Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 371 September 5, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 58. Another good day for flying. Luftwaffe sends 2 large raids across Kent. In the morning, they attack RAF airfields at Eastchurch, Lympne, North Weald and Biggin Hill. In the afternoon, targets are RAF airfields at Detling and Biggin Hill (again), Hawker aircraft works at Brooklands (slight damage and few casualties) and oil storage tanks at Thameshaven which are set ablaze. 23 German aircraft are shot down and RAF loses 20 fighters (7 pilots killed). RAF is close to breaking point due to loss of pilots and with airfields at Biggin Hill and Eastchurch out of action indefinitely and other airfields badly damaged. Furthermore, attacks on aircraft works force RAF to cover these vital factories. Overnight London, Manchester and Liverpool are bombed. RAF attacks Berlin with 85 bombers to goad Hitler into bombing of British cities instead of RAF airfields and aircraft factories.

Despite the imminent threat of invasion by Germany, Britain sends considerable materiel to defend her interests in the Middle East (Egypt, Sudan and Kenya) from Italian invasion. 6 Blenheim IV's and 6 Hurricanes arrive in crates at the port of Takoradi in the British colony of Gold Coast, West Africa. They will be assembled and flown 3600 miles across Africa to RAF Abu Sueir, an airbase in Eastern Egypt near the Suez Canal.

German armed merchant cruiser Komet enters the Pacific Ocean via the Bering Straits, completing one of the most remarkable voyages of WWII by going through the Artic Ocean, North of USSR.

300 miles Northwest of Ireland, U-47 loses Matrosenobergefreiter (Able Seaman) Heinrich Mantyk who falls overboard and drowns while using the deck gun.

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