Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 239 April 26, 1940

RAF Gladiators at Stetnesmoen engage the Luftwaffe, shooting down another He111 but using up all their fuel and ammunition. The last Gladiators are burned. The pilots board ships at Åndalsnes; Squadron Leader Donaldson will be awarded the DSO.

Hitler is furious at the landing of British 15th Brigade. Åndalsnes is bombed all day on his personal orders, destroying the wooden pier and all the British equipment & ammunition. However, 15th Brigade is 172 km away at Kvam, holding back German 196th Division which loses 50 men, 5 light tanks & 3 armored cars. In the evening 15th Brigade withdraws 3 km to new defensive lines at Kjorem.

British War Cabinet, now aware of defeats at Steinkjer & Tretten Gorge, starts to consider evacuating Namsos & Åndalsnes. Likewise, General de Wiart declines an offer of additional troops at Namsos since “in case of evacuation, this would complicate matters”. This “evacuation” mentality will gain momentum, despite 15th Brigade’s successes.

At 1.17 AM, U-13 sinks British steamer SS Lily with 2 torpedoes (the first does not detonate). All 24 hands lost.

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