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12 Sep 1940
  • German armed merchant cruiser Pinguin intercepted British ship Benavon 330 miles east of Madagascar. Benavon resisted with her 4-inch gun, but her inexperienced gun crew failed to fit the shell with fuse caps, thus one of the shells that hit Pinguin right next to the magazine failed to detonate. Pinguin returned fire. After 24 deaths, the remaining 25 members of Benavon's crew surrendered. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Hungary completed the occupation of Northern Transylvania, Maramures, and part of Crisana; these were territory Germany and Italy forced Romania to cede. Meanwhile, the Germans established a military mission in Bucharest, ostensibly to train the Romanian Army, but the intended goal was to safeguard the Romanian oil fields. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • After refueling at Casablanca overnight, three of the six French warships (the three cruisers) departed at 0400 hours, sailing full speed for Dakar in French West Africa. Behind them, HMS Renown's group, now with six destroyers in escort, chased in an attempt to intercept. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Italian 10th Army advanced slowly toward the Libyan-Egyptian border. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • In a report to his superiors dated this day regarding German aerial attacks on Britain, Keith Park wrote "confidence is felt in our ability to hold the enemy by day and to prevent his attaining superiority in the air over our territory, unless he greatly increases the scale or intensity of his attacks." ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The German Navy noted that British naval shelling and air bombing were significantly undermining the German efforts to gather naval forces for the planned invasion of Britain. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Bad weather restricted German activity to small reconnaissance flights over Britain during the day. Overnight, 50 bombers attacked London, England, United Kingdom. St. Paul's Cathedral was hit by a bomb which failed to detonate; Royal Engineers Lieutenant R. Davies and Sapper J. Wylie were later awarded the George Cross for defusing this bomb. On this night when two of the German bombers were shot down, London searchlight and anti-aircraft gun crews attempted to improve their coordination. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Lieutenant Robert Davies' company of the British Royal Engineers successfully removed an unexploded one-ton bomb from the southwestern corner of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, England, United Kingdom and then brought it to the countryside to detonate it. Davies and fellow sapper George Wylie were awarded the George Cross medals. ww2dbase [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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Winston Churchill