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]
  • 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]
  • 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]
  • 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

15 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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Thomas Dodd, late 1945

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