Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 275 June 1, 1940

Dunkirk. Overnight, BEF pulls out of the defensive line and head for the ships, leaving French troops to hold a reduced perimeter closer to Dunkirk. Good flying weather returns and renewed German bombing sinks French destroyer Le Foudroyant (19 killed), British destroyers HMS Basilisk (9 lives lost, scuttled by destroyer HMS Whitehall), HMS Havant (8 lives lost, scuttled by minesweeper HMS Saltash after taking off the crew), and HMS Keith (36 killed, 130 rescued by various ships).

Minesweeper HMS Skipjack is bombed after embarking 275 soldiers from the beach and sinks (19 crew and most of the troops drown). British steamer Scotia is bombed and sinks (32 crew and 200-300 troops lost). Numerous other ships are badly damaged and many smaller ships are also sunk. Despite this, 47,081 Allied troops embark from Dunkirk harbour & 17,348 from the beaches. http://www.halcyon-class.co.uk/skipjack/hms_skipjack.htm

Norway. With Britain itself now threatened by German invasion from France, British troops begin evacuating Narvik and returning home. British ambassador to Norway, Sir Cecil Dormer, informs King Haakon VII that there will be a withdrawal. The King, his son Crown Prince Olav and the Norwegian government are encouraged to leave their country.

At 11 PM, U-37 sinks Greek SS Ioanna carrying onions 120 miles west of Cape Finisterre. All crew survive and make land at Vigo, Spain. http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/333.html

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