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]
  • 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

19 Jun 1940 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935

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