The British Admiralty ordered all modern H, I, and J class destroyers out of Dunkirk due to yesterday’s intensive German bombing, leaving only eighteen old destroyers to continue the evacuation. Despite this, over 24,000 Allied troops embarked from Dunkirk harbour almost 30,000 from the beaches, including the first French soldiers to be evacuated. Small craft from Britain ferried troops out to waiting warships or even back to England.
Although Luftwaffe attacks were reduced by poor weather, the destroyers HMS Anthony and Sabre, the minesweeper HMS Kellet, the armed boarding vessel HMS King Orry and the steamers St. Julien and Normannia were damaged by German bombs. The French destroyer Bourrasque hit a mine and was then sunk by German artillery off Ostend.
After capturing Narvik, allied forces begin pushing General Dietl’s mountain troops and sailors back to the Swedish border, only eighteen miles east. Dietl, isolated in Narvik since 10th April, had been sporadically resupplied and reinforced by airdrops. However, his only real hope of support was 2nd Gebirgsjäger Division which had been marching north from Trondheim since 4th May. Hitler will not permit Dietl to surrender or to cross into Sweden to be interned, ordering him to fight on.
As part of Operation Fish (the shipment to Canada of British gold and negotiable securities for storage in the Bank of Canada vault in Ottawa) the battleship HMS Revenge carrying £40 million in gold and the troopships Antonia and Duchess of Richmond with £10 million each sailed from Britain.
U-101 sank the British SS Stanhall carrying sugar and onions north of Quessant. U-100 and U-123 were commissioned.
Mussolini advised Hitler that Italy would enter the war on 5th June.
Game Day 273. Great Britain, the Empire and Dominions.
Three cargo ships carrying nine resource points from Egypt reached Southampton. The battleship heading for Singapore sailed from Gibraltar while troop convoy of Australians continued across the Indian Ocean.
Six infantry battalions were landed at Narvik to attack the three German battalions defending the town. Each side lost one battalion in the battle.
In France the BEF (five infantry and five armoured battalions), supported by four RAF fighter squadrons, attacked three armoured and five infantry battalions at AW29. The Germans lost 4 infantry and two armoured battalions to the British two infantry battalions. The Germans fell back but the British did not follow up as they would have been surrounded on three sides.
Four Infantry battalions were shipped from Portsmouth to Le Havre to reinforce the BEF.
Credits: Historical information: http://www.worldwar2daybyday.blogspot.com, Wikipedia, Chronicle of the Second World War (JL International Publications, 1994). Background image to game maps: Hasbro Ltd.