Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 407 October 11, 1940

Battle of Britain Day 94. Fair weather brings a very busy day. Luftwaffe mounts reconnaissance fights, patrols in the English Channel and small raids (less than 10 aircraft) over Southeast England all day. From 10.20 AM until 4 PM, there is a steady stream of larger raids (25-90 aircraft, mostly fighter-only but some have 25% medium bombers), causing damage to towns in Southern England but not penetrating to London. Germans lose 1 Do17 bomber and 4 Bf109s. RAF loses 8 fighters (3 pilots killed). There are overnight bombing raids on London, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol and the Tyne and Tees areas, but these are halted at midnight by fog. 3 Dornier bombers are shot down by No 611 Squadron over Anglesey after bombing Liverpool (1 RAF fighter shot down, pilot wounded).

Operation Medium. From 3.33 to 3.51 AM, battleship HMS Revenge and destroyers Javelin, Jaguar, Jupiter, Kashmir, Kelvin & Kipling bombard Cherbourg. They are screened by a number of motor torpedo boats, cruisers and destroyers, which see off an attack by German torpedo boats.

Overnight, in the English Channel off the Isle of Wight, German torpedo boats Falke, Greif, Kondor, Seeadler & Wolf sink British anti-submarine trawler HMT Warwick Deeping (no lives lost), French submarine chasers CH.6 (9 killed, 12 taken prisoner) and CH.7 (12 killed, 8 taken prisoner) and French armed trawler Listrac (12 killed, 25 wounded).

The convoy of 4 merchant ships arrives safely at Malta from Alexandria, escorted by 4 battleships, 2 aircraft carriers, 6 cruisers, 16 destroyers and 6 submarines. At 11.05 AM, 15 miles South of Delimara, Malta, destroyer HMS Imperial hits a mine (1 killed) and is badly damaged (under repair at Malta until April 28). British Mediterranean Fleet begins the return journey to Alexandria but is spotted by an Italian civilian plane 100 miles Southeast of Malta. Italian destroyers and torpedo boats set out to intercept the British warships.

At 9.20 AM, British destroyer HMS Zulu detonates an acoustic mine in the Firth of Forth, Scotland. There are no casualties but Zulu is badly damaged and will be under repair at Rosyth until January 1941.

250 miles Northwest of Ireland, U-48 attacks convoy HX-77 in gale force conditions. At 9.50 PM, Norwegian MV Brandanger is sunk (6 killed, 16 survivors in a lifeboat and on a raft picked up next morning by corvette HMS Clarkia, 8 survivors in another lifeboat picked up on October 16 by British SS Clan Macdonald). At 10.09 PM, British MV Port Gisborne is sunk and the crew abandons ship (26 lost in a lifeboat that capsized). 38 crew are rescued by tug HMS Salvonia on October 22 and by British steamer Alpera on October 24.

British sloop HMS Auckland, escorting convoy BS.6, is bombed by Italian bombers in the Red Sea, 50 miles off the coast of Italian-held Eritrea.

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