Friday 5 July 1940
|Damaged Italian destroyer Euro after the 5 July 1940 RAF attack on Tobruk.|
European Air Operations: The RAF on 5 July 1940 stages daylight raids on shipping off the Dutch coast and on Waalhaven airfield. The British lose two Blenheim bombers, both over Senden, victories of 4/JG51 and 5/JG26.
After dark, the RAF raids German shipping at Kiel and Wilhelmshaven.
Vichy French torpedo bombers raid Gibraltar without causing any damage.
The Luftwaffe damages Royal Navy Corvette HMS Calendula in the Channel and damages it with near misses, sending the ship back to Plymouth.
There are dogfights over the Channel near the Pas-de-Calais. The Luftwaffe downs three Spitfires, and one Bf 109 is damaged.
Battle of the Atlantic: U-34 (Korvettenkapitän Wilhelm Rollmann) torpedoes and sinks British destroyer HMS Whirlwind about 125 miles west-southwest of Land's End at 18:26. This followed a long chase in which the U-boat missed with two torpedoes. The destroyer remains afloat long enough for destroyer HMS Westcott to rescue the crew before scuttling it. There are 59 deaths, and 51 survive (sources vary).
U-99 (Kptl. Otto Kretschmer) torpedoes and badly damages convoy straggler Canadian freighter MV Magog at 12:51. The torpedo explodes prematurely, so Kretschmer surfaces and uses his deck gun. Kretschmer questions the 23 crew in lifeboats before allowing them to wait for a rescue vessel, which arrives shortly. The wreck remains afloat due to its cargo of timber and does not sink for several days.
German S-boats (Fast torpedo boats) sink British freighter Hartlepool in the English Channel off Portland.
Vichy French ships out of Dakar capture three British freighters (Argyll, Gambia, and Takoradian) and three Danish vessels (Haraid, Tacoma, and Ulrich).
British submarine HMS Shark is badly damaged by attacks from German auxiliary minesweepers M1803 (trawler Spitzbergen), M1806 (trawler Cuxhaven), and M1807 (trawler Mulsum) in Boknafjord near Stavanger, Norway.
Lorient on the Bay of Biscay is now set up for U-boat operations, though as of yet no U-boats have been there. Basing U-boats on the Atlantic coast magnifies the perceived size of the fleet by cutting travel time to stations and reducing fuel required to get there.
Royal Navy ships Plover and Willem van der Zaan lay mines in the North Sea.
Convoy OB 179 departs from Liverpool.
U-103 (Korvettenkapitän Victor Schütze) is commissioned.
North Africa: The RAF sends nine Swordfish of No. 813 Squadron based on HMS Eagle at Sidi Barrani to attack Tobruk. They sink Italian destroyer Zeffro, badly damage destroyer Euro, force troop transport Liguria to beach itself, sink freighter Manzoni and damage freighter Serenitas.
In addition, the RAF sends Blenheim bombers against Italian vehicles at Bardia and El Gubbi.
At Malta, a French Latecoere seaplane crewed by two French non-commissioned officers lands after a flight from Bizerta, Tunisia. They want to join the Royal Air Force. They are arrested for questioning. Otherwise, it is a fairly quiet day.
Anglo/Franco Relations: The French government remains furious at the British for attacking the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir. It breaks off all diplomatic relations. Truthfully, there has not been much communication at all between the two governments since the Armistice of 22 June 1940. French Prime Minister Pétain speaks out about declaring war on the UK, but cooler heads prevail.
Anglo/Irish Relations: Britain proposes uniting the two countries to present a united front against Germany. The Irish government rejects this proposal.
German/Franco Relations: The Germans suspend Article 8 of the Armistice Agreement of 22 June 1940 which requires the demobilization and disarming of the French fleet. This may be due to the recent conflict between Vichy France and the British.
German/Turkish Relations: Haj Amin, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, sends a minion to meet with German ambassador von Papen in Istanbul. The Arabs are looking for closer relations.
German/Swedish Relations: The railway line that runs to Narvik originates in Sweden and is vital for any military presence there. Today, the Germans reach an agreement with Stockholm for the transport of Wehrmacht personnel "on leave" to transit through Sweden, along with military supplies.
German/Romanian Relations: The new Romanian government touts its good relations with Germany - which is silent on the matter.
US/Japanese Relations: President Roosevelt uses his new powers under the recently passed Export Control Act to restrict sales of multitude of items to Japan without a specific license. These goods include, but are not limited to, strategic minerals, strategic chemicals, aircraft engines, and aircraft engine parts.
US/Latin American Relations: Heavy cruisers USS Wichita (CA 45) and Quincy (CA 39) arrive at Rio Grande du Sol, Brazil on their "show the flag" expedition. Meanwhile, on the Pacific coast, light cruiser USS Phoenix (CL 46) departs Balboa in the Panama Canal Zone for a similar mission to Valparaiso, Chile.
British Government: Operation Fish, the transfer of British gold to Canada, continues. At 0545 hours, British battleship HMS Revenge, cruiser HMS Bonaventure, destroyer HMS Garth, and troop transports Monarch of Bermuda, Sobieski, and Batory depart Greenock, Scotland. The ships carry a cargo of US$1,750,000,000 worth of gold and securities from the Bank of England. The destination is the Bank of Canada's vault in Ottawa, via Halifax.
The government declares the southern coast to be a Defence Area to a depth of 20 miles inland. War jitters are at an extreme high, and a report of parachutists near Pegswood Drift turns out to be nothing but a barrage balloon.
Iraq: The Iraqi government cuts off the flow of oil to Tripoli in Syria, showing its increasing Axis leanings. Iraq, of course, is technically governed by the British but has little control over the government due to its troops being in only a few large bases.
French Homefront: Albert Einstein's nephew, Carl Einstein, commits suicide in France. He faced deportation to Germany.
The Nazis ban all symbols of the French state, including the tricolor flag.
British Homefront: The government bans high heel shoes to free up scarce cargo space for other items.
American Homefront: Speaking to the press in New York, President Roosevelt calls the fascist states "the new corporate governments." He states that compromise with them, i.e. Germany, Italy and the USSR, is impossible.
Roosevelt lists five basic democratic freedoms which a state must have for it to be compatible with the United States:
- freedom of information;
- freedom of religion
- Freedom of expression,
- freedom from fear,
- freedom from want.
These become known as the "five freedoms." Germany, of course, is notably lacking all five... and so is the Soviet Union. Italy has more freedom of religion than the other two, but is still lacking in every area. This list is the genesis of his much more famous "Four Freedoms" speech of 1941, when he shortened the list to four.
|Franklin Roosevelt decides at some point in early July 1940 to run for a historic third term as US President.|
July 1, 1940: Vichy France
July 2, 1940: Arandora Star
July 3, 1940: Operation Catapult at Mers El Kébir
July 4, 1940: Romania In Crisis
July 5, 1940: The Five Freedoms
July 6, 1940: Hitler's High Point
July 7 1940: Dakar And Ringo
July 8, 1940: Tea Rationing in England
July 9, 1940: Battle of Calabria
July 10, 1940: Battle of Britain Begins
July 11, 1940: "Nous, Philippe Petain"
July 12, 1940: Enter Laval
July 13, 1940: German Surface Raiders Attack!
July 14, 1940: Bastille/Mourning Day
July 15, 1940: Tallest Man Dies
July 16, 1940: Plans for Sea Lion
July 17, 1940: Burma Road Closed
July 18, 1940: FDR Runs Again
July 19, 1940: Last Appeal To Reason
July 20, 1940: First Night Fighter Victory
July 21, 1940: Soviets Absorb Baltic States
July 22, 1940: First RAF Night Fighter Victory
July 23, 1940: Invasion False Alarm
July 24, 1940: The Meknés Incident
July 25, 1940: Black Thursday for RAF
July 26, 1940: Capture The Duke?
July 27, 1940: What's Up, Doc?
July 28, 1940: Destroyers Pulled From Dover
July 29, 1940: Barbarossa On The Burner
July 30, 1940: Hitler Delays Sealion
July 31, 1940: Bloody Wednesday of Olkusz