Battle of Britain Day 12. Overnight, 15 Handley Page Hampden bombers from 61 and 144 Squadron attack German battleships Admiral Scheer and Tirpitz at dock in Wilhelmshaven. Neither battleship is damaged but 3 Hampdens are shot down. With fine weather again, Germans focus on attacking convoys in the English Channel instead of bombing raids over land targets. Göring’s strategy is to bring British fighters into the air over the Channel, while exposing his aircraft to minimum danger. RAF loses a Hurricane and a Spitfire while Luftwaffe loses 3 fighters and 1 Dornier Do17 bomber. British losses since July 10 are about 45 fighters destroyed, but production of new aircraft has kept pace. More worrying is the loss of trained pilots who are not so easily replaced. http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/war-air/20582-69-years-ago-tonight-20-21-july-1940-a.html
After being bombed near Dover yesterday, HMS Brazen sinks while under tow. Destroyer HMS Boreas takes off the crew but 1 sailor is killed.
U-30 sinks British steamer Ellaroy 180 miles West of Cape Finisterre, Spain. The crew abandons ship in lifeboats. All 16 crew are rescued by Spanish trawler Felix Montenegro and landed at Vigo, Spain.
Soviet Union annexes Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, following ‘elections’ held on July 14 voting for union with USSR. These countries will be under Soviet control until 1989, apart from a period of German occupation from 1941-1944.