Eighty years on. 16th July 1940


Low cloud, fog & heavy rain grounded the Luftwaffe and the RAF in the morning and early afternoon. Spitfires intercepted German bombers over the Isle of Wight and shot down one Ju88. The Germans bombed Fraserburgh and Peterhead in Northeast Scotland.  One Heinkel was shot down.

Hitler still hoped to bring Britain to a negotiated peace but time was running out for a cross-Channel offensive in the Summer.  He issues Führer Directive 16 to prepare for an invasion on a wide section of the South coast of Britain by the middle of August.

The intention was to transport 39 divisions across the English Channel in flat-bottomed Rhine river barges, in three waves (Three infantry divisions, followed by six armoured and three motorised divisions and finally seventeen more infantry divisions.  This would require the English Channel to be swept of British mines and then both ends blocked with German mines to prevent access by the Royal Navy.  In addition, the Luftwaffe must annihilate the RAF to prevent aerial attacks on the barges.

In contrast, Churchill had the idea that the invasion could be thwarted simply by minesweepers clearing a path through the minefields to allow British destroyers into the Channel to sail back and forth, overturning the unstable barges in their wake.

The British cruiser HMS Glasgow and destroyer HMS Imogen collided in heavy fog off Duncansby Head, North of Scotland.  Imogen caught fire and was abandoned.  HMS Glasgow suffered a six foot gash above the water line and sailed to Liverpool for repairs.

In the Mediterranean the British submarine HMS Phoenix attacked the Italian torpedo boat Albatros but missed.  Albatros then torpedoed and sank HMS Phoenix with the loss of all her crew.  Italian bombers attacked Haifa in Palestine.

In the South Atlantic, German armed merchant cruiser Thor sank the British SS Wendover carrying 7250 tons of coal.

Northwest of Ireland, U-61 torpedoed the British tanker Scottish Minstrel.  The tanker stays afloat, its cargo of 9200 tons of fuel oil blazing fiercely, and sank the next day.

The Japanese cabinet resigned, following pressure from the military.

22,000 Jews in the Alsatian city of Colmar were pushed across the new border into France. Vichy France revoked the French citizenship of naturalized Jews.

 Francoist Spain broke off diplomatic relations with Chile.

Game day 320.  USSR

The USSR spent available resources on building new industrial capacity around Stalingrad and Moscow.

Published by

General Whiskers

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

One thought on “Eighty years on. 16th July 1940”

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.