Eighty years on. 4th July 1940


The British submarine HMS Pandora sank the French mine-laying gunboat Rigault de Genouilly, sailing from Oran, Algeria.  French bombers attacked the British fleet at Gibraltar in retaliation for the sinking of French warships.  No damage was caused.  French submarines, armed merchant cruisers and destroyers at Dakar were ordered to attack British shipping.

In Toulouse a military court reduced General de Gaulle to the rank of Colonel and fined him 100 Francs.  He was also sentenced to a term of four years imprisonment.  All this was immaterial as he was raising Free French forces in Britain.

Churchill spoke in the House of Commons expressing “sincere sorrow” as he delivered a speech to the House of Commons explaining “the measures which we have felt bound to take in order to prevent the French Fleet from falling into German hands.”  He did not specifically apologise but said he would leave judgment to the world and to history.  He also dispelled the notion “that we have the slightest intention of entering into negotiations in any form and through any channel with the German and Italian Governments. We shall, on the contrary, prosecute the war with the utmost vigour by all the means that were open to us.” Churchill received a standing ovation.

The Italians advanced from Ethiopia across the border into Sudan and attacked two British forts at Kassala and Gallabat, forcing British garrisons to withdraw.  The Italians stopped here and fortified the towns with anti-tank defences.

The series of air battles over the English Channel known as the Kanalkampf began.  In a prelude to the first phase of the Battle of Britain, German bombers and motor torpedo boats attacked Convoy OA178 in the English Channel between Cherbourg, France, and Bournemouth, England, sinking five merchant ships: the British SS Elmcrest and SS Dallas City, the Dutch SS Britsum and SS Deucalion and the  Estonian SS Kolga.  In addition, German bombing of the Royal Navy base in Portland harbour sank the auxiliary anti-aircraft ship Foyle Bank and the tug Silverdial.

German troops landed on the last of the Channel Islands, Sark.  They receive the island’s surrender from the hereditary ruler of this island, the Dame of Sark. When asked if she was afraid, the Dame replied: “Is there any need to be afraid of German officers?” Apart from a curfew and other restrictions, the Islanders had little cause for fear.  The Channel Islands fell without a shot fired.

In New York, a bomb in the British Hall of the World’s Fair killed two people.

The Duke of Windsor, the former King Edward VIII, was appointed Governor of the Bahamas.  This was to remove him from Europe where the Nazis were planning to abduct him.  He was currently staying near Lisbon, Portugal.

Game day 308.  Great Britain, its Empire and Colonies.

The Empire received 29 new Industrial Resource Points. 

Eighteen infantry units were raised in Kenya/Rhodesia.  Six armoured units and six bomber units deployed in Britain.  A merchantman carrying three resource points docked at Bristol with two battleships.  Five submarines sailed into the North East Atlantic.  Three battleships sailed into the Bay of Biscay en route for Gibraltar and the Mediterranean.  They were followed by six more who stopped to bombard the German Submarine Base at Brest.  Three submarines were sunk but two battleships were also lost in the engagement.

In the Sudan eighteen infantry units began to move towards the borders with Italian East Africa (Ethiopia) and Libya.  Six Australian infantry units disembarked at Cairo.  The battleship heading for Singapore continued southwards through the Red Sea.

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.  

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General Whiskers

Wargaming butterfly (mainly solo), unpainted model figure amasser, and Historical Re-enactor of the black powder era.

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