Churchill chosen to lead Conservatives
Wednesday, October 9, 1940 www.onwar.com
In Britain... Following Chamberlain’s resignation Churchill is chosen as the new leader of the Conservative Party. This is an impressive achievement because he was little liked by many in the party at the time of his selection as prime minister. He has succeeded in winning their loyalty despite the hard times he has presided over. His attention to party affairs illustrates his concern for the forms of parliamentary democracy.
October 9th, 1940
RAF Bomber Command: 108 aircraft raid the battleship Tirpitz in dry dock at Wilhelmshaven.
Battle of Britain: Airfields in the south-east form today’s main targets.
London: A bomb falls on St. Paul’s Cathedral in the early morning, exploding inside the roof and severely damaging the High Altar.
Maidstone is attacked by fighter-bombers is daylight, 87 buildings being damaged, and using cloud cover a single raider managed to damage English Electric’s Stafford factory.
Losses: Luftwaffe, 9; RAF, 3.
Westminster: Winston Churchill was this afternoon elected as Tory Party leader in succession to Neville Chamberlain who retired from the government last week for health reasons. The decision - taken at a private party meeting - was reported to have been unanimous.
Mr Chamberlain had continued as Tory leader after relinquishing the premiership. Mr Churchill had many enemies in the party before the out break of war, and there was an abortive attempt by party establishment figures this morning to appoint formally a deputy leader “to keep an eye on the boss”.
After his election Mr Churchill, who knew what had been going on, referred obliquely to his past differences with the party - sometimes while a member of it and sometimes not. “Varying opinions are entertained about my career,” he said with a grin. “But I think I can call myself a Tory.”
CANADA: Minesweeper HMCS Ungava launched North Vancouver, British Columbia. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U-103 sighted Convoy SC-6 and sank SS Delphin and SS Zannes Gounaris and damaged SS Graigwen in Convoy SC-6. After the successful attack at 2200 hrs the boat was depth charged by a convoy escort. (Dave Shirlaw)