Eighty years on. 19th July 1940


Six British Boulton Paul Defiants, covering a convoy off Folkestone, were shot down in a fight against twelve Me109s. Ten of the twelve crew were killed.  Three Defiants were saved by the arrival of Hurricanes.  Three Hurricanes were lost in various engagements around the British coast.

There were numerous German bombing raids along the south and east coasts of England and Scotland.  Forty-two people were killed in an air raid on the city of Glasgow.   The British destroyers HMS Griffin and Beagle were slightly damaging and the tanker War Sepoy was sunk when Stukas bombed Dover. Overall, the Germans lost three bombers and three fighters.

Hitler made a speech to the Reichstag reviewing the course of the war and then warned, “Mr. Churchill, or perhaps others, for once believe me when I predict a great empire will be destroyed, an empire that it was never my intention to destroy or even to harm.  I do realize that this struggle, if it continues, can end only with the complete annihilation of one or the other of the two adversaries.  Mr. Churchill may believe this will be Germany. I know that it will be Britain.”  Hitler then appealed “once more to reason and common sense”, saying: “I can see no reason why this war must go on.”  He said that if Churchill brushed aside this appeal, “I shall have relieved my conscience in regard to the things to come.”

Hitler also promoted twelve Generals to the rank of Field Marshal. Generalfeldmarschall Göring was promoted to Reich Marshal of the Greater German Reich.

In the Mediterranean, at the Battle of Cape Spada, four British destroyers; HMS Hyperion, Hasty, Ilex and Hero encountered two Italian high-speed cruisers; Giovanni dalle Bande Nere and Bartolomeo Colleoni.  As the destroyers fled from the larger Italian ships, they called in the Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney and the British destroyer HMS Havock which were patrolling forty miles to the north.  Sydney hit Bartolomeo Colleoni which was disabled and then sunk by torpedoes from HMS Ilex and Hyperion.  The Giovanni dalle Bande Nere fled and was believed to have gone to Tobruk.

Off the coast of Brazil the German armed merchant cruiser Thor sank the Dutch steamer Tela.

In Britain General Alan Brooke was appointed Commander in Chief, Home Forces, replacing General Edmund Ironside.  Ironside had already been replaced as Chief of the Imperial General Staff by General John Dill.  

President Roosevelt gave his acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention.  The president listed his reasons for running again and stated: “My conscience will not let me turn my back upon a call to service.  The right to make that call rests with the people, through the American method of a free election.  Only the people themselves can draft a President.  If such a draft should be made upon me, I say to you, in the utmost simplicity, I will, with God’s help, continue to serve with the best of my ability and with the fullness of my strength.”

Congress passed the bill approving President Roosevelt’s request for $4 billion to build a “two ocean navy” to confront the potential threats from Germany and Japan. The plan was to double the size of the fleet by 1947.

Game day 323.  Germany

With only two fighter units available, Germany was unable to strike at any part of Britain where they would not be countered by superior forces.

Czechoslovakia was stripped of its resources which were transferred to German factories for war production.  Germany was short of fighters, bombers and transport ships.  The aircraft were needed for prosecution of the war against Britain and the ships to bring Norwegian resources to Germany.

The Battleship in the North-east Atlantic continued to head for Norway.  The six new submarines sailed from Kiel to Bergen.

While Germany may have won the campaign against Western Europe, the Luftwaffe was exhausted and needed re-building.  For this the factories of France, Germany and Poland would need to work together, with the priority for August being fighter aircraft.

Published by

General Whiskers

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

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