Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 309 July 5, 1940

9 Swordfish of 813 Squadron from aircraft carrier HMS Eagle fly 100 miles West from Sidi Barrani, Egypt, to bomb the Italian naval base at Tobruk, Libya. Destroyer Zeffiro is sunk and destroyer Euro has her bow was blown off but stays afloat (she will be towed to Taranto and repaired). Italian liner Liguria is beached to prevent sinking. Merchant vessel Manzoni is sunk and Serenitas is badly damaged but both steamers will be captured by the British and repaired.

U-34 hits British destroyer HMS Whirlwind with 1 torpedo (59 lives lost, 51 survivors taken off by destroyer HMS Westcott). Whirlwind stays afloat and is scuttled by HMS Westcott, 50 miles Southwest of Ireland. Nearby, U-99 damages Canadian steamer Magog (carrying timber). The stern sinks but the aft stays afloat on the timber. 23 crew abandon ship in a lifeboat, are picked up by Swedish merchant Fidra and landed at Cork, Ireland.

As part of Operation Fish (the shipment to Canada of British gold and negotiable securities, for storage in the Bank of Canada vault in Ottawa), battleship HMS Revenge & cruiser HMS Bonaventure & troopships Monarch Of Bermuda, Sobieski & Batory depart Greenock at 5.45 AM, escorted by destroyer HMS Garth. The British ships, carrying $1.75 billion in gold and securities from the Bank of England, will arrive safely at Halifax on 12 July.

At 10 PM, British submarine HMS Shark is badly damaged by German auxiliary minesweepers M1803 (trawler Spitzbergen), M1806 (trawler Cuxhaven), and M1807 (trawler Mulsum) in Boknafjord near Stavanger, Norway.

French Vichy government breaks off diplomatic relations with Britain in retaliation for the attacks on French ships on July 3.

Romania joins the Axis under pressure from Germany.

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