Diary July 9, 1940

cruiser Bolzano under attack
The Italian heavy cruiser Bolzano under attack from Swordfish torpedo planes.
Diary for Tuesday, July 9, 1940:

Sea War

Mediterranean: Naval action off Calabria (Battle of Punta Stilo). British Mediterranean Fleet attempts to cut off Italian Fleet from its Taranto base, but Italians escape at high speed covered by smoke screen; battleship Giulio Cesare and cruiser Bolzano damaged (98 casualties). Repeated attacks by Italian land-based aircraft damage cruiser Gloucester (and narrowly miss Italian warships). Italian bombers also make heavy attacks on British Force ‘H’, attempting to reach battle area from the West. Mussolini issues Order of the Day to Italian Fleet: ‘You have obtained our first naval victory …’
Arctic: German disguised raider Komet leaves Bergen for the Pacific, via Northeast Passage (assisted by Russian ice-breakers).

Air War

12 Blenheims (7 lost, 5 damaged) raid Stavanger airfield.

Home Fronts

Britain: £1,000 Millions Vote of Credit for war expenditure approved by House of Commons.

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