Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 288 June 14, 1940

After the declaration of Paris as an “open city”, Germans enter the city unopposed. While French troops organize a fighting retreat further South, Parisian restaurants & shops do a brisk trade with the German troops who act more as tourists than a force of occupation. To the East, German 1st Army under General Erwin von Witzleben breaks through the Maginot Line near Saarbrücken.

Stalin desires to restore pre-1918 Tsarist borders and plans to incorporate Latvia, Lithuania & Estonia into Soviet Union. Soviets begin by imposing a sea and air blockade of Estonia. 2 Soviet DB-3T torpedo bombers shoot down Finnish civilian Junkers Ju 52 plane “Kaleva” shortly after takeoff from Tallinin, Estonia. Kaleva crashes into sea (all 9 passengers & crew killed, including American & French diplomats). Soviet submarine Щ-301 surfaces and collects French diplomatic mail from the sea.

At dawn, 4 French cruisers & 11 destroyers attack Italian port of Genoa, shelling oil storage tanks. French destroyer Albatros is hit once by Italian coastal artillery but does not sink (12 lives lost).

Despite a series of errors, U-38 manages to sink Greek steamer Mount Myrto carrying a cargo of timber southwest of Ireland (4 killed).
In the same area, U-47 sinks British steamer Balmoralwood carrying 8730 tons of wheat and four aircraft (all 41 crew rescued by British steamer Germanic and landed at Liverpool).
300 miles West of Cape Finisterre, Spain, U-101 stops Greek steamer Antonis Georgandis with two 20mm anti-aircraft rounds. The crew abandons ship then U-101 sinks her with the deck gun.

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