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15 Aug 1940
  • Roosevelt approved the National Defense Research Committee, which was a collection of civilian scientists working for the military. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Italian troops continued the attack at Tug Argan, British Somaliland, taking another one of the six hills overlooking the main road. Overnight, British forces withdrew towards Berbera, with African troops, Indian troops, and troops of the Scottish regiment Black Watch forming a rearguard at Barkasan. ww2dbase [Invasion of British Somaliland | CPC]
  • German submarine U-A sank Greek ship Aspasia 700 miles west of Gibraltar at 2000 hours with two torpedoes, killing the entire crew of 19. Far to the north, 190 miles northwest of Rockall, Ireland, German submarine U-51 sank British tanker Sylvafield, which was carrying 7,860 tons of fuel oil, killing 3; 20 survivors were rescued by Belgian trawler Rubens and 16 survivors were rescued by British minesweeping trawler HMS Newland. In Germany, German Navy ordered the construction of 86 new submarines. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • Eric Wilson of British Somaliland Camel Corps manned his machine gun during the Italian attack at Tug Argan Gap, British Somaliland despite being overpowered. A retreat order had already been given but it never got to him. He was captured; he was subsequently freed and joined the Long Range Desert Group. He would later win the Victoria Cross for the action at Tug Argan Gap. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Churchill responded to US President Roosevelt's telegram of 13 Aug 1940 regarding the offer of destroyers, noting "moral value of this fresh aid from your Government and your people at this critical time will be very great and widely felt." ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • The US Navy established a Naval Air Station in Miami, Florida, United States with Commander Gerald F. Bogan in command. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright arrived at Bahia, Brazil. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Oberstleutnant Hans Korte was named the commanding officer of the German Kampfgeschwader 55 wing. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean Greece
  • Italian Air Force bombers attacked Greek destroyers Vasilissa Olga and Vasilevs Georgios I near the islands of Tinos and Syros. ww2dbase [South Aegean | CPC]
  • The 2,640-ton Greek cruiser-minelayer Elli was torpedoed by the Italian Squallo-slass submarine Delfino during a religious festival Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos while at anchor at Tinos Island, Greece at 0825 hours; 9 were killed, 24 were wounded. Delfino also fired a torpedo at anchored passenger ships Elsi and Esperos, but those torpedoes missed, damaging the wharf instead. ww2dbase [Delfino | Elli | Tinos, South Aegean | CPC, HM]
Italy United Kingdom
  • As the weather over Britain cleared up, the German Luftwaffe launched a major strike, with aircraft from Norway and Denmark joining their counterparts based in France. A formation of 1,100 German aircraft crossed the Dover Strait before diverging to different targets, damaging aircraft, runways, hangars, and radar stations. At 1850 hours, German Bf 110 fighter-bombers bombed Croydon airfield south of London, England, United Kingdom by mistake, meeting stiff resistance; one of the shot down Bf 110 aircraft crashed into a London suburb, killing 60 and wounding 120. At the end of the day, 161 aircraft, mostly bombers, were lost, leading to the nicknaming of this day Black Thursday. The RAF lost 34 fighters and 18 pilots. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]
  • US Assistant Chief of Naval Operations Rear Admiral Robert L. Ghormley, US Army Air Corps Major General Delos C. Emmons, and US Army Brigadier General George V. Strong arrived in London, England, United Kingdom for an informal meeting with British officers. ww2dbase [London, England | CPC]
  • James Lacey damaged a German Do 17 aircraft over Britain. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
United States
  • The US Army contracted with the automobile manufacturer Chrysler to build the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant in Michigan, United States. It was to be the country's first government-owned contractor-operated facility. ww2dbase [Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant | Warren, Michigan | CPC]

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

Winston Churchill, on the RAF

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