Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 357 August 22, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 44. At 3.30 AM, first bombing of London (specifically Harrow, marginally within the London Civil Defence Area). Gale force winds and heavy rain again preclude large raids. At 9 AM, German artillery at Cape Gris Nez, France shells convoy "Totem" in the Straits of Dover for 80 minutes (no ships are hit). At 1 PM, Junkers Ju88s and Bf109s attack the convoy and are engaged by Spitfires of 54 Squadron and Hurricanes of 610 Squadron (shot down; 1 Ju88, 1 Spitfire, 1 Hurricane by friendly fire). At 6.30 PM, 30 German aircraft bomb coastal towns in Kent. In the evening, there is an artillery duel across the Straits of Dover between the German battery at Cape Gris Nez and a British 14-inch naval gun (named Winnie after Prime Minister Churchill, who has personally insisted that artillery be placed there to counter the German threat). Overnight, there is bombing of Aberdeen, Bristol, Pontefract, Bradford and Hull. In total, 6 German aircraft and 5 RAF fighters are lost.

Fairey Swordfish of 812 Squadron from HMS Peregrine (Royal Navy air station at Ford, Sussex) bomb German invasion barges at Daedereide on the Dutch coast. 1 Swordfish is shot down and 2 aircrew are taken prisoner.

3 Swordfish of 824 Squadron from aircraft carrier HMS Eagle sink Italian submarine Iride (killing most of the 45 crew) and depot ship Monte Gargano in the Gulf of Bomba, Libya. Italian torpedo boat Calypso is also damaged. This prevents a planned attack on Alexandria by Iride using manned “human torpedoes”.

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