Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 324 July 20, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 11. Enjoying fine flying weather, Germans attack convoys along the South and East coast of England and the East coast of Scotland. Germans bomb a convoy near Dover, sinking Steamer SS Pulborough (trawler Lady Philomena takes off 17 survivors) and badly damaging destroyer HMS Brazen (taken in tow by tug Lady Brassey). Brazen’s anti-aircraft guns claim 3 German aircraft shot down. Destroyer HMS Acheron is bombed and damaged by near misses, 10 miles off the Isle of Wight. Acheron will go to Portsmouth for repairs. Another costly day for the RAF losing 5 Hurricanes, 1 Spitfire and 1 Blenheim (7 pilots and 1 gunner killed). Germans lose at least 6 fighters, 2 bombers and a seaplane.

Following Battle of Cape Spada yesterday, 6 Swordfish torpedo bombers from aircraft carrier HMS Eagle at Sidi Barrani, Egypt, seek Italian cruiser Giovanni dalle Bande Nere at the Italian naval base at Tobruk, Libya. Bande Nere is not there so they sink Italian destroyers Ostro & Nembo and steamer Sereno instead. Italy will soon abandon Tobruk as a sea base but guns from the sunken destroyers will be saved and used in the defense of Bardia.

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