Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day 281 June 7, 1940

France. Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division and 5th Panzer Division continue their drive down the Channel coast towards Rouen. Further East, General Kleist’s Panzers meet stiff resistance and make no progress between Amiens and Péronne.

Evacuation of Narvik. More British troopships (Group II) arrive and embark 5200 troops overnight. Slow container ships with supplies and equipment leave Narvik. Group I troopships (that departed yesterday with 15,000 troops on board) are spotted by German reconnaissance planes but mistaken for empty supply ships returning to England, probably due to the single escort vessel HMS Vindictive. Admiral Marschall’s German flotilla does not attack the convoy, instead refueling the destroyers and cruiser Admiral Hipper.

Off Narvik, RAF pilots, untrained in aircraft carrier landings, safely land 10 Gloster Gladiators and 8 Hawker Hurricanes on aircraft carrier HMS Glorious (the remaining fighters of 46 and 263 Squadrons).

At 8 PM, Norwegian King Haakon VII, his son Crown Prince Olav and members of the Norwegian government leave Tromsø (in the far North of Norway) for exile in England on British cruiser HMS Devonshire.

Between midnight and 3.30 AM, U-48 sinks British steamer Francis Massey carrying 7500 tons of iron ore (33 dead, Captain rescued by destroyer HMS Volunteer) and damages British steamer Eros (all 62 crew survive) 10 miles North of Ireland.

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