Diary June 18, 1940

advance in France
German Luftwaffe reconnaissance unit during the advance in France.
Diary for Tuesday, June 18, 1940:


Rommel captures Cherbourg; 5th Panzer Division captures Brest. All large French towns to be surrendered without resistance. Civil administrators and military forces to await arrival of Germans. General Legentilhomme, French commander in Somaliland, declares for de Gaulle.

Air War

70 German bombers raid East England; 11 killed at Cambridge (night June 18-19). Similar raids on most nights to end of month. Total German losses over England, June 5-30: 11 bombers.
Evacuation of last RAF squadrons from France completed.

Sea War

Atlantic: All French and Allied shipping evacuated from Brest and naval installations and harbor works destroyed. New French battleship Richelieu leaves Brest for Dakar (arrives June 23). Uncompleted battleship Jean Bart towed out of St Nazaire; fuelled under German air attack and sails under half-power for Casablanca (night June 18-19; arrives 22). 30,600 British and Allied troops evacuated from Cherbourg; French battleship Courbet gives covering fire. French troop ship Champlain (28,100 t) crippled by mine (finally sunk by U-boat U-65, June 21) in Bay of Biscay.
Pacific: British liner Niagara (13,400 t), carrying £ 2.25 million gold, mined and sunk off Auckland, New Zealand (gold salvaged from record depth of 148 yd (ca. 135 m) in 7 weeks).

Home Fronts

France: De Gaulle broadcasts from London.
Britain – Churchill declares in Commons: ‘Let us so bear ourselves that if the British Commonwealth and Empire lasts for a thousand years men will say, “This was their finest hour ! ” ‘


Hitler and Mussolini meet in Munich.

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