British air cover over the English Channel and the Royal Navy were the biggest threats to German plans for a cross-Channel invasion of Britain. The Luftwaffe must have first defeated RAF and dominated the skies over the Channel. Göring planned to draw the RAF fighters into the air by attacking Channel shipping and British coastal facilities, and then destroy them with his own fighters.
In the first action of the “Kanalkampf” twenty-four German bombers and fifty fighters attacked a large convoy escorted by six RAF Hurricanes in the Straits of Dover. Four RAF squadrons were scrambled. The RAF lost three fighters, the Germans two bombers and two fighters. One ship was sunk.
Seventy German bombers attacked the docks at Swansea, South Wales and Falmouth, Cornwall. The British tanker Tascalusa was sunk at Falmouth.
In Liverpool 2,542 “enemy aliens” (200 Italian POWs, 251 German POWs, 55 known Nazi sympathizers and 2,036 anti-Nazis, mostly Jewish refugees) embarked onto the British transport ship Dunera for shipment to Australia.
After the Battle of Calabria, nine Fairey Swordfish from the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle attacked Augusta, Sicily, sinking the Italian destroyer Leone Pancaldo.
In preparation for a British commando raid on Guernsey, Lieutenant Nicolle returned from his reconnaissance mission. He reported that the German garrison consisted of 469 soldiers, mainly in St. Peter Port, and in machine gun posts two to five miles away along the coast. Nicolle estimated that commandos would have twenty minutes after attacking the machine guns before reinforcements could arrive.
The Italian submarine Scirè sank the French steamer Cheik north-west of Sicily.
The German armed merchant cruiser Widder sank the British SS Davisan, off the coast of Florida.
U-34 sank the Finnish steamer Petsamo, carrying 6000 tons of cereals, within sight of the South Irish coast.
U-61 sank the Dutch steamer Alwaki off Cape Wrath, Scotland, with a torpedo that penetrated the hull but did not explode.
The French National Assembly voted 569-80 to give plenary power to the Vichy government. Philippe Pétain, as head of the government, assumed authoritarian powers. The Third Republic was replaced by the “État Francais”.
Reports of German parachutists landing in Scotland disguised as nuns and armed with a ray gun which could disable car engines were officially denied.
The British Union of Fascists was banned.
Henry L. Stimson became the new United States Secretary of War. President Roosevelt asked Congress for funding for an army of 1.2 million men and 15,000 new aircraft.
Franz Rademacher, in charge of Jewish Affairs in the Berlin Foreign Office, proposed moving four million European Jews to Madagascar, which would be taken from the French for the purpose.
Game day 314. USA
The Neutral nations having taken no action, except for Rumania declaring its allegiance to the Axis cause, the turn passed to the USA.
Gaming note. I introduced three new rules.
First that any industrial complex could not work on more than one project at a time. Thus, for example, if aircraft were ordered, tanks could not be built at the same time. This was to slow down the capacity of countries, such as the USA or Soviet Union, which had amassed large quantities of resources while at peace. There was no restriction on building more industrial units in the same territory.
Second that the maximum output of any industrial unit was the same as the Industrial Points value of its country. Thus if the UK (8 points) needed battleships (24 points) it would need the cooperation of three dedicated industrial units. Alternatively the assets could be purchased from, for example, the USA, at cost.
Third, that any fighter unit within half their move distance of enemy attacking aircraft could meet those forces in air combat before they attacked ground targets. This was an attempt to reproduce the conditions for the forthcoming Battle of Britain.
With the first of these in mind, the USA having amassed fifty-five Industrial points in its eastern states, immediately commissioned a new industrial unit for fifteen points. The existing unit produced six fighter units for a further ten points.
In the Pacific the convoys supplying the Chinese in their fight against Japan continued. Fifteen Points of supply left Hanoi for Sinkiang across French territory, the Colonial administration having ignored Japan’s request to prevent the use of the Burma Road. One cargo ship remained undischarged at Hanoi with a battleship as protection. The remainder of the supplying convoy set off on the empty return voyage to the USA.
Meanwhile the next loaded convoy arrived at the Caroline Islands and a further two escorted ships had sailed for Hawaii.