Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 347 August 12, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 34. With fine weather, Germans try out their new tactics. Numerous coastal radar installations are bombed but most are repaired and operational by the end of the day, although Ventnor (Isle of Wight) is badly damaged and will be out of action for 2 weeks. Luftwaffe mounts heavy raids on British airfields in Kent (Manston, Lympne & Hawkinge). Portsmouth is also bombed, leaving 100 civilians dead. To test the effects of knocking out radar, Germans also attack convoys in the English Channel and Thames Estuary, sinking minesweeping trawlers HMT Pyrope (6 killed) and HMT Tamarisk (7 killed). Despite damage to radar and runways, RAF responds to most attacks and shoots down 55 German aircraft (for the loss of 6 Spitfires & 9 Hurricanes). Lutfwaffe loses 7 more bombers to anti-aircraft fire.

British Somaliland. Italians again attack British defenses at Tug Argan. They take another hill, defended by Northern Rhodesian Regiment, and capture 2 British 3.7 inch howitzers (from a total of 4 available). Italians control the South side of the Hargeisa-Berbera road.

In the Atlantic, near the Azores, Italian submarine Malaspina sinks British tanker British Fame with 5 torpedoes. 3 crew are killed but Malaspina risks staying on the surface for a day to tow survivors in lifeboats to safety.

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