Low clouds and rain give way to sunny intervals in the afternoon. German reconnaissance flights were mostly left alone by RAF. The Luftwaffe tried a new tactic, sending large groups of fighters across the English Channel with no bombers. The RAF was initially sent up to intercept but No. 11 Group commander, Air Vice Marshal Keith Park, saw through the German ruse. He withdrew RAF planes to avoid being drawn into a battle of attrition between fighters. Both sides lost 9 fighters. The Luftwaffe again bombed major industrial and shipping centres (Portsmouth, Tyneside, Hartlepool, Swansea, Manchester and Liverpool). Decoy fires were lit in the countryside (known as ‘Starfish’ sites), fooling German bombers into dropping their bombs away from the cities.
In 4 hours, U-100 hit five steamers in Convoy OA-204, 150 miles north-west of Ireland. U-100 damaged the SS Hartismere and sank the SS Dalblair. Then the SS Astra II was sunk, followed by the Swedish SS Alida Gorthon and the SS Empire Moose.
Germany formally apologized to Ireland for the Wexford bombing.
The South African air force bombed Italian bases in Somaliland.
Game day 364. Exiled colonies.
Cameroon and the French Congo, contrary to history, do not side with the Free French but Ubangi follows the historical trend and changes sides.
This now means that the Free French have control of Algeria, Chad, Indo-China, Morocco, West Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia and Ubangi. All these territories are self-sufficient as regards food. None have any substantial industrial resources (iron, steel, coal or oil).
The only data I have found about “Free French” forces is that there were around 7,000 volunteers in Britain, and about 500 air force personnel with maybe 200 pilots (included in RAF forces). In addition around 500 more infantry and up to 5,000 foreign legion forces existed in Africa and the Far East. I have allowed for twelve individual battalions of 1,000 men. Seven are in the UK and the others are one each in Algeria, Syria, Indo-China, Cameroon and Tunisia.
50 ships with about 3,600 men were stationed around the world. My data is that the French navy started the war with 77 ships, so I have used a proportional split, leaving 27 ships for Vichy France (despite anything published in previous posts).
The Belgian Congo is self-sufficient in food and has no appreciable resources. It can be left to its own devices during the war.
The Dutch East Indies (including Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Celebes, Timor and New Guinea) are self-sufficient as to food. They produce 120,000 tons of oil per week, currently supplied to Japan. This equates to 48 ship loads with a six-week return journey.
There were approximately 35,000 forces stationed in the Dutch East Indies, mostly indigenous, and a total of 389 military aircraft, mostly obsolete. I have decided to allocate three brigades of 12,000 men to the cities in Borneo, Celebes and Java, accompanied by four fighter and one bomber squadron each.