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19 Jul 1940
  • The Two-Ocean Navy Act was passed by the US Congress. ww2dbase [Two-Ocean Navy Act | CPC]
  • British General Alan Brooke took over as Commander-in-Chief of Home Forces, relieving Edmund Ironside. Ironside was promoted to Field Marshal as consolation; he had only been at the helm of Home Forces for two months. ww2dbase [Alan Brooke | TH]
  • Hermann Hoth was promoted to the rank of general. ww2dbase [Hermann Hoth | CPC]
  • Battle of Cape Spada: British destroyers HMS Hyperion, HMS Hasty, HMS Ilex, and HMS Hero engaged Italian cruisers Giovanni dalle Bande Nere and Bartolomeo Colleoni. As the British destroyers began to flee from fight, Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney and British destroyer HMS Havock arrived to lend help. Sydney disabled Bartolomeo Colleoni with gunfire, and Ilex and Hyperion launched torpedoes to sink her, killing 121. Giovanni dalle Bande Nere was able to withdraw. 555 survivors of Bartolomeo Colleoni was rescued by Ilex and Hyperion after the battle. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-62 sank a British ship 30 miles northwest of Ireland; 13 were killed and 26 survived. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Thor sank Dutch ship Tela off the coast of Brazil. The entire crew of 33 were taken prisoner. ww2dbase [Thor | CPC]
  • Werner M├Âlders was promoted to the rank of Major. ww2dbase [Werner M├Âlders | CPC]
  • Daphne Pearson was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal for her 31 May 1940 rescue of a pilot from a crashed bomber at RAF Detling, unspent ammunition exploding all around her. The medal was later updated to the George Cross in 1941. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British Army Intelligence Corps was established. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The British Government removed the right of workers to strike. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Cruisers USS Wichita and USS Quincy arrived at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright arrived later on the same day with Marines for Wichita and Quincy, respectively. ww2dbase [Quincy (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • Heinz Guderian was promoted to the rank of Generaloberst (Colonel General). ww2dbase [Heinz Guderian | AC]
  • Eduard Dietl became the first person to receive Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. ww2dbase [Eduard Dietl | CPC]
  • Denmark withdrew from the League of Nations. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Wolfgang Falck was ordered to see Hermann G├Âring; during this meeting, Falck would be promoted to the rank of Major. ww2dbase [Wolfgang Falck | CPC]
Germany Gibraltar
  • British troopship Royal Ulsterman departed from Gibraltar for Madeira with evacuated civilians; she was escorted by destroyer HMS Velox. ww2dbase [CPC]
Italy United Kingdom
  • Defiant turret fighters of No. 141 Squadron RAF were launched to protect a convoy off Folkestone, England, United Kingdom but they were inadequate in defending against German aerial attacks. 6 of them were shot down by 12 German Bf 109 fighters within the first eight minutes of combat (10 killed, 2 survived), with the 3 remaining saved only by the arrival of Hurricane fighters of No. 111 Squadron RAF. Elsewhere, German bombers attacked various targets in southern and eastern Britain, leading to the loss of 3 Hurricane fighters, the death of 42 civilians in Glasgow, damage aboard destroyers HMS Griffin and HMS Beagle, and the sinking of tanker War Sepoy. The Germans lost 3 bombers and 3 fighters on this day. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • The first prototype of the cavity magnetron was delivered to the British radar research center near Swanage, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British corvette HMS Kingcup was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British submarine HMS Umbra was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British corvette HMS Bluebell was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British corvette HMS Picotee was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS P611 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMS Crestflower was bombed and sunk by German aircraft off Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a proposal to the British War Cabinet suggesting the creation of Special Operations Executive (SOE) to conduct unscrupulous, underhand methods to be pursued against Germany. ww2dbase [Special Operations Executive | Winston Churchill | London, England | AC]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt departed Washington Navy Yard, Washington DC, United States aboard presidential yacht Potomac, along with auxiliary vessel Cuyahoga, for a cruise in the Chesapeake Bay. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | Washington | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 19 Jul 1940
Adolf Hitler with newly appointed Field Marshals, Kroll Opera House, Berlin, Germany, 19 Jul 1940Fumimaro Konoe, Yosuke Matsuoka, Zengo Yoshida, and Hideki Tojo at the Ogikubo Talk at Konoe

19 Jul 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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