Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 364 August 29, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 51. Low clouds and rain give way to sunny intervals in the afternoon. German reconnaissance flights are mostly left alone by RAF. However, Luftwaffe tries a new tactic at 3 PM and 7.15 PM, sending large groups of fighters across the English Channel with no bombers. RAF initially goes up to intercept but No. 11 Group commander Air Vice Marshal Keith Park sees the German ruse. He withdraws RAF planes to avoid being drawn into a battle of attrition between fighters. Both sides lose 9 fighters. Luftwaffe again bombs major industrial and shipping centers (Portsmouth, Tyneside, Hartlepool, Swansea, Manchester and Liverpool). Decoy fires are lit in the countryside ('Starfish' sites), fooling German bombers into dropping their bombs away from the cities (as shown by German air photos).

In 4 hours, U-100 hits 5 steamers in Convoy OA-204, 150 miles Northwest of Ireland. At 00.23, U-100 damages British SS Hartismere and sinks British SS Dalblair (4 killed, 19 crew and 1 gunner picked up by Swedish SS Alida Gorthon, 17 crew picked up by corvette HMS Clematis and landed at Londonderry, Ireland). At 1.40 AM, British SS Astra II is sunk (4 crew and 1 gunner lost, 20 crew picked up by the British minesweeper HMS Gleaner). At 3.36 AM, Swedish SS Alida Gorthon is sunk (11 crew and all 20 survivors from Dalblair killed, 13 survivors). At 4.27 AM, British SS Empire Moose is sunk (all 36 crew are rescued).

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