Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 376 September 10, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 63. Cloudy, rainy weather returns after days of good flying weather and restricts Luftwaffe to mainly reconnaissance raids in the afternoon. 6 small raids approach London at 5.15 PM, presumably to drop incendiaries as markers, but these are turned back by RAF fighters (2 Dornier bombers shot down). 1 Spitfire is lost in combat (2 more fighters destroyed and 3 damaged in training operations). Overnight, East End of London is again bombed, as well as South Wales, West Midlands and Liverpool.

Royal Navy controls the Straits of Gibraltar; Vichy government has agreed to notify them to ensure safe passage of French ships. At 6 PM, French admiralty informs British Naval Attaché in Madrid that 3 cruisers intend to sail through the Straits next day. Despite this and other warnings, Royal Navy fails to appreciate the significance to the impending Free French landings at Dakar.

Libya, North Africa. Italian 10th Army advances slowly towards the Egyptian border. Troop formations, including the main armored force Maletti Group, get lost or are late leaving their starting points and many of the vehicles required for a rapid advance break down. British light covering forces delay the advance as they fall back, by sowing mines and harassing the Italians.

German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis sinks British steamer Benarty (carrying lead, zinc and tungsten from Rangoon, India, to Liverpool) in the Indian Ocean 1250 miles East of Madagascar. All 49 crew are taken prisoner.

British submarine HMS Sturgeon attacks U-43 (no damage) 50 miles Southwest of Southern Norway.

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