Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 340 August 5, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 27. Despite fine weather, it is another quiet day. Large Luftwaffe formations patrol the Dover Straits and attack convoys off the East and Southeast coast of England. RAF fighters go up to intercept (4 Messerschmitt Bf109s and 1 Spitfire are shot down). Several other raids approach the coast and convoys but turn back before engaging. There is little activity overnight, with some minelaying. The number of serviceable British fighters has increased by 55 in the last 2 days.

British Somaliland. Italians take the port of Zeila on the coast near the border with French Somaliland, effectively isolating the British colonial forces and advance on Berbera from the West. The main Italian force, going across the mountains towards Berbera, is held up at Hargeisa. Italian light tanks push back Somaliland Camel Corps and other unarmoured British units.

At 9.38 PM 20 miles North of Ireland, U-56 hits British steamer Boma carrying 10,000 tons of coal from Cardiff (3 crew lost). 48 crew and 2 gunners are picked up by Norwegian tanker Vilja, transferred to destroyer HMS and landed at Liverpool. Boma sinks next day.

British steamer Cape St. George hits the wreck of steamer Rad (sunk by German submarine UA on August 3) and sinks. All 65 crew are rescued by British steamer Grodno (which already has the Rad’s crew on board) and landed at Freetown, Sierra Leone. British minesweeping trawler HMT River Clyde hits a mine and sinks off Aldeburgh, Suffolk, on the English East coast (12 crew killed, captain J. Grant wounded).

Securing Soviet grip on the Baltic States, Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic is incorporated into the Soviet Union.

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