Skip to comments.47 SLAIN AS MEXICO VOTES; ROOSEVELT TELLS FARLEY HIS STAND ON THIRD TERM (7/8/40)
Posted on 07/08/2010 4:48:37 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
British attack more French warships
Monday, July 8, 1940 www.onwar.com
In French West Africa... Damage to the French battleship Richelieu is increased by a hit from a torpedo bomber from the carrier Hermes.
In Morocco... In Casablanca, the French battleship Jean Bart is attacked by British forces.
In London... De Gaulle criticizes the British for these actions. This is the first sign that he will maintain French independence and be a stormy partner.
July 8th, 1940
RAF Bomber Command: 4 Group (Whitley). Bombing - Dockyards at Kiel. Evere airfield.
10 Sqn. Five aircraft to Kiel. Two bombed, one damaged by Flak. One FTR.
58 Sqn. Two aircraft to Kiel. Both bombed and started fires.
51 Sqn. One aircraft to Kiel. Four aircraft to Evere. All bombed, one hit by Flak. Opposition severe.
2 Group. ( Blenheim). 107 Sqn. 12 aircraft attack ships in a Fjord at Aalborg, Denmark. 1 ship hit.
In the eight weeks since Anthony Edens appeal, 1,060,000 men have signed on with the Local Defence Volunteers. However, they still have no uniforms, no ranks, and few weapons apart from rifles borrowed from museums and even from Londons Drury Lane theatre.
The LDV average age is high, and some units include several generals of the last war now in the ranks. In two days time the first course begins at the LDV training school set up at Osterley Park, near London. It is run by Tom Wintringham, the former commander of the British volunteers in Spain, whose articles in Picture Post on guerrilla fighting inspired its publisher, Edward Hulton, to set up the “guerrilla” school.
The LDV may soon see a change of name. Churchill recently suggested to Eden that they be given the shorter title “Home Guard”.
London: The Exchange News Agency reports:
Marshal Petains government has published a warning to all British war vessels and aircraft, not to approach the French coast. His naval and aerial combat forces have been ordered (he says) to open fire without previous warning on any British units that appear.
NORTH SEA: A Hudson of RAF Coastal Command 233 Squadron attacks a Swedish destroyer squadron. All four bombs are near misses and no damage results. The British foreign office later issues an apology to the Swedes. (David Pounder)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Two Italian battleships, 14 cruisers and 32 destroyers are reported in the Ionian Sea covering a convoy to Benghazi, to Admiral Cunningham.
After four days of attacking the Vichy French Fleet at Oran (Operation Catapult), Vice-Admiral Sommerville’s Force H, built around HMS Ark Royal, sorties into the Western Mediterranean to support the Mediterranean Fleet’s effort to escort two convoys running between Alexandria and Malta. (Mark Horan)
The Jean Bart at Casablanca is also attacked.
Charles de Gaulle is publicly critical of these British actions.
ALGERIA: Algiers: The Reuters News Agency reports:
Official confirmation has been received that French fighter planes and coastal batteries shot down two British aircraft during the attack on the French fleet at Mers el Kebir (Oran).
FRENCH WEST AFRICA: During the night, the British launch two attacks to disable the French battleship Richelieu at Dakar. In the first, four depth charges dropped over the side of a motor boat from aircraft carrier HMS Hermes fail to explode. In the second, carrier-based Swordfish Mk. I aircraft of No. 814 Squadron in HMS Hermes torpedo Richelieu, rendering her incapable of steaming at more than half power. Her main battery, however, is unaffected. (Jack McKillop and Mark Horan)
U.S.A.: Richardson traveled to Washington to protest the basing of his fleet at Pearl Harbor to Roosevelt. He also met with Cordell Hull and Undersecretary of State Sumner Wells to advise that War Plan Orange was unrealistic given the present state of the fleet. (Marc Small)
Transcontinental and Western Airlines (TWA) begins operating the Boeing SA-307B Stratoliner on their San Francisco, California, to New York City route. The Boeing 307 is the first pressurized airliner allowing it to fly “above the weather.” Total flight time is 13 hours and 40 minutes, two hours faster than the unpressurised Douglas DC-3. (Jack McKillop)
FRENCH WEST INDIES: Carrier ‘Bearn’ and two cruisers are immobilised by mainly diplomatic means.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: The Newfoundland-registered Bowater Co. merchantman Humber Arm (5,758 GRT), was torpedoed and sunk by U-99, Kptlt. Otto Kretschmer, Knight’s Cross, Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, Knight’s Cross with Swords, CO, south of Ireland, in position 50.36N, 009.24W. Humber Arm was as part of the 44-ship Halifax to Liverpool convoy HX-53 and was loaded with 1,000 tons of steel and 5,450 tons of paper. There were no casualties in this incident. Convoy HX-53 arrived in Liverpool on 10 Jul 40 having lost only one ship. (Dave Shirlaw)
Day 313 July 8, 1940
Final act of Operation Catapult. For a second day, British Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers from HMS Hermes hit French battleship Richelieu at Dakar, Senegal. British motor torpedo boats attack French battleship Jean Bart at Casablanca, Morocco. Jean Bart will be out of commission for several months. General de Gaulle, leader of the Free French in London, denounces the attacks on Vichy French warships, saying that all Frenchmen are dismayed.
At 7.53 AM, U-99 sinks British steamer Humber Arm in convoy HX-53 (carrying 6200 tons of newsprint, pulp and lumber & 1000 tons of steel) 60 miles south of Ireland. 42 crew members and 1 passenger are picked up by destroyer HMS Scimitar and landed at Milford Haven, Wales. U-99 is attacked with 107 depth charges by escorts over 14 hours but escapes undamaged. U-99, captained by Otto Kretschmer, will go on to sink 40 more ships in the next 8 months including 3 British armed merchant cruisers (273,470 total tonnage). http://www.uboat.net/men/kretschmer.htm
Italians damage 2 British ships in the Mediterranean. Submarine Marconi torpedoes destroyer HMS Escort southwest of Minorca (2 lives lost, 13 wounded). Escort sinks under tow by destroyer HMS Forester. Cruiser HMS Gloucester is bombed by Italian aircraft. A bomb hits the compass platform of the bridge, killing 12 (including the captain) and wounding 9.
British bombers attack German heavy cruiser Lützow in dock at Kiel. Lützow, under repair for extensive torpedo damage to her stern caused by HMS Spearfish on April 11, is hit by a bomb which fails to explode.
Same as it ever was in old Mexico.
FDR trying to conceal his desire for a third term. Farley floating the name of Cordell Hull, sixty nine years old, in order to draw support from 72 year old Vice President John Nance Garner.
Please note the number of Polish military listed as "prisoners and missing" was 400,000 along with 50,000 to 70,000 killed in action plus another 150,000 wounded.
I have google-searched for data on the fate of these 400,000 prisoners, without success.
However, at least one source says the total of Polish military deaths was 400,000. It does not say how many died at the hands of Nazis versus Soviets.
It would be somewhat interesting to learn how many of these Polish prisoners were treated "correctly" by the Nazis, and how many were just murdered, along with those 8 million other Polish civilians.
A couple of points.
I thought I had posted on another thread that the the Germans reverted the Polish enlisted men to civilian status - I think that was about 1941, but I’m not positive of the date. Some of those subsequently died of various causes (including execution and allied bombing) but the mass murder of POWs was a Soviet sport. In any event, those who died/were killed after returning to civilian status don’t count as POWs killed.
Your number killed looks like it may include AK and perhaps Jewish resistance forces. (Warsaw was just one of a number of battles fought by the AK) (Note that while the Germans took brutal acts of retaliation against the Warsaw civilians after the uprising there, the surviving AK were treated as POWs.) I’m not sure if it includes Polish communist units that fought with the Red army. It does likely include Polish units that fought with the British. (Monte Cassino, Arnheim, for two notable examples).
"Today's" NY Times report says the number of Poles killed in action during the 1939 war was 50,000 to 70,000.
And somewhere I read the number who escaped to fight for the allies was circa 100,000 -- doubtless many of those survived the war.
So the figure of 400,000 total Polish military deaths must necessarily include large numbers of others.
Yes, including "resistance fighters" as "military" would explain it.
But our particular discussion is the question of whether the Germans necessarily treated POWs "correctly" -- if the conquered country had signed the Third Geneva Conventions (1929)?
Well, I find it hard to believe that a nation which wantonly murdered millions in Geneva-signing countries like Poland would necessarily show strict scruples when it came to treating their POWs.
However, for the moment at least, I've found no hard data to confirm it.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the 400K number is garbage. You can’t even get to that if you include the 100K conscripts killed while supporting the German military.
Here’s a couple of options:
90 - 95K Killed in the invasions (including Russian massacres. Probably a 60-30 split German/Russian, but most killed by Germans in combat, a very large percentage of the Russian caused deaths being prisoners executed.
30 - 35K killed fighting with the Russians and British
15-20K Killed fighting with AK. That would total some 140-150K.
Another set of numbers, broken down slightly differently (These are from about 1947, and ignore the Russian massacres:
German invasion - 66,300
Fighting with the Reds - 13,900
France and Norway 2100
British Army 7,900
1944 uprising 13,000
Total (excluding Katyn and related) 123,200.
Add in Katyn, and you’re pretty close to my round numbers.
So at 140,000, folks might quibble about details. 400,000, without a lot of footnotes, appears to be, at best, an error or misunderstanding.
What makes Poland stand out is the systematic killing of civilians (by both set of socialists). The treatment of the Polish while prisoners of war of the Germans, is largely unremarkable. (Once they returned to civilian status, of course, they shared the fate of their civilian neighbors. )
Agreed. More explanation needed...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.