Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 373 September 7, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 60. On the brink of victory, Göring changes tactics. With RAF on its knees, Luftwaffe ceases bombing airfields, radar and aircraft works. Hitler, furious at the bombing of Berlin, believes Britain brought to the negotiating table by breaking the will of British civilians by terror bombing London. At 4 PM, a huge armada heads up the Thames Estuary (300 Heinkel and Dornier bombers & 200 Bf110s carrying bombs, escorted by 600 Bf109s). Soon, RAF has 23 squadron airborne waiting for them to split up. Instead they fly straight ahead to bomb London’s East End, including docks, shipyards & Woolwich Arsenal (igniting gunpowder stores for artillery shells). RAF tears into the retreating bombers, now unescorted by Bf109s which have returned home low on fuel. Luftwaffe loses 53 bombers and 21 Bf109s in all. RAF loses 27 fighters (15 pilots killed). Still burning, London’s East End is bombed continuously overnight (490 civilians killed, 1200 injured).

Between 4 and 5.33 AM, 300 miles Northwest of Ireland, Günther Prien in U-47 sinks 3 steamers in convoy SC-2 en route to Britain from Sydney, Australia; British SS Neptunian carrying 8500 tons of sugar from Chile (all 36 hands lost), British SS José de Larrinaga carrying 5303 tons of steel and linseed oil from USA (all 40 hands lost) and Norwegian SS Gro carrying 6321 tons of wheat from Canada (11 killed, 21 survivors escape in 1 lifeboat and are picked up by British steamer Burdwan on September10, then transferred to corvette HMS Arabis and landed at Liverpool on 13 September).

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