Eighty years on. 31st July 1940


The Luftwaffe mounted numerous small raids on shipping all along the South coast of England.  One Messerschmitt and two Spitfires were shot down off Folkestone.  Göring was convinced by wild overestimates of RAF losses, as well as the Royal Navy’s withdrawal of warships from the English Channel, that the Luftwaffe has control of the skies. He believed he can proceed to Phase two of his plan, to eliminate the RAF by direct attacks on their airfields.  In fact RAF losses in July were 77 aircraft destroyed and 43 damaged (67 men killed, 23 wounded).  Britain produced 496 fighters in July (50% above the projected output) and has more serviceable aircraft than at the beginning of July, although still less than Germany.   British civilian casualties from bombing in July were 258 killed and 321 wounded.

A conference was held at the Berghof between Hitler, Keitel, Jodl, Raeder, Brauchitsch, Halder and Puttkamer.  Raeder reported that the navy would not be ready for Operation Sea Lion until mid-September, if then, so discussion turned to attacking the Soviet Union instead. Hitler believed that defeating Russia would make Germany unbeatable and force Britain to come to terms, so an invasion of the Soviet Union was set for spring 1941.

U-99 sank two British steamers 50 miles off the north coast of Ireland, the Jamaica Progress carrying fruit from Jamaica and the Jersey City from convoy OB-191.  U-99 was depth charged by the escorts but is undamaged. Another attack on convoy OB-191 was foiled by a flying boat which bombed U-99, again without damage.

Off Harwich, the destroyer HMS Whitshed hit a mine head on and lost most of her bow.  She was towed to Harwich stern first by the destroyer HMS Wild Swan.

The German armed merchant cruiser Pinguin sank the British SS Domingo De Larringa in the South Atlantic 1000 miles east of Pernambuco, Brazil.

The British submarine HMS Spearfish departed Rosyth to patrol the Norwegian coast.

The British began the action codenamed Operation Hurry, with the goal of ferrying fourteen aircraft to Malta for the garrison’s defence.

Vichy France imposed the death penalty for all French servicemen who joined a foreign army.

The U.S.A. imposed an embargo on the export of aviation fuel.  Germany was sourcing most of its oil from Rumania and the Soviet Union, while Britain was shipping it from the Middle East and South East Asia.  The country most affected by the embargo was Japan, who now began to look at the South East Asian countries as targets.

Game day 335. Vichy France.

The only activity was the movement of the convoy heading for Indo-China, which sailed southwards through the Red Sea.

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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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