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 You must seek permission prior to publication of any of our images.

Second World War  On This Day

November 1940

1 November 1940
Turkey declared neutrality in the Greco-Italian War.
2 November 1940
German U-boat U31 was depth charged and sunk by HMS Antelope with the loss of 2 of her 46 crew, and the rest became prisoners of war.
3 November 1940
After 57 consecutive nights of bombing since the Blitz began London went a night without being bombed.
4 November 1940
The Royal Navy began operations to protect supply convoys in the Mediterranean Sea.
5 November 1940
In the House of Commons it was reported that 45 000 troops were still under canvas in Great Britain.
To improve the conditions of British prisoners of war, large quantities of under garments, battle dress, and great coats have been sent from War Office stocks, to the British Red Cross and the International Red Cross at Geneva for despatch to all prisoner of war camps in Germany.
The tanker MV San Demetrio, carrying aviation fuel, was shelled by the German Admiral Scheer and set on fire in the Atlantic Ocean.  She was abandoned by her crew.  25 survivors were rescued, the other 16 re-boarded the ship on 7th November and reached the Clyde on 16th November.  The 16 were able to claim the salvage money for the ship.
6 November 1940
150 fully equipped 35mm mobile cinemas have been ordered for the Military.
7 November 1940
The Irish rejected a British request that strategic naval ports and air bases on Irish territory could be used by the British.
8 November 1940
The American steamship SS City of Rayville hit a German naval mine and sank in the Bass Strait, off Cape Otway, Australia.  This was the first US vessel lost during the Second World War.  110 mines had been laid by the captured Norwegian tanker 'Passat'.
9 November 1940
The Mediterranean Fleet harass Italian lines of communications in Libya by bombing Sidi Barrani.
Former Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain died on this day.
10 November 1940
The first aircraft to be ferried from Gander, Newfoundland to the United Kingdom, seven Lockheed Hudson bombers, landed at Aldergrove in Northern Ireland after a 10 hour 17 minute flight.
11 November 1940
The Battle of Taranto, off Taranto, Italy, took place.  The Royal Navy launched the first all aircraft ship to ship naval attack.  21 biplane torpedo bombers from HMS Illustrious attacked the Italian fleet at anchor in Taranto Harbour.  The Italian fleet lost half of its capital ships in one night.  Lessons learnt from the torpedo bombers were put into use by the Japanese when they attacked Pearl Harbour in December 1941.
12 November 1940
The Battle of the Strait of Otrato ended in Allied Victory in the Adriatic Sea, between Italy and Albania.
It was reported in the House of Commons that 44 000 British prisoners of war were held by the Germany and Italy
13 November 1940
BBC Radio included 'Over Here' a broadcast of a show given at an aerodrome 'somewhere in England' by American Artists over here, as a humble gesture to the Royal Air Force.
14 November 1940
The most devastating attack of the Coventry Blitz occurred.
15 November 1940
In Lancaster it was reported that the number of refugees, evacuees etc billeted in the city totalled 2009, not including family members.  There were 450 evacuated teachers and school children; 700 workmen on government contracts; 700 civil servants; 140 munitions workers; and 171 from two departments of a London Technical College.
The 7th Battalion, King's Own was converted from a pioneer battalion to an infantry battalion.
16 November 1940
The Warsaw Ghetto was sealed, cutting off 380 000 Jews from the rest of the world.
The Royal Air Force bombed Berlin, Hamburg, and Bremen and other cities in retaliation for the Coventry bombing.
17 November 1940
The British attempted Operation White, an attempt to deliver 14 aircraft from the carrier HMS Argus to Malta, but only five planes made it due to bad weather and the presence of the Italian Fleet.  Many of the aircraft simply ran out of fuel and had to ditch in the sea, with the loss of both the plane and the pilots.
18 November 1940
Airborne radar was successfully used by the RAF for the first time.
19 November 1940
Private Job Witton of the 5th King’s Own, who had been captured in Northern France on 29th May 1940, departed Gibraltar for home, after escaping the Germans and travelling through occupied France, Vichy France and neutral Spain.   Job's successful escape saw him awarded the Military Medal.
It was reported that 100 members of the House of Commons were serving in His Majesty's Forces.
About 900 people were killed in a German bombing raid of Birmingham.
In Lancaster, the generation station on Caton Road was to be camouflaged following instructions from the Ministry of Home Security.
20 November 1940
It was reported in the House of Commons that the suggestion of issuing identity discs to civilians, to assist in identification of bodies killed in air raids, was under examination.
In Lancaster, the pond near the south west entrance to Williamson Park had been granted to the King's Own Infantry Training Centre for training.  It was to be used for the construction of light bridges and the use of assault boats.
21 November 1940
Italian forces were pushed back into Albania by the Greeks.
22 November 1940
In Lancaster, following War Weapons week the City Treasurer was able to invest the sum of £15 000.
23 November 1940
An air raid over Southampton killed 77 and injured 300.
The Belgian government in exile in London declared war on Italy.
24 November 1940
The first major air raid took place on Bristol took place.  12 000 incendiary bombs and 160 tons of high explosive bombs started more than 70 fires and killed 207 people.  Thousands of houses were destroyed or damaged.
25 November 1940
The De Havilland Mosquito prototype bomber took its first flight.  It was introduced into Royal Air Force service one year later, nearly 8000 being built.   Wings, spars, flaps and leading edges were made at the Waring and Gillow furniture factory in Lancaster.
26 November 1940
The BBC Radio broadcast for today including exercises for men and women 'Up in the Morning Early', 'The Kitchen in Wartime' Christmas Dinner 1940, and Music While You Work by a Grand Accordion Band
27 November 1940
A Messerschmitt Bf109 'Black 12' crash landed at RAF Manston, after suffering damage from a Spitfire.  The aircraft was recovered and repaired and used for evaluation purposes.
28 November 1940
The Germans bombed Liverpool, killed 166 civilians.
In Lancaster the King's Own Royal Regiment played a football match on Giant Axe Field.
29 November 1940
German Military Leaders issued a draft plan for the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
30 November 1940
A six hour air raid attack took place on Southampton, killing 137 people.

December 1940


© Images are copyright, Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum.
 You must seek permission prior to publication of any of our images.

Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time.  Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions.  An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.

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