Eighty years on. 1st August 1940


In the morning, a reconnaissance Spitfire photographed a build-up of German aircraft at an airfield on the Cotentin Peninsula, Northern France.  Thirteen Blenheim bombers escorted by ten Blenheim fighters bombed the airfield, causing some damage.  One bomber and two fighters did not return from the mission.  At the same time, thirty He111s reached the city of Norwich unopposed and bombed the Boulton-Paul Aircraft Works and Norwich railway station.

Hitler issued Directive No. 17 ordering intensified air attacks to begin on August 5 “to establish the necessary conditions for the final conquest of England”. Notably, “attacks on the South coast ports will be made on the smallest possible scale, in view of our own forthcoming operations”.   He set the date for the invasion as 15th September.  A Luftwaffe conference was held at the Hague to plan invasion operations.

Two British submarines were sunk.  HMS Spearfish was spotted on the surface by U-34 halfway between Aberdeen and Stavanger.  U-34 was returning from patrol and sank Spearfish with her last torpedo. Overnight, HMS Oswald, a WWI-era submarine, was charging batteries and carrying out routine maintenance on the surface fifteen miles South of Sardinia.  Italian destroyer Ugolino Vivaldi spotted and rammed her before sinking her with depth charges.  

The Italian submarine Goffredo Mameli sank the Greek steamer Roula forty miles South of Crete.  

U-59 hunted the Swedish steamer Sigyn, carrying mining pit props to Sunderland, finally sinking her with the third torpedo sixty miles Northwest of Ireland.

U-60 was attacked off Norway.  The Dutch submarine O-21 missed U-60 with two torpedoes at a range of two thousand metres.  O-22, O-21’s sister ship, also spotted U-60 but was too far away to attack.

The Royal Navy began Operation Hurry, transporting twelve Hurricanes on the aircraft carrier HMS Argus to reinforce the garrison on Malta.  HMS Argus is part of Admiral Somerville’s Force H from Gibraltar with the battlecruiser HMS Hood, the battleship HMS Valiant, the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, the cruisers HMS Arethusa and Enterprise and ten destroyers.  Admiral Cunningham’s Mediterranean fleet left Alexandria to conduct diversionary manoeuvres around the Greek island of Crete.

Vyacheslav Molotov made a speech to the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union proudly recounting the recent annexation of the Baltic States and clearly signalling the USSR’s wish to recover all the territories that had been “stolen” from it during the country’s military weakness at the end of World War I.

Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka Yosuke formally announced the concept of a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Charles de Gaulle made a special appeal to French Canadians for their help.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor (the former King Edward VIII and his wife) left Lisbon on the U.S. liner Excalibur.  They had left France when the Germans invaded.  When von Ribbentrop, working through Spanish sympathisers, suggested that the Duke might be crowned once again, he replied: “Oh no, that would be unconstitutional”.

Game day 336.

Free France was due to play.  The only activity was to collect one resource point in Algeria.

The turn therefore passed to the USSR, which collected 29 resource points.  10 were shipped from East Poland to Ukraine, where 9 were earmarked for construction of new factories.  New factories were commissioned in several other republics.  In occupied Finland, shipyards began building destroyers and submarines for the Baltic fleet.

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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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