June 19 – On this day

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HM Submarine Orpheus was last heard from on this date while on patrol in the Mediterranean in 1940. Read here of other major events and two 2019 deployments 

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1815

The 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons were part of the Union Brigade at Waterloo. Colonel Sir William Ponsonby, was killed in the charge. Wellington praised the Regiment and an Inniskilling Dragoon is on the Wellington Memorial as a result. This cavalry Regiment was raised in Ireland in 1689. It continued in British Army service until 1922, when it was merged into the 5th/6th Dragoons.

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1917

Britain’s royal family changes its name from the Germanic “Saxe-Coburg-Gotha” to “Windsor.”

WR1940

HM Submarine Orpheus was last heard from on this date while on patrol in the Mediterranean. She sent a signal from a position NW of Benghazi and then disappeared, possibly mined, or sunk by Italian warships. All 55 crew lost.

If invaders come leaflet is issued by Ministry of Information to all households. The British Jockey Club announces no more racing until further notice.

The Germans invite the French to send a representative to discuss armistice terms as their troops reach River Loire, advance on Lyons, capture Strasbourg, Brest and Tours.

Rommel takes Cherbourg.
More than 100 German bombers make raids over Britain.
French ships seek refuge in British ports.

1941

Germany and Italy expel United States consular officials in retaliation for American moves.

The Russians order a black-out of all major cities and towns near the border. However, they still do not allow their troops to take up battle positions, in spite of information given by two German deserters of an imminent attack.

Churchill and Roosevelt meet to discuss the number of conflicting offensive plans which might be launched against Germany in 1942. The main ones were ‘Rutter’, a 24-hour cross Channel raid on Dieppe. ‘Sledgehammer’ using six division to establish a lodgment on the French coast at Cherbourg and ‘Jupiter’ which called for a lodgement in northern Norway. Discussion were also had on the up and coming operation ‘Gymnast’, which was the proposed Anglo-American landing in French North Africa later in the year.

Plans for the offensive in to the Caucasus are captured by the Russians when a staff officer from the 23rd Panzer Division is shot down. Against all order, he was carrying the plans on his person. 40th Panzer Corps commander, General Stumme and his chief of staff are immediately sacked and imprisoned on Hitlers express orders. No changes were made to the plan as although the Russians considered them authentic, they believed that it was only a subsidiary thrust and that the main objective was still Moscow, which suited the Germans.

Rommel launches a surprise attack from the southeast against Tobruk. This throw’s the garrison into confusion which allows German troops to breach the outer defenses.

1942

United States Vice Admiral Robert Ghormley assumes command of South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force in Auckland, New Zealand.
United States pharmacies are urged to turn in quinine supplies over 10 oz..

1943

RAF carries out a raid on the Schneider armaments works at Le Creusot.
Goebbels declares Berlin to be Judenfrei (cleansed of Jews).

1944

A violent storm in the English Channel wrecks the U.S. Mulberry Harbour at St. Laurent (Omaha Beach). 20 allied divisions now oppose 16 German in Normandy.
The Air Ministry release the first official details of the V1s (range 150 miles, speed 300-350 mph, 2,000lb bomb) as AA gunners start calling them Doodlebugs.
Lt. Vraciu signals six “Judy” kills, which he accomplished in less than eight minutes during the now famed “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot”
U.S. Navy carrier-based planes shatter the remaining Japanese carrier forces in the “Battle of the Marianas”. Also known as the “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot,” Americans shoot down 402 Japanese planes while only losing 20.

1945

The Australians are now in control of both sides of the Brunei Bay entrance.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower receives a ticker-tape parade in New York City.

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1949

The WRAC was formed.

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2003

HMS Albion, the Amphibious Assault Ship, was commissioned HMNB Devonport. Albion is the ancient name for the island of Great Britain so it is fitting that the Royal Navy’s current flagship reflects that national history. Deployed to the Baltic in June 2019.

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2019

29 Royal Signals soldiers are deployed with the NATO mission in Afghanistan, tasked with operating comms in support of training, advisory and assist teams. The largest mainstream Royal Signals deployment since combat ops ended in December 2014.

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