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18 Jun 1940
  • The German 7th Panzer Division under Rommel advanced another 75 miles since the prior date, reaching Cherbourg, France but not before most of the Allied personnel had already evacuated the city; also on this date, Le Mans, Belfort, Metz, and Dijon fell under German control. Elsewhere, the Allies completed the Operation Ariel evacuation of La Pallice and Saint-Nazaire, but all the heavy equipment were left behind in the latter location. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Sweden allowed passage of German troops between Oslo, Norway, and Trelleborg, Sweden, on Swedish rail lines, with the only demand being that the number of troops coming from Germany must equal to the number being evacuated, so that it could not be said that Sweden was helping Germany reinforce the front lines. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Charles de Gaulle made the "Appeal of June 18" speech, asking the French people to resist German occupation. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • In Brest, French cruisers El Djezair, El Kantara, El Mansour, Ville d'Oran, and Ville d'Alger departed 1,200 tons of French gold for Casablanca, French Morocco while the cruiser Victor-Schoelcher transported 198 tons of Belgian gold (originally held in French banks) from Lorient to the port of Dakar in French West Africa; the French gold would arrive in Casablanca on 21 Jun 1940, but the Belgian gold would be captured by the Germans. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-28 sank Finnish ship Sarmatia southwest of Ireland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-32 sank Spanish trawler Sálvora, Spanish trawler Nuevo Ons, and Norwegian ship Altair southwest of Ireland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Secretary of State Cordell Hull directed Deputy US Ambassador to France Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr. to inform the French government that if France failed to keep its fleet out of German hands, France would "permanently lose the friendship and goodwill of the Government of the United States". French Minister for Foreign Affairs Baudouin reiterated that the French fleet "would never be surrendered to Germany". ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • US Minister in Uruguay Edwin C. Wilson reported that Uruguayan government had arrested eight Nazi leaders and that Uruguay's Chamber of Deputies, in secret session the day before, had begun considering a report on Nazi Party activities in their country. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met in Munich, Germany to discuss the French peace request. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
Indian Ocean
  • In the afternoon, Italian submarine Galileo Galilei spotted a Yugoslavian steamer Drava in the Gulf of Aden and fired a shot across the bow ordering the ship to stop. After seeing the ship was under a neutral flag, the steamer was allowed to leave. However, the gunfire was heard by the anti-submarine warfare trawler HMS Moonstone, which then fired a warning signal. At around 1630 hours, while the submarine was still on the surface, she was attacked by British aircraft. Galileo Galilei was forced to submerge but remained on stations considering a rather weak response to her sighting. When the darkness fell, the boat resurfaced to recharge the batteries, but it was discovered by the British ship forcing the submarine to crash dive and go through a brief but intense depth-charge attack. ww2dbase [HM]
United Kingdom
  • British Prime Minister Winston Churchill made the "the Battle of France is over... I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin" speech before the House of Commons. "Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour'." On the same day, Churchill wrote to the Commander-in-Chief Home Forces asking for ideas for the creation of "Storm Troops" to be "ready to spring at the throat of any small landing or descent"; secretly he intended to use such a force as the basis for Commando raids on the continent. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC, AC]
  • The British War Office placed an order for 300 Canal Defence Light (CDL) tanks, Matilda tanks mounting a large searchlight in the turret that had been suggested by a Mr. Mitzakis in September 1939. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • After dark, seventy-one Luftwaffe aircraft crossed the English Channel in the first major air raid on Great Britain. Some were attempting to destroy the oil storage tanks at Thameshaven while others were targeting the airfields at Mildenhall and Honington. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]

18 Jun 1940 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis




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Famous WW2 Quote
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944