German bombers sink three
merchantmen in North Sea.
British submarines Seahorse, Undine
and Starfish reported sunk after penetrating Heligoland Bight.
The Admiralty announce sinking of
Grenville 8 dead, 73 missing, presumed dead.
Destroyer Exmouth torpedoed off Wick,
Scotland by U-22; all hands killed.
The British destroyer
Cossack, enters a Norwegian fjord, captures the German freighter
Altmark, former supply ship of the Graf Spee and frees 300
British merchant seamen who were captured from vessels sunk
by the Graf Spee in the South Atlantic.
Destroyer HMS Daring torpedoed, 157
The German destroyer Z3 ‘Max
Schultz’, hits a mine and sinks whilst trying to evade
an air attack in the North Sea.
Crews of HMS Exeter and HMS Ajax cheered
through London after return from South America.
British India liner Domala
bombed in English Channel, killing 100 people.
Germans bomb Scapa Flow naval base.
U-boats sink seven neutral ships.
The British and French decide to start
mining neutral Norwegian waters from the 8th April 1940.
Germans again attack Scapa Flow and
North Sea convoys.
The RAF spots units of the Kriegsmarine
steaming North towards Narvik and Trondheim loaded with troops
British submarines torpedo three German
ships. Destroyer Glowworm is sunk after reporting German fleet
movements and ramming cruiser Hipper. British naval vessels
lay mines in Norwegian waters in preparation for landings by
British and French forces at Namsos, Narvik and Andalsnes.
The Polish submarine ‘Orzel’ sinks the German transport
ship ‘Rio de Janeiro’ at 11:50. The Norwegians
rescue several German soldiers who claim they are on their
way to help the Norwegians against the British.
The Kriegsmarine loses the cruisers
Blücher, which is sunk by Norwegian coastal batteries,
plus Königsberg and Karlsruhe to British naval and air
Six British destroyers surprise ten
German Destroyers in Narvik Fiord, in what becomes known as
the 1st Battle of Narvik. Two German and two British Destroyers
are sunk and the British Flotilla commander, Captain Warburton-Lee
is killed. He is later awarded the Victoria Cross, posthumously.
Royal Navy submarine Spearfish puts
pocket battleship Lutzow out of action for a year.
British Naval forces, this time supported
by the Battleship HMS Warspite, again engage the German naval
forces located at Narvik in the Jössing Fjord. This, the
2nd Battle of Narvik, results in the sinking of 7 German destroyers
and a U-boat whose surviving crews join Gebirgsjäger units
that are defending isolated Narvik.
The German Minesweeper M6, sinks Royal
Navy submarine Tarpon.
Royal Navy bombards Stavanger.
British submarine Starlet
sunk off Norway.
Destroyer Afridi sunk
by German bombers off Norway.
The French submarine Doris is sunk
by U-9 off the Dutch coast.
Admiralty order requires all owners
of large boats to send in particulars within two weeks.
First gathering of small craft for
Luftwaffe sink destroyer Wessex off
The British destroyer HMS Wakeful
is hit and sunk by a torpedo from the German E-boat S30. HMS
Grafton which was nearby try's to rescue the sailors from HMS
Wakeful, but is itself hit by another torpedo from the same
German E-boat and begins to sink. Another British destroyer,
HMS Comfort moves up to help, but HMS Grafton fires on her
in the mistaken believe that she is a German ship, sinking
HMS comfort. 15 other vessels are also sunk by Luftwaffe Stuka
attacks near Dunkirk on this day.
Heavy Luftwaffe attacks sink two French
destroyers off the beaches at Dunkirk.
The British destroyers
Keith, Basilisk and Havant and the transport Scotia are sunk
by Luftwaffe dive bombers, near Dunkirk.
Admiralty announce the loss of six
destroyers, 24 small warships and participation of 222 British
naval vessels and 665 other craft in Dunkirk operation. 226
vessels are sunk altogether.
U-46 sinks the British armed merchant
cruiser Carinthia off the west coast of Ireland.
The British aircraft carrier Glorious
is sunk by the German heavy battle cruisers Scharnhorst and
Gneisenau, Southwest of Narvik.
RAF attack German ships in Trondheim
Armed merchant-cruiser Scotstown
is torpedoed by U-25 off Ireland, 6 crew lost. The first US
arms ship, 'Eastern Prince', sets sail for Britain. The German
raider Orion lays mines off Auckland, New Zealand.
U-101 sinks the British merchant
ship Wellington Star in the Bay of Biscay.
Liner Lancastria, with 3,000 British
troops aboard, bombed and sunk at St. Nazaire, in North West
French ships seek refuge in British
The German heavy cruiser Gneisenau
is damaged by a torpedo from the British submarine Clyde.
All French ships in British ports
are seized by the Royal Navy.
In the first 6 months
of the year, German U-boats have sunk 900,000 tons of Allied
The British liner Arandora Star,
carrying 1,500 German and Italian prisoners of war to Canada,
is sunk by U-47 off the west coast of Ireland, with many casualties.
59 French warships that had sought
refuge at Plymouth and Portsmouth are seized by the Royal Navy,
but only after overcoming armed French resistance in some cases.
The British Auxiliary AA ship Foyle Bank is sunk in German
air attacks on the docks at Portland, Dorset. Due to heavy
losses at the hands of the Luftwaffe the British suspend all
future convoy from passing through the English Channel.
German Stukas and MTBs attack a British
convoy South of Portland, sinking 5 merchant ships.
The British destroyer Whirlwind is
sunk by U-34 off Land’s End.
German aircraft and minesweepers
sink 4 British submarines, Narwhal, Spearfish, Shark and Thames.
The first German U-boat base in France is opened at Lorient.
The British submarine Salmon is lost
south-west of Stavanger, Norway. The German raider Komet leaves
Bergen in Norway for operations in the Pacific via the Northwest
Passage in the Arctic Ocean assisted by Russian icebreakers.
Destroyer Imogen sinks in Pentland
Firth after collision in fog.
German aircraft sink destroyer Brazen
Reports of Lancastria disaster released
in London after Churchill’s ban on the news lifted. Neutral
French liner Meknes, taking 1,100 French sailors back to France,
sunk by German E-boat 572: 400 killed.
German aircraft sink destroyers Codrington
at Dover and Wren off the Suffolk coast.
U-56 sinks armed merchant-cruiser
HMS Transylvania off Northern Ireland.
Hitler announces that a total maritime
blockade is to be placed around Britain, with any neutral ships
transporting cargo to Britain to be sunk without warning.
The German battleship Bismarck is
German U-boats sink 5 more British
ships from the convoys HX-65 and HX-65A near Hebrides, Scotland.
Dunvegan Castle sunk by U46 off Ireland.
Destroyer Ivanhoe hits
mine and sinks off Dutch coast, second to go down there in
British naval blockade lifted on all
French colonies supporting General de Gaulle.
In the mid-Atlantic, south-east of
Iceland, the Canadian merchant ship Kenordoc is sunk en route
to Bristol, England.
Liner City of Benares, evacuating
children to Canada, is sunk by U48; 77 out of 99 children lost,
total killed 260.
Over the past 17 days, British aircraft
have sunk 12.5% of 1865 German transport vessels preparing
for an invasion of England.
Moscow Radio reports that RAF bombing
has largely destroyed the German invasion fleet along the Channel.
Royal Canadian Navy armed merchant
cruiser Prince Robert captures German merchant ship Weser off
The first of the recently purchased
US destroyers arrive in Britain.
Admiralty announces recent
sinking of seven German submarines.
U-101 torpedoes and sinks the merchant
ship Saint-Malo south of Iceland. The ship was a former French
vessel requisitioned by the Canadian government. 28 are killed.
U-124 torpedoes and sinks the merchant
ship Trevisa of Convoy SC-7 south of Iceland, 7 are killed.
Convoy SC-7 (30 ships) is on the final leg of its journey from
Sydney to Aberdeen, and is attacked by 7 U-boats in the North
Atlantic between the 16th and 19th October. Losses amount to
20 ships for 79,646 gross tons. No U-boats were lost.
Convoy HX-79 (49 ships), sailing from
Halifax in Canada to Britain, is attacked by 5 U-boats between
the 19th and 20th October in the North Atlantic. The British
lost 12 ships for 75,063 gross tons, while not a single U-boat
was lost. The destroyer Venetia sinks after hitting mine in
On a convoy in the North Atlantic,
Royal Canadian Navy destroyer Margaree collides with freighter
Port Fairy in poor visibility, 400 miles west of Ireland. It
is the first convoy mission for the destroyer, and 140 lives
British mine Bay of Biscay.
U99 sinks the armed merchant-cruiser
HMS Laurentic off Iceland. As the crew of HMS Laurentic are
being rescued by another merchant-cruiser, HMS Patroclus, she
in turn is struck and sunk by torpedo's from U-99, which had
lain in wait.
Armed merchant-cruiser Jervis Bay
sunk by pocket-battleship Admiral Scheer during its attack
on an Atlantic convoy.
Royal Canadian Navy destroyer Ottawa
and Royal Navy destroyer Harvester sink Italian submarine Faa
di Bruno off Ireland.
The Italian submarine
Argo torpedoes Royal Canadian Navy destroyer Saguenay, killing
21, but not sinking the ship. Saguenay had been escorting an
eastbound convoy 300 miles west of Ireland.
The Admiral Hipper leaves Kiel for
an anti-shipping sortie into the Atlantic.
Destroyer Acheron sunk by mine off
Isle of Wight.
The Admiral Hipper intercepts a convoy
bound for the middle east, but is forced to withdraw by three
escorting cruisers and has to put in to Brest for repairs.
Allied merchant shipping sunk by U-boats,
world-wide from January to year's end 1940 is 567 ships, equalling
2,771,483 gross tons. 24 U-boats were lost worldwide in the