Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 305 July 1, 1940

A planned invasion of Britain, Operation Seelöwe (Sealion), is first mentioned by the German General Staff (OKW).

The island of Jersey in the Channel Islands surrenders to German occupation. British paranoia escalates. Liner SS Arandora Star leaves Liverpool carrying 565 German internees & 734 Italian internees to camps in Canada, plus 374 British crew & military guards. 86 are Germans POWs, but most are Italians & Germans living in Britain (including Jews who have escaped from the continent). They are suspected of being German agents planning the invasion of Britain. The ship has no Red Cross sign to indicate that she is carrying prisoners and civilians.

Germans begin strategic bombing of British industrial centers. Luftwaffe bombs Hull in Northeast England and Wick, Scotland, in daylight (12 civilians killed, 22 injured).

The French government relocates from Bordeaux to Vichy. Pétain’s administration will henceforth be known as Vichy France.

At 4 AM, 300 miles West of Brest, France, U-30 sinks British MV Beignon carrying 8816 tons of wheat in convoy SL-36 (6 die, including 3 survivors from SS Avelona Star rescued yesterday). 30 crew and 81 Avelona Star survivors are picked up by destroyers HMS Vesper & HMS Windsor and landed at Plymouth.

In the same convoy, U-102 sinks British SS Clearton (8 crew lost). U-102 is sunk by British destroyer HMS Vansittart with depth charges (all 43 hands lost). HMS Vansittart then picks up 26 survivors from the Clearton and lands them at Plymouth. In the same area, U-65 sinks Dutch SS Amstelland (1 dead, 39 survivors) and U-29 sinks Greek SS Adamastos (all 25 crew survive).

U-26 damages British steamer Zarian in convoy OA-175. U-26 is depth charged by corvette HMS Gladiolus and then bombed on the surface by Flight Leader W.N. Gibson in an Australian Sunderland aircraft (10 Squadron, RAAF). Unable to dive, U-26 is scuttled (all 48 crew are rescued and became POWs). Gibson will receive the Distinguished Flying Cross.

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