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-Kébir: At 0545 hours, Vice Admiral James Somerville and his British Royal Navy Force H arrived off of Mers-el-Kébir, 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-Kébir. 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 Pará, Brazil. ww2dbase [O'Brien | CPC]
  • British Navy Vice Admiral Sir Andrew Cunnigham demanded the French warships under French Admiral René-Émile 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]
  • 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

3 Jul 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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