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Friday, May 20, 2016

April 2, 1940: British Subs On Alert


Tuesday 2 April 1940

Frederick Marquis, 1st Lord Woolton (1883–1964) demonstrates his "Woolton Pie" at the Savoy Hotel. It is made of commonly available vegetables that were available during the darkest days of World War II. It was concocted by the hotel's Maitre Chef de Cuisine, Francis Latry.

Operation Weserübung: Hitler on 2 April 1940 signs the order authorizing the invasion, to commence at 05:15 on 9 April 1940.

One of Hitler's concerns is to prevent the royal houses of the occupied nations from escaping to England. Hitler has had enough of "governments-in-exile" and wants to see no more of them established.

British submarines begin taking up positions on the German route to Norway pursuant to Admiral Horton's plan. He anticipates major German warships leaving Heligoland Bight, Kiel, Wilhelmshaven, Cuxhaven & Swinemünde. HMS Unity departs Blyth sub base in Northumberland today to take up station a the Heligoland Bight, and HMS Sunfish departs Harwich to patrol the Kattegat.

European Air Operations: The Luftwaffe, with Operation Weserubung in the offing, begins to up its attacks on British North Sea infrastructure. It stages a raid on Scapa Flow at dusk, then attacks the lighthouses at Duncansby Head and Stroma Island. Little damage is done.

Luftwaffe bombers attack convoys in the North Sea. Three Hurricanes tangle with Heinkel He 111s flying at wavetop level.

RAF fighters engage nine Messerschmitt Bf 109s over the Western front. The Luftwaffe reportedly loses five fighters, two to the French.

Battle of the Atlantic: U-38 (Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Liebe) torpedoes and sinks 1,540 ton Finnish freighter Signe at 00:21. All 19 crew perish. The Signe is a straggler from Convoy HN-23A and close enough for the convoy escort HMS Sikh to hear the explosion, but it can do nothing.

Convoy OA 122 departs Southend, Convoy HG 25F departs Gibraltar, Convoy HX 32 departs Halifax.

The Germans launch destroyer Z26.

Battle of the Pacific: The US Navy holds major maneuvers in Hawaiian waters. It is Fleet Problem XXI, and it posits two fleets of roughly equal size. One fleet is concentrated and the other dispersed. DIfferent types of engagements are practiced, including protecting convoys, seizing bases and fleet actions.

Anglo/Danish Relations: Great Britain and Denmark sign a trade agreement.

Holland: Dutch troops go on full alert along the German border - again.

Romanian Homefront: Children 7-18, some 4 million of them, to be impressed into farmwork in order to maintain food exports to Germany. There are labor shortages due to recent increases in the military.

French Homefront: After a brutal winter, the weather is beginning to turn warmer on the Continent. Author Eugen Weber writes "Paris has never looked more radiant!" However, he also notes that the city is locked down due to the war, with British soldiers everywhere and monuments surrounded by sandbags.

British Homefront: Minister of Food Lord Woolton promises to keep food prices low (albeit via rationing) and encourages everyone to dig Victory Gardens: "Dig for victory!"

FDR completes his census form at the White House, 2 April 1940.

April 1940

April 1, 1940: Weserubung is a Go
April 2, 1940: British Subs On Alert
April 3, 1940: Churchill Consolidates Power
April 4, 1940: Missed the Bus
April 5, 1940: Mig-1 First Flight
April 6, 1940: Troops Sailing to Norway
April 7, 1940: Fleets At Sea
April 8, 1940: HMS Glowworm and Admiral Hipper
April 9, 1940: Invasion of Norway
April 10, 1940: First Battle of Narvik
April 11, 1940: Britain Takes the Faroes
April 12, 1940: Germans Consolidate in Norway
April 13, 1940: 2d Battle of Narvik
April 14, 1940: Battle of Dombås
April 15, 1940: British in Norway
April 16, 1940: Germans Cut Norway in Half
April 17, 1940: Trondheim the Target
April 18, 1940: Norway Declares War
April 19, 1940: Dombås Battle Ends
April 20, 1940: Germans Advancing in Norway
April 21, 1940: First US Military Casualty
April 22, 1940: First British Military Contact with Germans
April 23, 1940: British Retreating in Norway
April 24, 1940: British Bombard Narvik
April 25, 1940: Norwegian Air Battles
April 26, 1940: Norwegian Gold
April 27, 1940: Allies to Evacuate Norway
April 28, 1940: Prepared Piano
April 29, 1940: British at Bodo
April 30, 1940: Clacton-on-Sea Heinkel


2016

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