Diary August 31, 1940

Hurricane as night fighter

Diary for Saturday, August 31, 1940: Air War German raids on Biggin Hill, Debden, Hornchurch and Eastchurch airfields and Croydon Airport. Losses: German, 38; British, 34. 140 bombers raid Liverpool and Merseyside (night August 30-September 1): Battleship Prince of Wales… learn more

Diary August 30, 1940

Hungarian military parade

Diary for Friday, August 30, 1940: Politics The Vienna Award: Hitler imposes settlement of territorial dispute between Hungary and Rumania, under which the former is to receive northern Transylvania. Air War Battle of Britain (Day 52): devastating attacks on Biggin… learn more

Diary August 29, 1940

Headquarters of RAF Fighter Command

Diary for Thursday, August 29, 1940: Air War Battle of Britain (Day 51): 720 Messerschmitt Bf 109Es carry out sweeps over Kent but fail to provoke large-scale fighter-v-fighter combats (RAF fighters are being conserved for attacks on bomber formations). learn more

Diary August 28, 1940

Me 109 Es of IIIrd Group of Jagdgeschwader 26

Diary for Wednesday, August 28, 1940: Air War Battle of Britain (Day 50): German bombers raid Eastchurch and Rochford airfields and Me 109Es carry out sweeps over southeast England. A second Defiant squadron (see July 19, 1940) is virtually destroyed… learn more

Diary August 27, 1940

German landing exercise

Diary for Tuesday, August 27, 1940: Sea War Hitler modifies Operation Sea Lion invasion Plan: landings to be made on narrow front’, Eastbourne-Folkestone, in preference to earlier ‘broad front’ proposal. RAF Coastal Command begins anti-U-boat patrols from Iceland, using Fairey… learn more

Diary August 26, 1940

Downed Do 17 bomber

Diary for Monday, August 26, 1940: Air War Battle of Britain (Day 48): Attempted raids on airfields round London, including Debden (heavy damage), and Portsmouth area. Losses: German, 31; British, 27. Night raids on Birmingham, Coventry and Plymouth. Sea War… learn more

Diary August 25, 1940

Picture taken from one of the bombers of the first RAF night rain on Berlin

Diary for Sunday, August 25, 1940: Air War FIRST RAF NIGHT RAID ON BERLIN: 81 bombers despatched, but many fail to find target; slight damage in city centre and suburbs. Raids on other targets inc. Cologne, Hamm and Boulogne. Total… learn more

Diary August 24, 1940

One of the first bombs on London

Diary for Saturday, August 24, 1940: Air War Heavy raids on airfields in southeastern England: Manston evacuated; North Weald and Hornchurch also hard hit. Residential areas of Portsmouth and Ramsgate bombed. Losses: German, 30; British, 23. German bomber crews, ordered… learn more

Diary August 23, 1940

He 115 loading torpedo

Diary for Friday, August 23, 1940: Sea War Heinkel He 115 seaplanes torpedo two cargo ships and damage third in Moray Firth. learn more

Diary August 22, 1940

coastal convoy under fire from German cross-Channel guns

Diary for Thursday, August 22, 1940: Sea War German super-heavy artillery bombards convoy for 80 minutes (no hits). Fire switched to Dover town in evening; British 14-inch gun replies (first of many cross-Channel ‘duels’). learn more

Diary August 21, 1940

Trotsky leaving Russia

Diary for Wednesday, August 21, 1940: Secret War Leon Trotsky, exiled Russian Revolutionary leader and founder of Red Army, assassinated by NKVD agent in Mexico City; aged 61. learn more

Diary August 20, 1940

Churchill's slogan: 'let us go forward together !'

Diary for Tuesday, August 20, 1940: Home Fronts Britain: Churchill praises RAF Fighter Command (the ‘Few’). Sea War Mediterranean: Italian Navy to carry out ‘total blockade’ of Gibraltar, Malta, Suez and other British possessions. Pacific: German disguised raider Orion sinks… learn more

Diary August 19, 1940

German embarkation exercise

Diary for Monday, August 19, 1940: Air War Battle of Britain (Day 41): Luftwaffe operations hampered by bad weather (cloud and rain), August 19-23. Light raids on airfields, shipping and coastal targets. Ju 88s set fire to oil storage depot… learn more

Diary August 18, 1940

Do 17 shot down

Diary for Sunday, August 18, 1940: Air War Heavy raids on RAF bases and other targets in south and southeast England. 19 Ju 87 Stukas lost; 8 of 50 escorting Me 109Es also destroyed at cost of 4 Hurricanes and… learn more

Diary August 17, 1940

Inside one of the turrets of the battleship 'Malaya' a shell is loaded

Diary for Saturday, August 17, 1940: Sea War Mediterranean: Battleships Warspite, Malaya and Ramillies bombard Bardia and Fort Capuzzo, Libya. Italian bombers (12 lost) attack bombardment force, August 18. Politics Germany announces ‘total blockade’ of British Isles; in reply to… learn more

Diary August 16, 1940

Stuka dive-bomber shortly before it was shot down

Diary for Friday, August 16, 1940: Air War Ju 87 Stukas (7 lost) wreck Tangmere Airfield (Hants); seven other airfields bombed. Secret War Luftwaffe Command Staff estimate that RAF now have only 300 fighters (actual total is 700). learn more

Diary August 15, 1940

Spitfire survives low-level attack

Diary for Thursday, August 15, 1940: Air War Battle of Britain (Day 37): GÖRING EMPLOYS THREE ‘AIR FLEETS’ (Luftflotten 2, 3 and 5) IN MASSED DAYLIGHT RAIDS on airfields from Portsmouth to Tyne. RAF defeat attacks by Luftflotte 5 from… learn more

Diary August 14, 1940

Barrage balloons

Diary for Wednesday, August 14, 1940: Air War Battle of Britain (Day 36): Widespread small raids on airfields and railway lines. Me 109Es strafe Dover balloon barrage; E. Goodwin lightship bombed. Losses: German, 19, British, 4. Sea War Evacuation of… learn more

Diary August 13, 1940

Spitfire pilots 'scramble'

Diary for Tuesday, August 13, 1940: Air War ADLERTAG (EAGLE DAY): Launching of great Luftwaffe offensive planned to destroy RAF Fighter Command in four days begins amid confusion. Goring postpones morning raids at last minute, but 70 unescorted Dornier Do… learn more

Diary August 12, 1940

staff of Luftflotte 3 waves to a Stuka

Diary for Monday, August 12, 1940: Air War Heavy German raids on shipping off English South Coast, radar stations (inc. Ventnor), and airfields. Losses: German, 32; British, 21. 5 Hampdens (2 lost) attack heavily defended Dortmund-Ems Canal with delayed-action bombs;… learn more