Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 353 August 18, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 40. Haze in the morning gives way to good flying weather. At noon, Germans launch staged attacks against key RAF Fighter Command airfields at Kenley and Biggin Hill. However, the plan is too complicated and Luftwaffe formations do not arrive over the target on schedule. Kenley is subjected to devastating bombing, but Hurricanes of 111 Squadron wreak havoc on the bombers which have got ahead of their escorts. Hurricanes of 32 and Spitfires of 610 Squadron break up the attack on Biggin Hill and most bombs miss their target. RAF loses 22 fighters but claims 140 German planes shot down (although this seems unlikely). http://www.battleofbritain1940.net/0028.html

British Somaliland, East Africa. Overnight, troopships Chakdina, Chantala, Laomedon & Akbar and hospital ship Vita leave Berbera carrying British troops across the Gulf of Aden to Aden. In total 7,000 people, including civilians are evacuated. Australian cruiser HMAS Hobart remains to collect stragglers and destroy vehicles, fuel and stores. Somalis of the Somaliland Camel Corps choose to remain instead of evacuating and are allowed to keep their weapons.

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