Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 345 August 10, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 32. Göring’s planned offensive against RAF airfields is cancelled due to the weather. Clouds, squalls and thunder storms again preclude much flying. Luftwaffe mounts reconnaissance patrols and sporadic attacks on isolated trawlers and merchant ships. Overnight, Germans drop mines at several points on the coast of Britain. No aircraft are lost by either side.

In mid-Atlantic, 300 miles Southwest of the Azores, German armed merchant cruiser Widder stops Finnish barque Killoran. The steel-hulled 3 mast sailing ship built in 1900 is carrying a British-owned cargo of 2500 tons of maize & 500 tons of sugar from Buenos Aires to Las Palmas. Although most of Widder’s crew is against sinking the old sailing ship, Widder’s surgeon wants a dramatic finale for the Nazi propaganda film of the voyage he is making. He persuades Captain Ruckteschell to blow up Killoran with all sails still set, after taking off Killoran’s 18 crew.

British troopship SS Neuralia leaves Gibraltar, escorted by destroyer HMS Gallant, with 2000 civilian evacuees bound for the Portuguese island of Madeira 600 miles West in the Atlantic.

Just off the North coast of Scotland, Dutch MV Albula and American steamer Crescent City collide in convoy OA-196. MV Albula sinks after the entire crew is taken off by British destroyer HMS Jaguar.

At 1.00 AM, 20 miles North of Ireland, British armed merchant cruiser HMS Transylvania is hit with U-56’s last torpedo but does not sink (36 lives lost). Destroyer HMS Ashanti and several trawlers rescue 300 survivors before Transylvania is taken in tow but later sinks.

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