September 14th, 1940 (SATURDAY)UNITED KINGDOM: Battle of Britain:
Bombing - invasion fleet at Antwerp.
10 Sqn. Ten aircraft. All bombed causing fires. One fighter seen, but did not attack. One ditched, crew rescued.
51 Sqn. Twelve aircraft. One bombed due to severe weather and electrical storms.
78 Sqn. Eight aircraft. None bombed, one FTR.
The French coast is now so well lit up by burning barges that it has become known as "Blackpool Front" to the RAF bomber pilots.
RAF Fighter Command: During the day south London and radar stations are attacked. At night London and south Wales are bombed.
The Luftwaffe broke through the London defences today and again set fire to the docks. They are an easy target, a sprawling mass of warehouses packed with combustibles, found easily by the Germans who simply flew up the Thames.
The RAF response to the raid was weaker than usual, and the German pilots thought that at last they detected signs of the promised collapse of Fighter Command.
The weather is mainly cloudy with bright patches and cloud in the Channel. In the early hours activity is limited to small patrols off Gris Nez, and one or two reconnaissance flights off the coast. At about midday, large raids approached the Kent coast and attacked Manston, Dover, Folkestone and Deal areas. These raids are intercepted and casualties inflicted. There is again a lull until 1600 hours, when a large number of small raids crossed the coast in the region of Weymouth and Lyme Bay and proceeded to the South Wales, Gloucester and Middle Wallop areas. Off the North and East Coasts, only two raids are plotted in this area during the day, one of which crossed inland in the vicinity of Whitby, but flew out to sea again and faded shortly afterwards. Two sections of fighters failed to intercept. Off the South East Coast at 1200 hours, five raids totalling some 300 aircraft approached the Kentish Coast between North Foreland and Dover, and it is reported that Dover and Folkestone are dive-bombed, and an attack is made on Manston Aerodrome. Eight balloons are shot down at Dover, and a Lightship is sunk off Folkestone. RAF fighters intercepted these raids and inflicted casualties. The Bofors Guns at Manston shot down two Me 110s. After these raids had retired a considerable number of plots are detected in the Channel, which appeared to be Luftwaffe aircraft engaged on salvage operations. It is reported that a German surface craft and two hospital planes escorted by fighters are seen in a position off the North Goodwins Light Vessel. Of other raids plotted in this area, one appeared to make a reconnaissance of Manston and another bombed the RAF Station at Pevensey. Other raids penetrated to Kenley and Maidstone areas. One of these raids is intercepted on its way back off Dungeness, but without conclusive results. In the South and West in the morning, reconnaissances are made of Portland and Weymouth and several between Cherbourg, France, and The Lizard. From 1600 hours, a large number of small raids of one to three aircraft came from the Cherbourg area and crossed the coast to South Wales, Gloucester and Middle Wallop areas.
During the night of 14/15 September, there is very slight Luftwaffe activity, but a He 111, which appeared in North Wales, is subsequently shot down near Sealand by anti-aircraft fire. There are a few raids in Aberdeenshire and over convoys off Kinnaird's Head.RAF Fighter Command claimed 23-8-9 Luftwaffe aircraft and anti-aircraft batteries claimed 7-0-0 aircraft. The RAF lost eight aircraft in the air and three on the ground with one pilot killed and three missing.
Losses: Luftwaffe, 14; RAF, 14.
The work of the London docks is transferred to the Clyde in Scotland.
Corvette HMS Honeysuckle commissioned. Destroyers HMS Matchless and Meteor laid down.
BELGIUM: During the night of 14/15 September, an oil dept near Antwerp is bombed by 43 Royal Air Force Wellingtons in an untypical concentration of aircraft against one target.
FRANCE: The financial penalties imposed by Germany upon France for the privilege of paying the costs for the army of occupation are far steeper than reparations imposed on Germany after the Great War.
Under the armistice signed at Compiegne in June France must pay 20 million Reichsmark a day, or RM7.3 billion a year, almost three times what Germany had to pay under the Dawes plan of 1924 - one billion a year rising after four years to 2.5 billion.
GERMANY: Berlin: Hitler brings the invasion of Britain forward to 17 September on advice from Göring that the Luftwaffe is close to success.
ROMANIA: A formal understanding between the Romanian Legionary Movement and General Ion Antonescu is sanctioned by King Michael and a National Legionary State is proclaimed. Ion Antonescu becomes President; Horia Sima, Vice President and Commandant of the Legionary Movement and Prince Michael Sturdza, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
CANADA: Corvettes HMCS Chilliwack and Matapedia launched in North Vancouver and Quebec City respectively.
ST. PIERRE: The Ex-Servicemen’s General Assembly of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, the two French islands located about 15 miles (24 kilometers) off the coast of Newfoundland, announces its support for General Charles DeGaulle. The British Foreign Office sends note to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, urging the Canadian government to support the movement. Canadians decline to act and the islands Vichy governor dissolves the veterans league.
U.S.A.: The Congress passes the Selective Service Act authorizing the first peacetime draft (conscription) in U.S. history.
New United States naval policy called for a two-ocean navy. Destroyer USS Eberle launched.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: A US destroyer, part of Task Force 15, en route to Iceland, spots a submarine emerging from the fog. The sub submerges and 3 destroyers drop depth charges.
The only escort vessel escorting Convoy SC 3 (Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada to the U.K.), the British sloop HMS Dundee (L 84), is sunk by German submarine U-48 about 255 nautical miles (473 kilometers) west-northwest of Londonderry, County Derry, Northern Ireland, in position 56.45N, 14.14W at 2328 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
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