12 Nov 1940
  • The 19 surviving Swordfish aircraft of the 21 sent to attack Taranto, Italy at 2300 hours on the previous day returned to the British carrier HMS Illustrious. Italian battleships Vittorio Veneto, Andrea Doria, and Giulio Cesare, having survived the attack, departed the harbor with cruisers in escort for Naples, Italy, to avoid being caught by a second attack by the British, which was indeed planned but failed to launch due to bad weather. ww2dbase [Attack on Taranto | CPC]
  • Vichy French forces in Gabon, French Equitorial Africa surrendered to Free French forces at Port Gentil 70 miles south of Libreville. Having successfully negotiated the surrender, Governor Georges Pierre Masson committed suicide shortly after the agreement was reached. ww2dbase [Battle of Gabon | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler issued Directive 18 for the capture of Gibraltar, Azores Islands, Madeira, and Portugal. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
  • Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov arrived in Berlin, Germany for discussions about spheres of influence in the Balkan Peninsula and in Finland. In the morning, German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop reassured Molotov that Germany had no further interest in eastern and southern Europe. In the afternoon, Molotov met with Adolf Hitler and relayed Joseph Stalin's request for Hitler to explain the recently formed German-Italian-Japanese military alliance and the recent German move into Romania; before Hitler gave a concrete answer, he noted that as the hour was getting late, the risk of British bombing was getting greater, thus the meeting should be broken up. ww2dbase [Vyacheslav Molotov | Berlin | TH]
  • Adolf Hitler issued a directive to the German army to be prepared in invade Greece so that the Luftwaffe could attack airfield from which the RAF might attack the oilfields of Romania. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | AC]
  • Having realized that his staff made plans to move visiting Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov to bomb shelters in case Allied bombers attacked Berlin, Adolf Hitler realized that the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, Germany did not have an adequate bunker, and immediate ordered for a plan to be drawn up. Digging would begin in the middle of the Chancellery garden in 1943, but the construction would never be finished. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | Berlin | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • A captured German airman warned of a planned bombing against the British city of Coventry; British intelligence officers thought the airman was fed incorrect information in case he was captured, and the actual target would be London. On 14 Nov, a massive raid on Coventry by 440 German bombers killed 568, injured 863, and destroyed the city's 14th century cathedral. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | AC]
Photo(s) dated 12 Nov 1940
Conte di Cavour sinking in Taranto harbor, 12 Nov 1940Vyacheslav Molotov and Joachim von Ribbentrop, Berlin, Germany, 12 Nov 1940

12 Nov 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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