Wednesday, July 6, 2016

June 29, 1940: Gandhi Insists on Independence

Saturday 29 June 1940

29 June 1940 British soldiers North Africa
Tommies in action in North Africa, June 1940.
Western Front: Wehrmacht forces on 29 June 1940 are relinquishing some areas allocated to the French government pursuant to the Armistice Agreement of 22 June 1940.

In the demilitarized Channel Islands, the remaining islanders are instructed to paint white crosses on the aerodromes and fly white flags. Five thousand children and their schools have been evacuated to England, in places such as Marple in Cheshire. Many of the children have been individually sponsored by wealthy Americans, such as Eleanor Roosevelt, who sponsors a girl named Paulette. They also have received clothing and school supplies. England itself, of course, may not be safer for much longer.

The Germans ready two battalions for an assault on the Channel Islands. The BBC has broadcast that the islands are "open towns," but the Wehrmacht is taking no chances.

European Air Operations: After a Heinkel He 111 of Aufklarungsgruppe Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe (AufklGr. Ob.d.L.) (German air force high command) performs reconnaissance over the Bristol dockyards, several others from I/KG27 attack the port facilities at 01:00.

The RAF attacks various points in Holland and western Germany, including the harbor at Willemsoord, a chemical factory at Hochst near Frankfurt, and the Dortmund-Ems Canal. A dozen planes of Bomber Command attack the airfield at Abbeville during the day.

Battle of the Atlantic: U-51 (Kapitänleutnant Dietrich Knorr) sends 3 torpedoes into 4,724 ton Royal Navy decoy ship (special service vessel) HMS Edgehill (X 39) southwest of Ireland and sinks it. There are 24 survivors, 15 perish. The ship takes some time to sink and requires three torpedoes because these ships are packed with buoyant material ("ping pong balls," as the US Navy would say half-jokingly about similar Japanese ships) to prevent sinking.

U-47 ((Kapitänleutnant Günther Prien) torpedoes and sinks British freighter Empire Toucan southwest of Ireland. There are 31 survivors, 3 crew perish.

U-26 (Kptl. Heinz Scheringer) sinks 6,701 ton Greek freighter Frangoula B. Goulandris southwest of Ireland. There are 32 survivors, 6 crew perish.

Unlucky U-boat U-99 (Otto Kretschmer), which had been attacked by Luftwaffe planes off Norway and then while heading to Wilhelmshaven for repairs, once again is attacked while leaving the port. It avoids the three bombs dropped at it, but damages itself on the ocean floor.

British submarine HMS Talisman (N 78,  Lt. Commander Philip S. Francis) is commissioned.

Troop Convoy WS 1 departs for Suez, Convoy OA 176 departs from Southend, Convoy OB 176 departs from Liverpool, Convoy HX 54 departs from Halifax.

29 June 1940 Short Sunderland
A Short Sunderland.
Battle of the Mediterranean: Royal Navy destroyers Dainty, Defender, Voyager, and Ilex sink Italian submarine Uebi Scebeli southwest of Crete. Before it sinks, they recover valuable Italian naval codes. The destroyers also sink Italian submarine Argonauta and damage Italian submarine Salpa.

A Short Sunderland of RAF Group No. 201 sinks Italian submarine Rubino in the Ionian Sea. The flying boats land and take off some survivors.

Short Sunderlands of RAF 230 Squadron damage Italian submarine Sirena off Tobruk.

Admiral Somerville of Force H prepares to neutralize the French fleet anchored at Mers-el-Kébir, Algeria under Operation Catapult. He has several different methods to do so, but the French ships must not remain afloat under French control. He has battleships HMS Valiant and HMS Resolution, the battlecruiser HMS Hood, aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, cruisers HMS Arethusa and HMS Enterprise, and 11 destroyers. This is a "by any means necessary" operation.

Malta, under daily air attack, has only four flyable Hurricanes with two Gloster Gladiators. Governor and Commander in Chief Lt. General William Dobbie requests more planes and ground support. He also requires planes if the island is to serve as a point of interdiction of Axis convoys from Sicily to North Africa.

North Africa: An Italian attack across the Eritrean border is repelled by two British light tanks.

The RAF attacks Tobruk.

29 June 1940 Gandhi
Gandhi in 1940 (by Kulwant Roy).
India: Victor Hope, 2nd Marquess of Linlithgow, Governor-General and Viceroy of India, meets with Mohandas Mahama Gandhi and Muhammad Ali Jinnah of the Indian National Congress in an effort to build support for the British war effort. While Gandhi is no fan of Hitler and Germany, and in fact sent a letter to Hitler in 1939 pleading with him not to start a war, Gandhi is uninterested in cooperating with the Allies until India is granted full independence. Great Britain has no intention of doing that, so negotiations are at a standstill.

China: At the Battle of South Kwangsi, the Japanese 22nd Army advances toward Lungchin.

Japanese troops are on the outskirts of Hong Kong, effectively blockading it from the landward side.

German Military: In the first of a parade of promotions and awards for the recent campaign, General Maximilian von Weichs is awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz). He has commanded Army Corps Weichs during the Polish campaign and the 2nd Army during the Battle of France. He also receives a promotion to Colonel-General.

German Government: The Germans release a "white paper" outlining Allied plans to occupy the Low Countries. This is another in a long line of such white books accusing the "other side" of nefarious plans.

French Government: The government transfers from Bordeaux to Clermont-Ferrand, evacuated by the Wehrmacht on 28 June.

Japanese Government: Japan continues its gradual campaign to assert dominion over the entire western Pacific. Japan's Foreign Minister Hachiro Arita broadcasts that there is a "new order in Asia: unity into a single sphere revolving harmoniously around Japan." This language echoes the future Japanese colonial organization, the "Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere."

29 June 1940 Paul Klee
Pianist Paul Klee passes away on 29 June 1940.
Romanian Government: The government is mobilizing the armed forces because of new threats posed by Hungary and Yugoslavia, which smell weakness due to Romania's quick capitulation to the Red Army.

Romanian Homefront: Another wave of refugees hits Europe, as inhabitants of Eastern Romania flee westward to avoid living under the occupying Soviets. The number of refugees is estimated at 100,000.

German Homefront: Berlin travel agents begin offering tours of the newly conquered Maginot Line.

Painter Paul Klee, who has lived in Switzerland for the past 7 years, passes away.

British Homefront: The authorities arrest Diana Mitford, the wife of jailed fascist leader Oswald Mosley, under Defence Regulation 18B. She had escaped jail to date due to giving birth to son Max. Unity Mitford, Hitler's former girlfriend, has recovered somewhat from her attempted suicide on 3 September 1939, but the bullet remains lodged in her brain. While mobile, she acts somewhat erratically.

War hysteria is in full swing throughout southern England. Aside from constructing military installations and erecting beach obstacles, the authorities are filling open fields such as cricket pitches with old cars which can prevent glider landings.

29 June 1940 German motorcyclist French black African soldier
As noted previously in this blog, there were rumors floating around during Fall Rot that the Germans were killing black French African soldiers on sight. The natural tendency is to believe anything negative, particularly racist, about the Germans and nothing positive (and, yes, there are good reasons for that). Simply to show that there are two sides to such situations (one of my aims in writing about World War II), and without trying to disprove anything, here is a photograph that was taken in June 1940 of a German motorcyclist transporting a wounded Colonial French Senegalese Tirailleur POW. (It may be purely a propaganda shot).
June 1940

June 1, 1940: Devastation at Dunkirk
June 2, 1940: Hitler Visits France
June 3, 1940: Operation Paula
June 4, 1940: We Shall Fight
June 5, 1940: Fall Rot
June 6, 1940: Weygand Line Crumbling
June 7, 1940: British Evacuating Narvik
June 8, 1940: Operation Juno
June 9, 1940: Norway Capitulates
June 10, 1940: Mussolini Throws Down
June 11, 1940: Paris an Open City
June 12, 1940: Rommel at St. Valery
June 13, 1940: France Goes Alone
June 14, 1940: Paris Falls
June 15, 1940: Soviets Scoop Up Lithuania
June 16, 1940: Enter Pétain
June 17, 1940: The Lancastria Sinks
June 18, 1940: A Day of Leaders
June 19, 1940: U-boats Run Wild
June 20, 1940: Pétain Wilts
June 21, 1940: Hitler's Happiest Day
June 22, 1940: France Is Done
June 23, 1940: Hitler in Paris
June 24, 1940: Six Million Jews
June 25, 1940: German Celebrations
June 26, 1940: USSR Being Belligerent
June 27, 1940: Malta in Peril
June 28, 1940: Channel Islands Bombed
June 29, 1940: Gandhi Insists on Independence
June 30, 1940: Channel Islands Occupied


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