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16 Jul 1940
  • German armed merchant cruiser Thor sank British ship Wendover in the South Atlantic, killing 4 and capturing 36 civilian crew and 1 Royal Navy gunner. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Vichy France revoked the French citizenship of naturalized Jews. Meanwhile, in German-occupied Alsace-Lorraine, 22,000 French citizens were forcibly deported to France. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler issued FŁhrer Directive 16 for the preparation of an invasion plan for southern Britain in mid-Aug. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Phoenix attacked Italian torpedo boat Albatros southeast of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, with all torpedoes missing their target. Albatros responded with torpedoes of her own, sinking HMS Phoenix and killing the entire crew of 55. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-61 torpedoed British tanker Scottish Minstrel 130 miles northwest of Ireland, killing 9; 32 were later rescued by corvette HMS Gardenia. With her cargo of 9,200 tons of fuel oil burning, the tanker would remain afloat for another day before sinking. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Vichy France de-naturalized its Jewish citizens. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyer Whaddon was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British destroyer Dulverton was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British submarine Saracen was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Hugh Dalton was appointed the political chief of the British Special Operations Executive. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian bombers attacked the British base at Haifa, British Mandate of Palestine. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British and Australian warships bombarded Bardia, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Spanish agents met with the Duke of Windsor, the former King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, and warned him that his fellow countrymen were sending him to be the governor of the Bahamas to remove him from power. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Carsten GrÝm, master of Norwegian steam tanker Sarita which was sunken by German submarine UA two days prior, still adrift in the Atlantic Ocean, ordered all survivors to disembark rafts and to board the lifeboat, which kept course for Barbados. ww2dbase [HM]
  • 54 Japanese aircraft based in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China attacked Chongqing, China in two waves; 31 Chinese fighters (I-15bis, I-16, and Hawk III models) rose to intercept, claiming damage on several bombers. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Liu Zhesheng shot down two Japanese aircraft. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British destroyer HMS Imogen collided with cruiser HMS Glasgow in heavy fog off Pentland Firth and Duncansby Head, in northern Scotland, United Kingdom. She caught fire and was later abandoned, drifting 20 miles before sinking; 17 were killed and 133 were rescued. HMS Glasgow saw 2 killed and suffered a 6-foot hole above the waterline; she would be under repair at Liverpool, England, United Kingdom until 4 Sep. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Low cloud, fog, and heavy rain kept German aircraft grounded until the early afternoon. In the mid-afternoon, German bombers crossed the English Channel. One German Ju 88 bomber was shot down over the Isle of Wight by Spitfire fighters of No. 601 Squadron, and one German He 111 bomber was shot down in northeastern Scotland, United Kingdom during the bombing of Fraserburgh and Peterhead by Spitfire fighters of No. 603 Squadron. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

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
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Winston Churchill, on the RAF