Diary July 31, 1940

Destruction of a merchantmen

Diary for Wednesday, July 31, 1940: Air War Battle of Britain: In attacks on convoys during July, 18 small steamers and 4 destroyers are sunk. Aircraft losses in July: German, 139; British, 52. Sea War Merchant shipping losses in July… learn more

Diary July 30, 1940

Artificial oil islands

Diary for Tuesday, July 30, 1940: Air War German bombers attack shipping between Thames Estuary and Harwich. learn more

Diary July 28, 1940

Squadron Leader 'Sailor' Malan

Diary for Saturday, July 28, 1940: Air War Battle of Britain (Day 19): air battle over Straits of Dover. ‘Sailor’ Malan wounds Mölders – German fighter ‘ace’ – who crash-lands his Me 109E. Sea War Atlantic: Three Italian submarines begin… learn more

Diary July 27, 1940

Dive attack of a Stuka

Diary for Saturday, July 27, 1940: Air War 50 Ju 87 Stukas attack Convoy ‘Bacon’ in English Channel. Destroyer Codrington sunk at Dover and destroyer Wren off Aldeburgh (Suffolk). Sea War Following loss of HMS Codrington, all British destroyers are… learn more

Diary July 26, 1940

'Very well, alone'

Diary for Friday, July 26, 1940: Air War RAF daylight raid on Dortmund power station. Politics M. Avenol resigns as Secretary-General of League of Nations. learn more

Diary July 25, 1940

Mobilization Swiss Army

Diary for Thursday, July 25, 1940: Neutrals Switzerland: General Guisan, the C-in-C, addresses all Army officers on the Ruetli Meadow – the birthplace of Swiss independence in 1307 – and exhorts them to be ready, at a moment’s notice, to… learn more

Diary July 24, 1940

'Do not forget Oran'

Diary for Wednesday, July 24, 1940: Sea War Repatriation steamer Meknes carrying 1,277 French sailors to Marseilles, sunk by German E-boat S-27 off Portland (383 dead). Neutrals Rumania: Rumanian Government takes over Astra-Romana Oil Company (Shell). learn more

Diary July 22, 1940

Bristol Blenheim Mk IF fighters

Diary for Monday, July 22, 1940: Air War First ‘kill’ by RAF night fighter equipped with AI (Airborne Interception) radar: Do 17 shot down south of Brighton by Blenheim. learn more

Diary July 21, 1940

Sir Alan Brooke

Diary for Sunday, July 21, 1940: Home Fronts Britain: Lt.-Gen. Sir Alan Brooke appointed C-in-C Home Forces. Politics Rumania cedes Southern Dobrudja area to Bulgaria. National assemblies in Baltic States ‘vote’ for union with Russia (USSR). learn more

Diary July 20, 1940

Führer with the newly created Field Marshals

Diary for Saturday, July 20, 1940: Air War Göring orders creation of first specialized night-fighter wing Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (NJG 1) – under Oberst Josef Kammhuber. Me 110 night fighter achieves first ‘kill’ of WW2 (a Whitley over northwest Germany). Sea… learn more

Diary July 19, 1940

Members of the Reichstag during Hitler's speech from 19 July

Diary for Friday, July 19, 1940: Politics Germany: HITLER‘S ‘LAST APPEAL TO REASON’ speech in Reichstag, Berlin, says Britain has no sensible alternative but to reach peace agreement; (Britain rejects, July 22). Home Fronts Germany: The Führer creates 19 new… learn more

Diary July 18, 1940

Transports in Channel ports for invasion of England

Diary for Thursday, July 18, 1940: Air War Germans attack shipping off south England. RAF daylight raids on invasion barges at Rotterdam and St Orner airfield (3 aircraft lost). RAF Bomber Command night raids on Krupp’s armament works at Essen,… learn more

Diary July 17, 1940

Burma Road

Diary for Wednesday, July 17, 1940: Politics Britain agrees (under severe Japanese diplomatic pressure) to close the Burma Road – a vital supply route for Chiang Kai-shek‘s armies – for three months. learn more

Diary July 16, 1940

Construction of landing crafts

Diary for Tuesday, July 16, 1940: Sea War OPERATION SEA LION (Seelöwe): HITLER ORDERS PREPARATION FOR SEABORNE INVASION OF ENGLAND, to be completed by mid-August, inc. the reduction of the ‘English Air Force’ so that it is incapable of delivering… learn more

Diary July 15, 1940

Hurricane Mk I ready for starting

Diary for Monday, July 15, 1940: Air War Hurricane fighters beat off 15 Dornier Do 17 s attacking convoy in English Channel. Hidden by low cloud, Ju 88s hit targets in southwest Britain, including two airfields and railway in Avonmouth. learn more

Diary July 14, 1940

General de Gaulle in London

Diary for Sunday, July 14, 1940: Occupied countries France: General de Gaulle attends Bastille Day ceremonies in London. Neutrals Vichy France: Day of National Mourning. learn more

Diary July 13, 1940

Polish pilot is helped into his plane by a Polish Air Force corporal

Diary for Saturday, July 13, 1940: Air War First Free Polish fighter squdron (No 302) formed in Britain, with Hurricane fighters. learn more

Diary July 12, 1940

Gypsies in Lublin 1940

Diary for Friday, July 12, 1940: Air War Hurricane fighters destroy four bombers attacking convoy off Suffolk coast. Night raids on Aberdeen (60 casualties) and Cardiff. Neutrals Russia: Kuusinen, former head of the short-lived Terijoki Government (see December 2, 1939),… learn more

Diary July 11, 1940

'Death for the English'

Diary for Thursday, July 11, 1940: Neutrals Vichy France: President Lebrun resigns; Petain proclaims himself ‘Head of the French State’, abolishes Republican Constitution of 1875, and dismisses Senate and Chamber of Deputies. Home Fronts Britain: Beaverbrook Minister of Aircraft Production,… learn more

Diary July 10, 1940

Ju 88 A

Diary for Wednesday, July 10, 1940: Air War BATTLE OF BRITAIN (for Britain DAY 1; but in fact the real German operation was starting more than one month later, on 13 August with Adlertag = Eagles Day). Widespread raids: 25… learn more