Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 338 August 3, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 25. Typical British weather comes to the rescue. Widespread fog in the morning and heavy low cloud in the afternoon covers most of Southern England and the Midlands. There are a few German raids on shipping. Overnight, Luftwaffe bombs Bradford, Liverpool, Crewe (Northern England) and the Firth of Forth Scotland.

At 8.10 AM North of Ireland, U-57 sinks Swedish steamer Atos (1 dead, 21 crew and 6 passengers picked up by Icelandic trawler Skutull). 1 passenger is a sailor from Swedish steamer Tilia Gorthon (sunk by U-38 on 20 June) being repatriated from Liverpool to Sweden.

At 7 PM 300 miles off the coast of Senegal, West Africa, UA stops Yugoslavian steamer Rad with gunfire and discovers she is carrying chemicals from USA to Durban, South Africa. The crew takes to the lifeboats and UA sinks Rad at 8.15 with a torpedo. All 29 crew are picked up by British steamer Grodno and landed at Freetown, Sierra Leone.

British Somaliland on the East coast of Africa is surrounded by Italian colonies (Italian Somaliland, Ethiopia and Eritrea) and is a tempting target for Mussolini to win an early victory against the British. It is lightly held by about 4,000 colonial soldiers under Brigadier Arthur Reginald Chater, including the Somaliland Camel Corps, with little artillery and no tanks, armoured cars or anti-tank weapons. In the early hours, 25,000 Italian troops commanded by General Guglielmo Nasi (with armoured vehicles including some tanks, artillery and air support) attack British Somaliland from Ethiopia.

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