Saturday 9 November 1940
Italian/Greek Campaign: The Italians have stopped advancing into Greece on 9 November 1940, and in fact are withdrawing to their starting points in most areas. The Greek 8th Division on the Epirus sector begins launching local counterattacks to recover lost ground and push the Italians back over the Kalamas River. The Italian troops in the Vovousa Valley are trapped and gradually surrendering. The Greeks basically have recovered all the ground lost in this sector with the exception of areas still controlled by surrounded Italian formations, which are now little more than armed prison camps.
European Air Operations: RAF Bomber Command and Coastal Command raid the U-boat pens at Lorient, the ports of Boulogne and Calais, and various airfields along the coast such as the one at Le Havre, where a Bf 109 is shot down.
The Luftwaffe only sends some lone raiders across the Channel during the day, with minor damage caused in London, the Home Counties, eastern areas of England, the Midlands, and Liverpool and nearby areas. After dark, the Luftwaffe hits the usual targets such as London and Liverpool.
The Luftwaffe continues consolidating its fighters in France. two groups of JG 77, 5 and 6, transfer south from Stavanger airfield to Brest. 4,/JG 77 also moves to Brest (from Herdla and Mandal). All of JG 77 now is in France except for III,/ JG 77, which remains for the time being in Norway.
Battle of the Atlantic: German acoustic mines - detonated by the sound of passing propellers - are becoming an increasing problem. The British adopt several countermeasures, including using modified jackhammers to set them off.
Luftwaffe Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condors attack 26,032 ton liner RMS Empress of Japan off the west coast of Ireland. They drop two 250 kg bombs that hit the ship but deflect off of a stern railing and a lifeboat, respectively. The planes also strafe the ship, forcing the helmsman, Ho Kan, to steer the ship in evasive maneuvers from a prone position. The ship sustains non-critical damage in the same region where the Empress of Britain had been bombed and sunk two weeks earlier. Captain Thomas receives the CBE, Ho Kan receives the BEM.
British 1699 ton freighter Baltrader hits a mine and sinks in the North Sea. There are two deaths. The minefield was "Alfred" laid by Kriegsmarine torpedo boats on 29/30 October.
Vichy 1970 ton French Navy colonial-service patrol boat (aviso) Bougainville is operating off Libreville in opposition to the Free French landings there when it is attacked and sunk by Free French sister ship Savorgnan de Brazza and sloop Commandant Dominé. This is known as the Battle of Gabon. The ship sinks in shallow water and is re-floated in March 1941.
The Commandant Dominé captures 3081 ton Vichy French armed merchant cruiser Cap Des Palmes off Libreville. The crew of the Vichy ship tried to scuttle it, but failed.
British 1811 ton collier Gartbrattan collides with freighter Melrose Abbey to the west of Cape Clear, Ireland in the Atlantic. It sinks without any casualties. This was the ship's second collision during the war, clearly an unlucky ship.
Finnish 2139 ton freighter Minerva hits a mine and suffers severe damage off Borkum, Germany. The ship, en route from Jakobstad to Emden carrying pit props, is a total loss, but there are no casualties. The ship was built in 1889.
British 504 ton freighter Beal hits a mine off Tees and is damaged.
The Luftwaffe attacks Cleveland Wharf, Shoreham and damages 695 ton British tanker Shelbrit II.
Italian submarine Marconi, which narrowly escaped destruction by Royal Navy vessels on the 8th, comes across the disabled Swedish 2734 ton freighter Vingaland. The Vingaland, travelling in Convoy HX 84, had been damaged by Luftwaffe bombing on the 8th. The Marconi sends the Vingaland to the bottom. There are six deaths total on the ship.
U-65 (Korvettenkapitän Hans-Gerrit von Stockhausen), on her fifth patrol, refuels at sea from German tanker Nordmark. The U-boat has been at sea since 15 October 1940. Since she has not sighted any targets, all U-65 needs is some fuel and food/water and it can continue at sea for some time. In fact, this patrol will last into January, an extremely long patrol since most patrols are only about a month long.
Convoy OB 241 departs from Liverpool, Convoy FN 330 departs from Southend, Convoy FS 332 departs from Methil, Convoy SC 11 departs from St. John.
The Royal Navy commissions corvette HMS Columbine (K 94, Lt. Louis A. Sayers) and minesweeper HMS Rhyl (J 36, Lt. William L. O'Mara).
Canadian corvette HMCS Collingwood (K 180, Lt. Norman G. Bennett) is commissioned.
|Keele Street just north of Dundas Street, Toronto, Canada. 9 November 1940.|
Battle of the Mediterranean: General Koenig's Free French forces fight the Vichy French forces holding Libreville. There is street fighting. Free French Westland Lysanders based in Douala, Cameroon bomb the airfield. The Free French Foreign Legion troops ultimately capture the airfield, which decides the battle. General Tetu formally surrenders to Free French Admiral Georges Thierry d'Argenlieu aboard the aviso Savorgnan de Brazza on the 10th.
Greek 489 ton coaster Vivi hits a mine and sinks in the Gulf of Patras. The mine had been laid by the Greeks, so this is a "friendly fire" incident. There is some controversy over whether the ship was sunk by a mine or by air attack, but it appears to have been off course and sunk in the "Araxos" minefield.
The RAF raids Agordat, Assab and Keren. Gibraltar Force H aircraft carrier Ark Royal launches aircraft to attack Cagliari.
At Malta, there are two air raids by Italian CR 42 biplane fighters. There are some bombers, but they turn back well short of the island. The Italian fighters strafe Hal Far airfield, damaging a Swordfish torpedo bomber. One Italian fighter is damaged by anti-aircraft fire. A Glenn Martin Maryland reconnaissance plane is lost at sea with the crew lost.
Battle of the Indian Ocean: German raider Atlantis, operating in the Bay of Bengal, captures 6750 ton Norwegian tanker Teddy. The Atlantis currently is disguised as armed merchant cruiser HMS Antenor. The 32 men aboard the Teddy are taken prisoner. The 10,000 tons of fuel oil on the tanker will come in handy.
|Cheerleaders at the Georgia Institute of Technology vs. University of Kentucky football game, November 9, 1940 - Kentucky Digital Library.|
Battle of the Pacific: Some sources place the sinking of the US freighter City of Rayville east of Cape Otway, Australia in the Bass Strait today, but others on the 8th. This sinking also is described on our entry for the 8th of November. The sinking is announced unusually quickly today by the Admiralty - perhaps because of the ship's flag and the potential implications. In any event, the ship hits a mine laid by German converted minesweeper Passat and sinks. It is the first US ship sunk due to enemy action in the war, a key moment in the war that goes virtually unnoticed both at the time and by historians. There is one death, the rest of the crew makes landfall in Apollo Bay. The US government does not, contrary to British hopes, make an issue of this sinking.
Romania: The Bucharest/Ploesti region is hit by a massive earthquake. This causes massive damage and 400 deaths.
British Homefront: Former Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain passes away from bowel cancer at the age of 71.
|Saturday Evening Post, 9 November 1940.|
November 1, 1940: Hitler Irate
November 2, 1940: U-31 Sunk - Again
November 3, 1940: Kretschmer's Master Class
November 4, 1940: Spain Absorbs Tangier
November 5, 1940: Jervis Bay Meets Admiral Scheer
November 6, 1940: San Demetrio Incident
November 7, 1940: Galloping Gertie
November 8, 1940: Italian Shakeup in Greece
November 9, 1940: Dutch Fascists March
November 10, 1940: Fala and Doc Strange
November 11, 1940: Taranto Raid
November 12, 1940: Molotov Takes Berlin
November 13, 1940: Molotov Foils Hitler
November 14, 1940: Moonlight Sonata
November 15, 1940: Warsaw Ghetto Sealed
November 16, 1940: France Keeps Battleships
November 17, 1940: Malta Hurricane Disaster
November 18, 1940: Hitler Berates Ciano
November 19, 1940: Birmingham Devastated
November 20, 1940: Hungary Joins Axis
November 21, 1940: Dies White Paper
November 22, 1940: Italians Take Korçë
November 23, 1940: U-Boat Bonanza!
November 24, 1940: Slovakia Joins In
November 25, 1940: Molotov's Demands
November 26, 1940: Bananas Be Gone
November 27, 1940: Cape Spartivento Battle
November 28, 1940: Wick Perishes
November 29, 1940: Trouble in Indochina
November 30, 1940: Lucy and Desi Marry