Eighty years on. 9th July 1940


The first major sea battle in the Mediterranean occurred by accident. An Italian convoy to Benghazi  with 2 battleships, 14 cruisers, 16 destroyers, 4 torpedo boats and 5 cargo ships ran into a British convoy from Alexandria to Malta with 3 battleships, 1 aircraft carrier, 5 cruisers and 16 destroyers 50 miles South of the heel of Italy.  A 15-inch shell from HMS Warspite hit the Giulio Cesare at a range of 24 km, one of the longest naval artillery hits, equalling the shelling of HMS Glorious by the German battleship Scharnhorst on 8th June.  The Italian battleships withdrew and an indecisive cruiser battle ensued.  76 Italian high altitude bombers attacked the British fleet, causing no damage but forcing a withdrawal.  50 Italian aircraft bombed their own ships, also without damage.  Both sides claimed a victory.

Southwest of Ireland, U-34 sank the Estonian steamer Tiiu and U-43 sank the British steamer Aylesbury.

The British submarine HMS Salmon was lost, presumed sunk by a mine, 60 miles off Stavanger, Norway.

The German armed merchant cruiser Komet departed Bergen, Norway, to raid in the Pacific Ocean via the Arctic Ocean, assisted by Soviet icebreakers.  Komet, with a crew of 270 under Kapitän zur See Robert Eyssen, was equipped with a strengthened bow and a special propeller for ice navigation.

The Luftwaffe again bombed shipping in the English Channel.

The Duke of Windsor was appointed Governor of the Bahamas.

The British House of Commons unanimously passed a £1 billion war credit.  Lord Beaverbrook, Minister of Aircraft Production, launched an appeal for aluminium pots and pans to replace the lost sources of the metal after France surrendered.

The French Chamber of Deputies at Vichy overwhelmingly voted for the reform of the constitution.  The Republic was abolished.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt held a press conference in which he continued to dodge questions about whether or not he was seeking the Democratic nomination for a third term at next week’s convention.

Rumania was formally declared to be under German military protection.

Game day 313.  Italy

Italy collected six industrial resource points.  Forces in east Africa continued moving towards Sudan and Kenya.  In Libya Italian infantry moved south-east to outflank the British force that had crossed the border from Egypt.  Six armoured units were shipped to Triploli from Italy.

Published by

General Whiskers

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.