Eighty years on. 11th August 1940


In the early morning Messerschmitt Bf110’s and Bf109’s bombed and strafed Dover Harbour, as a prelude to a larger attack on Portland Naval base and Weymouth, aiming to draw up RAF fighters. Spitfires of 64 and 74 squadrons responded but most RAF units were rested and ready when a large formation of 56 Ju88 heavy bombers, 20 Heinkel He111s & 97 Bf110s was detected from the direction of Cherbourg.  In the ensuing fight the RAF lost 20 Hurricanes and 5 Spitfires and the Luftwaffe lost 27 bombers and 10 Messerschmitt fighters.

German bombing damaged four British destroyers (HMS Windsor in the Thames Estuary, HMS Esk at Harwich, HMS Scimitar in Portland Harbour and HMS Skate in Portland Harbour.

Major-General Reade Godwin-Austen arrived in the capital city of Berbera to command the defence of British Somaliland.  The British had prepared defences at Tug Argan on the hills overlooking the Hargeisa-Berbera road, knowing that this was the most likely route of attack.  The Italians attacked the hills and captured one, defended by 3rd Battalion 15th Punjab Regiment.

General Wavell (Commander-in-Chief Middle East) was in London to discuss the defence of British colonies in Africa and the Middle East.  Seeing events in Somaliland and expecting an Italian attack on Egypt, Churchill’s War Cabinet made the decision to send tanks to defend the vital Suez Canal. 150 tanks, 48 anti-tank guns, 48 field guns and 20 Bofors anti-aircraft guns were ordered to Egypt.

U-38 sank the British steamer Llanfair 125 miles west of Ireland.

The U.S. government agreed to supply Britain with 4,000 tanks.

My mother celebrated her twelfth birthday. It is a little known fact that my mother was the cause of the Second World War. On 2nd September 1939 her parents asked her to pray that there would not be a war. Thinking it might be exciting, she prayed that there would be one. Imagine her distress, as an 11 year old, unable to tell anyone what she believed she had done.

Game day 346.  Italy

Italy launched a destroyer and three submarines in the Adriatic.  An aircraft carrier and fighter unit were ordered. 

On the Libya/Egypt border the Italians launched another attack on the British Commonwealth forces. At the north end of the line six infantry units attacked six Indian infantry units and pushed then back.  The Italians lost one unit to the Indians’ two.  In the centre four Italian armoured units attacked four British infantry units, inflicting two losses on the British and driving them back.  In the south twelve Italian infantry units outflanked and attacked six Australian infantry units.  The Australians lost four units to the Italians three and retreated.  Libya was now back in Italian hands.

To the south, on the Kenya/Sudan border, seven infantry units attacked five British infantry units, inflicting one loss.  The British fell back to the north.

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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