War Diary March 28th to April 13th 1940, WW2

Thursday March 28th

  • Supreme War Council met in London reviewed Allied strategy and issued solemn declaration of united action in making peace and in reconstruction after peace.
  • Heinkel raider shot down in sea off coastline.
  • Patrol aeroplane of Coastal Command has prolonged engagement with two Dorniers over north Sea, and disabled one. British plane, though damaged, returned safely.
  • Enemy aircraft attacked British convoy in North Sea, but did no damage.
  • During night of March 27-28th, RAF carried out extensive reconnaissance flights over north-west Germany. Two planes failed to return. Three aircraft of New Zealand’s Squadron took part in such flights for first time.
  • British bomber made forced landings over Dutch territory when attacked by Netherland fighters.
  • Announced that six British envoys in central and south-eastern Europe have been called home for consultation with Foreign Office.
  • U-boat, which had run around in the Skagerral, internet by Norway.
  • Mr Sumner Welles was received by President Roosevelt on his return from Europe.

Friday March 29th

  • M Molotiv, Soviet Primeminster, in review of foreign policy given before Supreme Council of Soviet Union, declared that Russia would remain neutral in the War.
  • German raider shot down in sea off coast off Northumberland.
  • RAF fighter patrols in France engaged strong formations of enemy aircraft near Metz drove them back into their own territory and brought down two Messerschmitts in flames.
  • Paris reported that two German aircraft had been shot down in France.
  • Admiralty announced that enemy bombers again attempted to attack convoys in North Sea, but were driven off without doing any damage.
  • Survivors of bombed  Dutch trawler ‘Protinus’ picked up after six days in open boat by British submarine ‘Unity’ landed at Scottish port.
  • White Book containing alleged Polish documents professing to show part of USA in causing war, issued by German Foreign Office.

Saturday March 30th

  • Enemy aircraft which approached Shetlands driven off.
  • Dutch trawlers ‘Viking bank’ and ‘Is Groen’ reported attacks by German bombers in North Sea on Thursday.
  • Nazi newspaper in Istanbul, ‘Turkish Post’ closed down by order of Turkish Government.
  • Mr Churchill in a broadcast, said that an intensification of the war was to be expected, and gave a warning to neutrals.
  • Minister of Agriculture stated that up to March 15, 1,370,000 of the 2,000,000 extra acres of tillage aimed at had been ploughed.
  • Sir John Gilmour, Minister of Shipping died.

Sunday March 31st

  • Spitfire fighter on a patrol east of Suffolk coast, had duel with a Dornier 17 and drive it out to sea in a damaged condition.
  • Enemy planes driven off Shetlands and Orkneys. No bombs dropped.
  • Further air success in France during weekend were reported. In one encounters RAF fighter patrol attacked nine Messerschmitts, one of which was shot down.
  • In another, two hurricane planes, attacked a Dornier at a height of 19,000 feet and drive it back disabled over the frontier.
  • Belgian fishing trawler fired on by German aeroplane.
  • Reported from Tallinn that immediate evacuation of Baltiski, leased by Estonia to Russia as naval base, had been demanded nearly one month before arranged date (May 1st.)

Monday April 1st

  • RAF aircraft of Bomber command actively engaged in Reconnaissance over North Sea, attacked enemy patrol with bombs.
  • German Junkers 88 were engaged by British Blenheim and damaged, its wreckage being later observed by a warship. One British aircraft missing.
  • Paris reported heavy artillery fire in region west of the Saar, and considerable air activity on both sides.
  • Reported that question of tightening blockage against Germany is under continuous consideration by British and French Governments.
  • Statement was read in the Riksdag steps taken by Swedish Government in connexion with Russo-Finnish conflict.
  • Announced that Home Secretary has appointed twelve regional advisory committees to reconsider cases of certain classes of aliens in Britain.
  • M Frossard, French Minister of Information, arrived in London for consultations with Sir John Reith.
  • General Smuts’ War Measures Bill passed by South African House of Assembly by 75 votes to 55.

Tuesday April 2nd

  • German aircraft carried out attack on Scapa Flow at dusk, and were driven off by fire of ships and batteries. Bombs dropped, but no damage done. One raider believed to have been shot down.
  • Admiralty announced that enemy aircraft attacked convoys in North Sea, but were driven off by gunfire.
  • Three Hurricane fighters, patrolling North Sea, fought two Heinkel raiders only 20 feet above the sea.
  • Three RAF fighters were engaged with nine Messerschmitst on Western Front and were reported to have brought down three of the enemy.
  • Two more Messerschmitts shot down by the French.
  • Announced that last week a U-boat was sunk off west coast of Scotland by a patrol vessel.

Wednesday April 3rd

  • Eleven ministerial changes made in Government, in addition to appointment of Mr Churchill as head of Committee of Service Ministers, following resignation of Lord Chatfield, Minister of Co-ordination of Defence.
  • First RAF fighter in coastal Defence to be lost since war began, a Spitfire was brought down off Yorkshire coast after engaging a Heinkel, which also fell into the sea.
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