Battle of Britain Day 77. The ability of German fighter-only raids to down substantial number of RAF fighters prompts Luftwaffe to try another new tactic, sending raids with 2 fighter escorts for each bomber. Towns and airfields in Kent are attacked twice y raids of about 200 aircraft at 8.30 and 11.15 AM. At 1.20 and 4.10 PM, raids of about 50 aircraft bomb naval facilities at Portsmouth & Southampton and the nearby Spitfire factory at Woolston. Dusk is at 7.30 and the bombers start rolling in from France (to bomb London) and from Holland (targeting towns in East Anglia). London is bombed intermittently until 5.30 the next morning. Liverpool, towns in the Midlands and Dundee, Scotland, are also bombed.
British submarines are busy in the Bay of Biscay. HMS Cachalot attacks a German submarine without success. HMS Tuna sinks German catapult ship Ostmark, 35 miles West of St. Nazaire, France. http://www.steelnavy.com/1250DLHships.htm
German motor torpedo boat S-30 sinks British steamer Continental Coaster in the North Sea, 10 miles off Great Yarmouth (4 crew lost).
Operation Menace. Overnight, Governor of French West Africa, Pierre Boisson, rejects demands for the surrender of Dakar. At 7 AM, British destroyer HMS Fortune detects Vichy French submarine Ajax. Ajax is brought to the surface with depth charges and then sunk with gunfire, after all 61 hands are taken off. British battleships HMS Barham and Resolution engage the partly finished French battleship Richelieu in Dakar harbour, as Richelieu’s 8 380-mm guns present a considerable danger to the Allied ships. Richelieu is damaged by 2 15-inch shells from HMS Barham and by a misfire of one of her own shells (which explodes disabling 2 of her 380-mm guns). French shore batteries return fire and the British flotilla retires at 10 AM. They try again in the afternoon, but Barham is hit by 4 shells from the coastal batteries and they withdraw again. In retaliation, 64 Vichy French bombers from bases in Algeria and Morocco attack Gibraltar. Most bombs are dropped at sea but the South Mole is hit damaging a large ship in the harbour.