Background Events - July-August 1940
Fall of France, Battle of Britain,
War in Mediterranean
Monday, 1 July
Battleship BARHAM with destroyers IMOGEN, ATHERSTONE, FERNIE, and WARWICK
departed Liverpool at 0900/1st for Scapa Flow, and arrived safely at 2152 on
Aircraft carrier FURIOUS and heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE departed Halifax
escorting troopship EMPRESS OF CANADA (21,517grt). FURIOUS arrived at Scapa
Flow on the 15th.
cruiser MANCHESTER departed Rosyth for Sheerness.
British aircraft bombed a submarine contact at 0600 in 58‑21N, 2‑51W,
destroyers ASHANTI, COSSACK (D.4), MAORI, and ECHO were ordered to hunt for
the submarine. ASHANTI departed Scapa Flow and joined the other destroyers
at sea. ECHO had left Scapa Flow at 0800 escorting minelayer ATREUS to
Greenock, but shortly after departure, was detached to join them.
Destroyer WALKER departed the Clyde at 0700 escorting troopship EMPRESS OF
BRITAIN (42,348grt) to Liverpool. After delivering her, WALKER returned to
Destroyer BERKELEY arrived at Greenock at 1730 escorting steamer KOHISTAN
British aircraft bombed a submarine contact in 55‑02N, 5‑38W, destroyer
WALKER and escort ship JASON were ordered at 2226 to hunt for the submarine,
but failed to make contact.
class destroyer GARTH completed, and worked up at Scapa Flow in the 23rd
Destroyer Division before transferring to the 21st Destroyer Flotilla,
arriving at Sheerness on 28 August.
FN.210 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY, sloop EGRET, and
patrol sloop MALLARD, and arrived in the Tyne on the 3rd.
MT.100 departed Methil, and arrived in the Tyne on the 2nd.
FS.209 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops BLACK SWAN and HASTINGS, and
arrived at Southend on the 2nd.
refuelled from German tanker BESSEL (1878grt) at Vigo.
damaged steamer ZARIAN (4871grt) in convoy OA.175 in 48‑03N, 11‑11W, and
corvette GLADIOLUS stood by her overnight. Destroyer VANSITTART, escorting
tug SALVONIA (571grt) to meet ZARIAN, attacked and sank U.102 with the loss
of all 43 crew off Ushant in 48-33N, 10-26W. U.102 was on her first war
patrol, had attacked a convoy on 30 June off North Channel, and was not
heard from again, believed lost, cause unknown, but probably mined off the
southwest of Ireland. However recent investigation has now attributed her
loss to VANSITTART.
sank steamers BEIGNON (5218grt) in 47‑20N, 10‑30W and
CLEARTON (5219grt) of
convoy SL.36 in 47‑53N, 09‑30W. BEIGNON had previously picked up
the survivors from steamer AVELONA STAR
crewman was lost, two missing and three survivors from AVELONA STAR missing
from BEIGNON, with destroyer VESPER picking up the survivors.
crew were lost on the steamer CLEARTON. Destroyers VESPER and WINDSOR picked
up the survivors of CLEARTON 240 miles 42° from The Smalls.
sank Greek steamer ADAMASTOS (5889grt) in 46‑20N, 14‑30W.
entire crew was rescued.
damaged Dutch steamer AMSTELLAND (8156grt) in 47‑53N, 13‑23N.
heavy cruiser PRINZ EUGEN, under construction at Kiel, was damaged in air
bombing during the night of 1/2 July.
armed merchant cruiser THOR captured Dutch steamer KERTOSONO (9289grt) in
12N, 31W in the Central Atlantic. Steamer KERTOSONO arrived Lorient on the
Special service vessels TWEEDLEDEE (163grt) and TWEEDLEDUM (163grt) were
sunk as blockships.
Mediterranean Fleet arrived back at Alexandria.
cruiser LIVERPOOL departed Alexandria carrying troops to Aden and arrived at
Suez later that day.
Arriving at Aden, after disembarking the troops, she embarked the Eastern
Fleet's reserve of six inch ammunition and returned to Mediterranean
arriving on the 6th.
cruiser LIVERPOOL departed Port Said on the 7th and joined the Mediterranean
Fleet at sea.
SL.38 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser CARNARVON CASTLE
to 17 July.
17th, destroyer VANQUISHER, sloop FOWEY, and corvettes CAMELLIA and CLARKIA
joined the convoy and escorted it to Liverpool arriving on the 20th.
armed merchant cruiser proceeded to Belfast for refitting.
cruiser DRAGON departed Freetown for Manoca. The light cruiser called at
Lagos for refuelling at Lagos on 3 and 4 July.
Tuesday, 2 July
H, consisting of Battlecruiser HOOD, battleships VALIANT and RESOLUTION,
aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, light cruisers ARETHUSA and ENTERPRISE, and
destroyers ESCORT, ACTIVE, FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT, FOXHOUND, FEARLESS,
FORESTER, KEPPEL, WRESTLER, VIDETTE, and VORTIGERN departed Gibraltar on
Operation CATAPULT, the neutralization of the French Fleet at Mer el Kebir.
Destroyers KEPPEL and WRESTLER carried special demolition parties to scuttle
the French ships at Mer el Kebir.
sea, destroyer VORTIGERN was attacked by Italian submarine MARCONI 36‑20N,
03‑46W without damage. VIDETTE and VORTIGERN were detached to hunt the
Destroyer JERVIS arrived at Malta after arriving from repairs in Home
Destroyer JERVIS in berthing bumped the dock and sustained some damage to
her bow. She spent no time out of service due to this damage.
Italian troopships ESPERIA (11,398grt) and VICTORIA (13,098grt), escorted by
torpedo boats PROCIONE, ORSA, PEGASO, and ORIONE departed Tripoli for
Italian heavy cruisers ZARA, FIUME, and GORIZIA of the 1st Cruiser Division
with destroyers ALFIERI, CARDUCCI, ORIANI, and GIOBERTI and light cruisers
BANDE NERE and COLLEONI of the 2nd Cruiser Division with destroyers
MAESTRALE, LIBECCIO, GRECALE, and SCIROCCO were at sea covering the convoy.
The convoy arrived safely at Naples on the 4th.
HGY departed Gibraltar with twenty seven ships escorted by French patrol
vessel PRESIDENT HOUDUCE from 2 to 14 July, destroyers WITCH from 2 to 10
July and VISCOUNT from 2 to 14 July.
ships of the convoy carried service and civilian refugees from France.
Destroyer WESTCOTT escorted the convoy from 10 to 11 July. The convoy
arrived at Liverpool on the 14th.
Battleship RODNEY, heavy cruiser NORFOLK, light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON,
anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY, and all available destroyers at Scapa Flow
were put at two hours notice from 2200 to 0500/3rd.
Destroyer BERKELEY departed Greenock at 1055 escorting minelayer SOUTHERN
PRINCE to Loch Alsh.
delivering the minelayer, the destroyer proceeded to Scapa Flow.
British minefield BS.20 was laid by minelayers TEVIOTBANK and PLOVER and
destroyers EXPRESS and ICARUS.
raid from KESTREL Acting S/Lt (A) B. P. Grigson and Acting S/Lt (A) F. L.
Lees from a Swordfish of 825 Squadron were killed over Rotterdam. A second
Swordfish of 825 Squadron was shot down. S/Lt E. B. Kiddell was
but was later shot and died of wounds while trying to escape as POW on the
1st 1943. Leading Airman H. W. V. Burt of Kiddell's plane was killed in the
crash. Two more Swordfish of the Squadron were lost returning from the raid,
but the crews were rescued.
British tug QUEENS CROSS with barge MEDWAY in tow encountered at 0315 what
they identified as a conning tower of a submarine six miles north of
Strathie Point. They did not report their sighting until arriving at Scapa
Flow at 0930.
Anti-submarine trawlers ALOUETTE, COVENTRY CITY, WHITEHORN, and BUTTERMERE
were dispatched to search.
ship ARIEL, escorted by anti-submarine trawlers IMPERIALIST and HAZEL
departed Scapa Flow to lay cable between the Orkneys and the Shetlands.
FN.211 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and WOLFHOUND and
patrol sloop PUFFIN. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 4th.
FS.210 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers VEGA and WINCHESTER. The
convoy arrived at Southend on the 3rd.
was sunk after an attack by British corvette GLADIOLUS on the 1st and
aircraft from RAAF Squadron 10 southwest of Bishop Rock in 48‑03N, 11‑30W on
entire crew of four officers and forty four ratings of the submarine were
rescued by Sloop ROCHESTER.
sank Panamanian steamer SANTA MARGARITA (4919grt) in 47N, 15‑30W and badly
damaged British steamer ATHELLAIRD (8999grt) in 47‑24N, 16‑49W.
crew were missing from the Panamanian steamer. Twenty one survivors were
picked up by the British steamer KING JOHN (5228grt). Three of these
survivors were missing after the steamer KING JOHN was sunk on the 13th.
sank on the 3rd. The entire crew was rescued by sloop
at 0610 sank British troopship ARANDORA STAR (15,501grt), which departed
Liverpool on the 1st, in 55‑20N, 10‑33W.
Troopship ARANDORA STAR was carrying 176 crew, 254 troops, and 1178 German
and Italian civilians being taken to America.
Canadian destroyer ST LAURENT, which was detached from the screen of
battleship NELSON, rescued the survivors.
Destroyer ST LAURENT arrived in the Clyde at 0730/3rd.
Destroyers WALKER and ECHO and patrol vessel JASON were also ordered to the
Destroyer ECHO was again ordered away from escorting minelayer ATREUS.
Destroyer FIREDRAKE was detached from the escort of
British liner ANDES
(25,689) leaving destroyer PUNJABI as sole escort of the liner.
it was learned the survivors had already been picked up, destroyer FIREDRAKE
was ordered at 1631 to return to the ANDES screen.
hundred and nineteen crew, one hundred and sixty three troops, and five
hundred and eighty six aliens were rescued. The rest were lost.
British steamer AENEAS (10,058grt, Convoy Commodore), in convoy OA.177G, was
sunk by German bombing at twenty miles southeast of Start Point.
Eighteen crew were missing and three dead on the steamer AENEAS. Survivors
from steamer AENEAS were rescued by destroyer WITHERINGTON.
wreck was sunk on the 4th eleven miles from 50N, 3W.
British steamer BARON RUTHVEN (3178grt) was damaged by German bombing
motor torpedo boat S.23 sank in tow after striking a mine off Foreland.
Aircraft carrier HERMES arrived at Freetown with evacuated Fleet Air Arm
personnel and stores embarked at Dakar.
aircraft carrier had arrived at Dakar at 0900 on 29 June and sailed at 1800.
She remained off the port until relieved by heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE at
1800 on 30 June.
Wednesday, 3 July
Destroyer PUNJABI departed Greenock at 1530 after escorting troopship ANDES.
Destroyer PUNJABI arrived at Scapa Flow at 0900/4th.
Destroyer MASHONA and submarine tender BREDA passed May Island at 0700
escorting British steamer SHOAL FISHER (698grt) to Scapa Flow.
Destroyer WARWICK and Canadian destroyer SKEENA departed Scapa Flow at 2245
on the 3rd to relieve destroyer MASHONA and submarine tender BREDA.
Destroyers WARWICK and SKEENA to report to the Commander in Chief, West
Approaches on arrival at Greenock on the 5th.
Destroyer HAMBLEDON arrived at Scapa Flow at 2000 from Portland to work up
with the Commander in Chief Home Fleet.
Skuas of 801 Squadron, escorted by three Blenheims from 18 Group,
departedHatston to attack concentrations of German prepared boats and oil
tanks at Bergen.
five Skuas returned safely without sighting the boats.
submarine was reported off Marwick Head by shore watchers. Anti-submarine
trawlers COVENTRY CITY, WHITEHORN, and BUTTERMERE, returning from their
search off Strathie Point, were dispatched to search.
Submarine SEAWOLF landed reconnaissance parties near Lindesnes in Operation
sank Norwegian steamer CYGNUS (1333grt) off Egersund in
58-18N, 5-13E. A second ship attacked was not damaged.
Submarine SEALION attacked a German convoy off Skudesnshavn in Boknafjord at
1550/3rd. She came under heavy counterattack for forty five hours and
Temporary Lt (A) T. Miller RNVR, was killed when his Shark of 774 Squadron
crashed near Evanton.
British steam barge BIJOU (98grt) was sunk by German bombing at Mistley
Quay, near Harwich.
crew of the barge was rescued.
Special services ship JAMES 83 (397grt) was
sunk as a blockship.
OA.178 departed Southend on the 3rd escorted by corvette CLARKIA from 3 to 6
July and destroyer BROKE from 5 to 6 July.
was the last Channel routed OA.convoy.
OB.178 departed Liverpool on the 3rd escorted by sloop LEITH from 3 to 7
July and destroyer WHIRLWIND on 3 to 5 July.
LEITH was detached to convoy HX.53.
Destroyer WHIRLWIND was badly damaged by U.34 on the 5th and scuttled after
destroyer WESTCOTT took off the crew.
T. W. Cole of trawler DAMITO died of injuries on this date.
OB.177G, which departed Liverpool on the 1st escorted by destroyers VANOC
and VOLUNTEER, and convoy OA.177G, which departed Southend on the 1st
escorted by destroyer VANESSA on the 1st and destroyer WITHERINGTON on 1 and
2 July and Plymouth on the 1st escorted by sloop ENCHANTRESS and corvette
CAMELIA, merged as OG.36 with twenty one ships. The convoy was escorted by
sloop ENCHANTRESS from 3 to 8 July when she was detached to convoy HG.37.
Destroyer VANOC from convoy OB.176 joined the convoy on the 1st. The convoy
arrived at Gibraltar on the 8th with storeship PALOMARES and destroyer
VOLUNTEER. Fifteen ships of the convoy with French troops for repatriation
had had company earlier and proceeded unescorted to Casablanca.
MT.101 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 4th.
FS.211 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloop LOWESTOFT. The convoy arrived at
Southend on the 4th.
armed merchant cruiser KOMET departed Gydnia for Bergen.
Operation CATAPULT was the
British plan under which French warships that
would not come under British control would be destroyed.
ships in England
Plymouth (Amiral L. M. G. Cayol, all ships were under repair) - battleship
PARIS, large destroyer LE TRIOMPHANT, destroyers MISTRAL and OURAGAN,
torpedo boat BOUCLIER, sloops COMMANDANT DUBOC, COUCY, and BELFORT,
submarines SURCOUF, JUNON, and MINERVE, and submarine chasers CH.8, CH.11,
Portsmouth (Amiral R. M. A. Gaudin de Vilaine, all ships were under repair -
battleship COURBET, large destroyer LEOPARD, sloops CHEVREUIL, AMIENS,
ARRAS, DILIGENTE, EPINAL, QUENTIN ROOSEVELT, SAVORGNAN DE BRAZZA, and LA
CAPRICIEUSE, corvette LA MALOUINE, torpedo boats BRANLEBAS, CORDELIERE,
INCOMPRISE, FLORE, and MELPOMENE (these torpedo boats and BOUCLIER at
Plymouth were later formed into the 23rd Destroyer Flotilla), minelayer
POLLUX, armed patrol vessel REINA DES FLOTS, submarines ORION and ONDINE,
and submarine chasers CH.5, CH.6, CH.7, CH.10, CH.13, CH.14, CH.41, CH.42,
CH.43, C 98, C 106.
Southampton - auxiliary minelayer INGENIEUR CACHIN and armed patrol vessels
PATRIE, LA NANTAISE, and L'ORANAISE.
Falmouth - target vessel L'IMPASSIBLE, sloops COMMANDANT DOMINE, LA
MOQUEUSE, SUIPPE, and CONQUERANTE, hydrographic sloop PRESIDENT THEODORE
TISSIER, and VTB.11.
Swansea - submarine CREOLE (she had only been launched on 8 June 1940 at Le
Havre and was towed to La Pallice. She departed La Pallice under tow on 18
June for Swansea)
- submarine RUBIS
- motor torpedo boats VTB.8, VTB.12, VTB.23, VTB.24, VTB.25, VTB.26, VTB.27.
- armed patrol vessel ARMENIER
Greenock - armed patrol vessel LEOVILLE
Sheerness - armed patrol vessels LE VAILLANT and VIKINGS.
only resistance was at Plymouth.
Destroyer MISTRAL was partially scuttled by opening of the sea valves by her
Submarine SURCOUF, berthed alongside Submarine THAMES, was the scene of
armed resistance. Cdr D. V. Sprague, commanding officer of the THAMES, Lt P.
M. K. Griffiths, from submarine RORQUAL, a British rating from battleship
REVENGE, and a French guard were killed in the take over of the French ship.
ships at Mer el Kebir were battleships DUNKERQUE (Flagship of Amiral
Gensoul, Capitaine de Vaisseau H. J. M. Seguin) and STRASBOURG (Capitaine de
Vaisseau D. A. J. Collinet) of the 1st Line Division, battleships PROVENCE
(Flagship Contre Amiral Bouxin, Capitaine de Vaisseau G. T. E. Barois) and
BRETAGNE (Capitaine de Vaisseau L. R. E. Le Pivain) of the 2nd Line
Division, large destroyers VOLTA and MOGADOR of the 6th Large Destroyer
Division (VOLTA was the Flagship of Contre Amiral E. M. La Croix, Commander
of the 2nd Light Squadron), large destroyer LE TERRIBLE of the 10th Large
Destroyer Division, large destroyers LYNX and KERSAINT of the 4th Large
Destroyer Division (KERSAINT was under repair), and large destroyer TIGRE,
Seaplane tender COMMANDANT TESTE, sloop RIGAULt DE GENOUILLY, and trawlers
ESTEREL and TERRE NEUVE.
Oran were destroyers TRAMONTANE, TROMBE, TYPHON, TORNADE, BOULONNAIS,
BRESTOIS, BORDELAIS, CASQUE, and LE CORSAIRE, torpedo boat LE POURSIVANTE,
and submarines EURYDICE, ARIANE, DANAE, DIANE, PYSCHE, and OREADE.
ships at Algiers were light cruisers LA GALISSONIERE, MARSEILLAISE, and JEAN
DE VIENNE of the 3rd Cruiser Division and GEORGES LEYGUES, GLOIRE, and
MONTCALM of the 4th Cruiser Division, and large destroyers INDOMPTABLE and
MALIN of the 8th Large Destroyer Division and FANTASQUE and AUDACIEUX of the
10th Large Destroyer Division.
Destroyer FOXHOUND, of Force H which departed Gibraltar on the 2nd, anchored
one mile from the Mer el Kebir Channel and commenced negotiations with
Amiral Gensoul on battleship DUNKERQUE on the de militarisation of the
negotiations failed, a general engagement ensued and the French ships
attempted to put to sea.
destroyers left first. Large destroyer MOGADOR was struck by a 15 inch shell
which detonated her depth charges and blew off 100 feet of her stern,
killing three petty officers and thirty five ratings. MOGADOR sank in the
channel, but was later salved.
Battleship BRETAGNE was
sunk with thirty six officers, one hundred and fifty
one petty officers, and eight hundred and twenty five ratings killed as she
attempted to leave the harbour.
Battleship DUNKERQUE was struck four times, including a hit on her power
supply, sustaining five officers and forty one ratings killed.
Battleship PROVENCE was hit and had two turrets knocked out. One officer and
two ratings were killed.
Swordfish aircraft from ARK ROYAL were damaged attacking battleship
STRASBOURG. They landed in the sea and their crews were rescued by destroyer
WRESTLER. The aircraft carrier was screened by destroyers FEARLESS,
FORESIGHT, and ESCORT for these operations.
the harbour, large destroyers LE TERRIBLE and VOLTA attacked Destroyers
FOXHOUND and FORESTER without damage to either side.
RIGAULt DE GENOUILLY was damaged by gunfire from Light cruiser ENTERPRISE.
submarines at Oran changed berths during the battle causing the British to
think they were preparing to go to sea.
Officer T. F. Riddler and his gunner Naval Airman 1/c H. T. Chatterley of
803 Squadron were lost when their Skua was shot down by a French fighter.
Another Skua of 803 Squadron was
lost when force landed into the sea near
ARK ROYAL. Petty Officer H. A. Glover and Naval Airman J. A. Burkey were
picked up by a destroyer FORESIGHT.
the bombardment, Force H drew away leaving destroyer WRESTLER to watch the
port, but French battleship STRASBOURG and the destroyers leaving port
forced WRESTLER to withdraw.
Swordfish of 818 Squadron were badly damaged and force landed after
attacking the STRASBOURG force and one Swordfish was lost shadowing
STRASBOURG. Their crews were safely picked up. Destroyer WRESTLER picked up
the two crews of 810 Squadron.
the Mer el Kebir battle, Amiral Gensoul (Commander Atlantic Fleet Raiding
Force) was replaced by Amiral Estava (Commander French Naval Forces, North
forces at Dakar on the 3rd were battleship RICHELIEU, destroyers MILAN,
EPERVIER, FLEURET, armed merchant cruisers EL D'JEZAIR, VILLE D'ORAN, VILLE
D'ALGER, EL MANSOUR, EL KANTARA, VICTOR SCHOELSCHER, and CHARLES PLUMIER,
escort ship BOUGAINVILLE, submarines HERO and GLORIEUX, escort vessels AIR
FRANCE I and AIR FRANCE II, and seven auxiliaries, including the
examinations vessel CALAIS.
Aircraft carrier HERMES departed Freetown to join heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE
off Dakar on the morning of 5 July.
cruiser AUSTRALIA, which had just arrived with convoy BC F from Capetown,
departed Freetown at 0100/4th to join heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE as well.
Destroyer VELOX on patrol off Casablanca was fired on by French shore
damage was done to the destroyer.
yacht SAYONARA, which departed Gibraltar on the 2nd to relieve destroyer
VELOX, was recalled and destroyer WISHART was sent to relieve VELOX.
Australian light cruiser SYDNEY departed Alexandria to cover an Aegean
light cruiser arrived back at Alexandria the same day.
cruiser DELHI arrived at Gibraltar from Freetown.
Destroyer JERVIS at Malta was near missed by Italian bombing.
destroyer spent no time out of service due to the slight damage.
Thursday, 4 July
battleship STRASBOURG with large destroyers VOLTA, KERSAINT, TIGRE, and
TERRIBLE and destroyers BORDELAIS and LA POURSIUVANTE, which had escaped
from Mer el Kebir for Toulon were joined at sea by the six light cruisers of
the 3rd and 4th Cruiser Divisions, destroyers L'INDOMPTABLE, LE MALI, LE
FANTASQUE, and L'AUDACIEUX which had departed Algiers on the 3rd.
British carrier planes from aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL attacked this force
three times without success.
large destroyers VOLTA and TERRIBLE fired torpedoes at long range at
Battlecruiser HOOD which was able to easy evade the torpedoes.
heavy cruisers ALGERIE, FOCH, and COLBERT with destroyers VAUBAN, LION,
AIGLE of the 1st Large Destroyer Division, GUEPARD, VALMY, and VERDUN of the
3rd Large Destroyer Division, TARTU, LE CHEVALIER, and CASSARD of the 5th
Large Destroyer Division, and VAUTOUR, GERFAUT, and ALBATROS of the 7th
Large Destroyer Division departed Toulon under the Command of C. A. Derrien
and joined the ships east of Minorca.
French ships arrived safely at Toulon at 2010/4th. Derrien's force arrived
back at Toulon at 0445 on the 5th.
British Force H arrived back at Gibraltar that evening.
departing on the 3rd was destroyer TROMBE from Oran which arrived at Algiers
on the 4th. On the 6th, the destroyer left and arrived at Toulon on the 7th.
Destroyers BRESTOISE and BOULONNAIS departed Oran on the 3rd and arrived at
Algiers on the 4th. On the 6th, the destroyers departed and arrived at
Toulon on the 7th.
Destroyers TRAMONTANE, TORNADE, and TYPHON departed Oran on the 3rd and
arrived at Algiers on the 4th. On the 11th, they departed and arrived at
Bizerte on the 12th.
LE CHAMOIS, L'IMPETEUSE, and LA BATAILLEUSE departed Oran on the 3rd and
arrived at Bizerte on the 5th.
Seaplane tender COMMANDANT TESTE departed Mers el Kebir on the 4th and
arrived at Arzew on the 4th. On the 6th, she departed and arrived at Bizerte
on the 8th.
Destroyers CASQUE and CORSAIRE departed Oran on the 7th and arrived at
Toulon on the 8th.
L'ANNAMITE departed Algiers on the 8th and arrived at Toulon the 10th.
LA GRANDIERE departed Oran on the 7th and arrived at Algiers on the 8th.
Submarines PANDORA and PROTEUS, which had been detached from the
Mediterranean Fleet to the North Atlantic Command upon departing Malta for
patrol on 28 June, were off Mer el Kebir and Algiers.
Submarine PROTEUS off Mer el Kebir sighted French seaplane tender COMMANDANT
TESTE, which was en route to Toulon, but could not achieve an attack
Submarine PROTEUS was taken under attack by French large destroyers TIGRE
Submarine PANDORA off Algiers
sank French sloop RIGAULt DE GENOUILLY which
was en route to Bizerte.
submarines LE GLORIEUX and LE HEROS, the armed merchant cruisers EL
D'JEZAIR, EL KANTARA, EL MANSOUR, and VILLE D'ORAN, and destroyers MILAN and
EPERVIER at Dakar were ordered to attack British shipping as a reprisal for
the Mer el Kebir action.
5th, British steamers ARGYLL (2953grt), GAMBIAN (5452grt), and TAKORADIAN
(5452grt) and Danish ships under British flag HARALD (1970grt), TACOMA
(5905grt), and ULRIK HOLM (1502grt) were seized by these forces.
steamers were renamed for French service. Steamer ARGYLL was renamed ST
HENRI, steamer GAMBIAN was renamed ST GABRIEL, steamer TAKORADIAN was
renamed ST PAUL, steamer HARALD was renamed ST CLAUDE, and steamer ULRIK
HOLM was renamed STE ISABELLE. Steamer TACOMA was not renamed.
British steamer TEMPLE PIER (4312grt) was seized at Algiers by French
Steamer TEMPLE PIER was renamed ST FERNAND for French service.
steamer CARAIBE (4048grt) departed Kilinini on the 4th.
0612 on the 5th, Heavy cruiser KENT intercepted the French ship in 6‑57S,
Cruiser KENT escorted the French ship to Mombasa arriving on the 6th.
cruiser DRAGON departed Lagos to evacuated Subjects from Santa Isabel on the
5th. These subjects were removed and taken to Manoca, arriving on the 6th.
light cruiser then proceeded to Duala, arriving on the 7th, on similar
duties. Despite Vichy orderers, the French Governor stated he would support
the British and requested DRAGON to remain at Duala.
Destroyer MASHONA at 0047 was ordered from Scapa Flow to investigate a
Swedish ship in the vicinity of Clyth Ness.
steamer was found to be Danish steamer RAGNHILD (2252grt) under British
control. Destroyer MASHONA escorted the steamer to Wick and then returned to
Destroyers INGLEFIELD (D.3), IMOGEN, ATHERSTONE, and FERNIE on
anti-submarine exercises were ordered to 59‑24N, 1‑15W westward of Hoy to
search for a German submarine reported by aircraft of 612 Squadron at 1125.
midnight, no contact had been made and the destroyers returned to Scapa
Destroyers TARTAR (D.6), BEDOUIN, ASHANTI, and MASHONA on gunnery trials
were ordered to 59‑10N, 5‑35W to search for a German submarine reported by
an aircraft of 612 Squadron aircraft at 1310.
Following this search, at 0600/5th, they swept towards Fair Island Channel.
Submarine NARWHAL laid minefield FD.21 off Grip Holen, southwest of
auxiliary patrol vessel UJ.D (trawler TREFF VIII (356grt) was sunk on this
minefield in 63-15N, 7-39E on the 6th.
British minefield BS.21 was laid by minelayer TEVIOTBANK, escorted by
destroyers JACKAL and JAGUAR.
Battleship REVENGE (Captain E. R. Archer) departed Plymouth on the 4th with
destroyers HAVELOCK, HESPERUS, and WANDERER.
5th, battleship REVENGE met anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE (Captain H. J.
Egerton) and troopships MONARCH OF BERMUDA (22,424grt), SOBIESKI
(11,030grt), and BATORY (14,287grt). These five ships, which carried
$1,750,000,000 in gold and securities from the Bank of England for
safekeeping in Canada, departed Greenock at 0545 on the 5th escorted by
destroyers detached beyond the local approaches. Destroyer GARTH returned to
British ships arrived safely at Halifax on the 12th.
Troopship BATORY with engine room defects was detached to St Johns escorted
by anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE which then continued on to Halifax.
Troopship BATORY arrived at Halifax on the 13th.
OA.178 was attacked by German bombers and motor torpedo boats south of
British auxiliary anti-aircraft ship FOYLE BANK (5582grt, Captain H. P.
Wilson Rtd) was sunk by German bombing in Portland harbour.
Temporary Lt Cdr (E) B. Nish RNR, Temporary Lt (E) J. R. Bissett RNR,
Temporary S/Lt (E) J. W. McMullan RNR, Lt W. G. P. Brigstocke RNVR,
Probationary Temporary Surgeon Lt E. I. Smith, MB, ChB RNVR, and one hundred
and seventy one ratings were lost on the ship. Thirteen officers and one
hundred and forty four ratings were rescued.
British steamer ELMCREST (4343grt) was sunk by German motor torpedo boat
S.19 thirteen miles south of Portland.
Sixteen crew were
lost on the steamer ELMCREST. The survivors were rescued
by destroyer SABRE.
British motor tanker British CORPORAL (6972grt) was damaged by German motor
torpedo boats S.20 and S.26at 50‑13N, 02‑35W.
British steamer HARTLEPOOL (5500grt) was damaged by German motor torpedo
boats S.20 and S.26 sixteen miles south, southwest of Portland.
survivors from steamer HARTLEPOOL were rescued by destroyer SCIMITAR.
British steamer DALLAS CITY (4952grt) was sunk by German bombing in 50‑09N,
Because of the bomb damage, steamer DALLAS CITY collided with
steamer FLIMSTONE (4674grt) before sinking.
entire crew of the steamer DALLAS CITY was rescued by destroyer SHIKARI.
standing by steamer DALLAS CITY, destroyer SHIKARI was bombed by German
bombers. The destroyer did not sustain any damage.
steamer DEUCALION (1796grt) was sunk by German bombing twenty miles south,
southwest of Portland.
were twenty seven survivors from steamer DEUCALION.
steamer BRITSUM (5255grt) was sunk by German bombing off Selsey, in 50-04N,
Estonian steamer KOLGA (3526grt) was
sunk by German bombing 50‑13N, 02‑00W.
crewman was lost on the steamer KOLGA.
British tug SILVERDIAL (55grt) was sunk by German bombing in Portland
British steamer FAIRWATER (4108grt) was damaged by German bombing in 50‑16N,
British steamer FLIMSTON (4674grt) was damaged by German bombing off
British steamer ANTONIO (5225grt) was damaged by German bombing twenty miles
south, southwest of Portland Bill.
British steamer EASTMOOR (5812grt) was damaged by German bombing 12 miles
314° from Portland Bill.
British steamer ARGOS HILL (7178grt) was damaged by German bombing off
British steamer CITY OF MELBOURNE (6630grt) was damaged by German bombing in
British steamer KING FREDERICK (5106grt) was damaged by German bombing in
British steamer IRENE MARIA (1860grt) was damaged by German bombing in
British steamer BRIARWOOD (4019grt) was damaged by German bombing off
British steamer LIFLAND (2254grt) was damaged by German bombing off
British steamer EAST WALES (4358grt) was damaged by German bombing in
British steamer WILLIAM WILBERFORCE (5004grt) was damaged by German bombing
in Portland Harbour.
Destroyers SABRE, ACHERON, SHIKARI, and SCIMITAR were involved in rescue
operations with convoy OA.178.
FN.212 departed Southend, escorted by sloops BLACK SWAN and HASTINGS. The
convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 6th.
was no convoy FN.213.
MT.102 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 5th.
FS.212 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VALOROUS and sloop STORK.
The convoy arrived at Southend on the 5th.
was no convoy FS.213.
British dredger COQUET MOUTH (477grt) was sunk by mine off Amble, two
hundred and fifty yards east by north of the South Pier.
crew were lost on the dredger.
British fishing vessel REMEMBRANCE (7grt) was sunk on a mine 51‑53N, 01‑22E.
crew of two were rescued.
HX.55 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian destroyers ASSINIBOINE and
OTTAWA which departed at 0730 on an anti-submarine sweep.
BHX.55 departed Bermuda on the 2nd with a local escort of sloop PENZANCE and
an ocean escort of armed merchant cruiser RANPURA. The convoy rendezvoused
with HX.55 on the 7th and the armed merchant cruiser was detached.
1913, armed merchant cruiser MONTCLARE joined as ocean escort and at 2115,
the local escort left the convoy to return to Halifax.
Destroyer WINCHELSEA joined the convoy on the 14th for the day only. Sloop
FOLKESTONE joined on the 14th and was detached on the 18th when the convoy
arrived in Liverpool. Destroyer SKEENA joined on the 15th for the day only.
Corvette GARDENIA joined the convoy on the 15th and was detached on the
SLF.38 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser MALOJA to 17
armed merchant cruiser arrived in the Clyde for fuel and water on the 19th.
The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 20th.
Friday, 5 July
Destroyer WHIRLWIND (Lt Cdr J. M. Rodgers) of the 11th Destroyer Flotilla
was badly damaged by U.34 southwest of Ireland in 50‑17N, 08‑48W.
six ratings and the NAAFI manager were lost on the destroyer. Lt Cdr J. M.
Rodgers, Lt C. R. Bax, and twenty one ratings were wounded. Destroyer
WESTCOTT took off the survivors and scuttled destroyer WHIRLWIND with
LEITH was also standing by. She then returned to convoy OB.178.
Destroyer IMOGEN damaged her propellers in contact with a submerged object
in the Fair Isle Channel.
British corvette CALENDULA was damaged by near misses of German bombing off
Plymouth at 1413.
corvette returned to Plymouth.
Swordfish of 823 Squadron and nine Skuas of 801 Squadron departed Hatston to
attack a damaged merchant ship reported by a Hudson of 269 Squadron off the
contact was made, but returning Swordfish attacked Submarine TETRARCH in
59-13N, 3-13E mistaking her for a German submarine.
torpedoes were launched, but no damage was done to the Submarine.
Destroyer GARTH departed the Clyde at 1300 with minelayer MENESTHEUS for
Loch Alsh. The destroyer continued on to Scapa Flow.
British minefield AW was laid in the Wash by minelayer PLOVER and Dutch
minelayer WILLEM VAN DER ZAAN on 5 and 6 July.
Convoys OA.179 and OA.180 departed Methil escorted by Canadian destroyer ST
LAURENT from 9 to 13 July and corvette HIBISCUS from 9 to 12 July. The
convoy passed through the Pentland Firth on the 10th.
OB.179 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WALKER and sloop DEPTFORD
from 5 to 8 July. The escorts were detached to convoy SL.37. The convoy
dispersed on the 9th.
FN.214 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VANESSA, VEGA, and
WINCHESTER. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 7th.
MT.103 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 6th.
FS.214 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY and sloop EGRET. The
convoy arrived at Southend on the 6th.
FS.215 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop
FLEETWOOD. Destroyers JAVELIN and JUPITER joined the convoy for 6 July.
Patrol sloop SHEARWATER joined on the 6th and arrived with the convoy. The
convoy arrived at Southend on the 7th.
Special service ship EMERALD WINGS (2139grt) arrived at Scapa Flow as a
blockship and she was subsequently deployed.
sank Canadian steamer MAGOG (2053grt), a straggler from convoy HX.52, 58
miles WSW of Fastnet in 50‑31N, 11‑05W.
crew was rescued.
Swordfish of 813 Squadron from aircraft carrier EAGLE took off from Sidi
Barrani and raided Tobruk.
Italian destroyer ZEFFIRO was
Italian destroyer EURO was badly damaged and her bow was blown off. She was
later towed to Taranto and repaired.
Italian liner LIGURIA (15,354grt) was bombed and beached to prevent sinking.
Italian steamers MANZONI (3955grt) was
sunk and SERENITAS (5171grt) was
steamers were later repaired by the British for their use.
cruisers CAPETOWN and CALEDON with destroyers JANUS, JUNO, IMPERIAL, and
ILEX, which all departed Alexandria on the 5th, were at sea to render
assistance to downed flyers of the Tobruk raid.
Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA joined Aircraft carrier HERMES and heavy
cruiser DORSETSHIRE off Dakar.
Saturday, 6 July
Amiral Estava from Bizerte made a broadcast that French battleship DUNKERQUE
was not seriously damaged in the 3 July Mer el Kebir attack and would soon
receipt of this, British Force H, which was about to strike at French
battleship RICHELIEU at Dakar, was ordered to make a second strike on
H departed Gibraltar at 2000/5th with battlecruiser HOOD, battleship
VALIANT, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, light cruisers ARETHUSA and ENTERPRISE,
and destroyers FEARLESS, FOXHOUND, FORESTER, ESCORT, WISHART, VORTIGERN,
VIDETTE, ACTIVE, and VELOX on operation LEVER, the neutralization of French
Aircraft from aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL arrived at Mer el Kebir and
French auxiliary minesweeper ESTEREL V (30grt). One petty officer and five
ratings were lost in the minesweeper.
auxiliary patrol boat TERRE NEUVE (780grt), alongside DUNKERQUE, was
and her depth charges exploded ripping a huge gash in DUNKERQUE's side. Four
officers and one hundred and fifty ratings were killed or wounded. One
officer, one petty officer, and six ratings were killed in the patrol boat.
French casualties for the raids of 3 and 6 July on Mer el Kebir were 1297
killed and 351 wounded.
Battleship DUNKERQUE was repaired sufficiently to be moved in February 1942.
She arrived at Toulon on 19 February, escorted by destroyers FOUGUEUX,
FRONDEUR, KERSAINT, TARTU, and VAUQUELIN.
of 803 Squadron was damaged by gunfire from French fighters and ditched off
Oran. Petty Officer G. W. Peacock and Leading Airman B. P. Dearnley were
cruisers CAPETOWN and CALEDON of the 3rd Cruiser Squadron and destroyers
JANUS, JUNO, ILEX, and IMPERIAL bombarded Bardia from 0537 to 0631. Italian
steamer AXUM (249grt) was sunk and one merchant ship was damaged.
0820, the force was attacked by Italian bombers, but no damage was done.
British force arrived back at Alexandria on the 6th.
Italian convoy of steamers ESPERIA (11,398grt), CALITEA (4013grt), MARCO
FOSCARINI (6342grt), and VETTOR PISANI (6339grt) escorted by Italian torpedo
boats ORSA, PEGASO, PROCIONE, and ORIONE of the 4th Torpedo Boat Division
departed Naples for Benghazi. The convoy was joined on the 7th by Italian
steamer FRANCESCO BARBERO (6343grt) and torpedo boats ABBA and PILO from
Submarine SEALION had attacked a German convoy off Skudesnshavn in
Boknafjord at 1550/3rd. She came under heavy counterattack for forty five
hours and withdrew.
However, submarine SHARK (Lt Cdr P. N. Buckley) coming into the patrol area
to relieve SEALION was taken under attack at 2200 at 5 July and badly
damaged by German auxiliary minesweepers M.1803 (trawler SPITZBERGEN:
469grt), M.1806 (trawler CUXHAVEN: 491grt), and M.1807 (trawler MULSUM:
480grt) in 58‑18N, 5‑13E.
Submarine SHARK was able to get off a distress message at 2250 advising her
location of 58-51N, 4-50E and that she was unable to dive.
cruiser SOUTHAMPTON, anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY, and destroyers COSSACK
(D.4), MAORI, FAME, and FORTUNE set out from Scapa Flow at 0215 to escort
submarine SHARK to Rosyth.
However, SHARK was
captured and sank in tow before the British force could
arrive. Lt Cdr Buckley, Lt D. H. B. Barrett, Lt D. E. Wheeler, S/Lt R. D. J.
Barnes RNR, Warrant Engineer C. C. Loder (act), and twenty seven ratings
were captured and taken prisoner. Two crew were killed and one crewman was
fatally wounded. Also, another rating was killed 27 August 1940 when dealing
with an unexploded British bomb near the prison camp.
1000, the destroyers had searched submarine SHARK's track without success.
Destroyer FAME was damaged at 1240 aft by the straddling of a salvo of nine
bombs twenty eight miles west of Scotstoun Head.
Destroyer FAME's speed was reduced to twenty knots.
A. R. R. Knowles and two ratings were killed, one rating died of wounds, and
sixteen ratings were wounded on destroyer FAME.
entire British force proceeded to Rosyth, arriving at 2330. The force passed
Oxcars Boom at 0040/7th.
Destroyer FAME began repairs at Rosyth completed 5 October.
British force departed Rosyth at 2015 on the 7th for Scapa Flow, arriving at
0830/8th with SOUTHAMPTON, which had conducted firing practices, arriving at
Destroyer GARTH arrived at Scapa Flow at 1840 to work up.
FN.215 departed Southend, escorted by sloops LOWESTOFT and WESTON and patrol
sloop MALLARD. Destroyers KASHMIR and KELVIN joined the convoy for 7 July.
Sloop MALLARD was detached on the 7th. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the
sank British steamer SEA GLORY (1964grt) south of Ireland.
were no survivors and the fate of SEA GLORY is not certain. She was reported
missing on the 11th. She may have been sunk by U.34 on the 6th or U.99 on
sank Estonian steamer VAPPER (4543grt) in 49‑30N, 09‑15W.
crewman was killed on the Estonian steamer. The survivors were rescued by
Canadian destroyer RESTIGOUCHE.
British steamer APRICITY (402grt) was damaged by German bombing south of
Steamer APRICITY in convoy OA.178 had been attacked on the 4th, but not
BC of troopships REINA DEL PACIFICO, ORION, STRATHEDEN, KENYA, KARANJA, and
ASKA departed Freetown escorted by heavy cruiser CORNWALL. The convoy
arrived in England on the 19th.
Sunday, 7 July
Skuas of 801 Suqadron departed Hatston to attack oil tanks at Bergen.
damage was done to intended targets and no aircraft were lost.
British oiler CAIRNDALE and cable ship ARIEL departed Scapa Flow for the
Clyde, escorted by anti-submarine trawlers THIRLMERE and WINDERMERE.
0054, Turkish minelaying sloop YUZBASI HAKKI (built in the UK and just
completed) was damaged in a collision with destroyer BROKE, escorting convoy
OA.178, at Plymouth.
was slight damage to the destroyer. The damage was repaired at Plymouth from
10 to 12 July.
Destroyer BROKE escorted the minelaying sloop to Falmouth for repairs.
British minefield BS.22 was laid by minelayer TEVIOTBANK and destroyers ESK
Submarine H.43 (Lt G. R. Colvin) landed a reconnaissance party on Guernsey
in Operation ANGER in preparation for operation AMBASSADOR, a commando raid
to be held on the 14th.
Minesweeper MERCURY was damaged by German bombing at Portland.
ratings were killed and three were wounded, including Temporary Acting LDR
H. W. C. Hyde RNR.
OB.180 departed Liverpool and was routed northabout Ireland. Bristol Channel
ships reroute from Milford Haven as OBM convoys.
convoy was escorted by sloop SANDWICH and destroyer WANDERER from 7 to 10
July when they were detached to convoy HX.54. Destroyers HAVELOCK, HESPERUS,
WOLVERINE, and WITHERINGTON joined the convoy for 9 July, with the exception
of destroyer HESPERUS which escorted the convoy on 9 and 10 July. Destroyer
HIGHLANDER joined the convoy for 10 July.
FN.216 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VALOROUS, sloop STORK, and
patrol sloop SHELDRAKE. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 9th.
MT.104 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 9th.
FS.216 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops BLACK SWAN and HASTINGS and
patrol sloop MALLARD. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 9th.
HX.56 departed Halifax escorted by Canadian destroyers OTTAWA and SAGUENAY
destroyers turned over the convoy beyond the local approaches on the 8th to
Armed merchant cruiser COMORIN and arrived back at Halifax midmorning on the
8th. The armed merchant cruiser was detached on the 20th.
BHX.56 departed Bermuda on the 6th escorted by ocean armed merchant cruiser
AUSONIA. The convoy rendezvoused with convoy HX.56 on the 11th when the
armed merchant cruiser was detached.
19th, destroyer WARWICK, sloops HASTINGS, LEITH, and ROCHESTER, and corvette
HEARTSEASE joined the convoy. Sloop HASTINGS was detached on the 20th. The
remaining escort arrived with the convoy at Liverpool on the 22nd.
HG.37 of twenty two ships departed Gibraltar escorted locally by destroyers
WISHART and VIDETTE on 7 and 8 July.
ENCHANTRESS from convoy OG.36 escorted the convoy from 8 to 16 July. The
convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 16th.
auxiliary submarine chaser UJ.D (trawler TREFF VIII: 356grt) was sunk on a
mine in 63-16N, 7-30E, laid by submarine NARWHAL on the 4th.
arrived at Lorient. She was the first U-boat to use a French port.
U-boats U.34, U.52, and U.99 followed later in the month.
sank Dutch motor tanker LUCRETIA (2584grt) in 49‑50N, 08‑07W.
crew were killed on the Dutch tanker. The survivors were picked up by
Portuguese steamer ALFERRAREDE (1452grt).
sank Swedish steamer BISSEN (1514grt) in 50‑06N, 10‑23W and damaged another
steamer whose identity may be British steamer SEA GLORY (see 6 July).
entire crew of the steamer BISSEN was rescued.
British launched CATAPULT operations at French battleship RICHELIEU at
Aircraft carrier HERMES, heavy cruisers DORSETSHIRE and AUSTRALIA, and sloop
MILFORD arrived off Dakar.
MILFORD delivered an ultimatum to the French commander on RICHELIEU. The
ultimatum was rejected and at 0210/8th a motor launch from aircraft carrier
HERMES dropped depth charges under the stern of RICHELIEU. The attack failed
due to shallowness of the water.
hours later, six torpedo bombers of 814 Squadron from HERMES attacked
RICHELIEU. The battleship was hit one of her propeller shafts was damaged
and three compartments were flooded.
1820/9th, Australian heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA departed the Dakar CATAPULt
force and on the 11th rejoined the convoy she had escorted earlier from
Capetown. The convoy and heavy cruiser AUSTRALIA arrived in the Clyde on the
16th and Scapa Flow on the 20th.
Italian air reconnaissance reported that two
British cruisers had arrived at
Malta that day.
ships were Destroyer JERVIS which came from Gibraltar and Destroyer DIAMOND
which came from Alexandria to assist in convoy operations from Malta.
However, the presence of these ships set into motion considerable support
for the Italian convoy at sea.
Italian convoy that had departed Naples the day before was being covered by
Italian light cruisers BANDE NERE and COLLEONI of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron
(Admiral F. Casardi) and destroyers MAESTRALE, LIBECCIO, GRECALE, and
SCIROCCO of the 10th Destroyer Division.
covering force was joined by the flagship of the Second Squadron (Admiral R.
Paladini), heavy cruiser POLA, departing Augusta at 1840 with destroyers
LANCIERI, CARABINIERI, CORAZZIERE, and ASCARI of the 12th Destroyer
Division: heavy cruisers ZARA, FIUME, and GORIZIA of the 1st Cruiser
Division (Admiral P. Matteucci) departed Messina at 1410 with destroyers
ALFIERI, CARDUCCI, GIOBERTI, and ORIANI of the 9th Destroyer Division; heavy
cruisers BOLZANO and TRENTO of the 3rd Cruiser Division (Admiral C.
Cattaneo) departed Messina at 1545 with destroyers ARTIGLIERE, CAMICIA NERA,
AVIERE, and GENIERE; and light cruisers EUGENIO, D'AOSTA, ATTENDOLO, and
MONTECUCCOLI of the 7th Cruiser Division (Admiral L. Sansonetti) departed
Palermo at 1235 and destroyers GRANATIERE, FUCLIERE, BERSAGLIERE, and ALPINO
of the 13th Destroyer Division.
Italian battleships CAVOUR and CESARE (Flagship Admiral Campioni) with
destroyers FRECCIA, SAETTA, STRALE, and DARDO of the 7th Destroyer Division
and FOLGORE, FULMINE, BALENO, and LAMPO of the 8th Destroyer Division
departed Taranto at 1410/7th for distant cover for the convoy.
Italian light cruisers BARBIANO, GUISSANO, CARDONA, and DIAZ of the 4th
Cruiser Squadron (Admiral A. M. Di Moriondo) and ABRUZZI and GARIBALDI of
the 8th Cruiser Squadron (Admiral A. Legnani) departed Taranto at the same
time as the battleship force with destroyers PIGAFETTI and ZENO of the 15th
Destroyer Division and DA RECCO, PESSAGNO, and USODIMARE of the 16th
Italian destroyers VIVALDI, DA NOLI, and PANCALDO of the 14th Destroyer
Division later departed Taranto at 0618/9th to reinforce the Italian force.
However, light cruisers DIAZ and CADORNA of the 4th Cruiser Division and
destroyers STRALE and DARDO of the 7th Destroyer Division and destroyer DA
NOLI of the 14th Destroyer Division developed mechanical defects.
destroyers were allowed to return to Taranto, but the cruisers remained with
Mediterranean Fleet sortied from Alexandria to cover convoys MS.1 and MF.1
coming from Malta.
Fleet was divided into three sections.
A was light cruisers NEPTUNE, ORION, GLOUCESTER, and SYDNEY under Vice
Admiral J. C. Tovey on ORION with Australian destroyer STUART which departed
Alexandria and light cruiser LIVERPOOL which departed Port Said and joined
the Force at sea. Force B was battleship WARSPITE (Admiral A. Cunningham's
flagship) with destroyers NUBIAN, MOHAWK, HERO, HEREWARD, and DECOY. Force C
was battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN (Flagship Rear Admiral H. D. Pridham Wipple,
BS.1) and MALAYA, aircraft carrier EAGLE, and destroyers HASTY, HYPERION,
ILEX, VOYAGER, VAMPIRE, HOSTILE, JUNO, JANUS, DEFENDER, and DAINTY.
Destroyer IMPERIAL departed with this force, but a burst steam pipe caused
her return to Alexandria.
D, which later departed Malta with the convoy, was destroyers DIAMOND,
JERVIS, and VENDETTA.
Destroyer HASTY attacked two Italian submarines soon after the Fleet
departure from Alexandria.
that night, Italian submarine BEILUL sighted and attacked the Mediterranean
Fleet without success 32‑40N, 28‑10W. Later, she was able to report her
sighting to the Supermarina.
Submarine OLYMPUS in dock at Malta was bombed and badly damaged in an
Italian air attack.
submarine was slightly damaged in another air attack on 7 September.
Submarine OLYMPUS was repairing and refitting until 29 November.
BS.1 of eighteen ships departed Suez escorted by sloops GRIMSBY and CLIVE
from 7 to 10 July.
convoy was dispersed on the 10th.
armed merchant cruiser THOR sank British steamer DELAMBRE (7032grt) in the
South Atlantic at 06‑13S, 25‑06W.
of the crew were made prisoners of war.
Monday, 8 July
cruiser GLASGOW arrived at Scapa Flow from Liverpool at 1400.
cruiser DEVONSHIRE arrived at Scapa Flow from the Clyde at 1909.
cruiser NORFOLK departed Scapa Flow at 1935 for the Clyde.
Destroyer DIANA departed Scapa Flow at 2230 to rendezvous with Finnish
steamer LAHTI (616grt) at 0400/9th three miles 064° from Rattray Head and
escort her to Rosyth.
Destroyer DIANA did not locate the Finnish ship. At 1234 on the 9th, the
destroyer was ordered to search for a Blenheim in the sea in 58-14N, 1-04W.
search was also unsuccessful and destroyer DIANA arrived back at Scapa Flow
sloop SUIPPE was damaged by German bombing at Falmouth.
crew was aboard the sloop at the time. Sloop SUIPPE was beached at St Just's
Submarine SEALION attacked the wreck of
sunken German steamer PALIME
(2863grt) at Obrestad.
FN.217 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop EGRET.
The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 10th.
sank British steamer HUMBER ARM (5758grt) from convoy HX.53 in 50‑36N,
entire crew was rescued from the British steamer.
British steamer EASTWOOD (1551grt) was damaged by German bombing one mile
north of 20D Buoy, Hartlepool.
British steamer CORUNDUM (929grt) was damaged by German bombing seven miles
southwest of Folkestone.
Anti-submarine trawler CAYTON WYKE (550grt, Chief Skipper D. F. Noble DSC
RNR) of the 9th Anti-submarine Group was reported lost on a mine off Dover,
but may have been sunk by German motor torpedo boat S.36.
and Probationary Temporary Lt A. E. Brown RNR, and sixteen ratings were
on the trawler.
Special service ship JAMES 9 (85grt) was
sunk as a blockship.
heavy cruiser LUTZOW while in dock at Kiel was hit by a British bomb which
did not explode.
H consisting of battlecruiser HOOD, battleships RESOLUTION and VALIANT,
aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, light cruisers ARETHUSA, DELHI, and ENTERPRISE,
and destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESTER, FOXHOUND, ESCORT, FEARLESS, ACTIVE,
DOUGLAS, VELOX, VORTIGERN, and WRESTLER sortied from Gibraltar to cover the
Mediterranean Fleet. As a diversion for the convoys leaving Malta, ARK ROYAL
was to launch an air raid against Cagliari, but the raid was later
cruiser ARETHUSA arrived back at Gibraltar on the 10th.
Destroyer ESCORT (Lt Cdr J. Bostock) of Force H was torpedoed by Italian
submarine MARCONI southwest of Minorca in 36‑20N, 03‑46W at 0300/11th.
Destroyer ESCORT was taken in tow by destroyer FORESTER and screened by
destroyer FAULKNOR. In addition, after safely delivering Force H to
Gibraltar on the 11th, destroyers KEPPEL, FORESIGHT, and FOXHOUND returned
to screen ESCORT's withdrawal.
However, destroyer ESCORT was
lost later that day when she foundered in tow.
ratings were lost and Commissioned Gunner F. E. V. Mathews and twelve
ratings were wounded in ESCORT.
cruiser GLOUCESTER of the Mediterranean Fleet was bombed by Italian
aircraft. A bomb struck the compass platform of the bridge of the cruiser
killing Captain F. R. Garside, his first officer Cdr J. R. H. D'Aeth, Lt Cdr
M. Lindsay, Lt Cdr P. N. Churchill, S/Lt W. K. M. Murray, Paymaster S/Lt B.
V. Layard, and Paymaster Midshipman A. J. Atkinson and eleven ratings and
wounding Lt Cdr J. Brett, S/Lt R. H. Basford RNVR (SAD), and Midshipman P.
N. Wylie and six ratings.
to GLOUCESTER was not serious, but the loss of many officers on her caused
her to be assigned to the aircraft carrier EAGLE's screen.
0515, submarine PHOENIX sighted the Italian Fleet at sea midway between
Taranto and Benghazi.
submarine unsuccessfully attacked Italian battleships GIULO CESARE and CONTE
Tuesday, 9 July
BATTLE OF CALABRIA or PUNTA STILO
battle took place between the Mediterranean Fleet and Italian Fleet units,
both on convoy escort missions.
cruiser GLOUCESTER operated with aircraft carrier EAGLE.
Italian heavy cruiser BOLZANO was hit by three medium caliber hits.
Italian battleship CESARE (Flagship of Campioni) was hit by one 381 mm
cruiser NEPTUNE was damaged at 1525 by a near miss which damaged her
aircraft and catapult.
Battleship WARSPITE had a fire, caused by the flash of her own guns which
fired and demolished one of her seaplanes.
Destroyers STUART and VOYAGER attacked an Italian submarine during the
Destroyers NUBIAN, MOHAWK, JUNO, and JANUS were formed into a group to fend
off Italian ships that might attempt to fire torpedoes at the British ships.
Submarine PARTHIAN was at sea in the area during the battle.
H was to have raided Cagliari. Before the raid was launched, Force H was
attacked by Italian bombers south of Minorca. Battleship RESOLUTION was
straddled and battlecruiser HOOD was near missed. The raid was cancelled.
convoy of merchant ships, MF.1, consisting of Egyptian steamer EL NID
(7769grt), British steamer KNIGHT OF MALTA (1553grt), and former Italian
steamer RODI (3220grt) put to sea from Malta at 2300/9th escorted by
destroyers VENDETTA, JERVIS, and DIAMOND.
cruiser GLOUCESTER and destroyer STUART also arrived for refuelling. After
refuelling, they joined the convoy which was covered by light cruisers ORION
Destroyers STUART, DAINTY, DEFENDER, HYPERION, HOSTILE, HASTY, ILEX, and
JUNO were detached to Malta to refuel late on the 9th. They arrived at 0530
and departed at 1115 on the 10th.
turn, destroyers HERO, HEREWARD, DECOY, VAMPIRE, and VOYAGER were sent to
Malta to refuel.
convoy, MS.1, of four merchant ships, British steamers KIRKLAND (1361grt),
TWEED (2697grt), and MASIRAH (6578grt), former Dutch steamer under
flag ZEELAND (2726grt), and Norwegian steamer NOVASLI (3204grt), departed
Malta early on the 10th escorted by destroyers DECOY, VAMPIRE, and VOYAGER.
2030/10th, battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN with destroyers NUBIAN, MOHAWK, and
JANUS were to detached to refuel at Malta.
group sailed at 0800/11th with destroyers HERO and HEREWARD. Destroyers HERO
and HEREWARD later were transferred to convoy MF.1 and destroyer JANUS
joined MS.1, replacing destroyer VAMPIRE.
11th, air attacks on the British ships saw Gunner (T) J. H. Endicott on
Australian destroyer VAMPIRE badly wounded by bomb splinters. He was
transferred to destroyer MOHAWK and died of wounds later that day.
12th, air attacks on the British ships saw two ratings killed in LIVERPOOL
and several wounded, including Cdr J. J. Weld MVO.
convoys were given cover by battleships ROYAL SOVEREIGN and MALAYA, aircraft
carrier EAGLE, light cruiser GLOUCESTER, and destroyers HASTY, HYPERION,
ILEX, HOSTILE, DEFENDER, DAINTY, HERO, and HEREWARD.
Battleship WARSPITE, light cruisers LIVERPOOL and SYDNEY, and destroyers
NUBIAN, MOHAWK, VAMPIRE, and JUNO pressed onto Alexandria arriving at
fast convoy MF.1 arrived safely at Alexandria at 0900/13th.
13th, Light cruisers CALEDON and CAPETOWN of the 3rd Cruiser Squadron met
convoy MS.1 midway between Cape Spada and Derna. These ships were given
heavy support by battleship RAMILLIES and destroyers DIAMOND, HAVOCK,
IMPERIAL, and VENDETTA which departed Alexandria on the 13th.
0900/15th, battleship RAMILLIES, the 3rd Cruiser Squadron, and the slow
convoy arrived safely at Alexandria.
Submarine SALMON (Lt Cdr E. O. B. Bickford DSO) was
sunk in mining off
Egersund in 57‑22N, 5‑00E.
Bickford, Lt M. F. Wykeham-Martin DSC, Lt R. H. M. Hancock DSC, Lt K. D.
Skelt, Warrant Engineer W. L. Davis, and the thirty six ratings of the crew
were lost with SALMON.
FOXGLOVE, proceeding to Portsmouth, was bombed at 1130 and badly damaged off
Gunner F. Brown died of wounds on the sloop.
FOXGLOVE was able to proceed under tow by naval trawler HOLLY, which was
relieved en route by tug RESOLVE to Portsmouth, where she was under repair
until July 1941.
0030/9th, heavy cruisers SHROPSHIRE and SUSSEX and destroyers FIREDRAKE and
ECHO departed the Clyde to escort British troopships ORMONDE (14,982grt) and
ULSTER PRINCE (3791grt) to Iceland.
convoy arrived at Reykavik at 2030/11th.
Destroyer ECHO took ULSTER PRINCE departed Reykavik at 1430/12th for Akreyri
arriving on the 13th. Then they proceeded on to Seidisfjord on the 13th.
Destroyer ECHO and troopship ULSTER PRINCE departed Seidisfjord on the 15th
and returned to Reykavik.
heavy cruisers arrived at Scapa Flow after the operation on the 14th. On the
16th, the Destroyers and troopships departed Reykavik on their return.
Destroyers INGLEFIELD, IMOGEN, HAMBLEDON, FERNIE, and ATHERSTONE departed
Scapa Flow at 2145 for Loch Alsh for escort duties with the 1st Minelaying
FN.218 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON, sloop FLEETWOOD,
and patrol sloop PINTAIL. The convoy was joined on the 10th by destroyers
JAVELIN and JUPITER. The two J destroyers and the patrol sloop were detached
later on the 10th. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 11th.
MT.105 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 11th.
was no convoy MT.106
FS.217 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VIMIERA and sloop
LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 10th.
armed merchant cruiser KOMET sailed from Bergen to raid in the Pacific. She
reached this destination by going around the north of Russia assisted by
merchant cruiser KOMET carried twenty five ground mines for this operation.
armed merchant cruiser THOR sank Belgian steamer BRUGES (4983grt) in the
South Atlantic in 4S, 28W. The crew was made prisoners of war.
sank Estonian steamer TIIU (1865grt) 280 miles west of St Ann's in 50‑20W,
12W. The entire crew was rescued.
sank British steamer AYLESBURY (3944grt) in 48‑39N, 13‑55W. The entire crew
Latvian steamer TALVALDIS (534grt) in convoy CW.2 was
sunk by German bombing
three miles 120° from Prawle Point. One crewman was lost.
British steamer SAN FELIPE (5919grt) was damaged by German bombing at Roath
British steamer KENNETH HAWKSFIELD (1546grt) was damaged by German bombing
in the Dover area.
British steamer POLGRANGE (804grt) was damaged by German bombing in 51‑46N,
British steamer EMPIRE DIAFFODIL (398grt) was damaged by German bombing 13
miles SSW of Portland.
steamer JOLA (269grt) was damaged by German bombing three miles SW of Start
steamer AEGEON (5285grt) was damaged by German bombing at Weymouth.
Submarine PROTEUS arrived at Gibraltar after patrol off Mer el Kebir.
SL.39 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser CORFU. When the
cruiser was damaged in a collision the next day with aircraft carrier
HERMES, armed merchant cruiser DUNVEGAN CASTLE joined the convoy to 25 July.
The convoy merged with convoy SLF.39 on the 19th.
merchant cruiser DUNVEGAN CASTLE arrived at the Clyde for refuelling and
watering on the 26th.
25th, destroyers HESPERUS, RESTIGOUCHE, and WALKER and corvette MALLOW
joined the convoy and escorted it Liverpool, arriving on the 29th.
Wednesday, 10 July
Minelayers MENESTHEUS, PORT NAPIER, PORT QUEBEC, and SOUTHERN PRINCE
departed Loch Alsh at 1100/10th and laid minefield SN 1 north of Rona at
2025 to 2234 on the 10th, escorted by destroyers INGLEFIELD (D.3), IMOGEN,
ATHERSTONE, HAMBLEDON, and FERNIE. Anti-aircraft ship COVENTRY departed
Scapa Flow at 1238 to rendezvous with the minelaying force.
the minelay, the I's went to Scapa Flow arriving at 1645 on the 11th and the
three Hunts arrived at Loch Alsh at 1100/11th. The Hunts departed Loch Alsh
at 1430/11th and proceeded to Liverpool.
Skuas of 801 Squadron departed Hatston for Sumburgh in preparation for an
attack on Bergen.
Leaving Sumburgh, they encountered poor visibility and returned to Sumburgh
before proceeding half way to the objective.
OA.182 departed Methil escorted by destroyer SKEENA and corvette GARDENIA
from 10 to 14 July.
MT.107 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 11th.
FS.218 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER and sloops
LOWESTOFT and WESTON. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 11th.
sank Finnish steamer PETSAMO (4596grt) in 51‑08N, 09‑22W.
crew were killed on the Finnish steamer.
sank Dutch steamer ALWAKI (4533grt) of convoy OA.180, 10 miles northeast of
Cape Wrath in 58‑46N, 04‑46W.
Canadian destroyer ST LAURENT reported the steamer's damage at 1234.
Destroyer ST LAURENT and escorting aircraft indicated the explosion was
internal, probably sabotage.
British steamer HARMONIC (4558grt) rescued the crew of eight from the Dutch
BANDIT and THAMES were sent to assist.
Destroyers ZULU, MAORI, and BERKELEY departed anti-submarine exercises to
join the convoy.
Destroyers TARTAR, ASHANTI, BEDOUIN, and MASHONA exercising at Scapa Flow
were ordered to search in the area.
Destroyers BEDOUIN and MASHONA remained in the vicinity of Cape Wrath until
the evening of 11 July when a westbound convoy had passed the area. The
destroyers then proceeded to Scapa Flow.
British tanker TASCALUSA (6499grt) was sunk by German bombing in Falmouth
Harbour, alongside the Northern Arm. Greek steamer MARI CHANDRIS (5840grt),
which had been towed to Falmouth in June after a collision, was set afire by
TASCALUSA. The entire crew of the Greek steamer was rescued. TASCALUSA was
refloated on 29 August and beached at Mylor Flats for scrapping.
British steamer WATERLOO (1905grt) was sunk by German bombing two and a half
miles NE of Smith's Knoll Bouy. The crew was rescued.
steamer BILL S. (466grt) was badly damaged by German bombing six miles 260°
from Dungeness from convoy CW.3, escorted by destroyer VERSATILE.
steamer sank 6.7 miles 67° from Dungeness.
entire crew was rescued.
British tanker British CHANCELLOR (7085grt) was damaged by German bombing
Submarine PANDORA arrived at Gibraltar after patrol off Algiers.
Aircraft carrier EAGLE launched nine Swordfish of the 813 Squadron on an air
attack on Augusta.
Italian destroyer LEONE PANCALDO was
sunk in harbour, but was salved on 26
July 1941 and returned to duty. A fleet oiler was damaged.
Italian submarine SCIRE
sank French steamer CHEIK (1058grt) 54 miles 310°
from Semaphore d'Asmare.
HG.38 of six ships departed Gibraltar. The convoy was escorted by destroyer
VOLUNTEER from 10 to 18 July. Destroyer VOLUNTEER returned to Gibraltar on
the 10th to make good defects and was relieved by destroyer VIDETTE.
Destroyer VOLUNTEER then returned to the convoy and VIDETTE returned to
Gibraltar. The convoy was given escort by British corvette GLADIOLUS from 21
to 27 July. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 27th.
armed merchant cruiser WIDDER sank British steamer DAVISAN (6433grt) in the
Central Atlantic at 18‑09N, 54‑40W, four hundred and fifty miles north,
northeast of Guadalope.
entire crew was made prisoners of war.
Aircraft carrier HERMES was damaged in a collision at 0302 with Armed
merchant cruiser CORFU 130 miles west, northwest of Freetown at 9‑10N,
cruiser DORSETSHIRE was in company of HERMES and stood by these ships. CORFU
had been escorting convoy SL.39 which continued on without her.
two ships were locked together for just under an hour and a half during
which CORFU was almost completely abandoned, 141 crew being taken aboard
HERMES. There were no casualties in either ship. The armed merchant cruiser
was later reboarded by crew in HERMES' cutter.
Aircraft carrier HERMES arrived at Freetown at 1800 that day. DORSETSHIRE
attempted to tow CORFU. Sloop MILFORD arrived at Freetown at 1200/10th and
after refuelling, sailed at 0520/11th to escort heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE
and the armed merchant cruiser. Dutch tug DONAU departed Freetown at
cruiser DORSETSHIRE arrived at Freetown at 1700/12th.
merchant cruiser CORFU with sloop MILFORD and Dutch tug DONAU anchored
outside harbour during the night of 12/13 July.
merchant cruiser CORFU, towed stern first by tug DONAU and escorted by sloop
MILFORD arrived at Freetown at 1330/13th.
merchant cruiser DUNVEGAN CASTLE was allocated to escort convoy SLF.39, but
sailed to escort SL.39. Convoy SLF.39 when it did sail proceeded unescorted,
after a local one day escort of sloop MILFORD.
Aircraft carrier HERMES after emergency repairs departed Freetown on 5
August and arrived at Simonstown on 17 August with convoy RS.5, joined at
sea by Light cruiser DRAGON. HERMES had been designated to participate in
MENACE in September, but was still under repair at Simonstown at that time.
HERMES did not leave Simonstown until 18 November and she arrived back at
Freetown for operations on 30 November.
merchant cruiser CORFU was under repair at Freetown. She was intentionally
run aground on 19 August to facilitate repairs to her bow. She was finally
repaired in early 1941.
Thursday, 11 July
British minefield BS.23 was laid by minelayer TEVIOTBANK and destroyers
EXPRESS and ESK.
OB.182 departed Liverpool escorted by sloop FOLKESTONE from 11 to 14 July.
The sloop was detached to convoy HX.55.
FN.219 departed Southend, escorted by sloops BLACK SWAN and HASTINGS. The
convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 13th.
MT.108 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 12th.
FS.219 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and WOLFOUND.
Anti-submarine yacht WARRIOR II (1124grt, Captain A. E. Johnston Rtd) was
sunk by German bombing off Portland. One rating was killed.
British steamer MALLARD (352grt) was sunk by German motor torpedo boat S.26
between St Catherine's Point and Beachy Head. Five crew and the naval
gunner were lost. Three crew were picked up by the S-boat and made prisoners
Belgian fishing vessel PROVIDENTIA (139grt) was
sunk by German bombing
British steamer KYLEMOUNT (704grt) was damaged by German bombing ten miles
west of Dartmouth.
British steamers PERU (6961grt) and CITY OF MELBOURNE (6630grt) were damaged
by German bombing in Portland harbour.
British steamer ELEANOR BROOKE (1037grt) was damaged by German bombing off
steamer MIES (309grt) was damaged by German bombing seven miles south of
sank Norwegian steamer JANNA (2197grt), which was a straggler from convoy
HX.54, in 50‑34N, 12‑10W.
were twenty five survivors from the Norwegian steamer.
HX.57 departed Halifaxat 0730 escorted by Canadian destroyers ASSINIBOINE
and SAGUENAY, which were detached on the 12th.
2115 that evening, the destroyers turned the convoy over to the ocean
escort, armed merchant cruiser ASCANIA, and returned to port. The armed
merchant cruiser was detached on the 23rd.
BHX.57 departed Bermuda on the 10th escorted locally by sloop PENZANCE and
an ocean escort of light cruiser EMERALD. The convoy rendezvoused with
convoy HX.57 on the 15th and the light cruiser was detached.
23rd, destroyer WANDERER, sloops DEPTFORD and SANDWICH, and corvette
PERWINKLE joined the convoy and remained until the convoy arrived at
Liverpool on the 26th.
Australian light cruiser SYDNEY arrived at Alexandria.
cruisers CALEDON and CAPETOWN departed Alexandria to escort a convoy to
light cruisers arrived back at Alexandria on the 13th.
Italian submarine TARANTINI
sank Panamanian tanker BEME (3039grt) in 33‑12N,
33‑38E near Haifa.
entire crew from the Panamanian tanker were rescued.
SLF.39 departed Freetown escorted by sloop MILFORD to 12 July.
merchant cruiser DUNVEGAN CASTLE had been allocated, but was diverted to
convoy SL.39 after the collision of armed merchant cruiser CORFU with
aircraft carrier HERMES.
19th, the convoy merged with convoy SL.39. The convoys were joined on the
25th by destroyers RESTIGOUCHE, HESPERUS, and WALKER and corvette MALLOW.
convoys arrived at Liverpool on the 29th.
armed merchant cruiser ATLANTIS sank British steamer CITY OF BAGHDAD
(7506grt) in the Indian Ocean in 00‑14N, 86‑43E. Two crew were
crew and one gunner were made prisoners of war.
Friday, 12 July
Convoys OB.181G, which departed Liverpool on the 10th escorted by destroyer
VANOC and sloop SCARBOROUGH became convoy OG.37 with sixteen ships. Convoy
OA.181G did not sail from Methil.
Destroyer VANOC escorted the convoy on the 12th.
SCARBOROUGH escorted the convoy from 12 to 17 July when the convoy arrived
Anti-submarine trawler LORD HOTHAM joined the convoy off Gibraltar.
OA.183 departed Methil by sloop FOWEY. The convoy passed Dunnet Head on the
13th, escorted by sloop FOWEY and corvette CAMELLIA.
FN.220 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VIMIERA and VERDUN and
sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 14th.
MT.109 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 13th.
FS.220 departed the Tyne. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 13th.
FS.221 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloop
FLEETWOOD. Destroyers JACKAL and JAGUAR and patrol sloop MALLARD joined on
the 13th. The two J destroyers were detached later that day. The convoy
arrived at Southend on the 14th.
attacked British steamer DUNERA (11,162grt) off North Channel without damage
being done. The torpedo did strike DUNERA, but it glanced of without
sank Greek steamer IA (4860grt) in 51N, 14W.
crew were lost on the Greek steamer.
took in prize Estonian steamer MERISAAR (2136grt). She was ordered to a
French port, but was sunk on the 15th by German bombing south of Queenstown.
British steamer HORNCHURCH (2162grt) was sunk by German bombing off
Aldeburgh Light Vessel, in 52-11-15N, 1-52-30E.
entire crew was rescued by patrol sloop WIDGEON.
British trawler VOLANTE (255grt) was sunk by German bombing ten miles east
of Hvalbam, Faroe Islands. The Master of the British trawler was drowned.
master was Alfred George Coulam, whose body "was taken to a northern port"
(with thanks to his niece Candice Baxter). Further research gives an
alternative loss position 10 miles S of Whale Back Rock which is near the
village of Hvalba in the Faroes.
British steamer JOSEWYN (1926grt) was damaged by German bombing eight miles
west, northwest of St Catherine'sPoint.
cruiser LIVERPOOL was near missed by Italian air bombs. One rating was
killed and two wounded by a bomb that did not explode, but there was no
Gladiator of 801 Squadron from aircraft carrier EAGLE, after shooting down
an Italian bomber, forced landed alongside cruiser LIVERPOOL which picked
Battleship WARSPITE was attacked seventeen times between 0850 and 1150, but
sustained no damage.
Australian heavy cruiser CANBERRA departed Capetown with transport
STRATHMORE for Freetown.
heavy cruiser escorted the transport for the first thirty six hours and then
returned to Simonstown, arriving on the 15th.
Saturday, 13 July
Aircraft carrier FURIOUS, escorted by destroyers HAMBLEDON, ATHERSTONE, and
FERNIE departed Liverpool at 1800 for Prestwick to fly on aircraft.
British ships then went on to Scapa Flow, arriving at 0615 on the 14th.
CW.5 departed Dover escorted only by destroyer VANESSA. The convoy was
immediately taken under German air attack between Dover and Eastbourne and
destroyer VANESSA was disabled by near misses of air bombs.
Destroyer VANESSA was towed by destroyer GRIFFIN to Sheerness where VANESSA
was repaired completing on 4 November.
Destroyer TARTAR (D.6) departed Scapa Flow at 1015 for Liverpool for docking
repairs to asdic installation and damage to propellers.
redisposition of Destroyers in the North Atlantic Command was made.
Destroyers DOUGLAS, ACTIVE, WATCHMAN, KEPPEL, and VORTIGERN left the North
Atlantic Command on the 14th to join the Home Fleet Command.
Destroyers HOTSPUR and ENCOUNTER of the Home Fleet and threeG class
destroyers of the Nore Command were to join the North Atlantic Command.
worked up HUNT class destroyers were to leave the Home Fleet and join the
OB.183 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer VANQUISHER and corvette
CLARKIA until 16 July. The escorts were detached to convoy SL.38.
FN.221 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WINCHESTER and sloops
LOWESTOFT and WESTON. The convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 15th.
armed merchant cruiser ATLANTIS sank British steamer KEMMENDINE (7769grt) in
the Indian Ocean at 04‑12S, 81‑47E.
seven crew, twenty two passengers, and three distressed British seamen (DBS)
were made prisoners of war.
crewman later died in France.
Eighteen crew, eleven passengers, and one DBS were
lost when steamer
TIRRANNA, to which they later were transferred, was lost.
crewman died on the raider.
one crew and three gunners were transferred to steamer DURMITOR and taken to
Italian Somaliland. They were released in early 1941.
armed merchant cruiser WIDDER sank British steamer KING JOHN (5228grt) in
the Central Atlantic at 20‑40N, 59‑26W, two hundred and fifty miles east,
northeast of Sombrero Channel.
crew were made prisoners of war.
Sunday, 14 July
British operation AMBASSADOR was a small commando raid on the island of
on the 14th, destroyers SALADIN and SCIMITAR from Dartmouth carried
Commandos to Guernsey, but had no success as they made no contact with the
Destroyers KEPPEL, ACTIVE, WATCHMAN, VORTIGERN, and DOUGLAS departed
Gibraltar for Liverpool arriving on the 20th.
destroyers were formed into the 12th Destroyer Flotilla for duty with the
Destroyers WRESTLER and VIDETTE departed Gibraltar to meet troopship ATHLONE
CASTLE and relieve escorting destroyer HURRICANE.
ships arrived at Gibraltar on the 17th.
merchant cruiser ESPERANCE BAY, carrying ten million pounds in gold, was
bombed and badly damaged shortly after leaving England at 1250 in 49-30N,
6-40W, one hundred miles west of Land's End.
H. Close RNR, and six ratings were killed.
Destroyer VANOC and Canadian destroyer RESTIGOUCHE escorted the merchant
cruiser. Dutch tug ZWARTE ZEE was sent.
Destroyer VANOC and tug ZWARTE ZEE was reassigned when it was found the
armed merchant cruiser could proceed on her own to Plymouth with the gold.
Turkish minelaying sloop YUZBASI HAKKI was attacked by German bombers off
Weymouth at 1145 near the Shambles.
British delivery crew were still on board. One crewman was killed and the
Captain was wounded.
sloop arrived at Weymouth on the 15th.
Minesweeper FITZROY was damaged in a collision with Minesweeping trawler SEA
MIST (324grt) off the Humber.
Minesweeper FITZROY was repaired in the Humber from 15 July to 10 August.
Anti-submarine trawlers CAPE WARWICK from Balta Sound and THIRLMERE from
Dundee arrived at Scapa Flow.
British minefield MN in the Straits of Dover was laid by minelayer PLOVER
and Dutch minelayer WILLEM VAN DER ZAAN, escorted by four motor torpedo
force departed Dover at 2215 on the 13th for the minelay early on the 14th.
British Leading Airman I. G. Farquhar, at the 1 SFTS Netheraven, was killed
when his Hind undershot in forced landing and crashed at Pylle, near Shepton
OA.184 departed Methil by sloops ROCHESTER, HASTINGS, and LEITH from 14 to
19 July. The sloops were detached to convoy HX.56.
FN.222 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and WOLFHOUND. The
convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 16th.
MT.109 departed Methil. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 15th.
armed merchant cruiser THOR sank British steamer GRACEFIELD (4631grt) in the
South Atlantic at 20‑20S, 30‑43W.
crew was made prisoners of war.
sank Norwegian steamer SARITA (5824grt) at 15‑22N, 26‑28W, 120 miles
southwest of St Vincent.
survivors were picked up by British steamer DUNSTAN (5149grt) on the 18th at
sank Greek steamer THETIS A (4111grt) in 47‑40N, 13‑20W.
crew were lost on the Greek steamer.
British steamer ISLAND QUEEN (779grt) of convoy CW.5 was badly damaged by
German bombing four cables off A Buoy, Dover, east of Folkestone Gateway
Steamer ISLAND QUEEN
sank in tow of British trawler KINGSTON ALALITE
(412grt) later that day one half mile 350° from Folkestone Light Vessel.
crew were lost on the British steamer.
British steamer MONS (641grt) from convoy CW.5 was damaged by German bombing
one and a half miles south of Dover Pier.
Norwegian steamer BALDER (1129grt) from convoy CW.5 was damaged by German
bombing off Dover.
Steamer BALDER was taken in tow by
British tug LADY BRASSEY and escorted by
destroyers GRIFFIN and BOREAS.
Belgian trawler PROVIDENTIA (139grt) was
sunk by German bombing in 49-55N,
entire crew was lost.
Heavy cruiser KENT arrived at Durban after escorting West
Afircan troop convoy to Mombasa and preparatory to escorting
convoy WS 1 from the rendezvous in the vicinity of Durban.