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]
  • 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]

12 Aug 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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Famous WW2 Quote
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939

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