Brazil. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Douglas Bader shot down a German Do 17 aircraft off Great Yarmouth, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
  • Iride, with four manned torpedoes on board intended for an attack on British ships in Alexandria in Egypt, was sunk by British torpedo bombers in the Gulf of Bomba off Libya. ww2dbase [Iride | CPC]
Netherlands
  • Tsingtau departed for Rotterdam, the Netherlands. ww2dbase [Tsingtau | Rotterdam | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The United Kingdom House of Commons authorized foreign troops of occupied nations to conduct training in Britain under their own flags. ww2dbase [London, England | TH]
  • Bad weather prevented large formations of German bombers from forming, so the German Luftwaffe dispatched only small one- to two-aircraft raids against coastal Britain. On this day, 1 Hurricane fighter was shot down, 2 RAF personnel were killed on the ground, and 40 RAF personnel were wounded; 4 civilians were killed, and 178 were wounded; several merchant ships were damaged or sunk. On the German side, 13 bombers were shot down. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • Violette Bushell and √Čtienne Szabo were married at the Aldershot Register Office in Manor Park, Aldershot, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Violette Szabo | Aldershot, England | CPC]
22 Aug 1940
  • British Swordfish torpedo bombers of 812 Squadron from HMS Peregrine bombed German invasion barges at Daedereide, the Netherlands. One Swordfish aircraft was shot down, with its crew of two taken prisoner. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Three Swordfish torpedo bombers of 824 Squadron of HMS Eagle sank Italian submarine Iride, killing most of the crew of 45, and the depot ship Monte Gargano in the Gulf of Bomba, Libya. Italian torpedo boat Calypso was also damaged. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
  • James V. Forrestal, former Administrative Assistant to the US President and Wall Street broker, was named the first Undersecretary of the Navy responsible for procurement and materiel in the Navy Department. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Galland was appointed Geschwaderkommodore JG 26 "Schlageter". ww2dbase [Adolf Galland | AC]
United Kingdom
  • Harrow in northwest London, England, United Kingdom received a German bomb at 0330 hours, the first to fall within the borders of the London Civil Defence Area. After daybreak, bad weather once again prevented large German raids. At 0900 hours, German 38-centimeter guns at Cape Gris Nez, France shelled the convoy "Totem" in the Strait of Dover for 80 minutes, but no ships were hit. At 1300 hours, German Ju 88 bombers, escorted by Bf 109 fighters, attacked the same convoy, but were engaged by Spitfire fighters of No. 54 Squadron and Hurricane fighters of No. 610 Squadron; 1 Ju 88, 1 Spitfire, and 1 Hurricane aircraft were shot down, wit the Hurricane fighter shot down by friendly fire. In the evening, the 38-centimeter gun fired again, this time at the city of Dover; British 14-inch gun "Winnie" returned fire. From 1830 hours through the night, German bombers raided British cities, including Aberdeen, Bristol, and Hull. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | London, England | CPC]
  • Winston Churchill visited RAF Kenley in southern London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | London, England | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 22 Aug 1940
TBD-1 Devastator aircraft of Torpedo Squadron 3 with McClelland Barclay experimental camouflage design number 7, Naval Air Station, North Island, California, United States, 22 Aug 1940, photo 1 of 3TBD-1 Devastator aircraft of Torpedo Squadron 3 with McClelland Barclay experimental camouflage design number 7, Naval Air Station, North Island, California, United States, 22 Aug 1940, photo 2 of 3TBD-1 Devastator aircraft of Torpedo Squadron 3 with McClelland Barclay experimental camouflage design number 7, Naval Air Station, North Island, California, United States, 22 Aug 1940, photo 3 of 3TBD-1 Devastator aircraft of Torpedo Squadron 3 with McClelland Barclay experimental camouflage design number 8, Naval Air Station, North Island, California, United States, 22 Aug 1940, photo 1 of 3
See all photos dated 22 Aug 1940
23 Aug 1940
  • German propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels launched a new campaign that stressed the British fighting spirit in an attempt to rally Germany behind the war effort. ww2dbase [Joseph Goebbels | CPC]
  • Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney, Australian destroyer HMAS Stuart, and British destroyers HMS Diamond, HMS Ilex, HMS Juno bombarded the Italian seaplane base at Bomba, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-37 torpedoed Norwegian ship Keret in the Atlantic Ocean 500 miles west of Ireland at 0222 hours, killing 13; 7 survivors in a lifeboat and a raft were rescued by British ship Trident. In the general area, at 1250 hours, U-37 sank British ship Severn Leigh, killing 32 crew and 1 gunner; 10 survivors would make it to Outer Hebrides, Scotland on 5 Sep. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Heavy cruisers USS Wichita (with chief of Cruiser Division 7 Rear Admiral Andrew C. Pickens on board) and USS Quincy arrived at Montevideo, Uruguay. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • Destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright departed Par√°, Brazil for the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • James Lacey was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
Germany Tunisia
  • British destroyer HMS Hostile (H55) hit a mine 10 miles east of Cape Bon, Tunisia at 0317 hours, killing 5 and wounding 3. The mine was laid by Italian destroyer Maestrale during the night of 8-9 Aug 1940. After the survivors were taken aboard by destroyers HMS Hero and HMS Mohawk, HMS Hero (H99) scuttled Hostile with torpedoes. ww2dbase [CPC, HM]
United Kingdom
  • Rain and clouds prevented the Germans from mounting large raids against Britain, giving the British airmen a chance to rest and crews a chance to repair airfields. Single-aircraft raids were, however, mounted against southern and central England, as were raids against shipping; two merchant ships were sunk and one was damaged by He 115 torpedo bombers. Overnight, German bombers raided British cities; British fighters shot down two of the night raiders with no losses of their own, while anti-aircraft gunners claimed a third. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Aug 1940
Floating Drydock YFD-2 arriving in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 23 Aug 1940. Note that it is still painted with markings from the Naval Station at New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.
24 Aug 1940
  • German submarine U-57 attacked Allied convoy OB-202 2 miles north of Ireland just after midnight; British ships Saint Dunstan and Cumberland were sunk, killing 14 and 4, respectively; British ship Havildar was damaged. German submarine U-48 sank British tanker La Brea, carrying 9,410 tons of fuel oil, 130 miles west of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom at 1414 hours, killing 2; 31 survived and made it to the Outer Hebrides on lifeboats. 500 miles west of Ireland, German submarine U-37 sank British ship Brookwood at 0314 hours, killing 1; 35 crew and 1 gunner would remain adrift for 5 days before being picked up by British merchant ship Clan Macbean. At 2038 hours, U-37 struck again, sinking British sloop HMS Penzance escorting Allied convoy SC-1, killing 90; 7 survivors were rescued by British ship Blairmore. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis sank British ship King City, carrying 7,300 tons of coal and coke for Singapore, 900 miles east of Madagascar, killing 6. Atlantis remained in the area, in very rough seas, to pick up the survivors. ww2dbase [Atlantis | CPC]
  • Bismarck was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Before dawn, the London Blitz began as a misguided group of German bombers of KG1 unloaded their bombs London's Thames Haven oil terminal, which also damaged the church of St. Gile in East End; G√∂ring demanded to know the crews that did this so to punish them. Clear weather allowed the German attacks to restart in size. German bombers arrived in waves against RAF Hornchurch, RAF North Weald, and RAF Manston in southern England; the Germans lost 22 fighters and 18 bombers, while the British lost 20 fighters. At 1600 hours, 50 German aircraft bombed Portsmouth in southern England, killing 100 civilians and wounding a further 300, while damaging HMS Acheron (killing 2, wounding 3) and HMS Bulldog (killing the commanding officer) in the harbor. Overnight, deliberate bombing of London, England, United Kingdom began, hitting north, east, and west of the city. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | London, England | CPC]
  • James Lacey shot down a German Ju 88 aircraft and a Do 17 bomber over Britain. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille scored his first kill, a British Hurricane Mk I fighter, over Kent, England, United Kingdom. While he was congratulated by his commanding officer, he was also reprimanded because he achieved the kill after abandoning his wingman to pursue the target. Later that evening, in his diary, he noted great sadness when he thought about the enemy pilot's mother not being able to see his son again. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | England | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 24 Aug 1940
Commissioning ceremony of German battleship Bismarck, 24 Aug 1940, photo 01 of 10Commissioning ceremony of German battleship Bismarck, 24 Aug 1940, photo 02 of 10; Captain Ernst Lindemann coming aboardCommissioning ceremony of German battleship Bismarck, 24 Aug 1940, photo 03 of 10; portrait of Captain Ernst LindemannCommissioning ceremony of German battleship Bismarck, 24 Aug 1940, photo 04 of 10; Captain Ernst Lindemann reviewing crew
See all photos dated 24 Aug 1940
25 Aug 1940
  • Battleship Bismarck fired 52 3.7cm and 400 2cm shells against raiding British aircraft without any hits. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Allied convoy HX-65 from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada to Liverpool, England, United Kingdom was tracked and attacked by German submarines all day; at 0245 hours, German submarine U-48 sank the ship Empire Merlin (35 were killed and 1 was rescued by corvette HMS Godetia) and tanker Athelcrest (30 were killed and 6 were rescued by HMS Godetia) 90 miles north of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland; at 0748 hours, German submarine U-57 sank tanker Pecten (49 were killed and 8 were rescued) 75 miles north of Ireland; between 2350 and 2356 hours, German submarine U-124 fired four torpedoes at the convoy 23 miles north of the Outer Hebrides, sinking British ships Harpalyce (42 were killed) and Fircrest (entire crew of 39 was lost), while damaging Stakesby. Also on this date, German submarine U-37 sank British ship Blairmore 500 miles west of Ireland at 0146 hours; 5 were killed and 36 were rescued by Swedish ship Eknaren. Closer to the Irish coast, German submarine U-100 sank British ship Jamaica Pioneer, killing 2. At about 2345 hours, U-37 struck again, sinking British ship Yewcrest. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
Germany
  • 81 British Hampden bombers of No. 49 and No. 50 Squadrons attacked Berlin, Germany in the first retaliation attack for the raid on London, England. Clouds led to bombs falling largely in suburban lawns and gardens, killing only 6. Nevertheles, Luftwaffe chief Hermann G√∂ring was shocked and embarrassed that the British bombers were able to get through in such great numbers. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | Berlin | TH]
United Kingdom
  • At 1700 hours, German bombers attacked RAF Warmwell and the harbor of Dover in Britain; during the defense, Czechoslovakian pilot Count Manfred Czernin, flying a Hurricane fighter for the RAF, shot down three Bf 110 fighters in one minute. Overnight, German bombers attacked South Wales, Bristol, Birmingham, and other cities in the Midlands area of England, United Kingdom. In total, the Germans lost 38 fighters and 14 bombers, while the British lost 16 fighters and 2 bombers. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
26 Aug 1940

Atlantic Ocean
  • Italian submarine Dandolo sank British steamer Ilvington Court in the Atlantic Ocean, killing 8. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German torpedo bombers attacked two British ships 10 miles east of Kinnaird Head, Scotland, United Kingdom; Remuera would sink and Cape York would remained afloat until the next day. Both crews survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
Canada
  • The American-Canadian Permanent Joint Board on Defense convened in Ottawa, Canada. The American attendees were Fiorello H. LaGuardia (President, U.S. Conference of Mayors), Lieutenant General Stanley D. Embick (US Army commander of the Fourth Corps Area), Captain Harry W. Hill, and Commander Forrest P. Sherman (US Navy War Plans Division), Lieutenant Colonel Joseph T. McNarney, and John D. Hickerson (Assistant Chief of Division of European Affairs of the US Department of State). ww2dbase [Joseph McNarney | Ottawa, Ontario | CPC]
French Equatorial Africa
  • Territory of Chad of French Equatorial Africa declared war on Germany and Italy. ww2dbase [Chad | TH, CPC]
Germany
  • The British RAF bombed Leipzig, Leuna, Hanover, Nordhausen in Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler ordered the transfer of 10 infantry divisions and 2 armored divisions from France to Poland. To avoid Soviet suspicion, he made plans to make this transfer appear as if these fresher troops were coming in to relieve older men who were going to be released back into the work force. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | Adolf Hitler | CPC]
Indian Ocean
  • German armed merchant cruiser Pinguin's seaplane attacked Norwegian tanker Filefjell off Madagascar at 1748 hours. Pinguin soon arrived to capture the ship which was carrying 10,000 tons of gasoline and 500 tons of oil. ww2dbase [Pinguin | CPC]
Ireland
  • Ireland lodged a protest in Berlin, Germany after bombs were dropped on Campile, County Wexford, Ireland during the day, killing three women. ww2dbase [Campile, Wexford | TH, CPC]
Italy
  • The British RAF bombed Turin and Milan in Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • With clear weather, the Germans launched three major raids. At 1200 hours, 150 aircraft flew over the Strait of Dover from Calais in France; No. 616 Squadron's Spitfire fighters of RAF Kenley and No. 264 Squadron's Defiant fighters were attacked and devastated by escorting German Bf 109 fighters; the German bombers split up after reaching Britain and bombed RAF Biggin Hill, RAF Kenley, and various towns in Kent. At 1500 hours, 170 German aircraft flew up the Thames estuary, but most were turned back by British fighters; 6 Do 17 bombers made it through the fighter defense and bombed RAF Debden, causing heavy damage. At 1600 hours, 55 German bombers of KG55 escorted by about 100 fighters attacked Portsmouth, but the group was repulsed by 5 No. 11 Group and 3 No. 10 Group squadrons. In total, the RAF lost 28 fighters and the Luftwaffe lost 22 bombers and 24 fighters. While the machine losses were heavy for both sides, the RAF only lost 6 airmen, while most of the downed German crews were killed or captured. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
27 Aug 1940
  • US President Roosevelt signed the joint resolution authorizing him to call Army Reserve components and National Guard into federal service for one year; meanwhile, at the US Congress, the legislation that allowed US Navy and US Marine Corps reserve aviators to be called up to active duty was enacted. On the same date, Roosevelt met with Secretary of the Navy Knox, Secretary of War Stimson, and Secretary of State Hull regarding a compromise that might persuade the opponents of the destroyers-for-bases exchange to back down. Subsequently, Roosevelt met with US Navy Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Stark, Secretary of the Navy Knox, Secretary of State Hull, and British Ambassador Lord Lothian to continue destroyers-for-bases discussions; Stark certified that the destroyers in question were available for British use without concerns of weakening US defense. Finally, Roosevelt received a ruling from Attorney General Robert H. Jackson which suggested that the destroyers-for-bases exchange was legal. Meanwhile, out at sea, German submarines continued to attack Allied shipping in the Atlantic Ocean. German submarine U-46 attacked British armed merchant cruiser Dunvegan Castle with three torpedoes 75 miles northwest of Ireland; 27 were killed and 250 were rescued by destroyer HMS Harvester and corvette HMS Primrose; Dunvegan Castle would sink on the following day. German submarine U-28 sank Norwegian ship Eva 200 miles northwest of Ireland at 1603 hours, killing 1. Finally, German submarine U-37 sank Greek ships Theodoros T. 300 miles west of Ireland at 2231 hours. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Pinguin stopped British tanker British Commander off Madagascar at 0418 hours. Shortly after, she stopped Norwegian ship Morviken. Pinguin would imprison both crews and sink both ships by gunfire. ww2dbase [Pinguin | CPC]
  • Wilhelm Keitel revealed an invasion plan for Britain that featured four separate main landing sites. ww2dbase [Wilhelm Keitel | CPC]
  • Philippe Leclerc was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. ww2dbase [Philippe Leclerc | CPC]
Italy
  • Caproni's C.C.2 prototype motorjet aircraft took its first flight. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Bad weather limited the Germans to flying reconnaissance missions only over Britain during the day. Overnight, German bombers attacked industrial centers and RAF airfields. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
28 Aug 1940
  • Radio broadcast in Vichy France announced that laws protecting Jews in France had been removed. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | TH]
  • German submarine U-101 torpedoed Finnish ship Elle 200 miles northwest of Ireland at 0425 hours, killing 2; after the 27 survivors were rescued by sloop HMS Leith and delivered to Greenock, Scotland, HMS Leith returned on 30 Aug to scuttle the ship with gunfire. German submarine U-28 sank British ship Kyno 200 miles northwest of Ireland at 2100 hours; 4 were killed and 33 were rescued by British ship Queen Maud. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Werner M√∂lders' wingman Oberleutnant Kircheis was shot down and became captured; Oberleutnant Georg Claus took over as his new wingman. ww2dbase [Werner M√∂lders | CPC]
  • US Army transport American Legion, with destroyers USS Biddle and USS Blakeley in escort, arrived from from Petsamo, Finland to New York City, United States with Norwegian Crown Princess Martha. Also aboard was a 40-millimeter Bofors gun, smuggled in for the US Navy. ww2dbase [40 mm Bofors | CPC]
  • Heavy cruisers USS Wichita (with Rear Admiral Andrew C. Pickens on board) and USS Quincy departed Montevideo, Uruguay for Buenos Aires, Argentina. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler ordered troops to prepare for an occupation of Romania should war break out in that country. ww2dbase [Soviet Demands on Romania and the Second Vienna Arbitration | CPC]
Finland
  • Simo H√§yh√§ was promoted from the rank of corporal directly to the rank of second lieutenant by Field Marshal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim. ww2dbase [Simo H√§yh√§ | CPC]
Germany United Kingdom
  • Shortly after 0800 hours, German bomber formations were detected above Calais, France; the incoming 33 bombers and 120 Bf 109 fighters would drop 100 bombs on RAF Eastchurch in southeastern Britain, but failed to disable the RAF airfield. At 1235 hours, 30 German fighters attacked RAF Rochford, which received 30 bombs. Two additional raids would reach airfields in southern England in the afternoon. During the day, the Germans lost 14 Bf 109 fighters, 8 modern bombers, and 1 WW1-era Gotha biplane bomber; the British lost 15 fighters; despite the fighter losses, after Winston Churchill's tour of some airfields, he was much more concerned about the German ability to damage runways, which could seriously disrupt fighter operations, thus he ordered more manpower to be assigned to the RAF for airfield repairs. Overnight, Birmingham, Coventry, Derby, Sheffield, Manchester, and South Yorkshire were bombed. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
29 Aug 1940
  • The United Kingdom rejected Germany's proposal to use Red Cross ships to recover downed German airmen in the English Channel. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The British Tizard Mission shared radar technology with the United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Ribbentrop and Count Ciano met Romanian and Hungarian Ministers in Vienna, Austria. ww2dbase [Soviet Demands on Romania and the Second Vienna Arbitration | CPC]
  • The French colonies of Equatorial Africa and the Cameroons declared support for Charles de Gaulle. Governor Georges Pierre Masson of Gabon, however, retracted the support after pressure from the French naval commander at Gabon, who sided with the Vichy government. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-100 hit five ships in Allied convoy OA-204 150 miles northwest of Ireland. British ship Hartismere was damaged at 0023 hours; British ship Dalblair was sunk also at 0023 hours (4 killed, 37 survived); British ship Astra II was sunk at 0140 hours (5 killed, 20 survived); Swedish ship Alida Gorton was sunk at 0336 hours (11 killed, 13 survived; 20 survivors of Dalblair were also killed); and British ship Empire Moose was sunk at 0427 hours (all 36 survived). ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Heavy cruisers USS Wichita (with Rear Admiral Andrew C. Pickens on board) and USS Quincy arrived at Buenos Aires, Argentina. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • Rear Admiral John Downes relieved Rear Admiral William C. Watts as the Commandant of the US Navy Ninth Naval District and as the commanding officer of the US Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois, United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Red Army divisional commanding officer Grigoriy Fyodorovich was executed for deserting his unit in combat during the Winter War. ww2dbase [CPC]
Ireland
  • Berlin formally apologized to Ireland for bombing Wexford. ww2dbase [Wexford | TH]
United Kingdom
  • Low clouds and rain in the morning prevented Germans from launching attacks on Britain; reconnaissance flights were mostly left alone by the British. At 1500 hours and 1915 hours, the Germans launched large groups of fighters in an attempt to draw out British fighters, which was initially successfully, but very quickly Air Vice Marshal Keith Park saw through the German attempt and recalled the fighters; only 9 fighters were lost on either side. On this day, RAF leadership decided to stop using Defiant turret fighters as daylight intercepters as they were no match for German fighters. Overnight, German bombers attacked Portsmouth, Tyneside, Hartlepool, Swansea, Manchester, and Liverpool; decoy fires were lit in the countryside to lure German bombing, which were partially successful. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • James Lacey shot down a Bf 109 fighter of German Jagdgeschwader 3 wing over Britain. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
  • Grand Duchess Charlotte made her first radio broadcast from Britain. ww2dbase [Charlotte | London, England | CPC]
United States
  • The first mass jump by American paratroopers was carried out at Fort Benning, Georgia, United States in front of a high ranking audience with complete success. ww2dbase [Columbus, Georgia | AC]
30 Aug 1940
  • In exchange for a German guarantee of security, Romania ceded the region of Dobrudja to Bulgaria and ceded Transylvania to Hungary. This move was forced on Romania by Hitler in an effort to prevent a possible war between Romania and Hungary. ww2dbase [Soviet Demands on Romania and the Second Vienna Arbitration | TH]
  • No. 303 (Polish) Squadron RAF was deemed operational in Britain. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-32 sank three ships of Allied convoy HX-66A four miles off Isle of Lewis, Scotland, United Kingdom between 0200 and 0248 hours; British ship Mill Hill was sunk with the entire crew of 34 lost, British ship Chelsea was sunk with 24 lost and 11 rescued by armed trawler HMS Lord Cecil, and Norwegian ship Norne was sunk with 17 lost and 11 survivors rescued by corvette HMS Hibiscus. Several hours later, German submarine U-59 attacked two ships of Allied convoy OB-205 70 miles northwest of Ireland between 0934 and 0953 hours; British tanker Anadara was damaged but remained float and without any casualties, and would be towed to the Clyde in Scotland by tug HMS Schelde; Greek ship San Gabriel also took on damage without sinking, but suffered 2 kills (she would later be declared a loss and her remaining 22 survivors would be taken off by destroyer HMS Warwick). Finally, also on this date, German submarine U-25 sank with all hands near Terschelling, the Netherlands after one of her own mines exploded. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • The brand-new armoured aircraft carrier, HMS Illustrious, and a powerful escort left Gibraltar. Although her air group was small (only 15 fighters and 18 bomber aircraft), Illustrious was one of the first warships to be fitted with air-warning radars which gave her a big advantage in fleet defence, as she could detect and track hostile aircraft and give her aircraft time to gain altitude. With both Illustrious and Eagle under his command, Admiral Cunningham could now take the offensive. ww2dbase [Illustrious | AC]
  • Captain Leicester Charles Assheton Curzon-Howe was named the commanding officer of HMS Mauritius. ww2dbase [Mauritius | CPC]
China
  • The Japanese-sponsored puppet state Manchukuo established a flight school in Fengtien Province to train military and civilian pilots. ww2dbase [Liaoning | CPC]
Danzig
  • Danziger Werft, previously owned by French, British, Polish, and local interests prior of the start of the European War, was officially taken over by the Germans. ww2dbase [Danziger Werft AG | CPC]
Germany Japan
  • French Ambassador to Tokyo Ars√®ne Henry announced to the Japanese that the French government would allow 6,000 Japanese troops to station in Indochina and would allow the military use of ports, airfields, and railroads in the region. However, the French government attempted to delay on the implementation of the plan as long as they could. ww2dbase [Indochina Campaign | Tokyo | CPC]
Netherlands United Kingdom
  • Albert Kesselring knew that the British were used to large raids every few hours by this time, so he changed tactics by dispatching smaller raids every 20 to 30 minutes. The airfield at Biggin Hill in England, United Kingdom was attacked repeatedly, but for the most part bombs fell on the town instead of the airfield, killing 39 and wounding 26; nevertheless, the few bombs that hit the airfield did damage the operations room and briefly brought down defense coordination at this site. Other targets attacked by German bombers on this day include Dietling (placed out of commission for remainder of day), Debden, North Weald, Duxford, Eastchurch, Croydon, and Hornchurch. The Ken radars were also brought offline briefly as power lines were damaged. This day, with 1,310 sorties flown by the Luftwaffe, would become RAF Fighter Command's day of greatest casualties, with 40 aircraft destroyed, 9 people killed, and 18 people seriously injured. German losses were great as well: 33 fighters and 30 bombers. Heavy attacks continued in England after nightfall, with Liverpool, London, Portsmouth, Manchester, Worcester, and Bristol bombed. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • Douglas Bader's No. 242 Squadron RAF was moved from RAF Coltishall at Norwich, England, United Kingdom to RAF Duxford at Duxford, England. On the same day, the squadron claimed downing 10 German aircraft, with two of which, Bf 110 heavy fighters, claimed by Bader. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | Duxford, England | CPC]
  • After shooting down a German He 111 bomber and damaged a Bf 110 fighter over the Thames estuary in southern England, United Kingdom, James Lacey's Hurricane fighter was badly damaged, but he was able to successfully glide the aircraft and crash land the aircraft at Gravesend to the north. ww2dbase [James Lacey | Gravesend, England | AC]
United States
  • Rear Admiral Charles S. Freeman relieved Rear Admiral Edward B. Fenner as the Commandant of the US Navy Thirteenth Naval District and as the Commandant of the Puget Sound Navy Yard in Bremerton, Washington, United States. ww2dbase [Puget Sound Navy Yard | Bremerton, Washington | CPC]
31 Aug 1940
  • By the end of Aug 1940, a little over 51,000 British citizens had registered as conscientous objectors. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Battleship Bismarck fired 46 3.7cm shells against raiding British aircraft without any hits. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Five British destroyers, ordered to intercept German ships, sailed into a new German airfield. HMS Express hit a mine and received serious damage; 56 were killed. HMS Esk moved closer to HMS Express to assist, but also ran into a mine, caused her sinking; 135 were killed and 25 survivors were captured on the beach. HMS Ivanhoe, also trying to help HMS Express, hit a mine and was damaged, killing 8 and wounding 3; she would be scuttled on the next day, and 23 of her survivors would be taken prisoner. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 8,000 British and French troops departed from Britain for Freetown, Sierra Leone, escorted by British cruisers HMS Devonshire and HMS Fiji and five destroyers. Their destination would ultimately be Dakar in French West Africa, which was still under Vichy control. ww2dbase [British Attacks on the French Fleet | CPC]
  • Werner M√∂lders claimed two victories against British Hurricane fighters. ww2dbase [Werner M√∂lders | CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt called 60,000 men of the National Guard into federal service with the US Army. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Chen Cheng was relieved from his position as the head of the political bureau of the Nationalist military. ww2dbase [Chen Cheng | CPC]
  • Conrad Helfrich was promoted to the rank of vice admiral. ww2dbase [Conrad Helfrich | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Allied convoy OB-205 was attacked by German submarines 100 miles north of Ireland; at 0000 hours, German submarine U-60 (Oberleutnant zur See Adalbert Schnee) hit Dutch steam passenger ship Volendam with two torpedoes (one exploded; the other, a dud, lodged in the hull); all of 273 crew and 606 British passengers (many were women and children) survived the attack, but one would die during the rescue. Norwegian fruit freighter Olaf Fostenes (Master Valvatne) rescued 251 of Volendam's survivors; the damaged Volendam was taken in tow by HMS Salvonia for beaching on the Isle of Bute in Scotland, United Kingdom. At 0206 hours, German submarine U-59 sank British ship Bibury, killing the entire crew of 38 and 1 gunner. At 0615 hours, German submarine U-38 sank British ship Har Zion; 33 were killed and 1 survived (rescued by Polish destroyer Blyskawica on the next day). To the west, 100 miles northwest of Ireland, German submarine U-46 sank Belgian passenger ship Ville de Hasselt; the entire crew of 53 survived on 4 lifeboats. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC, HM]
Germany Italy Mediterranean Sea
  • While escorting the Operation Hats convoy toward Malta, Garland was lightly damaged by Italian aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea. ww2dbase [Garland | CPC]
Netherlands
  • RAF photo-reconnaissance revealed that 56 barges from Antwerp, Belgium and Amsterdam, Netherlands were on the move towards ports on the English Channel. On the same day another 18 barges were spotted at Ostend, Belgium. Over the following weeks the number of barges assembled at the Channel ports increased considerably. Photographic interpreters counted 255 of them at Calais, France; 192 at Dunkirk, France; 230 at Boulogne, France; 140 at Flushing, Netherlands; and 227 at Ostend, Netherlands. Also at Antwerp, a further 600 barges and 200 merchant ships were gathering. ww2dbase [AC]
United Kingdom
  • Overnight, the British complete enough repairs to bring RAF Biggin Hill back to operational status. At 0800 hours, radar installations in Kent in southern England, United Kingdom picked up German formations; it was soon discovered to be all fighters, thus fighters already dispatched to intercept were called back, and only 3 fighters (all Canadian) were lost. Before noon, the real German raids arrived. 200 bombers attacked Essex; No. 56 Squadron RAF shot down 1 bomber but lost 4 fighters to German escort fighters from III./ZG26 and III./JG26. Debden, North Weald, Eastchurch, Dietling (strafed by fighters), Croydon (bombed by Bf 109 fighter-bombers of Erprobungsgruppe 210), and Hornchurch were all attacked in the morning. In the afternoon, Hornchurch was attacked again, destroying 2 Spitfire fighters on the ground but at the cost of 5 Bf 109 fighters. At 1800 hours, Biggin Hill was bombed from low level, destroying 2 of the 3 remaining hangars, cutting telephone lines, and destroying the operations room. On this day, the RAF lost 41 fighters and 9 pilots, while the Luftwaffe lost 56 fighters and 29 bombers. After sundown, Liverpool was bombed for the fourth consecutive night; other cities received bombs, too. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • James Lacey shot down a German Bf 109 fighter over Britain. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
United States
  • The Hollywood actors Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh married on a ranch in California, United States with only four wedding guests. The glamorous couple, who both divorced previous partners after a scandalous four year affair, had amassed six Oscar awards, five Emmy awards and three BAFTA awards between them. They would stay together for 20 years. ww2dbase [California | AC]
1 Sep 1940
  • British Destroyer HMS Ivanhoe sank after hitting a mine off the Dutch coast. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMT Royalo hit a mine and sank off Penzance, Cornwall, England; 7 were killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Sunfish collided with patrol launch Mesme shortly after departing Grangemouth, Scotland, United Kingdom. Mesme sank with the entire crew of 3 lost. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-101 sank Greek ship Efploia 100 miles northwest of Ireland just after 0000 hours; the entire crew survived on two lifeboats and were rescued by British destroyer HMS Anthony. 200 miles west of Isle of Lewis, Scotland, United Kingdom at 1725 hours, U-32 attacked British cruiser HMS Fiji, killing 5 and badly damaging the ship; Fiji would be able to sail to the Clyde, Scotland under her own power for repairs. To the south, near Brest, France, British submarine HMS Tigris sank the small French fishing vessel Sancte Michael with the deck gun. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Cruisers HMS Orion and HMAS Sydney and destroyers HMS Decoy and HMS Ilex shelled the Italian Dodecanese islands of Scarpanto (now Karpathos) and Stampalia (now Astypalea) in the Aegean Sea. HMS Ilex rammed and sank Italian motor torpedo boat MAS537. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Otto Skorzeny was promoted to the rank of Oberscharf√ľhrer and was transferred to the 2nd SS Division "Das Reich". ww2dbase [Otto Skorzeny | CPC]
  • German naval shipping began to move from North Sea ports to ports further south in preparation for the invasion of Britain. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Vyacheslav Molotov complained that the Second Vienna Arbitration was in violation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed in 1939. ww2dbase [Soviet Demands on Romania and the Second Vienna Arbitration | CPC]
Italy
  • The Italian Navy established a frogmen training school at the Naval Academy at Livorno, Italy under the command of Lieutenant Wolk. ww2dbase [Livorno, Toscana | CPC]
Poland United Kingdom
  • Formations of German fighters arrived in Britain in the morning to lure British fighters, but the tactic did not succeed. At 1100, 1330, and 1730 hours, large German raids attacked Debden, Biggin Hill, Hawkinge, Lympne, Kenley, Detling, Eastchurch, Tand Sherburn, as well as the Tilbury Docks in the East End of London. Luftwaffe lost 17 fighters and 8 bombers, while the RAF lost 15 fighters (with 6 pilots killed). Overnight, German bombers attacked Kent, Bristol Channel, and South Wales. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • The survivors of Dutch steam passenger ship Volendam were disembarked by Norwegian fruit freighter Olaf Fostenes at Greenock, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | Greenock, Scotland | HM]
United States
  • In an unprecedented event in United States history, conscription in peace-time was signed into law by Franklin Roosevelt. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | AC]
US Pacific Islands
  • The US Marine Corps Midway Detachment of the Fleet Marine Force, consisting of 9 officers and 168 enlisted Marines and approximately one-third of the 3rd Defense Battalion's equipment, was established. ww2dbase [Midway Bases | Midway | CPC]
2 Sep 1940
  • British submarine HMS Sturgeon sank German troop ship Pionier off Skagen, Denmark at 2000 hours. Most of the 750 to 1,000 German troops aboard Pionier, en route to Frederiksstad, Norway, were killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-47 sank Belgian ship Ville de Mons with four torpedoes 200 miles west of Isle of Lewis, Scotland at 1900 hours. All 54 aboard survived. ww2dbase [U-47 | CPC]
  • German submarine U-58 departed Lorient, France; only 30 miles out of the port, she was detected by British submarine HMS Tigris, which fired a spread of torpedoes at her; all torpedoes missed. German submarine U-46 sank British ship Thornlea 200 miles northwest of Ireland at 2200 hours, killing 3; 19 survivors were rescued by Canadian destroyer HMCS Skeena, while another 14 survivors would be rescued on the following day by the Norwegian ship Hild. 200 miles west of the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, United Kingdom, German submarine U-47 sank Belgian ship Ville de Mons with four torpedoes at 1900 hours; all 54 aboard survived. Far to the south, German armed merchant cruiser Widder sank British tanker Cymbeline with the deck gun and a torpedo in the Central Atlantic 800 miles west of the Canary Islands, killing 7; Widder remained in the area for four hours and rescued 26 survivors. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | Widder | CPC]
  • Franklin Roosevelt approved the "destroyers for bases" deal with the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • US Secretary of State Hull and British Ambassador Lord Lothian concluded the destroyers-for-bases deal. The United States was to provide the United Kingdom with 50 WW1-era destroyers; the United Kingdom, in return, was to provide 99-years leases on land in the Bahamas, Antigua, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Jamaica, and British Guiana to build American military bases and to provide land in Newfoundland and Bermuda as gifts to the US. Planning was quickly placed in motion for the dispatch of US Marine Corps units to these newly gained future bases. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • No. 25 and 29 Squadrons RAF each received their first Beaufighter fighters. ww2dbase [Beaufighter | AC]
Germany United Kingdom
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a British Spitfire fighter, his second kill, over Kent, England, United Kingdom. He received minor damage in the engagement and ran out of fuel, but successfully crash landed on a beach near Calais, France. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | England | CPC]
  • In the morning, German bombers attacked RAF Eastchurch (destroyed buildings and down to only one runway), RAF Rochford (bombs fell on Gravesend instead of the airfield), RAF North Weald (most bombers forced back), and RAF Biggin Hill (suffered heavy damage) in England, United Kingdom. In the afternoon, RAF Hornchurch (most bombs missed), RAF Eastchurch (bomb dump detonated), and the Vickers bomber factory at Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey, England, United Kingdom was attacked. On this day, the RAF shot down 27 German fighters and 10 bombers, while British anti-aircraft fire shot down a further 1 fighter and 3 bombers; 20 RAF fighters were shot down, with 10 pilots killed. Overnight, German bombers attacked Liverpool, Manchester, and Sheffield. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • James Lacey shot down two German Bf 109 fighters and a Do 17 aircraft over Britain. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
  • Josef Frantisek, flying a Hurricane fighter, scored his first kill, a German Bf 109E fighter, as a RAF pilot. ww2dbase [Josef Frantisek | CPC]
  • In Britain, the Bletchley Park codebreakers with the help of the newly installed Bombe succeed in breaking the "Brown" cipher thereby providing useful information regarding German Luftwaffe targets. ww2dbase [Enigma Code Broken | Bletchley Park | Bletchley, England | AC]
3 Sep 1940
  • German submarine U-57 collided with Norwegian ship Rona at Brunsb√ľttel, Germany. U-57 sank with 6 lost; there were 19 survivors. She would later be raised to serve as a training ship. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-60 sank British collier Ulva about 150 miles southwest of Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom at 0326 hours; 3 were killed and 17 survived. A British convoy escort vessel depth charged German submarine U-101 200 miles west of Ireland, damaging her and causing flooding, but U-101 would survive and reach Lorient, France on 16 Sep for repairs. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Joachim von Ribbentrop denied that the Second Vienna Arbitration had violated any terms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, as Vyacheslav Molotov had accused. Furthermore, Ribbentrop complained that the manner in which the Soviet Union had take over the Baltic States was in itself a violation of the pact. ww2dbase [Soviet Demands on Romania and the Second Vienna Arbitration | CPC]
China
  • He Yingqin ordered Nationalist 18th Army to counter the Communist advance along the Yangtze River in Jiangsu Province, China. ww2dbase [Battle of Huangqiao | CPC]
Czechoslovakia
  • Vojtech Tuka convinced the Slovak assembly to enact Constitutional Law 210 which gave the government powers to establish anti-Semitic laws. ww2dbase [Vojtech Tuka | CPC]
Germany
  • Germany began planning Operation Sealion, the invasion of Britain. ww2dbase [TH]
United Kingdom
  • 50 German Do 17 bombers escorted by 80 Bf 110 fighters and 40 Bf 109 fighters flew up the Thames Estuary in souther England, United Kingdom, then split up to hit RAF airfields at North Weald, Hornchurch, and Debden. All three airfields were badly damaged, but all remained operational. Biggin Hill also saw two minor raids on this date. Luftwaffe lost 17 fighters and 8 bombers, while the RAF lost 20 fighters and 2 bombers (to friendly fire). During a meeting on this date, Kesselring recommended G√∂ring to cease the bombing of British fighter airfields because there were too many of them; instead, he suggested to bomb London and use the threat of civilian deaths to force large numbers of British fighters to come to battle. Overnight, German bombers attacked Kent, Liverpool, and South Wales. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • Four German Abwehr spies landed from rowing boats on the Kent coast in southern Britain. Poorly trained and without papers the four, Charles van den Kieboom, Carl Meier, Jose Waldberg, and Sjoerd Pons, were quickly apprehended and handed over to Colonel Robin Stephens of Military Intelligence for interrogation. ww2dbase [England | AC]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt announced the destroyers-for-bases deal to the public. Captain Ferdinand L. Reichmuth, the commanding officer of destroyers of the US Navy Atlantic Squadron was placed in charge of the transfer of destroyers to Britain. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Light cruiser USS St. Louis departed Norfolk, Virginia with Rear Admiral John F. Greenslade on board, who was placed in charge to survey land recently gained from the United Kingdom for building military bases. ww2dbase [St. Louis | Norfolk, Virginia | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 3 Sep 1940
TBD-1 Devastator showing damage to fuselage after a landing accident on Yorktown, 3 Sep 1940US Navy pilot C.M. OCruiser Mk IV tanks of British 3rd Royal Tank Regiment on exercise in East Anglia, England, United Kingdom, 3 Sep 1940, photo 1 of 2Cruiser Mk IV tanks of British 3rd Royal Tank Regiment in a village in East Anglia, England, United Kingdom, 3 Sep 1940
See all photos dated 3 Sep 1940
4 Sep 1940
  • French Army General Maurice Martin took over Franco-Japanese negotiations for Indochina. Japanese intelligence intercepted a French cable that detailed Indochina affairs to the United States and the United Kingdom, signaling that the US and the UK still had influence in Indochina politics. Japanese Army argued that force must now to be used before US and UK openly asserted pressure. ww2dbase [Indochina Campaign | CPC]
  • German motor torpedo boats attacked Allied convoy FS.271 off Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. S-21 sank ships Corbrook and New Lambton, S-22 sank Fulham IV (entire crew survived), S-18 sank British ship Joseph Swan (only 1 survived) and Dutch ship Nieuwland (8 killed), and S-54 damaged ship Ewell. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-45 sank Irish ship Luimneach 200 miles west of Brest, France at 2000 hours. 3 were rescued by U-45 and 15 were rescued by a French fishing boat. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • German submarine U-47 sank British ship Titan of Allied convoy OA-207 250 miles northwest of Ireland at 0128 hours, killing 6. 89 survivors were rescued by escorting destroyer HMCS St. Laurent. ww2dbase [U-47 | CPC]
China
  • Prince Nagahisa passed away in an airplane crash at Zhangjiakou in Japanese puppet state of Mengjiang in northern China. ww2dbase [Nagahisa | Zhangjiakou, Hebei | CPC]
Germany
  • Adolf Hitler addressed a crowd of factory workers, nurses, and relief workers during the Winter Relief Campaign at the Berlin Sportpalast, declaring that Germany would now answer British night raids on German cities with greater ferocity. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | Adolf Hitler | Berlin | CPC]
Greece
  • Fairey Swordfish aircraft from the British Fleet Air Arm's 815 and 819 Squadrons attacked the Calato and Gadurra airfields on Rhodes, Greece. They should had been accompanied by Swordfish aircraft from 813 and 824 Squadrons but these were delayed in their departure from HMS Eagle and when they arrived the Italian defences were alerted with fighters waiting for them. Four of the Swordfish aircraft were shot down. The Italians lost two aircraft destroyed and seven damaged on the ground. ww2dbase [AC]
Romania
  • Romanian King Carol II handed power over to the pro-German General Ion Antonescu. ww2dbase [Ion Antonescu | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German bombers attacked RAF airfields at Eastchurch, Lympne, and Rochford, along with the Short Brothers factories at Rochester and the Vickers-Armstrong aircraft factory at Brooklands in Surrey (55 killed, 250 wounded). RAF Group Captain Grice at Biggin Hill decided to blow up his own hangars to prevent further German attacks; he was later censured in a Court of Enquiry for this action, but no conclusions were made in court. On this day, the Germans lost 6 Bf 109 fighters, 13 Bf 110 fighters, and 1 He 111 bomber; the British lost 9 Spitfire fighters and 6 Hurricane fighters and combat. Overnight, British cities in South Wales and the Midlands were attacked by German bombers. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
5 Sep 1940
  • Japanese troops crossed the border into Indochina without French permission; French negotiator Maurice Martin suspended all talks in protest. ww2dbase [Indochina Campaign | CPC]
  • Hungarian troops entered Northern Transylvania, territory that German and Italy forced Romania to cede to Hungary. ww2dbase [Soviet Demands on Romania and the Second Vienna Arbitration | CPC]
  • 6 Blenheim IV bombers and 6 Hurricane fighters arrived in crates at Takoradi at the British Colony of the Gold Coast. These aircraft would soon be assembled and flown to RAF Abu Sueir, Egypt near the Suez Canal for the war against Italy in North Africa. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Komet completed its voyage across the Northern Sea Route and entered the Pacific Ocean via the Bering Strait. ww2dbase [Komet | CPC]
  • Matrosenobergefreiter Heinrich Mantyk fell overboard from German submarine U-47 300 miles northwest of Ireland while operating the deck gun. He was lost. ww2dbase [U-47 | CPC]
Japan Romania
  • Ion Antonescu became the Prime Minister of Romania and King Carol II transferred most of his dictatorial powers to him. ww2dbase [Ion Antonescu | AC]
  • King Carol II swore in General Ion Antonescu as the new Prime Minister of Romania, and transferred a great part of the throne's dictatorial powers to him. ww2dbase [Carol II | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • In the morning, German bombers attacked RAF airfields at Eastchurch, Lympne, North Weald, Kenley, and Biggin Hill in England, United Kingdom; in the afternoon, German bombers attacked RAF airfields at Detling and Biggin Hill, as well as the Hawker factories at Brooklands and oil storage tanks at Thameshaven. Eastchurch and Biggin Hill were placed out of action after sustaining heavy damage, while the fires at Thameshaven could be seen from London. When Churchill spoke to the House of Commons on this day, he promised compensation for families who had lost homes due to German attacks. On this day, 23 German aircraft were lost, as were 20 RAF fighters. Overnight, London, Manchester, and Liverpool were bombed by German bombers. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • James Lacey shot down two German Bf 109 fighters over Britain. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
6 Sep 1940
  • US military issued contracts for the construction of B-29 and B-32 prototype bombers. ww2dbase [B-29 Superfortress | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Tribune attacked German submarine U-56 40 miles west of Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland; all torpedoes fired missed. ww2dbase [Tribune | CPC]
  • All French colonies supporting General de Gaulle had the British naval blockade lifted. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British troop ship Dunera arrived in Australia with 200 Italian prisoners of war, 251 German prisoners of war, 55 British Nazi sympathizers, and 2,036 civilians from Germany (mostly Jewish refugees). They were robbed and abused by British guards in the past 57 days, and those who committed the abuse were later court-martialed. These "enemy aliens", as they were categorized, were to be trained to the town of Hay, New South Wales, Australia. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German aircraft damaged British merchant ship Melbourne Star 180 miles west of Ireland and Greek ship Aegeon 30 miles southeast of Dublin. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMS Argus launched 30 Hurricane fighters for Takoradi in the British Colony of the Gold Coast. They would later be flown to RAF Abu Sueir in Egypt to participate in the Desert War against the Italians. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Erich Raeder met with Adolf Hitler in regards to the invasion of Britain. ww2dbase [Erich Raeder | CPC]
  • Rudolf von Schmettow was made the military governor of the Channel Islands, succeeding Albrecht Lanz. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German aircraft bombed the town of Grantham. This town, which contained the mansion St Vincents Hall that housed the headquarters of No. 5 Group RAF Bomber Command, would be bombed on twelve occasions up to the end of the year making it, for a while, the most bombed town in England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | Grantham, England | AC]
China Gibraltar
  • British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, battleship HMS Barham, battleship HMS Resolution, and 10 destroyers departed Gibraltar for Dakar. ww2dbase [British Attacks on the French Fleet | CPC]
Romania
  • King Carol II abdicated the throne of Romania. ww2dbase [Carol II | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • A German paratrooper dressed in civilian clothes with a Swedish passport was dropped in Northamptonshire, England, United Kingdom at 0300 hours to report damage to airfields; he was injured upon landing and would be captured at 1720 hours. At 0900, 1300, and 1800 hours, German bombers flew up the Thames Estuary and bombed RAF airfields at Heston, Kenley, and Biggin Hill, as well as the Hawker factories at Brooklands (only minor damage) and the oil storage tanks at Thameshaven (caused large fires). The Germans lost 37 fighters and 7 bombers on this day, while the British lost 22 fighters. Overnight, German bombers attacked London. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | Northampton | England | TH]
  • Successful tests of the "Plastic Armour" devised by lawyer Edward Terrell were conducted at the Royal Navy gunnery school, HMS Excellent. The trials of this material which consisted of a mastic asphalt and hard granite mix on a steel plate would result in a directive being issued that the bridge and gun positions on merchant ships (and subsequently, in December, for naval ships) should be protected with the new material to deflect bullets. Terrell would later receive an award of ¬£9,500 from the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors for this protective material. ww2dbase [Portsmouth, England | AC]
United States
7 Sep 1940
  • German submarine U-47 sank British ship Neptunian (killing all 36), British ship Jos√© de Larrinaga (killing all 40), and Norwegian ship Gro (killing 11; 21 survived) 300 miles northwest of Ireland between 0400 and 0533 hours. ww2dbase [U-47 | CPC]
  • Douglas Bader shot down two German Bf 110 heavy fighters; his Hurricane fighters was heavily damaged in a subsequent encounter by a Bf 109 fighter, but was able to return to base despite the damage. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Ignoring the RAF airfields, German bombers instead attacked London, England, United Kingdom as the new Operation Loge commenced; G√∂ring rode his personal train Asia to Pas-de-Calais, France in a freshly made uniform to personally oversee the first night of the operation. At 1600 hours, 300 bombers and 200 Bf 110 fighter-bombers escorted by 600 Bf 109 fighters. British fighters expected the attacking force to split up to attack airfields, thus were unprepared when they flew straight for East End, London. By the time the British fighters arrived, the bombers had already unloaded their bombs. However, as the Bf 109 fighters had already left due to low fuel levels, German bombers became easy prey. During the day, 53 German bombers were shot down, as was 21 Bf 109 fighters; the British lost 27 fighters. Overnight, German bombers continued to attack East End, which saw 490 killed and 1,200 wounded on this day. This would mark the first of 57 consecutive nights of German bombings on the British capital. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • The Luftwaffe bomb St. Mary's Hospital, London, England, United Kingdom which was caring for wounded soldiers, killing two nurses and five patients. Nurse Agatha Joan Credland was buried in an unmarked grave in her home village of Sturton by Stow. Seventy-six years after her death the local historical society were able to find her burial site and a memorial service was held in the village attended by around 40 family members along with many local residents. A headstone, funded by West Lindsey District Council, would be erected at the location. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | London, England | AC]
Photo(s) dated 7 Sep 1940
German He 111 bomber in flight northbound over Surrey Docks, London, England, United Kingdom at 1700 hours on 7 Sep 1940, photo 1 of 2German He 111 bomber in flight northbound over Surrey Docks, London, England, United Kingdom at 1700 hours on 7 Sep 1940, photo 2 of 2Installation of the No. 3 turret of battleship North Carolina, New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, United States, 7 Sep 1940, photo 1 of 2Installation of the No. 3 turret of battleship North Carolina, New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, United States, 7 Sep 1940, photo 2 of 2
See all photos dated 7 Sep 1940
8 Sep 1940
  • British cruiser HMS Aurora, escorted by 3 destroyers, shelled German shipping and invasion barges in the harbor of Boulogne, France. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Battleship Bismarck fired 72 3.7cm and 65 2cm shells against raiding British aircraft without any hits. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • British torpedo boats MTB-14, MTB-15 and MTB-17 sank a German ammunition ship off Ostend, Belgium. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Widder stopped Greek collier Antonios Chandris in the Central Atlantic. Captain Ruckteschell of Widder ordered the crew of 29 to abandon ship. The Greek ship would be sunk by demolition charges on the next day. ww2dbase [Widder | CPC]
  • Adolf Galland was nearly shot down on the French coast by fellow pilot Ulrich Steinhilper in an episode of mis-identification. ww2dbase [Adolf Galland | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • At 1200 hours, 20 German bombers escorted by 30 Bf 109 fighters flew for London, England, United Kingdom, but the group was intercepted by British fighters; 3 German bombers and 1 German fighter were shot down at the cost of 4 British fighters. At 1930 hours, 30 German bombers dropped incendiary bombs on London, causing fires for the purpose of marking target zones for bombers that would arrive during the night. The night time raid saw bombs dropped on East End in London once more; 3 of the German night raiders were shot down by anti-aircraft guns. Meanwhile, the British War Cabinet was convinced that the German invasion of Britain would take place very soon. The warnings passed to local Home Forces commanders led to many church bells across England being rung as some commanders thought the invasion had already started; some of them went as far as blowing up bridges. Finally, on this day, the British government declared the National Day of Prayer. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | London, England | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 8 Sep 1940
Smoke rising from the Surrey Docks, London, England, United Kingdom, 8 Sep 1940, the morning after the opening night of ‚ÄúThe Blitz‚ÄĚ bombings as seen from London Bridge. Note Tower Bridge silhouetted against the smoke.
9 Sep 1940
  • All political parties in Norway were dissolved except for Quisling's Nasjonal Samling Party, which was installed as the pro-Nazi Norwegian government. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The US Navy awarded contracts for the construction of 210 new ships, including 12 aircraft carriers and 7 battleships. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian Army Marshal Rudolfo Graziani ordered his troops in Libya to march toward British positions, with troops of the Italian 10th Army under General Mario Berti as spearhead; the Italian goal was to capture the Suez Canal. Italian aircraft bombed British defensive positions while British aircraft flew sorties against Italian supply dumps and troop concentrations. ww2dbase [Invasion of Egypt | CPC]
  • Greek collier Antonios Chandris, abandoned by her crew as forced by German armed merchant cruiser Widder, was sunk by demolition charges at dawn. Lifeboats containing 22 of her crew of 29 would be rescued by Portuguese freighter Serpa Pinto on 8 Oct 1940. ww2dbase [Widder | CPC]
  • German submarine U-47 sank Greek ship Possidon of Allied convoy SC-2 70 miles north of Ireland at 0024 hours; 17 were killed. ww2dbase [U-47 | CPC]
  • German submarine U-28 sank British ship Mardinian of Allied convoy SC-2 70 miles north of Ireland at 0447 hours; 6 were killed and 22 survived. Italian submarine Comandante Fa√† di Bruno damaged British tanker Auris 750 miles west of Gibraltar. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • British Skua aircraft of 801 Squadron took off from Royal Naval Air Station Hatston, Orkney, Scotland to attack German shipping off Bergen, Norway; 1 of the Skua was lost during the attack, with two airmen killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis sank British tanker Athelking (without any cargo) 1,200 miles east of Madagascar; 6 were killed and 40 were captured. ww2dbase [Atlantis | CPC]
  • Walther von Brauchitsch issued a plan for the future military occupation of Britain which, among other things, called for the rounding up of males between the age of 17 and 35 to be sent to continental Europe as forced laborers and the systematic looting of British goods; this type of harsh treatment was not even implemented in German-occupied Poland at this time. ww2dbase [Walther von Brauchitsch | CPC]
  • Douglas Bader shot down a German Do 17 aircraft and damaged the rudder of a He 111 aircraft using his propeller. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille was awarded Iron Cross 2nd Class.