Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 370 September 4, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 57. More good weather for flying and Luftwaffe sends 2 raids up the Thames Estuary and across Kent to attack RAF airfields at Brooklands, Eastchurch, Lympne & Rochford as well as the aircraft works at Rochester (Short Brothers) and Brooklands (Vickers Armstrong, where 55 workers are killed and 250 injured). 20 German aircraft are shot down (6 Bf109s, 1 He111 and 13 Bf110s). RAF loses 9 Spitfires, 6 Hurricanes and 1 Defiant which crashes during night landing practice (11 pilots and 1 gunner killed). Overnight, there is bombing of South Wales and the Midlands. Hitler makes a speech condemning RAF bombing of Germany and threatens the destruction of British cities in retaliation. This is exactly the reaction Churchill is hoping for, to draw the Luftwaffe’s fire away from the RAF airfields.

Following the humiliating acquisition of Romanian territory by USSR and Germany Romanian King Carol II hands over power to pro-German General Ion Antonescu. Antonescu will become Prime Minister and form the National Legionary State, an uneasy partnership with the was ultra-nationalist fascist Iron Guard.

German motor torpedo S-boats attack convoy FS.271 off Great Yarmouth. S-21 sinks steamers Corbrook & New Lambton and S-22 sinks Fulham IV (all crews are rescued). S-18 sinks British SS Joseph Swan (only 1 survivor) and the Dutch SS Nieuwland (8 crew killed). S-54 damages steamer Ewell.

At 8 PM, U-46 sinks neutral Irish SS Luimneach (carrying 1250 tons of pyrites from Huelva Spain, to Ireland) 200 miles West of Brest, France. 3 crew are taken prisoner and landed at Lorient on 6 September. The other 15 crew are picked up by a French fishing boat. At 1.28 AM, U-47 sinks British SS Titan (in ballast en route to Australia) in convoy OA-207 250 miles Northwest of Ireland (6 killed). 89 crew are picked up by escort destroyer HMCS St. Laurent (H 83) (Lt H.S. Rayner, RCN).

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