War & Conflicts Discussions => World War II => Topic started by: Koen on 1 September 2009, 20:26:50

Title: It started September 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 1 September 2009, 20:26:50
September 1st 1939

On September 1st German forces invaded Poland from the north, south, and west. Spread thin defending their long borders, the Polish armies were soon forced to withdraw eastward. After the mid-September Polish defeat in the Battle of the Bzura, the Germans gained an undisputed advantage. Polish forces then began a withdrawal southeast, following a plan that called for a long defence in the Romanian bridgehead area, where the Polish forces were to await an expected Allied counterattack and relief.

The battle for Poland officially took place from September 1st until October 6th 1939.

The German name for the Poland operation was called 'Operation White' or in German 'Fall Weiss'

The plan and execution only came after a treaty between Germany and Russia to divide Poland...this treaty was called 'Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact' consisting of both Germany's and Russia's foreign minister names.

The excuse for the German attack was a staged attack from Polish troops, disguised German troops, on a German borderpost...
The whole thing was staged ofcourse...

Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939
Post by: Rattler on 1 September 2009, 21:26:17
first "Blitzkrieg", nice find.

Actualy, on SEP 1, (this off memory, so feel free to correct/bash me) it was the "Schleswig Holstein" opening fire on the "Westerplatte" close to Danzig - in fact IIRC on a minor coast guard outpost - at 0445 JULIET.

The defending forces (again., of memory and IIRC, were a 200 soldiers battalion that gave quite a fight).

It would be interesting (just me) to see who the attacking and defending forces on that day were in detail, at "Westerplatte".

Any record on the Polish BN? OOB? TO+E? Survivors? Same for the Germans


Title: September 1st 1939
Post by: Koen on 2 September 2009, 09:21:45
first "Blitzkrieg", nice find.

Actualy, on SEP 1, (this off memory, so feel free to correct/bash me) it was the "Schleswig Holstein" opening fire on the "Westerplatte" close to Danzig - in fact IIRC on a minor coast guard outpost - at 0445 JULIET.

The defending forces (again., of memory and IIRC, were a 200 soldiers battalion that gave quite a fight).

It would be interesting (just me) to see who the attacking and defending forces on that day were in detail, at "Westerplatte".

Any record on the Polish BN? OOB? TO+E? Survivors? Same for the Germans


Battle of Westerplatte (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfoRhrvTgmA#normal)

yes, watch the videoclip and you see the "Schleswig Holstein" opening fire!

will look into more details....today September 2nd...reports will follow later today

Title: September 1939: Blitzkrieg
Post by: Solideo on 2 September 2009, 09:44:54
Well I will put some links of interesting photos from other web like graphic support and detailed corps in that beginning support:

http://images.google.es/imgres?imgurl=http://history.sandiego.edu/cdr2/WW2Pics/51867big.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.taringa.net/posts/info/1077623/La-Campa%25C3%25B1a-de-Polonia.html&usg=__B0Sgg4NacTzuKidyasKrFLNg19E=&h=1102&w=980&sz=510&hl=es&start=4&um=1&tbnid=lScWh00LyVgG8M:&tbnh=150&tbnw=133&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dinvasion%2Bde%2Bpolonia%26hl%3Des%26sa%3DX%26um%3D1 (http://images.google.es/imgres?imgurl=http://history.sandiego.edu/cdr2/WW2Pics/51867big.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.taringa.net/posts/info/1077623/La-Campa%25C3%25B1a-de-Polonia.html&usg=__B0Sgg4NacTzuKidyasKrFLNg19E=&h=1102&w=980&sz=510&hl=es&start=4&um=1&tbnid=lScWh00LyVgG8M:&tbnh=150&tbnw=133&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dinvasion%2Bde%2Bpolonia%26hl%3Des%26sa%3DX%26um%3D1)

It´s in Spanish but I like how it´s resumed and about the units it´s easy to understand. Anyway Rattler or me can solve any doubt. I am so off my head to translate all now.

On it, you can notice how the tram was prepared by ss soldiers, including name of the officer, name of the village station attacked, etc.

German failures in Poland campaign
(depends on the informer fountain)

Feldgrau  16.343
G. Parada  Between 8.082 -10.572
Shirer 3.400


Feldgrau 320
G. Parada  Between  3.404 y 5.029
Shirer ???


Feldgrau 27.280
G. Parada  Between 27.278 y 30.322
Shirer 30.322


Pz. I    89

Pz. II    83

Pz. 35(t)    7

Pz. 38(t)  7

Pz. III    26

Pz. IV  19

Befs.Pz   5

TOTAL   236

Title: The morning after September 1st 1939
Post by: Koen on 2 September 2009, 14:12:26
September 2nd: the morning after ...

The citizens of the town Wielun in Poland didn't sleep last night...yesterday their town was bombed by the Luftwaffe during the first hostile action of World War II killing around 1300 civilians. This meant that the killing rate was more then double of Guernica.
90% of the towncentre was destroyed with for the complete town a destruction rate of 75%

The attack came in 5 min. before the bombing of the Westerplatte at 04:40 in the morning....


For the citizens of Wielun World War II didn't start on the radio, it started it's terror amongst their families and friends at home.

StuKa's from a formation of 62 Ju 87 from I/StG 76 (Hptm Walter Sigel) and I/StG 77 (Hptm Friedrich-Karl Freiherr von Dalwigk zu Lichtenfels) arrived at 04:40 for the first bombardment wave dropping 380 bombs - about 46 tons of explosive.
Historians say there were 4 waves at 04:40, 07:00, 10:00 & 14:00 hours.


wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wielu%C5%84 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wielu%C5%84)

Title: September 2nd 1939
Post by: Koen on 2 September 2009, 19:30:42
Outcry over Poland

United Kingdom Parliament

Headline: Today in Parliament - there was an outcry in the House of Commons this evening when Mr Greenwood asked the Prime Minister why Britain was not standing by Poland.

The Commons began an emergency sitting at 3.00pm when a full house of members and ministers attended this special session on the crisis. It was not until a 7.45pm that the Prime Minister entered the chamber to loud cheering.

'... bound to take action unless German forces are withdrawn ...'

Anxiously awaiting news of the developments since yesterday, members were told by Mr Chamberlain that the warning message read to the House yesterday was delivered to Herr von Ribbentrop at 9.30pm last night. There has still been no reply.

Mr Chamberlain assured the House that His Majesty's Government would be bound to take action unless German forces are withdrawn from Polish territory. He also drew attention to the vital question of the time limit to be observed within which the German forces would be allowed to withdraw from Poland. The Government, he said, were in communication with the French Government over this.

    'If the German Government should agree to withdraw their forces, then His Majesty's Government would be willing to regard the position as being the same as it was before the German forces crossed the Polish frontier.'

Mr Chamberlain went on to announce that yesterday the Reichstag passed a law reuniting Danzig with the Reich. His Majesty's Government, he said, refused to recognise this act which was a flagrant violation of the League of Nation's protection of the Free City and the rights given to Poland in Danzig, by treaty.

There were loud cheers when Mr Greenwood, the acting leader of the opposition rose to reply to cries of, 'What about Britain?' and, 'Speak for the working classes!' The whole House, he said, was perturbed by Mr Chamberlain's statement. An end to the incessant strain was sought by all quarters.

Cries of 'Now!' accompanied this remark, and Mr Greenwood concluded by saying: 'I hope, therefore, that tomorrow morning, however hard it may be to the Right Honourable Gentleman - and no one would care to be in his shoes tonight - we shall know the mind of the British Government, and that there shall be no more devices for dragging out what has been dragged out too long. The moment we look like weakening, at that moment dictatorship knows we are beaten. We are not beaten; we shall not be beaten; we cannot be beaten.'

In reply Mr Chamberlain hoped that despite the difficult position the Government was in tonight, his statement earlier did not betray the slightest weakening.

    'It is very possible that the communications which we have had with the French Government will receive a reply... in the course of the next few hours. I understand that the French cabinet is in session at this moment and I feel certain that I shall be able to make to the House a statement of a definite character tomorrow when the House meets again.'

The earlier business in the Commons today was to debate the several bills dealing with the Emergency Provisions for Personal Injury and National Health Insurance and Contributory Pensions. The first and longest debate this morning was the National Health Service (Armed Forces) Bill, which will make all fit males, aged 18 to 40 liable to be called up. After several objections to the lowering of the minimum age to 18 had been heard, the Bill was given a Government majority of seven votes in its first reading.

[*Reports taken from BBC news bulletins, and a range of daily newspapers]

Title: September 3rd1939
Post by: stoffel on 2 September 2009, 19:51:58
On this day the Germans moved on towards the town of Bydgoszcz.
The Polish 15th infantrydivision offered tough resistance.
More interesting is what happened in the city itself.
The small German civilian minority in the town was well organized.
The only regular Polish armyforces in the town were signal, transport and other support units.
With help from the local Polish population this attempt was crushed.

Title: September 2nd 1939
Post by: Koen on 2 September 2009, 19:55:31
more events that happened on September 2nd 1939:

The United Kingdom and France issue a joint ultimatum to Germany, requiring German troops to evacuate Polish territory; Italian dictator Benito Mussolini declares the neutrality of his nation; President Douglas Hyde of the Republic of Ireland declares the neutrality of his nation; the Swiss government orders a general mobilisation of its forces.

The National Service (Armed Forces) Act (1939) was enacted immediately and enforced full conscription on all males between 18 and 41 resident in the UK.

The Free City of Danzig is annexed by Germany.

In France... The British RAF Advanced Air Striking Force arrives. Some 10 bomber squadrons are involved in the deployment.

In Berlin... The German government announces that Norwegian neutrality will be respected, provided that Britain and France do the same. Hitler rejects an offer to mediate the German-Polish dispute, made by Mussolini on August 31st and the proposal for a peace conference.

In Dublin... The Irish government declares its neutrality.

In Bern... The Swiss government orders a general mobilization.

Title: September 1939
Post by: Rattler on 2 September 2009, 20:18:41
Interesting, you guys sure know a lot about that time frame, learning something new each day.

I have stumbled today (but - my bad - not recorded the URL) on a site that does the same: WWII day-by-day, maybe worthwile digging it up?

Thanks for sharing, and keep it up (only another 5 1/2 yrs left...)!


Title: September 3rd 1939
Post by: Koen on 3 September 2009, 19:50:05
The Allied governments declared war on Germany on 3 September, this was a pure political decision.
Nothing really happened, especially the British government thought and hoped that it could be solved with talks with Germany.
The British ultimatum to Germany expires at 1100 hours and at 1115 hours, Chamberlain broadcasts to announce that the war has begun. Chamberlain forms a War Cabinet, which includes Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty (which is signaled to all Royal Navy ships and installations with the message "Winston is back")
As a matter of fact, Poland was handed over to the Germans, same as the other countries Germany annexed in the last 2 years proceeding the invasion of Poland.

Günther von Kluge, in command of Sixth Army Group, in the north had reached the Vistula (some 10 kilometres from the German border at that time) river, Georg von Küchler, in command of 3rd Army, was approaching the Narew River and Walther von Reichenau's armour of 10th Army was already beyond the Warta river.
14th Army, commande by General List, is converging on Krakow.

SS Athenia, under Captain James Cook, departed Glasgow for Montreal on 1 September 1939, via Liverpool and Belfast, carrying 1,103 civilians, including more than 300 Americans, and 315 crew. She left Liverpool at 13:00 on 2 September, and on the evening of 3 September was 60 mi (97 km) south of Rockall (250 miles/400 km northwest of Inishtrahull, Ireland), when she was sighted by the German U-boat U-30 commanded by Oberleutnant Fritz-Julius Lemp around 16:30. Lemp later claimed that the fact that she was a darkened ship steering a zigzag course which seemed to be well off the normal shipping routes made him believe she was either a troopship or a Q-ship or an armed merchant cruiser. U-30 tracked the Athenia for three hours until eventually, at 19:40, when both vessels were between Rockall and Tory Island, Lemp ordered two torpedoes to be fired. The first struck home and exploded, while the second misfired. Athenia began to settle by the stern.

R.A.F. does his first leaflet drop over Germany, some 6 millions leaflets were dropped over major cities in northern Germany and the Ruhr area.

Overseas, New Zealand and Australia declare war on Germany.

Belgium declares its neutrality as tiny neighbour of Germany.

After 3 days 1.5 million people in the UK were transported out of the cities to the countryside.

Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939
Post by: Rattler on 4 September 2009, 01:14:14
R.A.F. does his first leaflet drop over Germany, some 6 millions leaflets were dropped over major cities in northern Germany and the Ruhr area.

Contents known?


Title: September night 3/4 1939
Post by: Koen on 4 September 2009, 09:48:52
R.A.F. does his first leaflet drop over Germany, some 6 millions leaflets were dropped over major cities in northern Germany and the Ruhr area.

Contents known?


some info: 10 Whitley bombers of Nos. 51 and 58 Sqns carry out the first RAF raid over Germany, dropping some 6 million leaflets over Hamburg, Bremen and the Ruhr

can't find anything on the content of the leaflets...still looking....

Title: September 4th 1939
Post by: Koen on 4 September 2009, 14:34:18
September 4th 1939

The RAF records its first losses of the war when five Wellingtons of No. 9 Sqn are shot down during a raid on German warships in the Elbe estuary.
It also raided German warships based in the Heligoland Bight with 29 Blenheim and Wellington bombers in a daylight raid. The Admiral Scheer is hit three times but the bombs do not explode. The cruiser Emden is damaged by wreckage of a shot-down Blenheim. Of the attacking aircraft, 7 are lost. There is no question at this stage of attacking targets in Germany.

In Poland... In the north, the Polish Modlin Army begins to retreat after putting up a stubborn defense around Mlawa. The Modlin army was one of the Polish armies that took part in the Polish Defensive War of 1939. After heavy casualties in the battle of M?awa (September 1-3), the Army was forced to abandon its positions near Warsaw around September 10; eventually it took part in the battle of Tomaszów Mazowiecki (September 21-26) and surrendered afterwards.

In the south, the German 10th Army, commanded by General Reichenau forces have already advanced more than 50 miles. Over Lodz, German Me109 fighters reportedly destroy 11 Polish fighters and 3 bombers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walther_von_Reichenau (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walther_von_Reichenau)

First skirmishes on the border of Germany and France

Title: September 5-6-7 1939
Post by: Koen on 8 September 2009, 08:44:17
September 5th 1939

The German 10th and 14th Armies cross the Vistula River, breaking through the cordon of Polish armies. Polish rear guards and armed civilians offer determined resistance at Bydgoszcz, on the southern end of the Polish corridor, before yielding to the units of the German 3rd Corps. Germans troops find hundreds of German residents of the city massacred by the fleeing Poles. Such incidents are used to provide support for earlier claims by Hitler justifying the invasion. On entering Piotrkow, German forces set fire to the Jewish district. The Polish supreme command orders a general retreat behind the Vistula. Meanwhile, German bombers destroy the town of Sulejow, southwest of Warsaw.

The United States government proclaims its neutrality.

September 6th 1939

Two RAF Spitfires shoot down 2 RAF Hurricanes in error during the first air raid warning, which turns out to be false. The incident becomes known as the "Battle of Barking Creek."

The German 10th Army (Reichenau) continues to lead the advance, having already penetrated to the east of Lodz. Armored spearheads of the German forces capture Tomaszow and Kielce, southwest of Warsaw. Krakow is taken by troops of the German 14th Army (List). The Polish government and supreme command leave Warsaw. The government is relocating to the region of Luck-Kremieniec, while the supreme command moves to Brzesko on the Bug River. The Polish supreme command issues orders for all Poles capable of fighting, in and out of uniform, to retire to the line of the Narew, Vistula and San rivers. Meanwhile, Hitler visits the headquarters of the German 19th Panzer Corps (Guderian), on the northeastern front.

The Royal Navy forms the Northern Patrol consisting of 8 cruisers. The first British eastern convoy sails.

September 7th 1939

French patrols cross the frontier into Germany near Saarbrucken, marking the beginning of the Saar offensive. A total of 11 divisions advance along a 32 km frontage. There is negligible German opposition. The French mobilization is too slow and their tactical system too inflexible to permit any grander offensive operation. These gentle probes continue until September 17th when a larger advance is supposed to be made but is in fact cancelled because the Polish collapse makes it pointless.

The Polish naval base at Westerplatte, a enclave in Danzig, surrenders after renewed German bombardment after being besieged since September 1st. The Polish command decides that it will be impossible to hold the line of the Narew River although the order to do so has only been in force for one day. The forces in the Narew area are to retire to the Bug River. The German Schleswig-Holstein begins daily bombardment of Hela, a Polish naval base.

Hitler meets with Admiral Erich Raeder, Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine, and orders that "in order not to provoke neutral countries, the United States in particular, it is forbidden to torpedo passenger steamers, even when sailing in convoy. Warfare against French merchant ships, attacks on French warships and mine laying off French ports is prohibited." The order is in response to the sinking of the Athenia.

The first British Atlantic convoys set out. The convoy system has already been reintroduced on the East Coast. Although escorts can only be provided as far as 12.5 degrees west, they do provide effective protection against U-Boats. Many of the faster ships and some particularly slow ones do not sail in convoy at this stage or later in the war. During 1939, almost all U-Boat successes are from such "independents."

Title: September 7th 1939
Post by: Koen on 8 September 2009, 08:58:06
7 September 1939 ? Lords Sitting
THE WAR: PRESENT POSITION.HL Deb 07 September 1939 vol 114 cc1017-24 1017

§ 3.5 p.m.

§ LORD SNELL My Lords, I beg to ask His Majesty's Government if they have any statement to make on the present position.

§ THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (EARL STANHOPE) My Lords, the House will, I am sure, realise that it is only possible for me to give a general indication of the present situation and of the state of our defences. There is necessarily a number of matters to which, in the public interest, it is impossible to refer. With that necessary preamble I will give the House a résumé of the position.

In the East the Poles are fighting hard against a strong and ruthless enemy, who is relying on the weight of numbers and material to crush all opposition. The Polish soldier has ever shown himself to be a courageous and determined fighter; and to-day he is worthily maintaining this tradition. Against overwhelming superiority in the air, outnumbered and outgunned, he is contesting every yard of the German advance. The Germans have often stressed the need for a short war and a quick decision. In pursuance of this idea the German plan appears to be to concentrate their first main effort against Poland, and as the House is aware, that country was invaded just over a week ago without any formal declaration of war. In spite of the human and material losses which they have already suffered, the morale and courage of the Polish people remain unaffected. His Majesty's Government and the French Government have to-day signed an agreement with the Polish Government for the provision of further financial assistance to Poland to enable her to replenish her resources.

In the West, France has, like ourselves, mobilised her forces with complete efficiency 1018 and smoothness and they are now in contact with the enemy on their common frontier. Certain information has been published of what has taken place, but, for obvious reasons, no details can yet be disclosed. The outbreak of war has found the same spirit, determination and solidarity among the French people as is evident here. The understanding between the two countries is complete, and the arrangements, which have now been put into force, for co-operation in all the activities concerned with the prosecution of the war, are working smoothly and well.

In this country the defensive military dispositions of our Army, which cover a very wide field, were made in good time owing to the precautionary measures which it was decided to adopt during the period of tension. The manning of the Anti-Aircraft and Coast Defences was efficiently carried out. Within a short time of calling out the units guns and searchlights were fully manned. Since a large number of the Anti-Aircraft units were in camp and away from their home stations this reflects great credit on their organisation. The guarding of vulnerable points has been taken over by the National Defence Companies supplemented by personnel of the Territorial Army. The personnel reached their posts with the minimum of delay and under trying weather conditions. The mobilisation of the remainder of the Army has been carried out with the greatest smoothness. The morale of all ranks is high. In particular, the spirit of the reservists recalled from civil life, some of whom have already this year been called up for training, is excellent. I should like to make special mention of the women of the Auxiliary Territorial Services who are performing many tasks under arduous conditions and thereby relieving soldiers for fighting duties.

Turning to the naval side the most important feature up to the present has been the development of German U-boat attacks on our shipping. The sinking of the "Athenia" with its scenes of death and terror virtually opened the war and no denials or inventions on the part of Germany will convince the public of German innocence of this crime, which has profoundly shocked and horrified the world. Apart from the case of the 1019 "Athenia" there have been attacks on other British merchant ships by German U-boats, and three or four ships have been sunk. On our side the Admiralty have taken immediate counter measures. British destroyers and other anti-submarine craft have been very active, and large reinforcements of anti-submarine and escort vessels are rapidly becoming available. As my right honourable friend the First Lord has already informed another place, steps are being taken to establish a convoy system at the earliest possible moment. This method of protection can obviously only be instituted after the outbreak of war and it takes time to bring it fully into operation, but the House can be satisfied that it is being applied with the utmost possible speed and vigour. Most of the ships which have been attacked hitherto are vessels which commenced their voyages before war had broken out, and naturally, for them the full scope of our defensive organisation could not immediately provide. While a certain proportion of weekly losses must be expected, and we must not minimise the threat to our shipping, I think the House and the country may rest assured that the Navy, with all their war time experience of handling this problem, and with the added advantage of the methods of submarine detection and destruction which have since been developed, will increasingly bring the problem under control.

His Majesty's Government would next like to pay their tribute to the very gallant attack which was made by units of the Royal Air Force on certain German warships off Wilhelmshaven, during which at least two hits were secured on one of the so-called pocket battleships. It will be realised that the objectives attacked—namely, the German Fleet bases at Wilhelmshaven and at the entrance to the Kiel Canal—are probably among the most strongly defended points in Germany. The manner in which the Royal Air Force attacks were pressed home despite the strength of the defences is worthy of the highest praise. Mention must be made of the weather conditions prevailing on the afternoon of the attack. Visibility was extremely poor, and the final stages of the attack are stated to have been carried out in a blinding rainstorm. A high degree of navigational 1020 skill was thus necessary to enable the attack to reach its objective at all, and the fact that hits were registered demonstrates the ability of the Royal Air Force to carry out its attacks under conditions of great difficulty.

Finally, I think it right to stress the fact that a high proportion of the officers and men in the squadrons concerned have entered the Royal Air Force and received their training since expansion began. The House may also be interested to learn that those who took part in the attack included a number who came from the Dominions. As the House knows, extensive reconnaissance flights have been carried out over Germany on three successive nights during the last week by units of the Bomber Command. More than 10,000,000 copies of Notes to the German people have been distributed over a wide area of Northern and Western Germany, including the Ruhr. Although on each occasion the enemy defences were set fully in motion, no contact was secured by enemy fighters and all our aircraft returned safely. The activity of the Fighter and Coastal Commands, if less conspicuous, has been no less intense. From the early stages of the emergency all squadrons of the Fighter Command have been at their war stations and in a state of instant readiness. The Coastal Command has also been busily engaged in extensive reconnaissance over the surrounding seas in order to locate and destroy enemy submarines.

I now wish to say something of the organisation of the Home Defence Services which is being rapidly completed. The Regional organisation is functioning well. There is still some shortage of whole-time personnel but this is chiefly now to be found in country districts. The enforcement of the blackout is proceeding satisfactorily. With the help of the Air Force reconnaissance every night it has been possible to discover lights irregularly showing and action is at once taken to deal with the offenders.

The Government decided last Thursday that the plans for evacuation, mainly in respect of school children, young children and their mothers, should be put into operation. Evacuation started on Friday morning; in a number of towns it was completed by Saturday; in London, where the problem is exceptionally large, it was 1021 completed by Monday. The operation has now been substantially completed and has covered not only those towns for which plans had been worked out beforehand, but also a number of other vulnerable areas. So far approximately 1,475,000 children and mothers have been evacuated in the country as a whole. The arrangements for evacuation and transport were carried out without a hitch, and those responsible for reception in the receiving areas have displayed remarkable enterprise, efficiency and good will. The process of assimilating this large increase of population in the receiving areas take time and calls for tolerance and mutual understanding. Schools are to be reopened in the receiving areas as quickly as possible, and both public authorities and voluntary effort will be busily occupied with measures for the welfare of the children and for the assistance of the householders who are so generously providing homes for the mothers and children.

Over 200,000 hospital beds are to-day ready for air-raid casualties. Of these 56,500 are in the London Region, 15,500 inside the county and 41,000 outside the county. The beds in any region would, of course, be available to meet the needs of any other hard-pressed area. Over 11,000 trained nurses, 4,000 assistant nurses and over 50,000 auxiliary nurses, have joined the Civil Nursing Reserve for service in hospitals and first-aid posts; but more of both trained nurses and auxiliaries are needed, especially women who can give whole-time service in any part of the country. Nearly 2,500 doctors have accepted enrolment in the Emergency Medical Service, and acceptances are being received daily. The Auxiliary Fire Service was mobilised quickly and, on the whole, smoothly, and, in the main, the available fire fighting units are being kept permanently manned and ready for action. In London, for instance, there are over 1,800 fire pumps ready for action, as against about 125 in peace time.

I hope that the statement I have made on behalf of His Majesty's Government will show the House and the country that our war effort in its many aspects is rapidly gaining momentum. It has behind it the full weight of all the people of this country who are united in their conviction that no nation ever went to 1022 war in a higher cause. We are greatly heartened by the knowledge that, in the struggle for the defence of liberty and free institutions and the preservation of all that makes life worth living, we can count on the support of the oversea members of the British Commonwealth. Of their own free will and under no form of compulsion, save the moral compelling force of right and justice, these self-governing nations have declared their intention of co-operating in a cause which is no less precious to them than it is to the people of the homeland.

§ 3.19 p.m.

§ LORD SNELL My Lords, the House will desire me first of all to thank the noble Earl for the statement that he has made. We recognise the difficulties that the Government have had in making this statement, and that it must of necessity be confined to general things, rather than to the specific. I merely wish to say that the question I put to-day is one that I shall have frequently to put as the weeks go by, and it occurs to me that if the House does meet for one or two days each week it would be advisable that the question should be asked on the day the House may meet rather than on the day it may decide to adjourn, so that any necessary business connected with it may be brought up and transacted. I should also like to say that, in our judgment, these statements after to-day ought to be open to discussion—that is to say, we may feel we should like to comment on certain aspects of what has been said.

I make a final plea that, as far as His Majesty's Government find it possible, the fullest information should be given to the public. The public have behaved extraordinarily well. They are quite as capable of bearing any disappointment as are the members of His Majesty's Government, and it is fair to them, for their attitude and their bearing, that we should give them whatever information we possibly can. I do not wish to complain because I know how difficult the position is at the moment; but it is undoubtedly true that we can get more information from America than we can get here. That is something we ought not to continue to let happen. I do not know why it has not been possible, up to now, to say more about the episode on the Kiel Canal. In my judgment, so far as I have information, it is not information 1023 that the country should be ashamed to hear, and I give that as an illustration of the need, as far as it is usefully possible, for the maximum amount of information to be given.

§ 3.22 p.m.

§ VISCOUNT CECIL OF CHELWOOD My Lords, there is only one small question I should like to put to the Government. I am afraid I have not given notice, but they can probably answer directly. The noble Earl spoke about the dissemination of a great number of leaflets in Germany. If I may be permitted, I would tender my congratulations on the enterprise and imagination which dictated that move; but I have not been able to find in the Press any account of what was in these leaflets. It may be I have missed it, but, if not, I should like to know why it was not published, because it seems to me a good thing that we should know exactly what was said to the Germans. I may be wrong, but I put the question as several people have put it to me.

§ 3.23 p.m.

§ EARL STANHOPE My Lords, in regard to the last question by the noble Viscount, we are not certain on the Front Bench whether this leaflet has appeared in the papers or not, but I shall certainly make inquiries and find out about it. No doubt my noble friend the Minister of Information will deal with the matter.

§ LORD SNELL Could you not supply us with a copy?

§ EARL STANHOPE I have not got one on me. I cannot conceive why it should not have been published. I understand it has been, but I shall look into the matter and proper action will be taken. As regards the question put to me by the noble Lord, the Leader of the Opposition, I shall convey to the Prime Minister what he has said. I am certain my right honourable friend is prepared to tell the public as much as possible, but of course we must bear in mind that statements made here have a far wider field. Although at present we have nothing we are not prepared to say to the enemy which would not be more disconcerting to him than to us, we have to keep these matters in mind. As regards more secret information—for instance, such things as casualties to German U-boats and so on—there are sometimes reasons why we 1024 should not claim successes, and perhaps the effect of that in Germany is all the greater.

THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY My Lords, with regard to the particular matter mentioned by Lord Cecil, the fact is that a message from the Prime Minister to the German nation was published in the Press, but it was not stated whether that was the actual leaflet that was used by the Air Force.

§ VISCOUNT CECIL OF CHELWOOD That was stated to be a broadcast by the Prime Minister, but I dare say it is the same thing.


Title: 8 september 1939, news from Dutch newspapers.
Post by: stoffel on 8 September 2009, 15:03:37
In the morning of 8 september the minesweeper HM Willem van Ewijck hit a mine during a sweep and exploded.
This tragic event cost 33 of the 51 sailors their lives, it happened near West Terschelling.

On the Atlantic see HMSS Breedijk (Holland -America line) picked up the crew of the tanker Kennebec.
This boat was torpedoed and destroyed by U-boot U34 of the German navy.

1 Dutch soldier (private Jansen from Utrecht) died in a truck accident near the Frisian town of Blija.
He was positioned in the back of the vehicle and was killed instantly when the truck drove into a ditch.

Polish campaign
The German divisions in the spearhead of the advance were in a dangerous position, their flank was vulnerable for a counterattack, therefore they had to wait for the infantry to arrive and they also encountered logistical problems and shortages of fuel.
Lieutenant-General Kutrzeba finally got permission to mount a counterattack against them on the evening of the 8th with the Poznan and Pomorze armies.
The attack would start the next day and would prove to be a surprise for the Germans.

Title: September 1939
Post by: Koen on 8 September 2009, 16:44:54
this is a youtube video with keywords 'Poznan 1939'

maybe someone can confirm this is the Polish army of Poznan in 1939, before the war started?

XX lecie 57 pu?ku piechoty - Pozna? 1939 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=georP1pbUlo#normal)

Krótki film z 1939 roku, z obchodów XX-lecia istnienia 57 pu?ku piechoty z Poznania. S? wi?c sztandary, oficerowie i na moje oko delegacja Rumunii. Pu?k bowiem zosta? nazwany na cze?? Króla Rumunii Karola II. 28 kwietnia 1937 r., w czasie wizyty w Polsce obj?? on honorowy patronat nad 57 p.p. Otrzyma? on te? w tym czasie Order Or?a Bia?ego. Zdj?cia najprawdobdobniej wykonano przy ul. Bukowskiej. W 00:27 wida? gen. bryg. Edmunda Knoll-Kownackiego, dowódce D.O.K. nr VII /Poznan, prezesa Aeroklubu Poznanskiego.

ENGLISH: A short movie made in 1939 during the celebrations of 20-years of existence of the polish 57th infantry regiment from Poznan. Among the quest there is romanian delegation, because the regiment was named after the King Charles II of Romania. On the 28th April 1937 he took honourary pratonage over the unit.

Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939
Post by: Rattler on 9 September 2009, 00:01:08
Anybody has an idea what 50 Million dead actually means (as difference to e.g. 45 Millions)?

Lined up in a row, all corpses (average size 1.7 mtr) will go roughly *7* times around the planet...

Sometimes it helps to understand magnitudes we are so easily throwing around with such calculations...


Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939
Post by: Koen on 9 September 2009, 12:22:16
Anybody has an idea what 50 Million dead actually means (as difference to e.g. 45 Millions)?

Lined up in a row, all corpses (average size 1.7 mtr) will go roughly *7* times around the planet...

Sometimes it helps to understand magnitudes we are so easily throwing around with such calculations...


there are several facts that nobody will ever understand....too big...too many....too large and more...

Title: September 9th 1939
Post by: Koen on 9 September 2009, 13:03:34
September 9th 1939

Poland: The largest battle during this campaign, the Battle of Bzura, took place near the Bzura river west of Warsaw and lasted from 9 September to 19 September. Polish armies Pozna? and Pomorze, retreating from the border area of the Polish Corridor, assembled in the Kutno area under the command of General Tadeusz Kutrzeba with about 10 Polish divisions. In full-force they attacked the flank of the advancing German 8th Army, but the counterattack failed after initial success. The Battle of Bzura involved 18 German divisions from 4th, 8th and 10th Army with air support.

After the defeat, Poland lost its ability to take the initiative and counterattack on a large scale.

The German 4th Panzer Division, part of the German 16th Panzer Corps, mounts an attack in the southeast suburbs of Warsaw but is beaten off.

Göring says that "the Polish Army will never emerge again from the German embrace." Ribbentrop invites the Soviets to advance to their new common frontier, the Narew, Vistula and San rivers (the Bug and Pissa would eventually replace the Vistula to avoid a divided Warsaw.

Western Europe

French troops advance into the Warndt Forest across the German border and occupy 3 square miles of German territory. The action is widely viewed as having more propaganda than military purpose since the region, referred to by the French as "occupied Germany," is deserted, heavily mined and booby-trapped.

The last of 13 RAF squadrons arrives in move begun on September 4th to strengthen the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on the mainland.
Goring threatens reprisals against Britain if the RAF bombs Germany and boasts that Berlin will never be subjected to enemy aerial attack.

Title: September 10th 1939
Post by: Koen on 10 September 2009, 20:28:59
September 10th 1939

Polish armies are ordered to conduct a general retreat to defensive positions in the southeast. The Luftwaffe  conducts 15 air raids on Warsaw. German forces broadcast a false news bulletin, announcing the fall of the capital on the same wavelength as Radio Warsaw.
Germany demands action from the Soviet-Union for the 2nd time following the Molotov-Ribbentroppact.


Moscow, September 10, 1939-9:40 p. m.

No. 317 of September 10

Supplementing my telegram No. 310 of September 9 and with reference to telephone conversation of today with the Reich Foreign Minister.

In today's conference at 4 p. m. Molotov modified his statement of yesterday by saying that the Soviet Government was taken completely by surprise by the unexpectedly rapid German military successes. In accordance with our first communication, the Red Army had counted on several weeks, which had now shrunk to a few days. The Soviet military authorities were therefore in a difficult situation, since, in view of conditions here, they required possibly two to three weeks more for their preparations. Over three minion men were already mobilized.

I explained emphatically to Molotov how crucial speedy action of the Red Army was at this juncture.

Molotov repeated that everything possible was being done to expedite matters. I got the impression that Molotov promised more yesterday than the Red Army can live up to.

Then Molotov came to the political side of the matter and stated that the Soviet Government had intended to take the occasion of the further advance of German troops to declare that Poland was falling apart and that it was necessary for the Soviet Union, in consequence, to come to the aid of the Ukrainians and the White Russians "threatened" by Germany. This argument was to make the intervention of the Soviet Union plausible to the masses and at the same time avoid giving the Soviet Union the appearance of an aggressor.

This course was blocked for the Soviet Government by a DNB report yesterday to the effect that, in accordance with a statement by Colonel General Brauchitsch, military action was no longer necessary on the German eastern border. The report created the impression that a German-Polish armistice was imminent. If, however Germany concluded an armistice, the Soviet Union could not start a "new war."

I stated that I was unacquainted with this report, which was not in accordance with the facts. I would make inquiries at once.


In reply to insistent demands by the Polish Commander-in-Chief, Marshal Smigly-Rydz, the French Chief of the General Staff, General Gamelin, announces that more than half of his active divisions are in contact with the enemy on the northeast front and that he can do no more.
The first major units of BEF begin to land. Field Marshal Lord Gort is in command. Small advance parties have been arriving since September 4th. In the first month 160,000 men, 24,000 vehicles and 140,000 tons of supplies are sent to France.

The British submarine Triton mistakenly torpedoes the British submarine Oxley.

The government of Canada declares war on Germany. The Canadians are the last of the great Dominions to declare war, however, the few days of hesitation permits the accelerated delivery from the US of large amounts of war goods which are now barred under American neutrality laws.

Royal Canadian Air Force OOB on September 10th

Eastern Air Command - HQ Halifax, Nova Scotia

    * No. 10 (B) Squadron - Halifax, Nova Scotia
          o Westland Wapiti
    * No. 116 (F) Squadron (Aux) - Halifax, Nova Scotia
          o non-assigned
    * No. 5 (GR) Squadron - Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
          o Supermarine Stranraer
    * No. 8 (GP) Squadron - Sydney, Nova Scotia
          o Northrop Delta
    * No. 2 (AC) Squadron - Saint John, New Brunswick
          o Armstrong-Whitworth Atlas
    * No. 117 (CAC) Squadron - Saint John, New Brunswick
          o non-assigned
    * No. 1 (F) Squadron - St. Hubert, Quebec
          o Hawker Huricane Mk I

Western Air Command - HQ Vancouver, British Columbia

    * No. 4 (GR) Squadron - Jericho Beach, BC
          o Supermarine Stranraer
    * No. 6 (TB) Squadron - Jericho Beach, BC
          o Blackburn Shark
    * No. 111 (CAC) Squadron (Aux) - Sea Island, BC
          o Avro 621, 626
    * No. 112 (AC) Squadron (Aux) - Winnipeg, Manitoba
          o Avro 626
    * No. 120 (B) Squadron (Aux) - Regina, Saskatchewan
          o deHavilland D.H. 82a Tiger Moth

Air Training Command - HQ Toronto, Ontario

    * No. 111 (AC) Squadron (Aux) - Toronto, Ontario
          o Avro 626
    * No. 114 (B) Squadron (Aux) - London, Ontario
          o non-assigned
    * No. 119 (B) Squadron (Aux) - Hamilton, Ontario
          o deHavilland D.H. 82A Tiger Moth

Air Force Headquarters - HQ Ottawa, Ontario

    * No. 7 (GP) Squadron - Rockcliffe, Ontario
          o Fairchild FC 71, Bellanca Pacemaker
    * No. 115 (F) Squadron (Aux) - Montreal, Quebec
          o Fleet Fawn
    * No. 118 (B) Squadron (Aux) - Montreal, Quebec
          o DH 60 Moth
    * No. 121 (B) Squadron (Aux) - Quebec City, Quebec
          o non-assigned

Squadrons Glossary
(B)    Bomber    
(F)    Fighter
(GR)    General Reconnaissance    
(GP)    General Purpose
(AC)    Army Co-operation    
(CAC)    Coast Artillery Co-operation
(TB)    Torpedo Bomber    
(Aux)    Auxillary Squadron

Title: 10 September 1939
Post by: stoffel on 10 September 2009, 20:37:43
France:Under overall command of general Gort, the first units of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) arrived in France.
Netherlands: General Reijnders receives detailed instructions for the defense of the country from the government.
UK :One of the first victims of the mines laid by the U Boats U 13 and U 15 was 'SS Goodwood'  which hit a mine and sank with the loss of one of her crew off Flamborough Head. She was carrying coal from the Tyne to Bayonne.
'SS Magdapur'  South Shields to Southampton hit a mine and sank off Aldeburgh with the loss of six crew members.

Title: September 13, 1939
Post by: TechAdmin on 18 September 2009, 08:47:53
September 13th 1939

The German Armed Forces High Command (OKW) announces that civilian targets in Poland are being bombed because civilians are involving themselves in the fighting.

A small German infantry force begins to cross the Vistula just south of Warsaw. The Bzura battles are now going badly for the Polish forces. The heaviest fighting will be over by September 15th but some engagements will continue until the 19th.
Although the Germans will take their largest single haul of 150,000 prisoners in this battle, by September 19th, units of two Polish brigades and elements of others will manage to escape to Warsaw.

US ambassador to Poland, Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr., reports that German bombers are attacking the civilian population. He says "they are releasing bombs they carry even when they are in no doubt as to the identity of their objectives.

The French Prime Minister, Edouard Daladier, forms a War Cabinet in which he is responsible for foreign affairs as well as retaining the portfolios of war and national defense. The former foreign minister, Georges Bonnet, is appointed Minister of Justice.
Raoul Dautry is appointed Minister of Armaments and Georges Pernot is appointed Minister of Blockade, both are new portfolios related to the war effort. Daladier is keen to have a war cabinet that will enable France to put recent divisions aside and fight the war with a spirit of national unity.

The French cruiser La Tour d'Auvergne, sinks from an accidental explosion at Casablanca. It was build and put into service as the 'Pluton' on April 10th 1929, became a training cruiser and was renamed La Tour d'Auvergne. Lost after a mine exploded on 13th September 1939.


a Dutch T.8w ‘R5’ gets shot down by a German He 115 who took it for an English plane. Immediately the Germans land on the water to help rescuing the Dutch crew. The He115 couldn't take off and called for aid. A Do18D came to the rescue but when landing they damage their haul. To make things even more complicated a couple of Dutch Fokker D.XXI's attack the Dornier.
The crew of the Dornier abandones their plane and use a small rubber boat and float to the Dutch shore where they are captured. Leutnant zur See Horst Rust, Feldwebel Otto Radons, Funkmaat Hans Zieschang en Unteroffizier Otto Schenk were taken prisoner and transported to Britain in May 1940 when Holland entered the war.

Title: September 14, 1939
Post by: TechAdmin on 18 September 2009, 08:49:52
September 14th 1939

German troops enter Gdynia (the only Polish seaport), west of Danzig. German forces attacking from East Prussia reach open country when they cross the Narew River near Modlin and sweep around Warsaw to begin the encirclement of the Polish capital. Lwow is cut off by German attacks.
The German 19th Panzer Corps (Guderian) reaches Brest-Litovsk. Ethnic Ukrainians begin an uprising in Lwow and Stanislawow, attacking small Polish army units in the vicinity.

The Hungarian government refrains from declaring its neutrality on the grounds that it is not threatened by Hitler.

HMS Ark Royal, has a lucky escape from a German submarine, U-39, attack while engaged in an anti-submarine patrol Northwest of Ireland. The U-boat is sunk by 3 British destroyers accompanying the carrier and 43 German crewmen are captured.

U-39 info:
14 Sep 1939. U-39 was the first U-boat sunk in the war, after an unsuccessful attack against the British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (premature magnetic-pistol torpedo explosions).

KTB/SKL * reported on 22 Sept, 1939: n

c) U-Bootskrieg Atlantik: U 53, U 32 Rückmarsch angetreten. Es stehen daher nur noch 2 U-Boote (U 31, U 35) im Operationsgebiet. Von U 39 liegen keine Nachrichten vor. Boot müsste planmässig bereits in die Heimat zurückgekehrt sein: das Fehlen jeglicher Nachricht von U 39 (Kommandant Kapitänleutnant- Glattes ) trotz mehrfacher Standortnachfrage gibt zu ernsten Besorgnissen Anlass. Im Zusammenhang mit dem Schicksal des Bootes verdient eine englische Rundfunknachricht über Eintreffen der ersten gefangenen deutschen Mari- neangehörigen auf einem Londoner Bahnhof Beachtung.

U-boat-war Atlantic: U-53, U-32 heading back. Only two U-boats (U 31, U 35) remain in the operational area. There has been no word from U-39. According to plan, this U-boat should have returned home by now; the lack of response from U-39 (Commander Kapitänleutnant Glattes) in spite of multiple requests to transmit location is cause for grave concern. The fate of the U-boat may well be linked to a British radio transmission regarding the arrival of the first German Navy prisoner at a London railway station.

* SKL = Seekriegsleitung = German Supreme Naval Command

Soviet Union... The Communist Party official newspaper, Pravda, launches an anti-Polish propaganda campaign with a front-page article deploring the treatment of minorities in Poland.

French forces have now advanced about 5 miles (8 km) into Germany on a 15-mile (24 km) frontage in the Saarland region.
The French claim that the action has forced the Germans to withdraw 6 divisions from Poland, although British observers express doubts.
The advance places the front within half a mile of the Siegfried Line and a frontal assault on this defensive system is considered to be out of the question.  General Gamelin calls an end to the Saar offensive.
The Anglo-French Supreme War Council,  meets for the first time at Abbeville. Meanwhile, a Czech army-in-exile is formed.

Some of List's troops are fighting near Lvov while others are moving north from their bridgeheads over the San.
The Polish army around Poznan, the one that was to have marched on Berlin, unexpectedly turns about and attempts to take the German 8th Army in the :cens2:.
This is the start of the violent battle of the Bzura River. Polish troops push the German forces 12 miles south of Kutno and recapture Lowicz.
Gdynia is evacuated by the Poles. Luftwaffe planes bomb Krzemieniec (Kremenets) in eastern Poland, [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kremenets]link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-:cens2:[/url) a declared open village where the diplomatic community from Warsaw has sought refuge.

The German Foreign Minister, von Ribbentrop, demands that the Romanians not give asylum to Polish officials crossing the border and threatens military action in case of noncompliance.

The home office opens an inquiry into blackout rules.

US Navy begins regular neutrality patrols along the entire length of the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean.

Title: September 15, 1939
Post by: TechAdmin on 18 September 2009, 08:53:16
September 15th 1939

An armistice agreement is signed between Japan and the USSR ending their four-month-old "Nomonhan Incident" (link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Khalkhin_Gol)) consisting of protracted fighting on the borders of Manchukuo (Manchuria) and Mongolia.
Both sides have been under pressure from Germany to settle the dispute since the signing of the German-Soviet non-aggression pact. Peace talks were initiated by the new Japanese cabinet, appointed two weeks ago, after Japan lost 17,000 troops in one battle.

German troops are reducing the Polish Poznan Army encircled at Kutno. Brest-Litovsk, 120 miles east of Warsaw, is surrounded. The Warsaw military commander, Polish Major General Juliusz Rommel (link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juliusz_R%C3%B3mmel)), refuses to discuss a surrender proposal form the Germans.

The Romanian government grants asylum to Polish civilian refugees; military personnel are to be disarmed and interned.

German radio broadcasts interviews with British and New Zealander aircrew captured during the Wilhelmshaven raid on September 4th.

Motorists besiege petrol stations, although no date for rationing has been fixed yet.

The first British trans-Atlantic convoy sets sail from Halifax, Nova Scotia. From now on all ships carrying vital supplies of Canadian wheat and US munitions are to travel in convoys scheduled and protected by the British and Canadian navies.
The first convoy organized during the war sailed from Gibraltar on September 2nd. The vital Glasgow-Thames coastal trade is now moving in convoys as well.

Title: September 16, 1939
Post by: TechAdmin on 18 September 2009, 08:54:37
September 16th 1939

Warsaw is surrounded but a German ultimatum is rejected by the Polish garrison, led by General Czuma (link (http://www.generals.dk/general/Czuma/Walerian/Poland.html)), and the civil population. The Poles have already fought off one German assault, inflicting heavy casualties.
This day is also the eve of the Jewish New Year and Luftwaffe planes dive-bomb the Jewish quarter of the city.
Part of List's army is still fighting west of Lvov while other units are advancing north to link with Guderian's forces, who are maintaining their attack along the Bug. Polish air force bombers make their final sorties.

The USSR informs the Poland that the Red Army will enter eastern Poland on September 17th "to protect the Ukrainian and Belorussian minorities."

The Duke of Windsor is appointed a liaison officer with the French army.

In the first German U-boat attack on a North Atlantic convoy, U-31 (link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_submarine_U-31_(1936))) sinks SS Aviemore. A major escorted convoy leaves Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Canada for Britain.

Title: September 17, 1939
Post by: TechAdmin on 18 September 2009, 08:57:11
September 17th 1939

In the night of September 17th the first Polish cryptographs arrive at the border between Poland and Romania.
Most of them will be installed in October in the Chateau de Vignolles near Gretz-Armainvilliers in France.

Soviet troops enter Poland. Naturally because of the German attack there is almost no defense in the east. The Soviets employ two army groups or Fronts. The Poles have only 18 battalions in the east of their country. Just before dawn, the Red Army invades along the entire 800-mile (1300 km) border.

Poles are surprised and Soviet forces advance virtually unopposed. Meanwhile, the Polish government is fleeing towards the Romanian border, evacuating from the border town of Kuty -- the fifth and last temporary seat in the Polish provinces. All surviving Polish aircrew fly to Romania.
In Warsaw, St. John's Cathedral is bombed during mass; the dead are buried in public parks because the cemeteries are full. Warsaw is now completely isolated as converging German forces of German Army Group North and Army Group South meet at Siedlce, in eastern Poland.
Some 40,000 Polish prisoners have been captured by the Germans at Kutno and Brest-Litovsk is taken after a bitter 3-day battle. German are given a stop line because of the Soviet invasion in the east.

Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Molotov, announces that the USSR is invading to protect Ukrainian and Belorussian minorities in Poland.
Soviet newspapers have been making claims of "brutal treatment" of national minorities in Poland, especially Ukrainians and Belorussians.
The Soviet government promises to respect Finnish neutrality and recognizes Slovakia as an independent state.

The Italian government assures the Greek government that it will take no military action against Greece even if Italy enters the war.

The British aircraft carrier, HMS Courageous, is sunk by U-29 (link (http://uboat.net/boats/u29.htm)) while on anti-submarine patrol off the southwest coast of Ireland. More than 500 men are killed (514 of 1200 crew members).

After this second incident, carriers are withdrawn from such work. 'Courageous' has been one of the most effective of the British carriers.

Title: September 18, 1939
Post by: TechAdmin on 18 September 2009, 08:59:29
September 18th 1939

The Polish president, Moscicki, and the Commander in Chief, Rydz-Smigly, enter Romania and are interned.(due to German pressure on the Romanian government) They leave behind messages telling their troops to fight on.

Soviet forces have advanced 100 km into Poland, meeting little resistance. The German 3rd and 10th armies begin attacking Warsaw. Members of the Polish cipher bureau, with vital knowledge of the German Enigma code, flee the country and head for Paris.

In Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo, Stockholm and Reykjavik... In simultaneous announcements, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland declare that they intend to continue trading with all belligerents to protect their economic existence.

A week after making his first broadcast to Britain, the Irish ex-Mosleyite William Joyce is given a contract with German radio.

SS Kensington Court is shelled and sunk by a German U-boat, 2 RAF Sunderland flying boats rescue 34 men.(This was the first known rescue by Seaplane in naval history). Court Line had just one ship called Kensington Court. She was a cargo ship with a relatively short span of operational use. Launched in 1927 she was sunk within a few days of the declaration of war on Germany by Britain and had already spent a number of years laid up.

Title: September 19, 1939
Post by: TechAdmin on 19 September 2009, 06:14:45
September 19th 1939

Hitler makes a triumphal entry into the formerly free city and makes a foreign policy speech that seems to offer conciliation with France and Britain, suggesting that the war could be concluded on the basis of the German territorial gains already achieved.
He also swears that Danzig will be German forever and that Germany will fight to the bitter end, if necessary.

The Soviet advance reaches the Hungarian frontier. In the north Vilna (Wilno) is taken. The Soviets link up with the Germans at Brest Litovsk, which is given up to the Soviets according to the provisions of the secret agreement of August 23, 1939.

Meanwhile, about 30,000 Polish troops reach Warsaw after fighting their way out of Kutno.

German bombers being a continuing assault on Warsaw, initially striking utilities and other essential public facilities.
Also, the battle of Bzura ends with the surrender of 100,000 officers and men of the defeated Polish Pomorze and Poznan armies (consisting of 19 Polish divisions). In eastern Poland, German forces surround Lvov.

The first British army corps (BEF) lands in France.

Title: September 20, 1939
Post by: TechAdmin on 20 September 2009, 21:13:33
September 20th 1939


Fairey Battle

RAF and Luftwaffe aircraft engage when a flight of German Me109 fighters attack 3 Fairey Battle reconnaissance bombers over the Siegfried Line, over Aachen; 1 Me109 and 2 Battles are shot down.

Britain and France vow to keep fighting in response to recent peace offerings by Hitler. They declare that the Allies "will not permit a Hitler victory to condemn the world to slavery and to ruin all moral values and destroy liberty."
Meanwhile, the British Conservative Party government, under the leadership of Neville Chamberlain, is denounced by the Labour Party opposition, in the House of Commons, for failing to help Poland enough against the German and Soviet invaders.

Title: September 21st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 21 September 2009, 14:16:14
September 21st 1939

The Romanian Prime Minister, Armand Calinescu, is murdered by members of the Iron Guard, a fascist organization (link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Guard)). Assassins blocked the path of his car with a wooden cart and fired pistol shots into him and his bodyguards.
Iron Guard

The assailants then forcibly enter a radio station and broadcast that "the death sentence on Calinescu has been executed." They are later overpowered and shot to death at the location of their murder of the prime minister. A large crowd is present.
Their bodies are left to lie there for the next 24 hours. The assassination is in apparent retaliation for the tolerant, even sympathetic, attitude of the Romanian government toward Poland, exemplified by the acceptance of Polish military and civilian refugees.

German forces intensify the artillery bombardment of key points in Warsaw.
Nazi occupation authorities initiate "The Heydrich Plan" which involves the deportation of 600,000 Jews from Danzig and western Poland to central Poland to be concentrated in urban ghettoes.

Radio Luxemburg closes down.

The British government publishes its Blue Book of prewar diplomatic documents.

President Roosevelt addresses a special joint session of Congress and urges the repeal of the Neutrality Act provisions embargoing arms sales to belligerent countries.
"Our acts must be guided by one single hard-headed thought -- keeping America out of this war," the president said.
Allowing arms to be sold on a cash-and-carry basis would be "better calculated than any other means to keep us out of war."
In the United States... Newspapers allege that senior Nazis, including Goebbels and Hess, have foreign investments worth over $12 million.

Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Rattler on 21 September 2009, 14:40:00
President Roosevelt addresses a special joint session of Congress and urges the repeal of the Neutrality Act provisions embargoing arms sales to belligerent countries.

"Our acts must be guided by one single hard-headed thought -- keeping America out of this war," the president said.
Allowing arms to be sold on a cash-and-carry basis would be "better calculated than any other means to keep us out of war."

In the United States... Newspapers allege that senior Nazis, including Goebbels and Hess, have foreign investments worth over $12 million.

And Roosevelt had reason:

He was addressing certain and well known people: Apart from the big companies like GM, Ford, Sinclair Oil, Texaco who provided up to 50% of war necessary materials to Hitler Germany via the Thyssens and IG Farben - Hoechst today - and the steel barons Krupp up tp ´43 thrugh neutral states, paying like this to have thousands of US soldiers killed and hundreds of thousands more jews maimed, it was precisely the Bush Family (Prescott, grand father of GW) who bankrolled the Nazis, rising from a tyre salesman to super millionaire because of this business.

We are talking into late 1942 here, way after war entry of US (!):

Bush Family ties to funding the Nazis during WWII. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aj1OdjNpqdI#normal)

Further material:

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread127088/pg1 (http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread127088/pg1)

http://theprogressivetruth.blogspot.com/2008/05/bush-family-legacy-ties-to-hitler-and.html (http://theprogressivetruth.blogspot.com/2008/05/bush-family-legacy-ties-to-hitler-and.html)

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/gindustry.html (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/gindustry.html)


Title: September 22nd 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 22 September 2009, 15:03:44
September 22nd 1939

Rapidly advancing Soviet troops capture Lvov and Bialystok. In Brest-Litovsk Soviet and German forces conduct a joint victory parade.

Battle of Lvov (1939): On September 22, 1939, the act of surrender was signed in the suburb of Winniki. The Red Army accepted all conditions proposed by general W?adys?aw Langner. The privates and NCOs were to leave the city, register themselves at the Soviet authorities and be allowed to go home. The officers were to be allowed to keep their belongings and leave Poland for whichever country accepted them. The same day the Soviet forces entered the city and a period of Soviet occupation started. The act of surrender signed in the morning was broken by the Soviets shortly after noon, when the NKVD started arresting Polish officers. They were escorted to Tarnopol, from where they were sent to various Gulags in Russia, mostly to the infamous camp in Starobielsk. Most of them, including general Stanis?aw Sikorski himself, were murdered in what became known as the Katyn Massacre in 1940.

Meanwhile, Colonel General von Fritsch (link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werner_von_Fritsch)), former German Army Commander in Chief and an outspoken opponent of the Nazis government, is killed by a Polish sniper outside Warsaw.
Hitler visits the front, observing the shelling of the Warsaw suburb of Praga.

The second meeting of the Allied Supreme War Council takes place. Although the meeting is supposed to be secret, a large crowd gathers outside the building in which the Allied leaders meet.
British Prime Minister Chamberlain, with Lord Halifax, the foreign secretary, and Lord Chatfield, the minister for coordination of defense meet French Primier Daladier, with General Gamelin, the Commander in Chief on the Western Front, Admiral Darlan, the Chief of the French Naval Staff, and M Dautry.
A communique issued later states that the Allied leaders discussed supplies of munitions.

Gasoline is rationed. Meanwhile, a report by the Metropolitan Police Commission in London indicates that road accidents have tripled in the three weeks since the blackout began. Also, courts are packed with cases of blackout violations.

Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Rattler on 22 September 2009, 21:14:51
Koen, as TA I shall run through your artilces and enforce line breaks, your layout is unreadable...  :D (don´t worry, no action required from you).

What has me wondering, why did they ration Gasoline so early (I mean, we are just 3 weeks in the war, and forces haven´t made mor htan superficial contact yet)?

Premonition?  A state plan for such situations played off the book? Or was there really a shortage so fast?


Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 23 September 2009, 20:55:48
Koen, as TA I shall run through your artilces and enforce line breaks, your layout is unreadable...  :D (don´t worry, no action required from you).

What has me wondering, why did they ration Gasoline so early (I mean, we are just 3 weeks in the war, and forces haven´t made mor htan superficial contact yet)?

Premonition?  A state plan for such situations played off the book? Or was there really a shortage so fast?


I guess they realised very quickly they were on an island AND that U-boats already sunk some vessels.

Title: September 23rd 1939
Post by: Koen on 23 September 2009, 20:56:19
September 23rd 1939

Wireless sets are confiscated from all Jews in Germany.

German forces are reported to be counterattacking with no success to the French attacks.

Mussolini restates the Italian intention to remain neutral unless attacked, following a policy to "strengthen our army in preparation for any eventualities and support every possible peace effort while working in silence." He also suggests that the "liquidation" of Poland presents an opportunity for a European peace settlement.

In Warsaw, food supplies are running out although the determination to resist remains among the Polish garrison surrounded in the city.
The German government issues a statement claiming that all organized fighting in Poland has ended. It states "The Polish Army of a million men has been defeated, captured, or routed. No single Polish active or reserve division escaped this fate. Only fractions of individual groups were able to avoid immediate destruction by fleeing into the swamps of eastern Poland. They succumbed there to Soviet troops. Of the entire Polish army only an insignificant remainder still is fighting at hopeless positions in Warsaw, in Modlin and on the Hela Peninsula."

North Atlantic:
SS Martti Ragnar was a Finnish steam freighter own by Ragnar Nordström and named after his son Martti-Ragnar Nordström. In 1939, while carrying a cargo of cellulose, sulfite and woodpulp from Kemi to Ellesmere Port in England, she was sunk by Unterseeboot 4 on 22 September in Skagerrak
Finnish steamer SS Haalow Lighthouse off the coast of Norway was taken over by a U-boot crew and blown up with dynamite.

American states agree to a 300-mile (480 km) neutral zone off the coast of the the Americas.

Tokyo: Admiral Nomura becomes foreign minister in General Abe's recently appointed government. Between now and their fall in January 1940, some conciliatory moves are made toward the United States. These are not reciprocated and this strengthens the beliefs and standing of the more bellicose Japanese politicians.

“We were completely disoriented, we had no idea about the Ribbentrop-Molotow pact. We did not know if they [the Soviet army] were coming to join us in our fight against the Germans or if this was a new attack. When we started to fight and the Soviet planes started bombarding us, it became clear what was going on [...] ” says 70 years later Stanislaw Matkowski [, Polish Army] whose unit was stationed on the Polish-Soviet border.

Title: September 24th 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 24 September 2009, 18:57:59
September 24 1939

German forces isolate Modlin Fortress, north of Warsaw; reports from Warsaw suggest heavy casualties among those in the city including wounded in hospitals. Meanwhile, Soviet forces enter the Galician oilfields.

AVIAÇÃO - Junkers JU-87 - STUKA - Bombardeiro de mergulho. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FymTeD6RDzs#normal)
1150 German airplanes attack Warschau, amongst them the terryfying StuKa

The Battle of Grodno comes to an end: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Grodno_(1939) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Grodno_(1939))

North Atlantic
German U-boats sink a Swedish steamer carrying timber and a British cargo ship.

Freighter Hazleside* 4,646 tons sunk by Submarine torpedoes coordinates: 51.17N 09.22W

1940 HMS Spearfish returns home (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCiBP8f5xVo#normal)
British Newsreel. April 22, 1940.HMS Spearfish was a Royal Navy S-class submarine which was launched April 21, 1936 and fought in World War II. Spearfish is one of 12 boats named in the song Twelve Little S-Boats. So far she has been the only ship of the Royal Navy to be named Spearfish.Her wartime career started inauspiciously, when on the 24th September, 1939, she was heavily damaged by German warships off Horns Reef. She was unable to submerge but nevertheless managed to escape. A rescue mission was undertaken by the British Humber force and Home Fleet, including the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, and the battleship HMS Nelson, which performed escort duty whilst search and rescue attempts were made. Spearfish safely put in Rosyth on the 26th, and repairs were completed in early March 1940.Another notable action occurred on April 4, 1940, when whilst patrolling in the Kattegat when she torpedoed and damaged the German pocket battleship Lützow, putting her out of action for over a year. Later that year, on May 20, she sunk two Danish fishing vessels with gunfire in the North Sea.Spearfish sailed from Rosyth on July 31 1940 to patrol off the Norwegian coast. On August 1 she was spotted on the surface by U34 who attacked and sank her. There was only one survivor.

United States
The American Farmer arrives in New York harbor with 29 survivors of the crew of the British steamer Kafristan, sunk by a German U-boat. Passengers and the master of the American Farmer said that while the survivors were still in their boats a British airplane swooped down on the German submarine, spraying its deck with machine gun fire and dropping bombs, one of which fell on the conning tower.

French bombers strike the German Zeppelin base at Friedrichshafen.

Western Front
French artillery fires on the German border.

Title: September 25th 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 26 September 2009, 17:16:19
September 25th 1939

German Luftwaffe strikes Warsaw with (fire)bombs

Hitler inspects his troops during the Invasion of Poland

Western Front
French artillery begin to bombard the German Rhine fortifications

RAF carries out reconnaissance flights over western Germany

Swedish steamer Silesia torpodoed by U-boats

The Turkish Foreign Minister, M. Sarajoglu, arrives in Moscow

General von Brauchitsch - Time cover 25 September 1939

Title: September 26 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 26 September 2009, 20:42:24
September 26 1939

Near Helgoland (NL) a Dutch KLM (official Dutch civilian airline company) airplane gets shot down by a Luftwaffe fighter.

*The Soviet-Union starts reforming East-Poland to Russian model
*The German 8th Army, under the command of the German Army Commander in Chief, von Brauchitsch, joins the attack on Warsaw. There is a massive artillery bombardment of Warsaw, followed by a major German infantry assault, leaving the city center in flames. Poles recapture Mokotow Airport and 6 hastily rebuilt aircraft fly out during the night (September 26-27)

Western Front
French artillery fires on the forward defenses of the German Siegfried Line.

The Communist Party is dissolved by a presidential decree. It is now also illegal to propagandize themes of the Third International. (French communists at this time are leaders of the antiwar movement.) Some of the communist leaders are interned.

In the House of Commons, First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, claims that Britain is winning the U-boat war. He says that one tenth of the German submarine fleet was destroyed in the first two weeks of the war and that the losses are probably a quarter and perhaps a third by now.

Luftwaffe attacks the British Fleet in Scapa Flow (Scapa Flow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scapa_Flow))

Title: September 27 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 27 September 2009, 17:45:39
September 27 1939

Warsaw surrenders after the continous heavy bombing and 19 days of resistance. Warsaw surrenders after two days of intensive air and artillery bombardment. The siege has resulted in the deaths of some 2000 Polish soldiers and 10,000 civilians. A total of 40,000 people are believed to have been killed or injured. About one eighth of the buildings in the city have been destroyed. German forces take about 150,000 prisoners. General von Blaskowitz, who received the Polish surrender, allows the Polish officers to keep their swords and promises that the troops will only go into captivity for as long as it takes to "dispose of the necessary formalities." The terms of the capitulation provide for the immediate relief of the civilian population and the wounded.

After the Russian ruling in the East of Poland Germany installs a military German ruling in the west.

President Roosevelt appeals to Hitler for peacetalks.

House of Commons:
27 September 1939

    § 26. Rear-Admiral Sir Murray Sueter

    asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, after full consideration, he is satisfied that the protection given to the aircraft carrier "Courageous" was sufficient; and, if not, can he give an assurance that in future instructions will be given that aircraft carriers when proceeding throughwaters where submarines may be expected will have the same protecting screen of destroyers as is given to battleships?

    § The First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Churchill)

    I cannot undertake to hamper the judgment of experienced sea officers by any general ruling as to the degree of risk they should accept. This must depend upon the need or opportunity of the moment and the resources available. For the rest I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the remarks which I made yesterday on this subject.

Hitler tells his service chiefs that he plans to attack in the west as soon as possible and sets the date as November 12th. He has reached this decision entirely on his own. Army representative oppose the decision. Meanwhile, Hitler establishes the Reichssicherheitshauptamt [Reich Chief Security Office] (RSHA) under Reinhart Heydrich, who now heads the Gestapo, the Criminal Police (Kripo) and the Security Service (SD)

Warszawa 1939 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72BFkdI8alo#normal)

Title: September 28th 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 28 September 2009, 19:56:04
September 28 1939

Despite a tactical Polish victory on 28 September at the Battle of Szack, the outcome of the larger conflict was never in doubt

German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty 28 September 1939
The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U.S.S.R. consider it as exclusively their task, after the collapse of the former Polish state, to re-establish peace and order in these territories and to assure to the peoples living there a peaceful life in keeping with their national character. To this end, they have agreed upon the following:

ARTICLE I. The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U.S.S.R. determine as the boundary of their respective national interests in the territory of the former Polish state the line marked on the attached map, which shall be described in more detail in a supplementary protocol.

ARTICLE II. Both parties recognize the boundary of the respective nation interests established in article I as definitive and shall reject any interference of third powers in this settlement.

ARTICLE III. The necessary reorganization of public administration will be effected in the areas west of the line specified in article I by the Government of the German Reich, in the areas east of this line by the Government of the U.S.S.R.

ARTICLE IV. The Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U.S.S.R. regard this settlement as a firm foundation for a progressive development of the friendly relations between their peoples.

ARTICLE V. This treaty shall be ratified and the ratifications shall be exchanged in Berlin as soon as possible. The treaty becomes effective upon signature.

Done in duplicate, in the German and Russian languages. Moscow, September 28,1939.

For the Government of the German Reich: J. RIBBENTROP.

By authority of the Government of the U.S.S.R.: W. MOLOTOV.


Confidential Protocol

The Government of the U.S.S.R. shall place no obstacles in the way of Reich nationals and other persons of German descent residing in the territories under its jurisdiction, if they desire to migrate to Germany or to the territories under German jurisdiction. It agrees that such removals shall be carried out by agents of the Government of the Reich in cooperation with the competent local authorities and that the property rights of the emigrants shall be protected. A corresponding obligation is assumed by the Government of the German Reich in respect to the persons of Ukrainian or White Russian descent residing in the territories under its jurisdiction.

Moscow, September 28,1939.

For the Government of the German Reich: J. RIBBENTROP

By authority of the Government of the U.S.S.R. W. MOLOTOV.

Secret Supplementary Protocol

The undersigned Plenipotentiaries declare the agreement of the Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U.S.S.R upon the following:

The Secret Supplementary Protocol signed on August 23,1939, shall be amended in item to the effect that the territory of the Lithuanian State falls to the sphere of influence of the U.S.S.R., while, on the other hand, the province of Lublin and parts of the province of Warsaw fall to the sphere of influence of Germany (cf. the map attached to the Boundary and Friendship Treaty signed today). As soon as the Government of the U.S.S.R. shall take special measures on Lithuanian territory to protect its interests, the present German-Lithuanian border, for the purpose of a natural and simple boundary delineation, shall be rectified in such a way that the Lithuanian territory situated to the southwest of the line marked on the attached map should fall to Germany.

Further it is declared that the economic agreements now in force between Germany and Lithuania shall not be affected by the measures of the Soviet Union referred to above.

Moscow, September 28,1939.

For the Government of the German Reich: J. RIBBENTROP

By authority of the Government of the U.S.S.R.: W. MOLOTOV.


Declaration of the Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U.S.S.R. of September 28, 1939

After the Government of the German Reich and the Government of the U.S.S.R. have, by means of the treaty signed today, definitively settled the problems arising from the collapse of the Polish state and have thereby created a sure foundation for a lasting peace in Eastern Europe, they mutually express their conviction that it would serve the true interest of all peoples to put an end to the state of war existing a present between Germany on the one side and England and France on the other. Both Governments will therefore direct their common efforts, jointly with other friendly powers if occasion arises, toward attaining this goal as soon as possible. Should, however, the efforts of the two Governments remain fruitless, this would demonstrate the fact that England and France are responsible for the continuation of the war, whereupon, in case of the continuation of the war, the Governments of Germany and of the U.S.S.R. shall engage in mutual consultations with regard to necessary measures.

Moscow, September 28,1939.

For the Government of the German Reich: J. RIBBENTROP

By authority of the Government of the U.S.S.R.: V. MOLOTOV

The Reich Foreign Minister to the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Soviet Union (Molotov)

Moscow, September 28, 1939.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of today, in which you communicate to me the following:

"With reference to our conversations I have the honor to confirm herewith that the Government of the U.S.S.R. is willing on the basis and in the sense of the general political understanding reached by us, to promote by all means the trade relations and the exchange of goods between Germany and the U.S.S.R. To this end an economic program will be drawn up by both parties, under which the Soviet Union will supply raw materials to Germany, for which Germany, in turn, will make compensation through delivery of manufactured goods over an extended period. Both parties shall frame this economic program in such a manner that the German-Soviet exchange of goods will again reach the highest volume attained in the past. Both Governments will at once issue the necessary directives for the implementation of the measures mentioned and arrange that the negotiations are begun and brought to a conclusion as soon as possible."

In the name and by authority of the Government of the German Reich I am in accord with this communication and inform you that the Government of the German Reich in turn will take the necessary steps for this purpose.

Accept, Mr. Chairman, the renewed assurance of my highest consideration.


The Reich Foreign Minister to the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Soviet Union. (Molotov)


Moscow, September 28, 1939.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of today, wherein you communicate to me the following:

"Implementing my letter of today about the formulation of a common economic program, the Government of the U.S.S.R. will see to it that German transit traffic to and from Rumania by way of the Upper Silesia-Lemberg-Kolomea railroad line shall be facilitated in every respect. The two Governments will, in the framework of the proposed trade negotiations, make arrangements without delay for the operation of this transit traffic. The same will apply to the German transit traffic to and from Iran, to and from Afghanistan as well as to and from the countries of the Far East."

"Furthermore, the Government of the U.S.S.R. declares that it is willing. in addition to the quantity of oil previously agreed upon or to be agreed upon hereafter, to supply a further quantity of oil commensurate with the annual production of the oil district of Drohobycz and Boryslav, with the proviso that one half of this quantity shall be supplied to Germany from the oil fields of the aforesaid oil district and the other half from other oil districts of the U.S.S.R. As compensation for these supplies of oil, the U.S.S.R. would accept German supplies of hard coal and steel piping."

I take note of this communication with satisfaction and concur in it in the name of the Government of the German Reich.

Accept, Mr. Chairman, the renewed assurance of my highest consideration.


Talks between German foreign minister Ribbentrop and Stalin continue. Meanwhile, a Soviet-Estonian Pact is signed, giving the USSR the use of bases in Estonia. This pact is the first in a series designed to ensure Soviet control of the Baltic.

United States
The Foreign Relations Committee decides to submit the Neutrality Bill to the US Senate.

The British Admiralty declares that "no British ship has been damaged nor any casualties incurred from German aircraft." The statement is in response to German radio reports of recent successes against British warships in the North Sea.

Title: September 29 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 29 September 2009, 21:05:57
September 29 1939

After signing the treaty Poland is partitioned, giving Germany control over the area generally west of the Bug River. Germany receives nearly 73,000 square miles of Polish territory, the USSR, 78,000 square miles. While Soviet Union gets slightly more land, the Germans now control the majority of the population (some 22,000,000) and fifty percent of all Polish industry as well as substantial mining centers. All of Lithuania is transferred to the Soviet sphere of influence. An economic agreement is also signed which includes a Soviet promise to provide Germany with the entire oil output of the Dohowicz fields.

Estonia and the USSR sign a treaty giving the USSR entrance to all Estonian seaports and airports.

RAF lost 5 Hampden bombers in a daylight raid on the Heligoland area. The raid was in two waves. In the first, 6 Hampdens attacked two German destroyers but did no damage; the second wave of 5 planes was wiped out. (Heligoland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heligoland))
Australian Flying Officer John Tulloch Burrill Sadler, 144 Squadron RAF, was probably the second Australian killed in action. Flying Officer Sadler, who was serving in the RAF, was the pilot of a Handley Page Hampden bomber, serial L4121, part of a formation of five aircraft on a bombing mission on 29 September 1939. All five aircraft were intercepted and shot down between Heligoland and Wangerooge in Germany. Sadler, who has no known grave, is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial in England.

A national census is taken to obtain information on rationing and mobilization.

In the House of Commons, Neville Chamberlain says that Britain and France went to war to stop Nazi aggression and nothing has changed that position. Chamberlain is believed to be referring to recent private contacts between German and British representatives that have suggested formal peace negotiations may begin.

United States
In New York city, Fritz Kuhn, the leader of the pro-Nazi German-American Bund, is imprisoned.
German National Socialist diaspora: The German-American Bund (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrcKkPJjyhk#normal)

Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 1 October 2009, 20:12:43
September 30 1939

Poland and Polish
A Polish government in exile is formed in France. Raczkiewicz is the new president and General Wladyslaw Sikorski is the Prime Minister and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.

Polish President Ignace Moscicki, presently interned, resigns his post in Romania.


Off Pernambuco, Brazil, the German pocket battleship Graf Spee sinks its first merchant ship, the British steamship Clement (commanded by Captain F. Harris). Graf Spee received orders on 26 September 1939 to "commence active participation in the trade war." On 30 September the 5050-ton British tramp steamer Clement was stopped and sunk off Brazil with twenty thousand cases of kerosene bound from New York to Salvador, Brazil. Graf Spee radioed the location of Clement’s lifeboats and Clement’s captain and first officer were placed aboard the neutral Greek steamer Papalemos a few days later. Before the battle of the River Plate, in December, Graf Spee will only sink 9 ships of 50,000 tons altogether.

Graf Spee

Germany notifies Britain that armed merchant ships will be sunk without warning. The decision is claimed to be based on incidents of British merchant ships attacking German submarines.

The British cabinet authorizes poison gas shipments to France for use if the Germans begin using chemical weapons.

October 1st 1939

Poland and Polish
German troops enter Warsaw and begin disarming the Polish garrison (estimated to number 100,000 officers and men).
Polish garrison, commanded by Admiral Unrug, on the Hela Peninsula surrenders after a gallant fight. As well as land attacks they have endured a considerable naval bombardment.

Polish cryptologists arrive with a cargo of two Enigma machines in France (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enigma_machine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enigma_machine))

The first news of the German pocket-battleships, Graf Spee and Deutschland, reaches the British Admiralty.

Winston Churchill makes his first radio broadcast of the war, saying the Soviet Union has "pursued a policy of cold self-interest" in Poland. He adds that "we could have wished that the Russian armies should be standing on their present line as the friends and allies of Poland instead of invaders. But that the Russian armies should stand on this line was clearly necessary for the safety of Russia against the Nazi menace."

The Japanese 11th Corps begins withdrawing from northern Hunan province, ending an abortive attempt to capture Changsha and the Tungting Lake area in China. The fighting is known as the first battle of Changsha (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Changsha_(1939)) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Changsha_(1939))) and it is a major victory for the Chinese Nationalists led by Chiang Kai-shek.

WW2 - Chiang Kai Shek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh7yamK-tU8#normal)

Several senior officers of the Kwantung army in Japan, the Japanese army stationed in nominally independent state of Manchukuo (formerly Manchuria), have been dismissed in the wake of the agreement signed in Moscow, settling the border war with the USSR.

Title: October 2 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 2 October 2009, 17:59:46
October 2 1939

The Battle of Kock, was the final battle in the Invasion of Poland at the beginning of World War II. It took place between 2 October and 5 October, 1939, near the town of Kock, in Poland.

2 October
The commander of XIV Corps knew that Polish forces were situated in the forests northwest of Kock. He believed that the commander of the Polish forces was unaware of Warsaw's capitulation.
The commander of 13th Motorised Infantry Division, General Paul Otto, was of the opinion that the Polish forces had become so demoralized that they were incapable of combat, and that a single German battalion would be enough to disarm the Poles and take them to a Prisoner of War camp. Otto sent a force consisting of 3rd Battalion, 93rd Motorized Infantry Regiment supported by 8th Battery, 13th Regiment of Light Artillery. The battalion commander decided to divide his forces into two groups which were sent to Serokomla and Kock. He could count on help from the 93rd Motorised Infantry Regiment with some support forces which followed him.

At 08:30, a column of half-tracks and truck-mounted infantry came under fire from a guard platoon of No.2 company of the 'Wilk' battalion. After a protracted engagement the German troops withdrew. The Polish 179th Infantry Regiment was alerted and moved to defensive positions near and in Kock. At about 11:00 the German lead elements attacked the Polish positions, which were now 2 battalions strong. In spite of supporting artillery fire, the attack failed. At dusk German motorcyclists appeared near the church in Kock and began firing, but subsequently withdrew when the fire was returned.

A company of motorized infantry entered the village of Serokomla. This led to the beginning of a chaotic action between the Germans and Uhlans from the 'Pils' Cavalry Brigade, (commanded by Colonel Plisowski). The Poles were supported by an artillery unit from the same brigade. The Germans were forced to withdraw to the south of the village

German losses were 300–400 killed and wounded. Five officers, 180 NCOs and privates were captured by the Polish. Components of the 'Pils' cavalry brigade lost about 200 killed or wounded.

The Polish Polesie Independent Operational Group, led by General Franciszek Kleeberg, fought the German 14th Motorised Corps, led by General Gustav von Wiedesheim.

In Panama City the "Inter-American Conference", with 21 countries participating, establishes a 300-mile security zone off the American coast in which any act of war is to be interpreted as a hostile act against the country concerned. (http://encarta.msn.com/sidebar_461501300/1939_international_conferences_and_congresses.html (http://encarta.msn.com/sidebar_461501300/1939_international_conferences_and_congresses.html))

Special British tribunals begin to deal with an estimated 50,000 enemy aliens registered in the London area.

A Franco-Czech agreement is signed providing for the raising of a Czech National Army in exile in France.

The German government advises the United States that all merchant ships in international waters will be subject to boarding by German naval forces to search for contraband.

Germany's X. Fliegerkorps (10th Air Corps) is formed 2 October, 1939 in Hamburg from the 10. Flieger-Division. The Corps was stationed in north Germany in February 1940 when some of its aircraft were involved in a disastrous friendly fire incident that terminated the Kriegsmarine's Operation Wikinger.

The RAF makes its first nighttime leaflet raid on Berlin.

The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg)


BERLIN, October 2, 1939.

No. 475

For the Ambassador.

Please inform Molotov at once that according to reports I have received the Turkish Government would hesitate to conclude an assistance pact with France and England, if the Soviet Union emphatically opposed it. In my opinion, as already stated several times, it would also be in the Russian interest, on account of the question of the Straits, to forestall a tie-up of Turkey with England and France. I was therefore particularly anxious for the Russian Government to proceed in that direction, in order to dissuade Turkey from the final conclusion of assistance pacts with the Western powers and to settle this at once in Moscow. No doubt, the best solution at the moment would be the return of Turkey to a policy of absolute neutrality while confirming existing Russian-Turkish agreements.

Prompt and final diversion of Turkey from the projected Anglo-French treaty, said to have been recently initialed, would also clearly be in keeping with the peace offensive agreed upon in Moscow, as thereby another country would withdraw from the Anglo-French camp.



Frame 111660, serial 103

The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in Turkey (Papen)


BERLIN, October 2, 1939.

No. 352

Ambassador Schulenburg received the following instructions: Insert text of [preceding telegram]. End of instruction.

Page 111

I request that you, for your part, likewise do your best to forestall the final conclusion of the assistance pact between Turkey and the Western powers. In this matter you also might point to the strong Russian aversion to a unilateral commitment of Turkey and explain that the conclusion of the assistance pact under present war conditions would necessarily be viewed differently by Germany than before the outbreak of the war.


Frame 233367, serial 495

Memorandum by the State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (Weizsäcker)

BERLIN, October 2, 1939.

St. S. Nr. 769

The Finnish Minister today requested me to clarify the significance of the arrangement of spheres of influence between Germany and Russia; he was particularly interested in knowing what effect the Moscow agreements might have on Finland.

I reminded the Minister that a short time ago Finland, as is well known, had rejected our proposal to conclude a non-aggression pact. Perhaps this was now regretted in Helsinki. For the rest, now as then it is the wish of Germany to live with Finland on the best and most friendly terms and, particularly in the economic sphere, to effect as extensive an exchange of goods as possible. If Herr Wuorimaa felt uneasy about Finland because of the Estonian incident and Herr Munters' [49] trip to Moscow, announced today, I would have to tell him that I was not informed as to Moscow's policies vis-à-vis Finland. But I felt that worries over Finland at this time are not warranted.

The Minister then spoke of the Ciano visit. In this connection I remarked that after the completion of the Polish campaign we had undoubtedly arrived at an important juncture in the war. The announced convocation of the Reichstag pointed to a statement from the Government in which the idea would surely be expressed that we regarded as senseless any opening of real hostilities in the West. Of course, should the Western powers fail to seize the opportunity for peace, one would probably have to resign oneself to a bitter struggle.



GERMANY: Seven Years War?

The square-rigged, ruddy-cheeked, sea-trading folk of one of the quaintest old towns in Europe last week dropped their placid and peculiar tasks—such as adding tiny flakes of pure gold leaf to the sparkling, sweet liqueur they sell as Danziger Goldwasser—to come tumbling down the high stoops of their peak-gabled houses for a bucolic joy spree over Adolf Hitler.

The populace of Danzig seemed to figure that for them the Blitzkrieg or Lightning War was over, and they cavorted with the gaiety of Armistice crowds in 1918. The 407,000 Danzigers are 94% German, solidly Nazi and have been super-propagandized for years to believe that most of their troubles would vanish once the Free City was unshackled from League of Nations and Polish control, rejoined to the Reich. Trudging in last week with armfuls of wild flowers from the countryside, the people had carpeted with blossoms ten miles of road leading into Danzig from their gambling casino suburb Zoppot. Appropriately, A. Hitler, who had led all Europe to take the supreme gamble, war, had slept the night at Zoppot, after arriving from the crumbling Polish front.

Amid the brilliant sunshine which Germans call "Hitler weather"—they used to call it "Kaiser weather"—the Führer rumbled off to Danzig in a six-wheeled juggernaut staff car, followed by two Gestapo cars in which guards sat fingering new-style German repeater rifles. They did not shoot when the sidewalk lines of brown-shirted storm troops holding people back in Danzig were repeatedly broken as crowds surged forward cheering. One break was made by a brawny group of Red Cross nurses. Whooping with excitement, young Danzig students risked their lives in dashes right to the juggernaut's flanks. Wherever the stiff-armed, saluting Führer looked he saw swastika flags, bobbing placards, "We Welcome Our Liberator!" "We Thank Our Führer!" "To the Liberator of Danzig!" "Our Hearts Beat For Our c!"

"Peace Jitters." In far from bucolic Wall Street, meanwhile, war babies stocks sagged heavily as traders, apprehensive of peace proposals Orator Hitler might make at Danzig, did a little quick profit taking, then spun the dials of their radio sets to hear the Führer. "It was a market based on peace jitters," recorded Financial Editor C. Norman Stabler of the New York Herald Tribune. He figured that the day before, "the market lost 32% of the war upswing" because it was feared that A. Hitler might directly propose peace.

Orator Hitler spoke in the medieval Artushof (Guildhall), introduced by No. 1 Danzig Nazi Albert Forster. "We have only this one wish," Hitler told Danzig, "that the Almighty God, who has blessed our arms, will now perhaps give other peoples comprehension of how useless this war . . . will be ... and that He may perhaps cause reflection on the blessings of peace which they are sacrificing because a handful of fanatic warmongers . . . want to involve peoples in war."

If this had been taken as the keynote of the speech, Wall Street's war babies might have ceased to bounce, but the Führer also said: "We are all men who in their long struggle have been nothing but attacked. That only tended to increase the love of our followers. . . . [When Britons say] that this war will last three years, then I can only say my sympathies are with the French poilu. At present he knows that he will have to fight for at least three years. ... If it should last for three years then the word capitulation will not appear at the end of the third year, neither at the end of the fourth . . . and also not in the sixth or seventh year! The German people will not split up in this fight. . . ."

This was enough for Wall Street traders, the war babies promptly recovering their losses, some even bouncing fractionally higher than before Hitler went to Danzig.

Adolf to Joseph. The Führer, as a conqueror who had smashed the Polish State in 18 days, turned at Danzig to reassure Joseph Stalin and pave the way for the military partition of Poland by friendly Nazis and Reds (see p. 29). "I am happy now ... to refute . . . British statesmen who continually maintain that Germany intends to dominate Europe to the Ural Mountains. . . . Now, gentlemen of the British Empire, Germany's aims are very limited. We have discussed the matter with Russia . . . and if you are of the opinion that we might come to a conflict on the subject—we will not. . . . It will calm you to learn that Germany does not, and did not, want to conquer the Ukraine!"

While thus chumming up to Communist Stalin in a military sense, Nazi Hitler strove to keep a political line sharply drawn between the two regimes: "I want to give here an explanation: Russia remains what she is and Germany also remains what she is!"

Adolf to Neville & Edouard. Actual nub of the Hitler speech was an effort to undermine Allied morale by representing Poland as a Humpty Dumpty which just-cannot be put together again and by asking the Allies, who entered World War II avowedly to assist now crushed Poland, whether it is reasonable to fight on because they find Hitlerism intolerable.

"Such an utter lack of conscience!" cried Herr Hitler. "What would be said if one of us should say that the present regime in France or Britain does not suit us and consequently we are conducting a war? What immeasurable lack of conscience. . . . I have neither toward England nor France any war claims, nor has the German nation. . . . Poland never will rise again in the form of the Versailles treaty. That is guaranteed not only by Germany, but also . . . Russia.

Unspeakable Weapons. Tucked elsewhere into the Führer's long and heated speech were his old claims that Poland started World War II incited by the Allies; that France was willing at the last moment to keep peace on terms proposed by Italy but was rushed by Britain into war; that the whole Danzig question was an agony to A. Hitler personally ("What keen suffering I underwent in these years only few can imagine"); that Poles have invented a new atrocity ("Worst of all the Polish Government quite openly admitted on its own radio that parachuting German fliers were murdered"); and that Germany has in reserve a new weapon (see p. 50) ("Let them make no mistake here, however. The moment could come very suddenly when we could use a weapon with which we cannot be attacked. . . We Germans do not like that. It is not in our nature").

"General Purpose." The prompt retorts of London and Paris were as different as the personal characters of Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier.

In the House of Commons, the Prime Minister observed: "Herr Hitler says much in his speech about the humane 'methods by which he has waged war. I can only say that methods are not made humane by calling them so, and accounts of German bombing of open towns and machine gunning of refugees have shocked the world. . . . Our general purpose in this struggle is well known. It is to redeem Europe from the perpetually recurring fear of German aggression and to enable the peoples of Europe to preserve their independence and liberties. . . . Hitler's speech at Danzig yesterday did not change the situation."

The square-jawed French Premier returned hot from an inspection of French lines to broadcast: "I am not the leader of fanatic masses. I am charged with direction of a nation of free men. . . . They know why they are fighting. They are fighting because Germany has forced war on us, because for the last three years the devouring German ambition has not left Europe a single secure day. . . .

"The destruction of Poland was secretly resolved in advance. . . . The Red Army entered Poland in its turn as a result of a secret pact. In reality, since August 23 an accord had been concluded between Germany and the Soviet Union for the dismemberment of Poland.

"Mr. Hitler has pretended that he wanted only Danzig, plebiscite for the Corridor, an autostrade. He still broadcast his assurances even while he had in his hands the precious agreement by which Germany and Russia were to partition their living prey.

"What honest man in no matter what country in the world could still believe in the word of those who today declare themselves satisfied or peaceful, now that they are covered with blood? . . . When Mr. Hitler tells us today after destroying Poland that he asks for nothing more, when he declares he wants nothing from France and will respect her frontiers, every Frenchman knows he will not hesitate if he can destroy France as he destroyed Austria, as he destroyed Czecho-Slovakia, as he seeks to destroy Poland. . . .

"After so many lies and so many denials, German propaganda is left the last hope: That of splitting the forces which are going to shatter her march toward world domination. It is clear that German propaganda now has no more than two objectives. It wants to separate France from England. It wants to split the French among themselves.

"But when the French listen to enemy broadcasts which tell them this war is England's war they reply: No, it's Hitler's war. . . .

"We wage war because we do not wish France to be enslaved. . . .

"We will not permit certain individuals to enrich themselves while others give their lifeblood. We are calm and resolved. We are not haunted like our enemies by fear of a long war. We think only of one thing: Complete victory. That victory we will consider won when we can give France the security which Hitler's projects destroyed for three years!"

Title: October 2 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: stoffel on 2 October 2009, 18:08:09
2 october 1939


At The Hague the first car-free sunday was held.
With 4 checkpoints the police was able to close the citycentre for all cars.

Hr MS Van Kinsbergen (armored cruiser) departed to the Western(Dutch) Indies.
The ship accompanied two submarines from the Royal Dutch Royal Navy the '015' and the '020'.

Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 3 October 2009, 18:21:42
October 3 1939


Moscow, October 3, 1939-7:04 p. m.
Received October 3, 1939-11:10 p. m.

No. 463 of October 3

Molotov summoned me to his office at 2 p. m. today, in order to communicate to me the following:

The Soviet Government would tell the Lithuanian Foreign Minister, who arrives today, that, within the framework of an amicable settlement of mutual relations (probably similar to the one with Estonia), the Soviet Government was willing to cede the city of Vilna and its environs to Lithuania, while at the same time the Soviet Government would indicate to Lithuania that it must cede the well-known portion of its territory to Germany. Molotov inquired what formal procedure we had in mind for carrying this out. His idea was the simultaneous signing of a Soviet-Lithuanian protocol on Vilna and a German-Lithuanian protocol on the Lithuanian area to be ceded to us.

I replied that this suggestion did not appeal to me. It seemed to me more logical that the Soviet Government should exchange Vilna for the strip to be ceded to us and then hand this strip over to us. Molotov did not seem quite in accord with my proposal but was willing to let me ask for the viewpoint of my Government and give him a reply by tomorrow noon.

Molotov's suggestion seems to me harmful, as in the eyes of the world it would make us appear as "robbers" of Lithuanian territory, while the Soviet Government figures as the donor. As I see it, only my suggestion enters into consideration at all. However, I would ask you to consider whether it might not be advisable for us, by a separate secret German-Soviet protocol, to forego the cession of the Lithuanian strip of territory until the Soviet Union actually incorporates Lithuania, an idea on which, I believe, the arrangement concerning Lithuania was originally based.


The British 1st Corps of the BEF take over responsibility for an appropriate section of the Franco-Belgian frontier. French forces complete their withdrawal from advanced positions in German territory (the Warndt Forest and the Saarbrucken Salient).

The last significant units of the Polish army surrender near Luck. The Germans have taken 700,000 prisoners and the Soviets 200,000. Polish casualties have been severe. The Germans have lost 10,000 dead and 30,000 wounded. Many Poles have escaped and will gradually find their way to the west. Although tank units have played a notable part in the campaign, it is interesting to note that the contemporary German official appreciation lay more stress on the traditional-style infantry battles. The tank forces are seen at this stage, except by enthusiasts like Guderian, as little more than useful auxiliaries who can help the infantry do the real work. The first plans for the attack in the west will reflect this official attitude. Meanwhile, the German 10th Army begins to redeploys from Poland to the west.

The Battle of Kock
3 October

The stiff Polish resistance forced General Otto to use all his forces for an assault. He was going to split Polish forces in two and destroy them. He decided that the 33rd Motorised Infantry Regiment supported by part of the divisional artillery would attack Annopol, Pie?ki and Talczyn. This force was tasked with destroying the Polish 50th Infantry Division. The 93rd Motorised Infantry Regiment was ordered to capture Serokomla then Hordzie? and to destroy a defensive formation of the 'Zaza' cavalry division. The 66th Motorised Infantry Regiment entered the field of battle in the afternoon.

General Kleeberg thought that the main German advance would be toward the 'Zaza' cavalry division at Serokomla Hordzie?. He decided that part of the cavalry would fend off the German attack. The rest would join a counter-attack alongside the 50th Infantry Division on the right wing and rear of the 13th German Motorized Infantry Division. The 60th Infantry Division and the 'Podlachia' cavalry brigade would close off potential German attack routes. If this counter-attack was successful, the German division would be forced to withdraw behind the river Wieprz.

Between 0750 and 0930, attacks by two regiments of the 50th Infantry Division (the 180th and the 178th, less its 2nd battalion), attacked. They were supported by a howitzer battery. The attack was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Gorzkowski . Initially successful, the Polish units were halted and then forced onto the defensive. The cavalry attack by the Uhlans was also stopped and forced to withdraw west of Wola Gu?owska.

At 10:30, German artillery begun to fire on Polish cavalry positions. The Wehrmacht's 93rd Motorized Infantry Regiment began an attack on the 'Wilk' battalion positions, inflicting heavy losses. The 33rd Infantry Regiment began a gradual attack on the Polish 50th Infantry Division.

After heavy fighting, the German advance was stopped. Otto decided to support the 33rd Motorised Infantry Regiment with the 2nd Battalion of the 66th Motorised Infantry Regiment. German formations captured Wola Gu?owska, but in the evening they were forced to withdraw from the eastern part of the area.

Chamberlain dismisses recent German peace proposals outright.

On 03 October 1939, U-35 sighted the DIAMANTIS 40 miles west of Scillies off Lands End. DIAMANTIS was a Greek steamer of 4990t carrying 7700t of manganese from Freetown (West Africa) to Barrow-in-Furness. U-35 surfaced in bad weather and warned those aboard that their ship was about to be sunk. As the sea was rough and unsuitable for normal lifeboat operations, the crew of 28 men were taken aboard U-35. (http://www.u-35.com/diamantis/ (http://www.u-35.com/diamantis/))

Life Magazine 16-10-1939

"When we were about 40 miles off Land’s End on Tuesday the U-boat came to the surface about 1.30 p.m. The commander hailed us and we stopped. He then told us that he was going to sink the Diamantis. He did not ask for our papers.
He ordered us to abandon ship, but when he saw that the sea was so rough that our small boats could not possibly live in it he took us aboard the submarine. Four of us were taken across at a time, this necessitating seven trips as there were 28 of us. We were not allowed to take our belongings. When we got aboard the submarine three or four torpedoes were fired at our vessel and she sank in about 20 minutes.
Many of us were wet to the skin and the submarine’s crew dried our clothes and gave us hot food and cigarettes.
Most of the members of my crew were able to sleep a little although all the time we were wishing that we were out of the submarine. The captain of the submarine spoke English and I was able to talk to him for short periods when he was off duty.
When we had been on board for about 34 hours we came to the surface off the Irish coast at about 5:30 yesterday evening. A collapsible boat was lowered and again seven trips were made to the shore. The submarine remained about 50 yards off the shore, which appeared to be deserted. Immediately the submarine had taken the boat aboard she submerged and that was the last we saw of her.
The crew waved good-bye to us. We were taken charge of by local policemen and the local people looked after us very well."

Title: October 4 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 4 October 2009, 21:28:27
October 4 1939

Nikita Krushchev (Secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party) announces the "Communisation" of eastern Poland.

German soldiers parade in Pilsudski Square. Warsaw, Poland, October 4, 1939.

Battle of Kock
4 October

Due to the 13th Motorised Infantry Division's failure, the commander of XIV Corps. was forced to use the 29th Motorised Infantry Division. General Otto ordered the 93rdInfantry Regiment to move from the Wieprz river to D?blin. The 66thMotorised Infantry Regiment would attack Adamów i Wola Gu?owska, and the 33rd Infantry Regiment would clear the area to the north of Kock.

General Kleeberg suspected that the main combined attack of the 13th Motorised Division and the 29thMotorised Division would be on Adamów and Krzywda. He thought there was a chance to destroy the 13thMotorised Division as they had already sustained heavy casualties and materiel losses. The 'Zaza' cavalry division and the 50thInfantry Division would defend their positions, the 60thInfantry Division would attack the 13th Motorised Division. The Podlaska Cavalry Brigade would oppose the 29thMotorised Infantry Division.

In the morning, the main elements of 13thDivision attacked the 'Zaza' cavalry division and the 50thInfantry division. By 1200 noon part of the 66thInfantry Regiment had captured Zak?pie and advanced on Adamów where they were halted by the 1st Battalion of the 180th Infantry Regiment.

About 11 hours apart, first from the west and then the east, forces from the 66th regiment attacked the 'Olek' and 'Wilk' battalions who were defending Czarna. The defenders sustained heavy casualties from artillery fire and 'Wilk' was forced to withdraw to the eastern edge of the Adamów forest. 'Olek', moving to Adamów, later deployed to Gu?ów. Between 1000 and 1100 formations of the 66th Regiment attacked formations of cavalry from the 5th Uhlan Regiment who then withdrew from Wola Gu?owska and Adamów to the south-east.

At about 1200 the 66thInfantry Regiment attacked the 2ndSquadron of the 2ndUhlan Regiment in Zarzecze who withdrew with heavy casualties. The commander of the regiment moved the 4thSquadron south from Helenowka to try to assist the 2nd Squadron while the 3rdSquadron held the enemy to the west of Wola Gu?owska. The 3rd and 4th Squadrons, with elements of the 10th Uhlan Regiment fought near the Turzystwo village cemetery and the church in Wola Gu?owska. Ground was lost and regained repeatedly until an attack by the 2ndBattalion, 184thInfantry Regiment and the Uhlan Squadron enabled the Polish to dig in.

The Reichstag is summoned to meet on Friday, October 6th.

U-35 lands the 28-man crew of the torpedoed Greek transport, SS Diamantis, on the Kerry coast, in the southwest.

The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg)
BERLIN, October 4, 1939.

No. 488

Reference your telegram No. 463.

I, too, do not consider the method Molotov suggested for the cession of the Lithuanian strip of territory as suitable. On the contrary, please ask Molotov not to discuss this cession of territory with the Lithuanians at present, but rather to have the Soviet Government assume the obligation toward Germany to leave this strip of territory unoccupied in the event of a posting of Soviet forces in Lithuania, which may possibly be contemplated, and furthermore to leave it to Germany to determine the date on which the cession of the territory should be formally effected. An understanding to this effect should be set forth in a secret exchange of letters between yourself and Molotov.

Reich Foreign Minister

Members of the Glamorgan Agricultural Committee met to voice concerns about "gossip and goings-on" between Land Army girls and soldiers billeted around the farms in the area. A strict 9 o'clock curfew was urged for the girls, aged 17 to 40. Alderman David Davis defended the women, saying: "They are good-looking English girls with the right spirit. Good girls do not need looking after."

Title: October 5 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 5 October 2009, 19:33:05
October 5 1939

Hitler tours the conquered capital of Warsaw, reviewing the victory parade, before returning to Berlin. Meanwhile, German forces continue mopping up operations against Polish troops still at large between the Vistula and Bug rivers.

Hitler showing his troops during a parade in Warsaw

The Battle of Kock
5 October

The commander of XIVth Motorized Corps. decided that he would use two of his divisions. They would attempt to encircle and destroy the Polish forces. The 13th Motorized Division advanced on Bystrzyca and Adamów then Wróblina and Stanin; the 29th Motorised Division advanced on Radyry? Ko?cielny and Wróblina where they met troops from the 13th Division.

General Kleeberg decided to destroy the 13th Motorised Infantry Division by using forces from the 50thand60th infantry divisions and the 'Zaza' cavalry division. The Podlaska cavalry brigade defended the position under Radory? Ko?cielny and Wróblina.

The Fighting in Wojcieszków, Gu?ów and Adamów

13th Division's artillery began to fire on the 180th Infantry Regiment battalion's positions in Adamów and the 'Olek' Battalion in Gu?ów grange at 0530. Two and a half hours later, the 66th Infantry Regiment's advance began. After a short fight at 1000, the Germans captured Adamów, they then attacked the Polish position on hill 170 and Gu?ów, which they captured after heavy fighting. The 66th Motorised Infantry Regiment took many losses. The division occupied positions on the eastern edge of Adamów forest. General Podhorski sent the 'Pils' cavalry brigade to support them. After contact with the enemy brigade, they began an attack on the German positions in the forest. They captured the forest and there they established defensive positions.

After the capture of Adamów and Gu?ów grange by the 66th Infantry Regiment, the 33rd Motorised Infantry Regiment began to advance, capturing Wojcieszkowoe and Glinne. The Polish 178th Infantry Regiment withdrew. The commander ordered his force to re-take Wojcieszkowo and Glinne, which they did, but they withdrew after taking heavy losses. The advance of the 180th Infantry Regiment on Adamów failed. Colonel Brzoza-Brzezina sent the 178th infantry regiment who soon met the German advance. The 1st battalion included a part company of sappers. The 2nd and 3rd battalions took heavy losses and withdrew to Burzec.

Meanwhile, an attack by the Polish 184th infantry regiment, with the support of a battalion of the 179th infantry regiment, recaptured the church and cemetery in Wola Gu?owska. An advance by the 182nd Infantry Regiment with the help of three 100mm howitzers broke the German defence in Helenów.

At 1600, the last German advance from Adamów began on positions of the 10th Uhlan Regiment in Krzywda forest by the 182nd regiment in Helenów and the 184th regiment in Wola Gu?owska. The 10th Uhlan Regiment, after a hard fight, withdrew into the forest. Most forces of the 'Brzoza' division successfully defended their positions in Burzec. The 182nd Infantry Regiment held their position. The 184th regiment had to withdraw due to a lack of artillery ammunition. During this time two key Polish advances began. The 2nd battalion of the 183rdInfantry Regiment, with artillery support, began an assault with the bayonet on the Germans who had attacked the southern wing of the 'Pils' cavalry brigade.

The assault succeeded and the Germans began to escape, being chased by infantry and cavalry. The rear of the southern wing of the 13th Motorised Division was attacked by the 'Edward' cavalry brigade, they captured Pozna? village, including a German artillery battery, (which had to be destroyed when the cavalry were forced to withdraw due to them coming under fire from another German artillery battery). Elements of the 13th Motorised Division began to withdraw. One of the last attacks was by the 29thMotorised Division on the 'Podlaska' Cavalry Brigade positions and the rear of the 'Brzoza' Division. After which both Polish formations withdrew to the south of Kryzywda.

The Polsie Independent Group surrendered on 6 October at 1000. In his last order General Kleeberg wrote that the reason for his decision to capitulate was that they were surrounded and ammunition and food were depleted.

The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office


Moscow, October 5, 1939-12:30 a. m.

No. 470 of October 4

Reference my telegram No. 463 of October 3.

Immediately after Under State Secretary Gaus' first telephone call I transmitted to Molotov this morning the request not to divulge to the Lithuanian Foreign Minister anything regarding the German-Soviet understanding concerning Lithuania. Molotov asked me to see him at 5 p. m. and told me, that, unfortunately, he had been obliged yesterday to inform the Lithuanian Foreign Minister of this understanding, since he could not, out of loyalty to us, act otherwise. The Lithuanian delegation had been extremely dismayed and sad; they had declared that the loss of this area in particular would be especially hard to bear, since many prominent leaders of the Lithuanian people came from that part of Lithuania. This morning at 8 a. m. the Lithuanian Foreign Minister had flown back to Kowno, intending to return to Moscow in one or two days.

I said that I would immediately notify my Government by telephone, whereupon I called Herr Gaus. An hour later Molotov informed me that Stalin personally requested the German Government not to insist for the moment upon the cession of the strip of Lithuanian territory.


The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union, (Schulenburg)


BERLIN, October 5, 1939-3:43 a. m.
Received Moscow, October 5, 1939-11:55 a. m.

No. 497 of October 4

Referring to today's telephonic communication from the Ambassador.

Legation in Kowno is being instructed as follows:

1) Solely for your personal information, I am apprising you of the following: At the time of the signing of the German-Russian Non-aggression Pact on August 23, a strictly secret delimitation of the respective spheres of influence in Eastern Europe was also undertaken. In accordance therewith, Lithuania was to belong to the German sphere of influence, while in the territory of the former Polish state, the so-called Four-River Line, Pissa-Narew-Vistula-San, was to constitute the border. Even then I demanded that the district of Vilna go to Lithuania, to which the Soviet Government consented. At the negotiations concerning the Boundary and Friendship Treaty on September 28, the settlement was amended to the extent that Lithuania, including the Vilna area, was included in the Russian sphere of influence, for which in turn, in the Polish area, the province of Lublin and large portions of the province of Warsaw, including the pocket of territory of Suwalki, fell within the German sphere of influence. Since, by the inclusion of the Suwalki tract in the German sphere of influence, a difficulty in drawing the border line resulted, we agreed that in case the Soviets should take special measures in Lithuania, a small strip of territory in the southwest of Lithuania, accurately marked on the map, should fall to Germany.

2) Today Count von der Schulenburg reports that Molotov, contrary to our own intentions, notified the Lithuanian Foreign Minister last night of the confidential arrangement. Please now, on your part, inform the Lithuanian Government, orally and in strict confidence, of the matter, as follows:

As early as at the signing of the German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact of August 23, in order to avoid complications in Eastern Europe, conversations were held between ourselves and the Soviet Government concerning the delimitation of German and Soviet spheres of influence. In these conversations I had recommended restoring the Vilna district to Lithuania, to which the Soviet Government gave me its consent. In the negotiations concerning the Boundary and Friendship Treaty of September 28, as is apparent from the German-Soviet boundary demarcation which was published, the pocket of territory of Suwalki jutting out between Germany and Lithuania had fallen to Germany. As this created an intricate and impractical boundary, I had reserved for Germany a border correction in this area, whereby a small strip of Lithuanian territory would fall to Germany. The reward of Vilna to Lithuania was maintained in these negotiations also. You are now authorized to make it known to the Lithuanian Government that the Reich Government does not consider the question of this border revision timely at this moment. We make the proviso, however, that the Lithuanian Government treat this matter as strictly confidential. End of instruction for Kowno.

I request you to inform Herr Molotov of our communication to the Lithuanian Government. Further, please request of him, as already indicated in the preceding telegram, that the border strip of Lithuanian territory involved be left free in the event of a possible posting of Soviet troops in Lithuania and also that it be left to Germany to determine the date of the implementing of the agreement concerning the cession to Germany of the territory involved. Both of these points at issue should be set forth in a secret exchange of letters between yourself and Molotov.


The Nazi anti-Semitic weekly, Der Sturmer, publishes a "Hymm of Hate" calling England the "curse of the world."

You we shall hate with enduring hate;
We shall not forbear from our hate;
Hate on water and hate on land,
Hate of the head and hate of the hand,
Hate of the hammer and hate of the crown,
Hate of seventy millions pressing down.
We love as one; we hate as one;
We have one foe, and one alone - ENGLAND !

The Soviets continue their moves to strengthen their position in the Baltic by asking the Finnish government for new talks on altering their boundaries. Meanwhile, a Soviet-Latvian Pact is signed, giving the USSR the use of sea and air bases in Latvia. This pact is the second in a series designed to ensure Soviet control of the Baltic.

Eight British and French hunting groups are formed to hunt for the Graf Spee. At this stage the British and the French can afford to divert considerable forces to such a task. Meanwhile, the German pocket battleship Deutschland sinks the SS Stonegate.

Title: October 5 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Jilly on 5 October 2009, 22:43:11
You we shall hate with enduring hate;
We shall not forbear from our hate;
Hate on water and hate on land,
Hate of the head and hate of the hand,
Hate of the hammer and hate of the crown,
Hate of seventy millions pressing down.
We love as one; we hate as one;
We have one foe, and one alone - ENGLAND !

That sure is a lot of hate.  

Title: October 6 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 6 October 2009, 19:35:45
October 6 1939

Organized Polish resistance ended on October 6, 1939.  Some 100,000 Polish soldiers would escape to form the Free Polish Brigade in England, where they would fight in the air during the Battle of Britain and on land after the Normandy invasion.

Battle of Changsha (September 17, 1939 – October 6, 1939) was the first attempt by Japan to take the city of Changsha, China, during the second Sino-Japanese War.
The Japanese launched the attacks on September 17, when their forces in northern Jiangxi attacked westward toward Henan. However, the Japanese stretched too far out westward and were counter-attacked by Chinese forces from the south and the north, forcing them to retreat eastward.

On September 19, the Japanese then proceeded to attack the Chinese along the Sinchiang River. Even though the use of poison gas was prohibited by the Geneva Protocol, the Japanese army employed it on Chinese positions. On September 23 the Japanese drove the Chinese out of the Sinchiang river area, and the 6th and 13th Divisions crossed the river under artillery cover and advanced further south along the Miluo River.

Heavy fighting continued after the 23rd and the Chinese retreated southward to attract the Japanese while supporting battalions arrived on the east and the west for encirclement maneuver. On September 29 the Japanese reached the outskirts of Changsha. However, they were unable to conquer the city because their supply lines were cut off by the Chinese. By October 6 the Japanese forces at Changsha were decimated while the remnants retreated northward.

The Finns mobilize their standing military forces.

Hitler's speech to the Reichstag, Berlin


September 21 - United States Congress convenes in special session. President Roosevelt reads a message asking for an amendment of the Neutrality Act to provide for the lifting of the arms embargo.

September 24 - Mussolini makes a speech stating that there is no reason to continue the war now that the Polish question has been settled.

September 27 - Warsaw surrenders.

September 28 - Germany and Russia divide Poland between them. Russia makes an agreement with Estonia, thus gaining naval bases on the Baltic.

October 2 - Pan-American conference decides on the establishment of a sea safety zone around the Western Hemisphere.

October 5 - Russia signs a mutual-aid pact with Latvia, obtaining naval bases on the Baltic

The Speech

IT WAS a fateful hour, on the first of September of this year, when you met here as representatives of the German people. I had to inform you then of serious decisions which had been forced upon us as a result of the intransigent and provocative action of a certain State.

Since then five weeks have gone by. I have asked you to come here today in order to give you an account of what has passed, the necessary insight into what is happening at present and, so far as that is possible, into the future as well.

For the last two days our towns and villages have been decorated with flags and symbols of the new Reich. Bells are ringing to celebrate a great victory, which, of its kind, is unique in history. A State of no less than 36,000,000 inhabitants, with an army of almost fifty infantry and cavalry divisions, took up arms against us. Their arms were far-reaching, their confidence in their ability to crush Germany knew no bounds.

After one week of fighting there could no longer be any doubt as to the outcome. Whenever Polish troops met German units, they were driven back or dispersed. Poland's ambitious strategy for a great offensive against the territory of the Reich collapsed within the first forty-eight hours of the campaign. Death-defying in attack, advancing at an unconquerable rate of progress, infantry, armored detachments, air force and units of the navy were soon dictating the course of events.

They were masters of the situation throughout the campaign. In a fortnight's time the major part of the Polish Army was either scattered, captured, or surrounded. In the meantime, however, the German Army had covered distances and occupied regions which twenty-five years ago would have taken over fourteen months to conquer.

Even though a number of peculiarly gifted newspaper strategists in other parts of the world attempted to describe the pace at which this campaign progressed as not coming up to Germany's expectations, we ourselves all know that in all history there has scarcely been a comparable military achievement.

That the last remnants of the Polish Army were able to hold out in Warsaw, Modlin, and on Hela Peninsula until October 1 was not due to their prowess in arms, but only to our cool thinking and our sense of responsibility.

I forbade the sacrifice of more human lives than was absolutely necessary. That is to say, I deliberately released the German Supreme Command from adherence to a principle still observed in the Great War demanding that for the sake of prestige certain objectives must under all circumstances be reached within a certain time limit.

Everything which it is imperative to do will be done regardless of sacrifice, but what can be avoided will not be done.

There would have been no difficulty for us in breaking the resistance of Warsaw between the 10th and 12th of September, just as we finally broke it September 25-27, only that in the first place I wanted to spare German lives and in the second place I still clung to the hope, misdirected though it was, that the Polish side might for once be guided by responsible common sense instead of by irresponsible lunacy. But in this instance we were once more confronted with the spectacle which we had witnessed before on the largest possible scale.

The attempt to convince the responsible Polish command - in so far as it existed - that it was futile and in fact insane to attempt resistance, especially in a city of more than a million inhabitants, proved entirely fruitless. A 'generalissimo,' who himself took to inglorious flight, forced upon the capital of his country a resistance which could never lead to anything but its destruction.

Since it was realized that Warsaw's fortifications alone were not likely to withstand the German attack, the entire city was converted into a fortress and barricaded in every direction. Batteries were mounted in every square and great courtyard, thousands of machine-gun posts manned and the whole population called up to take part in the fighting.

Sheer sympathy for women and children caused me to make an offer to those in command of Warsaw at least to let civilian inhabitants leave the city. I declared a temporary armistice and safeguards necessary for evacuation, with the result that we all waited for emissaries just as fruitlessly as we had waited at the end of August for a Polish negotiator. The proud Polish commander of the city did not even condescend to reply.

To make sure, I extended the time limit and ordered bombers and heavy artillery to attack only military objectives, repeating my proposal in vain. I thereupon made an offer that the whole suburb of Praga would not be bombarded at all, but should be reserved for the civilian population in order to make it possible for them to take refuge there.

This proposal, too, was treated with contempt on the part of the Poles. Twice I attempted to evacuate at least the international colony from the city. In this I finally succeeded after great difficulties, in the case of the Russian colony, actually at the last moment. I then ordered a general attack on the city for September 25.

The same defenders who at first considered it beneath their dignity even to reply to my humane proposals, made on grounds of humanity, then very rapidly changed face. The German attack opened on September 25, and Warsaw capitulated on the 27th.

With 120,000 men the defenders did not even attempt to break through as our German General Litzmann once did at Brzesiny with a vastly inferior force, but, on the contrary, preferred to lay down arms.

Any comparison with the Alcazar is entirely out of place. There for weeks on end Spanish heroes defied the bitterest attacks and earned a right to lasting fame. Here, on the other hand, a great city was unscrupulously exposed to destruction, only to capitulate after a forty-eight-hour assault.

The Polish soldiers as individuals fought bravely on many occasions, but their officers, beginning with the command, can only be described as irresponsible, unconscientious and inefficient. Before the bombardment of Hela I had also given orders that not a single man should be sacrificed until the most careful preparation for action had been made. There, too, surrender came at the very moment when the Germans had at length announced their intention of attacking and had begun to do so.

I have made these statements, gentlemen, with the object of forestalling the invention of historical legends, for if legend is to be woven around any who took part in this campaign, it should be woven around German soldiers who, during the attack and on the march, added yet another page to their immortal glorious record.

Legends could be woven, too, around the heavy artillery which performed untold feats of endurance in rushing to the assistance of the infantry. Men of our armored mechanized units who, with dauntless courage and heedless of counterattacks and numerical superiority of the enemy, attacked again and again are worthy of this legend.

Such a legend should also immortalize the airmen who, fearless of death and knowing that if anti-aircraft fire did not kill them in the air, they would, if forced to make a parachute landing, inevitably suffer frightful death, continued with steadfast courage to carry out reconnaissance flights and attacks with bombs or machine-gun fire whenever they were commanded to do so and whenever they found objectives.

The same is true of the brave men of our submarine fleet. If, within four weeks, we totally annihilated a State with a population of 36,000,000 and corresponding military strength, and if during this whole period our victorious arms have not suffered a single setback, this cannot be ascribed simply to good luck but constituted certain proof of fine training, excellent leadership, and indomitable courage.

Our knowledge of the strength of our fighting forces fills us all with a well of confidence, for they have not only proved that they are strong in attack, but also that they are strong in retaining what they have won. The excellent training received by the individual officers and men has been amply justified. It is this training which is responsible for the extremely few casualties which - hard as they are for the individual to bear - are on the whole far less than we ventured to expect.

Admittedly the total number of casualties gives no idea of the severity of the various encounters, for certain regiments and divisions suffered very heavy losses when they were attacked by Polish forces which were numerically superior or came into conflict with such forces when they themselves were attacking....

As I am now about to make known to you the number of our dead and wounded, I request that you rise from your seats. Though owing to the training given our troops, the effectiveness of our weapons and the command of our forces the figures do not amount to even one-twentieth of what our apprehensions had been at the outset of the campaign, we will never forget that every soldier who fell fighting brought for his people and our Reich the greatest sacrifice that man can bring.

According to the casualty list of up to September 30, 1939, which will not change materially, the total losses for the army, navy and air force, including officers, are as follows: 10,572 killed; 30,322 wounded; 3,404 missing. Unfortunately, of those missing a certain number who fell into Polish hands will probably be found to have been massacred and killed.

All our gratitude is due to the victims of the campaign in Poland, while the wounded may be assured of our best attention and care, and the families of those killed of our sympathy and help.

By the capitulation of the fortresses of Warsaw and Modlin and the surrender of Hela, the Polish campaign has come to an end. The task of safeguarding the country against vagabonding marauders, gangs of robbers and individual groups of terrorists will be carried through with all energy.

The outcome of the war was the annihilation of all Polish armies, followed by the dissolution of the Polish State. Six hundred and ninety-four thousand prisoners have set out on their march to Berlin. The amount of war material captured cannot yet be estimated.

Since the outbreak of the war, the German forces have at the same time in calm preparedness taken up positions in the West ready to meet the enemy.

The naval forces of the Reich have fulfilled their duty in the attack on the Westerplatte, Gdynia, Oxhoeft and Hela, and in protecting the Baltic Sea and the German North Sea coast our submarines are fighting in a spirit worthy of the memory of our heroes in the last war.

In the face of this historically unprecedented collapse of a structure purporting to be a State, the question in almost everybody's mind is as to the reason for such a phenomenon.

Versailles was the cradle of a Polish State which had emerged from the untold sacrifice of blood - not of Polish but of German and Russian blood. Poland, who for centuries past had proved herself incapable of existence, was in 1916 artificially begotten and in 1919 no less artificially born by a German government just as incapable of existence.

In utter disregard of almost 500 years of experience, without consideration for the lesson of historical development during many centuries, without appreciation for ethnographic conditions and with no regard for all economic expediencies, a State was constructed at Versailles which, according to its whole nature, was sooner or later bound to become the cause of a most serious crisis.

A man who, I am sorry to say, now ranks among our fiercest enemies, at that time clearly foresaw all this. I mean Mr. Lloyd George. Like so many others he sounded warning, not only at the time of the creation of that structure but also in the course of its subsequent expansion which had taken place in utter disregard of reason and right.

At that time he expressed apprehension that in that State an accumulation of conditions was being created containing the risk of conflicts which sooner or later might lead to great European complications.

As a matter of fact, conditions surrounding the structure of this new so-called State, as far as its nationalities were concerned, could not be clarified until now. It requires some knowledge of Polish census methods to realize how utterly alien to truth, and therefore irrelevant, statistics on the national composition of that territory were and are.

In 1919 the Poles laid claims to the territory where they pretended to have a majority of 95 per cent - in East Prussia, for instance - whereas a plebiscite later showed the Poles actually had reached a figure of 2 per cent.

In the State finally created, which contained parts of former Russia, Austria, and Germany, non-Polish elements were so brutally ill-treated, suppressed, tyrannized and tortured that any plebiscite depended entirely on the good will of local administrative officials for producing such results as were desired or demanded.

Nor did indisputable Polish elements receive much better recognition. And then, on top of all this, statesmen of our Western Hemisphere spoke of this kind of creation as of democracy of the fundamentals of their own system.

In that country there ruled a minority of aristocratic or non-aristocratic large, vast estate-owners and wealthy intellectuals to whom under the most favorable circumstances their own Polish compatriots were nothing but mass man power. For that reason the regime was never backed by more than 15 per cent of the total population.

The economic distress and low cultural level corresponded with these conditions. In 1919 this State took over from Prussia and also from Austria provinces which had been developed through hundreds of years of hard toil, some of them being in a most flourishing condition. Today, after the elapse of twenty years, they are at a point of gradually turning into steppes again.

The Vistula, the river whose estuary has always been of such tremendous importance for the Polish Government, owing to the lack of any and all care is now already unsuitable for any real traffic and, depending on the season, is either an unruly stream or a dried-up rivulet.

Towns as well as villages are in a state of neglect. The roads, with very few exceptions, are badly out of repair and in a terrible condition. Anyone who travels in that country for two or three weeks will get the proper idea of the classical German term 'Polnische Wirtschaft,' meaning a 'Polish state of affairs!'

In spite of the unbearable conditions prevailing in that country, Germany endeavored to establish peaceful relations with it. During the years 1933 and 1934 I endeavored to find some equitable compromise between our national interests and our desire for the maintenance of peace with that country. There was a time, when Marshal Pilsudski was still alive, when it seemed possible for this hope to materialize were it only to a modest extent.

Unlimited patience and still greater self-restraint were called for because many of the regional Polish administrative officials took the understanding between Germany and Poland to be merely a license for the persecution and annihilation of the Germans in Poland with even less risk. In the few years up to 1922 more than one-and-a-half million Germans had been forced to leave their homes. They were hunted out, often without being able to take even their most necessary clothing.

When, in 1938, the Olsa territory went to Poland, they used the same methods against the Czechs who lived there. Often within a few hours many thousands of these had to leave their working places, their homes, their villages and towns at the shortest notice without being allowed to take anything more with them than a suitcase or a little box with clothing.

Things like this went on for years, and for years we looked on, always striving to attain some improvement in the lot of the unhappy Germans living there by establishing closer relations. It was, however, impossible to overlook the fact that every German attempt thereby to secure the removal of these intolerable conditions was taken by the Polish rulers to be nothing more than a sign of weakness, if not of stupidity.

When the Polish Government proceeded in a thousand ways gradually to subjugate Danzig as well, I endeavored, by means of practical proposals, to secure a solution whereby Danzig, in accordance with the wishes of its population, could be nationally and politically united with Germany without impairing the economic needs and so-called rights of Poland. If today any one alleges that these were ultimative demands, that allegation is a lie.

The proposals for a solution, as communicated to the Polish Government in March, 1939, were nothing but the suggestions and the ideas already discussed long ago between myself and Polish Foreign Minister Beck, except for the fact that in the spring of 1939 I thought I would be able to facilitate the acceptance of these proposals by the Polish Government in the face of their own public opinion by the offer to concede to them an equivalent.

The fact that the Polish Government at that time refused to consider a discussion of these proposals was due to two reasons: for one thing, the inflamed chauvinist powers behind the Government never intended to solve the problem of Danzig, but on the contrary already lived in the hope, expounded later in publications and speeches, of acquiring territory from the Reich far beyond the bounds of Danzig; in fact, they hoped to be in a position to attack and conquer.

'These aims, far from stopping, at East Prussia, were climaxed by a flood of publications and a continuous sequence of speeches, addresses, resolutions, etc., in addition to the incorporation of East Prussia, for the annexation of Pomerania and Silesia. The Oder represented the minimum of frontier claims and finally even the Elbe was described as the natural dividing line between Germany and Poland.

These demands, which today may appear crazy but which were then presented with fanatical seriousness, were based in a simply ridiculous manner on the assumption of a 'Polish mission of civilization' and declared justified because they were supposed to be capable of fulfillment in view of the strength of the Polish Army.

While I was inviting the then Polish Foreign Minister to take part in a conference for the discussion of our proposals, the Polish military generals were already writing about the inefficiency of the German Army, the cowardice of the German soldiers, the inferiority of the German weapons, the obvious superiority of the Polish forces and the certainty, in case of war, of defeating the Germans at the gates of Berlin and of annihilating the Reich.

The man, however, who intended, as he expressed it, to hack the German Army to pieces at the gates of Berlin, was not just an illiterate, insignificant Pole but their commander-in-chief, Rydz-Smigly, who at present resides in Rumania.

Violations and insults which Germany and her armed forces had to put up with from these military dilettantes would never have been tolerated by any other State, just as they were not expected from any other nation. No French or English generals would ever have presumed to express a judgment of the German armed forces similar to that which we heard read from the Polish side for years, particularly since March, 1939; and on the other hand no German general would have spoken in that manner of English, French or Italian soldiers.

A great deal of self-control was needed to keep calm in face of these simply shameless insults, in spite of the fact that we knew that the German armed forces could destroy and sweep away the whole of this ridiculous State and its army within a few weeks.

But this attitude, for which the Polish leaders themselves were responsible, was the fundamental reason why the Polish Government refused even to discuss the German proposals.

Another reason was that fatal promise of guarantee given to the State which, although not menaced at all, very rapidly became convinced it could afford to challenge a Great Power without risk once it was assured of the support of two Great Powers, perhaps even hoping this way to lay the foundation for realization of all its own insane ambitions.

For, as soon as Poland felt certain of that guarantee, minorities living in that country had to suffer what amounted to a reign of terror. I do not consider it my task to speak of the lot of the Ukrainians, or White Russian population, whose interests now lie in the hands of Russia.

However, I do feel it my duty to speak of the lot of those helpless thousands of Germans who carried on the tradition of those who first brought culture to that country centuries ago and whom the Poles now began to oppress and drive out. Since March, 1939, they had been victims of truly satanic terrorization. How many of them had been abducted and where they are cannot be stated even today.

Villages with hundreds of German inhabitants are now left without men because they all have been killed. In others women were violated and murdered, girls and children outraged and killed. In 1598 an Englishman - Sir George Carew - wrote in his diplomatic reports to the English Government that the outstanding features of Polish character were cruelty and lack of moral restraint.

Since that time this cruelty has not changed. Just as tens of thousands of Germans were slaughtered and sadistically tormented to death, so German soldiers captured in fighting were tortured and massacred.

This pet lapdog of the Western democracies cannot be considered a cultured nation at all.

For more than four years I fought in the great war on the Western Front, but such things did not happen on either side.

Things that have occurred in Poland, in the past few months, and especially the last four weeks, constitute flaming accusations against those responsible for the creation of a so-called State lacking every national, historical, cultural, and moral foundation. Had only 1 per cent of these atrocities been committed in any part of the world against the English people, I should be interested to see the indignation of those gentlemen who today in hypocritical horror condemn the German or Russian procedure.

No! To grant guarantees to this State and this Government as was done could only lead to appalling disasters. Neither the Polish Government, nor the small cliques supporting it, nor the Polish nation as such were capable of measuring the responsibilities which were implied in such guarantees in Poland's favor by half of Europe.

The passionate sentiment thus aroused, together with the sense of that security which had been unconditionally guaranteed to them, counted for the behavior of the Polish Government during the period between April and August this year.

It was also the cause of the attitude they adopted toward my conciliatory proposals. The Government rejected these proposals because they felt themselves protected, or even encouraged, by public opinion and public opinion protected them and encouraged them on their way because it had been left in ignorance by its Government and particularly because in its every action it felt itself sufficiently protected from without.

All this led to an increase in the number of appalling atrocities committed against German nationals in Poland and to the rejection of all proposals for a solution and in the end to the steadily growing encroachments on actual Reich territory. It was quite comprehensible that such a state of mind interpreted German longsuffering as a weakness, that is, that every concession on Germany's part was regarded as proof of the possibility of some further aggressive steps.

A warning given Poland to refrain from sending Danzig any more notes amounting to ultimata and above all to desist from economic strangulation of that city did not ease the situation in the least; it resulted, in fact, in complete stoppage of all Danzig means of communication.

The warning to suspend or at least to take steps against the unceasing cases of murder, ill treatment and torture of German nationals in Poland had the effect of increasing these atrocities and of calling for more bloodthirsty harangues and provocative speeches from the Polish local administrative officials and military authorities.

The German proposals aiming at a last-minute agreement on a just and equitable basis were answered by a general mobilization. The German request that an intermediary should be sent, founded on a proposal made by Great Britain, was not complied with and on the second day was answered by an offensive declaration.

Under these circumstances it was obvious that if further incursions into the Reich's territory occurred, Germany's patience would be at an end. What the Poles had erroneously interpreted as weakness was in reality our sense of responsibility and my firm determination to come to an understanding if that at all was possible.

Since they believed that this patience and longsuffering was a sign of weakness which would allow them to do anything, no other course remained than to show them their mistake by striking back with the weapons which they themselves had used for years.

Under these blows their State has crumbled to pieces in a few weeks and is now swept from the earth. One of the most senseless deeds perpetrated at Versailles is thus a thing of the past.

If this step on Germany's part has resulted in a community of interests with Russia, that is due not only to the similarity of the problems affecting the two States, but also to that of the conclusions which both States had arrived at with regard to their future relationship.

In my speech at Danzig I already declared that Russia was organized on principles which differ from those held in Germany. However, since it became clear that Stalin found nothing in the Russian-Soviet principles which should prevent him from cultivating friendly relations with States of a different political creed, National Socialist Germany sees no reason why she should adopt another criterion. The Soviet Union is the Soviet Union, National Socialist Germany is National Socialist Germany.

But one thing is certain: from the moment when the two States mutually agreed to respect each other's distinctive regime and principles, every reason for any mutually hostile attitude had disappeared. Long periods in the history of both nations have shown that the inhabitants of these two largest States in Europe were never happier than when they lived in friendship with each other. The Great War, which once made Germany and Russia enemies, was disastrous for both countries.

It is easy to understand that the capitalist States of the West are interested today in playing off these two States and their principles against each other. For this purpose, and until it is realized, they certainly regard the Soviet Union as a sufficiently respectable partner for the conclusion of a useful military pact. But they regard it as perfidy that their honorable approaches were rejected and in their place rapprochement took place between those two very powers who had every reason for seeking happiness for their respective peoples in developing their economic relationship along the lines of peaceful co-operation.

Months ago I stated in the Reichstag that the conclusion of the German-Russian non-aggression pact marked the turning point in the whole German foreign policy. The new pact of friendship and mutual interest since signed between Germany and the Soviet Union will insure not only peace but a constant satisfactory co-operation for both States.

Germany and Russia together will relieve one of the most acute danger spots in Europe of its threatening character and will, each in her own sphere, contribute to the welfare of the peoples living there, thus aiding to European peace in general. If certain circles today see in this pact either the breakdown of Russia or Germany - as suits them best - I should like to give them my answer.

For many years imaginary aims were attributed to Germany's foreign policy which at best might be taken to have arisen in the mind of a schoolboy.

At a moment when Germany is struggling to consolidate her own living space, which only consists of a few hundred thousand square kilometers, insolent journalists in countries which rule over 40,000,000 square kilometers state Germany is aspiring to world domination!

German-Russian agreements should prove immensely comforting to these worried sponsors of universal liberty, for do they not show most emphatically that their assertions as to Germany's aiming at d domination of the Urals, the Ukraine, Rumania, etc., are only excrescences of their own unhealthy war-lord fantasy?

In one respect it is true Germany's decision is irrevocable, namely in her intention to see peaceful, stable, and thus tolerable conditions introduced on her eastern frontiers; also it is precisely here that Germany's interests and desires correspond entirely with those of the Soviet Union. The two States are resolved to prevent problematic conditions arising between them which contain germs of internal unrest and thus also of external disorder and which might perhaps in any way unfavorably affect the relationship of these two great States with one another.

Germany and the Soviet Union have therefore clearly defined the boundaries of their own spheres of interest with the intention of being singly responsible for law and order and preventing everything which might cause injury to the other partner.

The aims and tasks which emerge from the collapse of the Polish State are, insofar as the German sphere of interest is concerned, roughly as follows:

1. Demarcation of the boundary for the Reich, which will do justice to historical, ethnographical and economic facts.

2. Pacification of the whole territory by restoring a tolerable measure of peace and order.

3. Absolute guarantees of security not only as far as Reich territory is concerned but for the entire sphere of interest.

4. Re-establishment and reorganization of economic life and of trade and transport, involving development of culture and civilization.

5. As the most important task, however, to establish a new order of ethnographic conditions, that is to say, resettle ment of nationalities in such a manner that the process ultimately results in the obtaining of better dividing lines than is the case at present. In this sense, however, it is not a case of the problem being restricted to this particular sphere, but of a task with far wider implications for the east and south of Europe are to a large extent filled with splinters of the German nationality, whose existence they cannot maintain.

In their very existence lie the reason and cause for continual international disturbances. In this age of the principle of nationalities and of racial ideals, it is utopian to believe that members of a highly developed people can be assimilated without trouble.

It is therefore essential for a far-sighted ordering of the life of Europe that a resettlement should be undertaken here so as to remove at least part of the material for European conflict. Germany and the Union of Soviet Republics have come to an agreement to support each other in this matter.

The German Government will, therefore, never allow the residual Polish State of the future to become in any sense a disturbing factor for the Reich itself and still less a source of disturbance between the German Reich and Soviet Russia.

As Germany and Soviet Russia undertake this work of re-establishment, the two States are entitled to point out that the attempt to solve this problem by the methods of Versailles has proved an utter failure. In fact it had to fail because these tasks cannot be settled sitting around a table or by simple decrees. Most of the statesmen who in Versailles had to decide on these complicated problems did not possess the slightest historical training, indeed they often had not even the vaguest idea of the nature of the task with which they were faced.

Neither did they bear any responsibility for the consequences of their action. Recognition that their work might be faulty was of no significance because in practice there was no way for a real revision. It is true that in the Treaty of Versailles provision was made for keeping open the possibility of such revisions but in reality all attempts to attain such a revision miscarried and they were bound to miscarry because the League of Nations as the competent authority was no longer morally justified to carry out such a procedure.

After America had been first to refuse to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, or to join the League of Nations, and later when other countries also felt they could no longer reconcile their presence in this organization with the interests of their respective countries, the League degenerated more and more into a clique of parties interested in the Versailles dictate.

At any rate it is a fact that none of the revisions recognized from the outset as necessary had ever been effected by the League of Nations.

Since in our time it became customary to regard a refugee government as still existing even if it consists of three members provided they have taken with them sufficient gold so as not to be an economic burden to the democratic country offering hospitality, it may be assumed that the League of Nations, too, will carry on bravely if but two nations sit there together. Perhaps even one will do!

But according to the government of the League any revision of the Versailles clauses would still be adjudicated exclusively by this illustrious organization - that is, in other words, revision would be practically impossible.

The League of Nations is not living but already a dead thing, nevertheless the peoples concerned are not dead but alive and they will uphold their vital interests, however incapable the League of Nations may be of seeing, grasping, or respecting those interests.

National Socialism is not a phenomenon which has grown up in Germany with the malicious intent of thwarting League efforts at revision, but a movement which arose because for fifteen years the most natural human and social rights of a great nation had been suppressed and denied redress.

And I personally take exception at seeing foreign states- men stand up and call me guilty of having broken my word because I have now put these revisions through.

On the contrary I pledged my sacred word to the German people to do away with the Treaty of Versailles and to restore to them their natural and vital rights as a great nation.

The extent to which I am securing these vital rights is modest.

This I ask: If forty-six million Englishmen claim the right to rule over forty million square kilometers of the earth, it cannot be wrong for eighty-two million Germans to demand the right to live on 800,000 square kilometers, to till their fields and to follow their trades and callings, and if they further demand the restitution of those colonial possessions which formerly were their property, which they had not taken away from anybody by robbery or war but honestly acquired by purchase, exchange and treaties. Moreover, in all my demands, I always first tried to obtain revisions by way of negotiation.

I did, it is true, refuse to submit the question of German vital rights to some non-competent international body in the form of humble requests. Just as little as I suppose that Great Britain would plead for respect of her vital interests, so little ought one to expect the same of National Socialist Germany. I have, however, and I must emphasize this fact most solemnly, limited in the extreme the measure of these revisions of the Versailles Treaty.

Notably in all those cases where I did not see any menace to the natural, vital interests of my people, I have myself advised the German nation to hold back. Yet these eighty million people must live somewhere. There exists a fact that not even the Versailles Treaty has been able to destroy; although it has in the most unreasonable manner dissolved States, torn asunder regions economically connected, cut communication lines, etc., yet the people, the living substance of flesh and blood, has remained and will forever remain in the future.

It cannot be denied that since the German people has found its resurrection through National Socialism, the relation existing between Germany and the surrounding nations has been cleared up to a great extent.

The uncertainty that today is weighing down the common life of nations is not due to German demands, but to the malignant insinuations published in the so-called democracies.

The German demands themselves were formulated in a very clear and precise way. They have, it is true, found their fulfillment not thanks to the insight of the League of Nations but thanks to the dynamics of natural development.

The aim of the German foreign policy as pursued by me has never been other than to guarantee the existence - that is to say, the life - of the German people, to remove the injustice and nonsense contained in a treaty which not only destroyed Germany economically but has drawn the victor nations into disaster as well.

For the rest, however, our whole work of rebuilding was concerned with the home affairs of the Reich and no country in the world had a greater longing for peace than the German people. It was fortunate for humanity and no misfortune at all that I succeeded in removing the craziest, most impossible clauses of the Versailles Treaty by peaceful methods and without compromising foreign statesmen in the internal politics of their countries.

That some details of this action may have been painful to certain interested parties is comprehensible. But the merit is all the greater for the fact that this reorganization was brought about without bloodshed in all cases but the last one.

The last revision of this treaty could have been brought about in exactly the same peaceful way had not two circumstances I have mentioned had the contrary effect. That is chiefly the fault of those who not only tool; no pleasure in the former peaceful revision, but on the contrary complained of the fact that by peaceful methods a new Central Europe was being built up; that is to say, a Central Europe that was able once more to give its inhabitants work and bread.

As I have already mentioned, it was one of the aims of the Government of the Reich to clear up the relation between ourselves and our neighbors. Allow me to point out some facts that cannot be refuted by the scribblings of international press liars.

First. Germany has concluded non-aggression pacts with the Baltic States. Her interests there are of an exclusively economic nature.

Second. In former times Germany never had any conflict of interests or indeed litigation points with the Northern States and she has none today either.

Third. Germany has taken no steps in regard to the German territory handed over to Denmark under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles; she has, on the contrary, established local and friendly relations with Denmark. We have claimed no revision, but we have concluded a non-aggression pact with Denmark. Our relations with that country are thus directed toward unswervingly loyal and friendly co-operation.

Fourth. Holland: the new Reich has endeavored to continue the traditional friendship with Holland; it did not take over any differences between the two States nor did it create new ones.

Fifth. Belgium: immediately after I had taken over the Government I tried to establish friendly relations with Belgium. 1 renounced any revision as well as any desire for revision. The Reich has put forward no claim which might in any way have been regarded as a threat to Belgium.

Sixth. Switzerland: Germany adopted the same attitude toward Switzerland. The Reich Government has never given the slightest cause for doubt regarding their desires to establish friendly relations with the country. Moreover, they themselves have never brought forward any complaint regarding the relations between the two countries.

Seventh. Immediately after the Anschluss [with Austria] became an accomplished fact, I informed Yugoslavia that the frontier in common with that country would henceforth be regarded as unalterable by Germany and that we wished only to live in peace and friendship with that country.

Eighth. The bond which binds us to Hungary is old and traditional, one of close and sincere friendship. In this instance, too, our frontiers are unalterable.

Ninth. Slovakia appealed to Germany of her own accord for assistance in connection with her establishment as a State. Her independence is recognized and not infringed upon by the Reich.

Tenth. However, it is not only with these states but also with the Great Powers that Germany has improved and settled those relations which to a certain extent had been adversely affected by the Treaty of Versailles.

My first step was to bring about an alteration in the relations between Italy and the Reich. The existing frontiers between these two States have been formally recognized as unalterable by both countries. Any possibility of a clash of interests of a territorial nature has been removed. One-time enemies during the World War, they have in the meantime become sincere friends.

Establishment of friendly relations was not the final development, but, in the periods which followed, this led to the signing of a cordial pact based on our mutual philosophies and political interests which has proved itself to be an important factor in European co-operation.

My chief endeavor, however, has been to rid our relations with France of all trace of ill will and render them tolerable for both nations. I once set forth with the utmost clarity Germany's claims in this domain and have never gone back on that declaration. Return of the Saar territory was one demand which I regarded as an indispensable pre-condition of Franco-German understandings.

After France herself had found a just solution of this problem, Germany had no further claims against France. No such claim exists any longer and no such claim shall ever be put forward. That is to say, I have refused even to mention the problem of Alsace-Lorraine not because I was forced to keep silent, but because this matter does not constitute a problem which could ever interfere with Franco-German relations.

I accepted the decision made in 1919 and refused to consider ever embarking upon war for the sake of a question which, comparatively speaking, is of slight importance for Germany's vital interests, but which is certainly likely to involve every second generation in a deadly war fear. France realized this.

It is impossible for any French statesman to get up and declare I have ever made any demands upon France the fulfillment of which would be incompatible with French honor or French interest. It is, however, true that instead of demands I have always expressed to France my desire to bury forever our ancient enmity and bring together these two nations, both of which have such glorious pasts.

Among the German people, I have done my utmost to eradicate the idea of everlasting enmity and to inculcate in its place a respect for the great achievements of the French nation and for its history, just as every German soldier has the greatest respect for the feats of the French Army. I have devoted no less effort to the achievement of an Anglo-German understanding, nay, more than that, of an Anglo-German friendship.

At no time and in no place have I ever acted contrary to British interests. Unfortunately I have only too often been forced to guard against instances of British interference in German affairs, even in cases which did not concern Great Britain in the least. I actually considered it as one of my life aims to reconcile these two peoples, not only through mutual understanding but through inner sympathy.

The German nation has gladly followed my lead in this respect. If my endeavors have been unsuccessful, it is only because of an animosity on the part of certain British statesmen and journalists, which has deeply affected me personally.

They made no secret of the fact that - for reasons which are unfathomable to us - their sole aim was to seize the first opportunity in order to resume the fight with Germany. The fewer reasons of substantial nature these men have for their schemes, the more they attempt to motivate their actions with empty phrases and assertions.

But I believe even today that there can only he real peace in Europe and throughout the world if Germany and England come to an understanding. Because of this conviction I have often shown the way to an understanding. If in the end there was not the desired result, it was really not my fault.

Finally, I now also attempted to bring the relations between the Reich and Soviet Russia to a normal and, in the end, to a friendly basis. Thanks to a similar trend of thought on the part of Mr. Stalin these endeavors have now been realized. Now with that State lasting and friendly relations have been established, the effect of which will be a blessing to both nations.

Thus the revision of the Versailles Treaty carried through by me did not cause any chaos in Europe, but on the contrary produced the prerequisite of clear, stable and bearable conditions.

Only those who detest this order of things in Europe and wish for disorder can feel hostile to these actions. If, however, certain people think themselves obliged to reject with a hypocritical air the method by which a tolerable order of things was established in Central Europe, then my only reply to them is that in the end it is not so much the method but the useful result that counts.

Before I came into power Central Europe, that is to say not only Germany but also the surrounding States, was sinking into the hopeless distress of unemployment and production had decreased, involving an automatic jump in commodity consumption. The standard of living went down. Distress and misery were the result.

No criticizing foreign statesman can deny that not only in the old Reich but also in all the territory now merged with it, it has become possible to remove these indications of decay in the face of the most adverse conditions.

It has thus been proved that only as an entity is this Central European space capable of existence and that whoever breaks up that entity commits a crime against millions of people.

To have wiped out that crime does not amount to a breach of my word, but to me is honor itself; I am proud of it as my deed before history.

Neither the German people nor myself has taken an oath on the Treaty of Versailles; I have merely taken an oath on the welfare of my people, who gave me my mandate and on the welfare of those whom destiny has placed within our living space, thus inseparably binding them to our own welfare.

To guarantee the existence and thus the life of all of them is my sole concern.

Any attempt to criticize, judge or reject my actions from the rostrum of international presumption has no foundation before history and personally leaves me stone-cold. I was called to my post by the confidence vested in me by the German people, whose attitude toward me is only strengthened by any such attempt at criticism or interference from abroad.

Moreover, previous to each single revision I have put forward proposals. I had attempted, by means of negotiations, to achieve and secure what was absolutely indispensable. In a certain number of cases I was successful. In other cases, I am sorry to say, my readiness to negotiate and perhaps also the small extent of my demands and the modesty of my proposals were interpreted as a sign of weakness and therefore rejected. Nobody could have regretted this more than I did.

There are, however, in the life of nations certain necessities which, if they are not brought about by peaceful methods, must be realized by force, however regrettable this appears, not only to the life of the individual citizen but also to the life of the community. It is undeniable that the greater interests common to all must never be impaired by the stubbornness or ill will of individuals and communities. To Poland, too, I made the most moderate proposals.

They were not only rejected, but on the contrary brought forth the general mobilization of that State, for which reasons were advanced which proved conclusively exactly that it was the very modesty of my proposals which was considered a confirmation of my weakness, nay, even of my fear. Really, such an experience is apt to make anyone shrink from ever again making any reasonable and moderate proposals.

Also at present I once more read in certain newspapers that every attempt to bring about a peaceful settlement of relations between Germany on the one hand and France and England on the other was doomed to failure, and that any proposal in that direction only proved that I, filled with apprehension, anticipated Germany's collapse and that I only made such a proposal out of cowardice, or from a bad conscience.

When, irrespective of all this, I have expressed my ideas on this problem, I am prepared to appear in the eyes of these people as a coward or a finished man. I can afford to run that risk, because the judgment to be passed upon me by history will not, thank God, be written by these miserable scribblers but is established by my life's work, and because I do not care very much about any judgment that may be passed upon me by these people at the time.

My prestige is sufficient for me to allow myself such an attitude, because the question of whether my following thoughts are actually dictated by fear or desperation will in any case be settled by the future course of events. Today I can only regret that those people, whose bloodthirstiness cannot have enough of war, unfortunately are not where the war is actually being fought, and never were at such places where people were shooting it out.

I can very well understand that there are interested parties who profit more from war than from peace, and I also understand that for a certain variety of international journalist it is more interesting to report on war than on peaceful activities or cultural achievements, which they are incapable of either judging or understanding. And finally it is clear to me that there is a certain Jewish international capitalism and journalism that has no feeling at all in common with the people whose interests they pretend to represent, but who, like Herostrates of old, regard incendiarism as the greatest success of their lives. But there is still another reason why I feel obliged to voice my opinion.

When reading certain international press publications, or listening to speeches of various capitalist glorifiers of war, I consider myself entitled to speak and reply in the name of those who are forced to serve as the living substance for the mental activities of these formulators of war aims, that living substance to which I myself belonged as an unknown soldier for more than four years during the Great War.

It is, perhaps, a magnificent effect when a statesman or a journalist stands up and in enthusiastic words announces the necessity of removing the regime of another country in the name of democracy or something similar. Practical execution of these glorious slogans, however, has quite a different aspect.

Newspaper articles are being written today which are sure of an enthusiastic reception by the distinguished public. Realization of demands therein contained, however, is apt to arouse much less enthusiasm; I shall not deal with the powers of judgment or the gifts of such people. Whatever they may write has no bearing on the real nature of such a struggle.

These scribblers announced before the Polish campaign that German infantry perhaps was not bad, but that tank and mechanized units in general were inferior and would be, sure to break down in action.

Now, after the defeat of Poland, the same people brazenly assert that the Polish armies have collapsed only because o German tank formations and other mechanized troops, but that, on the other hand, German infantry had deteriorated most remarkably and had got the worst of it in every clash with the Polish.

'In this fact,' so one such writer actually says, 'one has the free right to see a favorable symptom for the course of the war in the West, and the French soldier will know how to take advantage of this.'

I think so, too, provided he has read that article and can remember it later on. He will then probably box the ears of these military soothsayers. But unfortunately that will be impossible, since these people never will put their theories on inferiority of the German infantry to a personal test on the battlefields, but will merely describe these qualities from their editorial sanctums.

Six weeks - let us say fourteen days - of concentrated shellfire, and these war propagandists would soon think differently. They always are talking of the necessities of world politics, but they have no knowledge of military realities.

I do know them and for that reason I consider it my duty to speak here, even at risk of the warmonger again seeing in my speech evidence of my anxiety and symptoms of the degree of my despair.

Why should this war in the West be fought? For restoration of Poland? Poland of the Versailles Treaty will never rise again. This is guaranteed by two of the largest States in the world. Final re-organization of this territory and the question of re-establishment of the Polish State are problems which will not be solved by a war in the West but exclusively by Russia on the one hand and Germany on the other.

Furthermore, the elimination of the influence of these two Powers within the territories concerned would not produce a new State but utter chaos.

The problems awaiting solution there will never be solved either at the conference table or in editorial offices, but by the work of decades. It is not enough that a few statesmen who are not really concerned with the fate of the people affected get together and pass resolutions. It is necessary that someone who has himself a share in the life of these territories takes over the task of restoring really enduring conditions there. The ability of the Western democracies to restore such ordered conditions has at least in recent times not been proved.

The example of Palestine shows it would be better to concentrate on the tasks at hand and solve these in a reasonable manner instead of meddling with problems which lie within the vital spheres of interest of other nations and could certainly be better solved by them. At any rate, Germany has in her Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia not only established peace and order but, above all, has laid the foundation for a new economic prosperity and increasing understanding between the two nations. England still has much to accomplish before she can point to similar results in her Protectorate in Palestine.

One also realizes that it would be senseless to annihilate millions of men and to destroy property worth millions in order to reconstruct a State which at its very birth was termed an abortion by all those not of Polish extraction.

What other reason exists? Has Germany made any demands of England which might threaten the British Empire or endanger its existence? On the contrary, Germany has made no such demands on either France or England.

But if this war is really to be waged only in order to give Germany a new regime, that is to say, in order to destroy the present Reich once more and thus to create a new Treaty of Versailles, then millions of human lives will be sacrificed in vain, for neither will the German Reich go to pieces nor will a second Treaty of Versailles be made. And even should this come to pass after three, four, or even eight years of war then this second Versailles would once more become the source of fresh conflict in the future.

In any event, a settlement of the world's problems carried out without consideration of the vital interests of its most powerful nations could not possibly, after the lapse of from five to ten years, end in any other way than that attempt made twenty years ago which is now ended. No, this war in the West cannot settle any problems except perhaps the ruined finances of certain armament manufacturers, newspaper owners, or other international war profiteers.

Two problems are ripe for discussion today.

First, the settlement of the problems arising from the disintegration of Poland and, second, the problem of eliminating those international difficulties which endanger the political and economic existence of the nations.

What then are the aims of the Reich Government as regards the adjustment of conditions within the territory to the west of the German-Soviet line of demarcation which has been recognized as Germany's sphere of influence?

First, the creation of a Reich frontier which, as has already been emphasized, shall be in accordance with existing historical, ethnographical and economic conditions.

Second, the disposition of the entire living space according to the various nationalities; that is to say, the solution of the problems affecting the minorities which concern not only this area but nearly all the States in the Southwest of Europe.

Third, in this connection: An attempt to reach a solution and settlement of the Jewish problem.

Fourth, reconstruction of transport facilities and economic life in the interest of all those living in this area.

Fifth, a guarantee for the security of this entire territory and sixth, formation of a Polish State so constituted and governed as to prevent its becoming once again either a hotbed of anti-German activity or a center of intrigue against Germany and Russia.

In addition to this, an attempt must immediately be made to wipe out or at least to mitigate the ill effects of war; that is to say, the adoption of practical measures for alleviation of the terrible distress prevailing there.

These problems can, as I have already emphasized, perhaps be discussed but never solved at the conference table.

If Europe is really sincere in her desire for peace, then the States in Europe ought to be grateful that Russia and Germany are prepared to transform this hotbed into a zone of peaceful development and that these two countries will assume the responsibility and bear the burdens inevitably involved.

For the Reich this project, since it cannot be undertaken in an imperialistic spirit, is a task which will take fifty to a hundred years to perform.

Justification for this activity on Germany's part lies in the political organizing of this territory as well as in its economic development. In the long run, of course, all Europe will benefit from it. Second, and in my opinion by far the most important task, is the creation of not only a belief in, but also a sense of, European security.

For this it is necessary first that aims in the foreign policy of European States should be made perfectly clear.

As far as Germany is concerned the Reich Government is ready to give a thorough and exhaustive exposition of the aims of its foreign policy.

In so doing, they begin by stating that the Treaty of Versailles is now regarded by them as obsolete; in other words, that the government of the German Reich, and with them the whole German people, no longer see cause or reason for any further revision of the Treaty, apart from the demand for adequate colonial possessions justly due to the Reich, namely, in the first instance, for the return of German colonies.

This demand for colonies is based not only on Germany's historical claim to German colonies but above all on her elementary right to a share of the world's resources of raw materials. This demand does not take the form of an ultimatum, nor is it a demand backed by force, but a demand based on political justice and sane economic principles.

Secondly, the demand for a real revival of international economic life, coupled with an extension of trade and commerce, presupposes a reorganization of the international economic system; in other words, of production in the individual States. In order to facilitate the exchange of goods thus produced, however, markets must be organized and a final currency regulation arrived at so that the obstacles in the way of unrestricted trade can be gradually removed.

Title: October 7 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 8 October 2009, 20:02:42
October 7 1939

The transportation of the British Expeditionary Force is completed -- without loss -- under the protection of British and French naval forces. A total of about 161,000 troops, 24,000 vehicles and tanks and 140,000 tonnes of supplies have been delivered to France.

Small German forces conduct raids of the French lines. There are artillery duels between the Moselle and Saar rivers.

Hitler appoints Himmler as Commissioner for Consolidation of the German Race; his task is to eliminate "inferior" peoples from the Reich. Meanwhile, Hitler issues a decree ordering Poles to be evicted from western Poland or killed.

The US State Department announces that the United States government will continue to recognize the Polish government-in-exile, presently located at Angers in France.

The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg)



BERLIN, October 7, 1939.

No. 518

I am receiving reliable reports from Istanbul to the effect that Russo-Turkish negotiations might yet lead to the signing of a mutual assistance pact. Hence I request you to call on Herr Molotov immediately and to emphasize strongly once more how much we would regret it if the Soviet Government were unable to dissuade Turkey from concluding a treaty with England and France or to induce her to adopt all unequivocal neutrality. In the event that the Soviet Government itself cannot avoid concluding a mutual assistance pact with Turkey, we would regard it as a foregone conclusion that she would make a reservation in the pact whereby the pact would not obligate the Soviet Government to any kind of assistance aimed directly or indirectly against Germany. Indeed, Stalin himself promised this. Without such a reservation, the Soviet Government, as has been previously stressed, would commit an outright breach of the Non-aggression Pact concluded with Germany. It would, moreover, not suffice to make this reservation only tacitly or confidentially. On the contrary, we must insist that it be formally stipulated in such a manner that the public will notice it. Otherwise a very undesirable impression would be created on the public, and such an act would be apt to shake the confidence of the German public in the effectiveness of the new German-Russian agreements.

Please take this opportunity to inform yourself on the other details concerning the status of the Russo-Turkish negotiations and to find out what is to be agreed upon between the two Governments in regard to the question of the Straits.

Report by wire.

Reich Foreign Minister

Note: I communicated the contents of this instruction to Count Schulenburg this afternoon by telephone. The transmission was very good. Count Schulenburg said he had just come from Molotov, who had told him that he had not talked with the Turkish delegation since Sunday. Hence our warning certainly arrived in time. I replied that Count Schulenburg should nevertheless lose no time, as it was a matter of decisive importance, and the reports received here pointed to a rather advanced stage in the negotiations. Accordingly, Count Schulenburg is to call on Molotov again tomorrow morning.

Title: October 8 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 8 October 2009, 20:12:04
October 8 1939

Virginio Gayda, Italian press spokesman, asserted Italy would continue policy of neutrality even if Britain and France rejected Hitler's offer of peace.

German and Latvian representatives sign an agreement for the patriation, to the Third Reich, of German-speaking citizens of Latvia. An estimated 50,000 ethnic Germans are involved.

The Finnish government accepts a Soviet invitation to send a delegation to Moscow to discuss border disputes. Finland also declares its determination to maintain its independence and its neutrality in the war.

Hitler formally incorporates formerly Polish territory into Germany.

The Canadian government announces that a division of 20,000 troops will leave for overseas early next year.

Piotrkow Trybunalski is a town in central Poland, about 16 miles (26 km) south of Lodz. In 1939, there were some 18,000 Jews in Piotrkow, about one-third of the total population, with a vibrant community life.

Piotrkow was occupied by the Germans on September 5, 1939, four days after the outbreak of World War II. Anti-Jewish excesses took place at once: brutal beatings, kidnappings for forced labor, and killings. Jewish valuables and household effects were plundered in large quantities. The Germans broke into the main synagogue, famed for its beauty, robbed it of all its sacred objects, and beat and seized 29 worshipers. When Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) came, 10 days later, nothing remained of the synagogue except the four walls. Some 2,000 Jews of Piotrkow managed to escape during the initial days of the occupation, but the number of Jews in the town swelled as refugees from neighboring towns poured in.

On October 8, 1939, the commander of Piotrkow Trybunalski, Hans Drexler, created by decree a ghetto for the Jews in this central Polish town. The Piotrkow Ghetto is the first known ghetto to have been formed in occupied Poland. However, it took until late January 1940 to force the Jews to move there. The Judenrat issued several announcements ordering Jews to make this move, but since they did not have the desired impact, the Germans eventually evicted the Jews one by one from the “Aryan” quarter, ordered them to relocate to the ghetto, and transferred their vacated dwellings to Christians. Although Christian residents of the ghetto area were also ordered to leave their homes, many Poles lived or ran businesses there until the spring of 1942. The ghetto was not fenced and its boundary was not guarded. Signs proclaiming the area a ghetto, bearing the likeness of skulls, were posted only near the ghetto boundaries and the main gate. The Jews were allowed to leave the ghetto without permits, albeit only at specified times of the day, and were allowed to spend longer periods of time on several “Aryan” streets. However, they were not allowed on the main streets. The Jewish curfew in the ghetto varied from order to order. An influx of refugees and displaced persons caused the ghetto population to swell from 10,000 at the beginning of the war to 16,500 in April 1942.

The Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Soviet Union (Molotov) to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg)


Moscow, October 8, 1939.

MR. AMBASSADOR: I have the honor hereby to confirm that in connection with the secret supplementary protocol, concluded on September 29 [28], 1939, between the U.S.S.R. and Germany, concerning Lithuania, the following understanding exists between us:

1) The Lithuanian territory mentioned in the protocol and marked on the map attached to the protocol shall not be occupied in case forces of the Red Army should be stationed [in Lithuania];

2) It shall be left to Germany to determine the date for the implementing of the agreement concerning the cession to Germany of the above-mentioned Lithuanian territory.

Please accept, Mr. Ambassador, the expression of my highest consideration.


Title: October 9 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 11 October 2009, 20:13:48
October 9 1939

Scapa Flow
Light cruiser BELFAST had departed for Scapa Flow on the 1st for Northern Patrol. On the 8th, she stopped Swedish steamer LILJEVALCH (5492grt) but allowed her to continue after inspection, and next day, stopped Norwegian steamer TAI YIN (7077grt), sending her into Kirkwall to check for contraband.

Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and battlecruiser RENOWN, sailing as Force K and en route to Freetown, encountered a merchant ship which identified herself as the American DELMAR. Lacking destroyers, the merchant ship could not be boarded and she was allowed to go on her way. Later intelligence revealed that the genuine DELMAR was in New Orleans and this had been German supply ship ALTMARK.

German pocket battleship DEUTSCHLAND stopped American steamer CITY OF FLINT (4963grt) in the North Atlantic off the Newfoundland Banks. Captured British crew from steamer SOUTHGATE were put aboard, and disguised as Danish steamer ALF, she sailed towards Murmansk, arriving at Tromso on the 20th and the British crew put ashore. She continued on to Kola Bay where she arrived on the 22nd.

Shortly after sending off TAI YIN, BELFAST sighted another steamer which proved to be German liner CAP NORTE (13,615grt) carrying German reservists from South America. She was captured 50 miles NW of the Faroes in 63N, 10W and light cruiser CALYPSO, also on Northern Patrol in the area, arrived to assist. CAP NORTE was sent off towards Kirkwall under a prize crew consisting of Lt Cdr A G L Seale in command, Gunner (T) D E Wright and twenty ratings, and at 0730/10th, was turned over to light cruiser DELHI. They were joined off the Orkneys by armed boarding vessel NORTHERN ROVER (655grt) and CAP NORTE, DELHI, and NORTHERN ROVER reached Kirkwall on the 12th. CAP NORTE was renamed EMPIRE TROOPER for British use as a troopship. After dealing with her, BELFAST, her prize crews depleted, returned to Scapa Flow, arriving at 1500/13th.

The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office


MOSCOW, October 9, 1939-12:30 a. m.
Received October 9, 1939-3 a. m.

No. 493 of October 8

Reference your telegram of the 7th No. 518.

Molotov stated this evening at 9 p. m. that since October 1 no meeting had [taken place] with the Turkish Foreign Minister and that the outcome of the negotiations cannot as yet be surmised. Molotov expressed the view that in all likelihood a mutual assistance pact with Turkey would not be concluded. But under any circumstances the interests of Germany and the special nature of German-Soviet relations would be upheld. Molotov explained that the Soviet Government was pursuing the aim of inducing Turkey to adopt full neutrality and to close the Dardanelles, as well as to aid in maintaining peace in the Balkans.


Hitler issues Directive No. 6. Its message is simple: "Should it become evident in the near future that England and, under her influence, France also, are not disposed to bring the war to an end, I have decided, without further loss of time to go over to the offensive." The offensive is to be directed across the Low Countries and is intended to defeat strong sections of the French and British armies when these arrive to help the Dutch and the Belgians. The ground taken is to provide protection for the Ruhr and to give bases for the air war against Britain. The aims of the plan are, therefore, limited when compared with the Schlieffen Plan of 1914 or with the scheme which is actually adopted in May 1940. There is no mention of completely defeating France. This order is a further blow to the autonomy of the German army. Their view is that, although it lies within Hitler's authority as head of state and Commander in Chief of the Wehrmacht to order an attack to be prepared as soon as possible, the army should be asked where and how this attack should take place. Even Keitel argues against Hitler on this issue.

Title: October 10 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 11 October 2009, 20:30:06
October 10 1939

Admiral Raeder mentions to Hitler for the first time the possibility of invading Norway to secure naval and especially submarine bases (see December 8, 1939 and January 27, 1940). Churchill is, at this time, arguing in the British Cabinet that Norwegian coastal waters should be mined to interfere with German iron-ore traffic.

German patrols are reportedly active and artillery exchanges take place near the French border.

The French Prime Minister, Edouard Daladier, formally rejects the German peace proposals, made by Adolf Hitler on October 9th, in a national radio broadcast. He states that France will continue to fight for a definite guarantee of security in Europe.

The Finns call up their reserves and begin the evacuation of some frontier districts, including Helsinki and Viborg.
The German Minister in Finland to the German Foreign Office

HELSINKI, October 10, 1939-9:30 p. m.
Received October 10, 1939-12 midnight.

No. 287 of October 10

All indications are that if Russia will not confine its demands to islands in the Gulf of Finland, Finland will offer armed resistance. The consequences for our war economy would be grave. Not only food and timber exports, but also indispensable copper and molybdenum exports from Finland to Germany would cease. For this reason I suggest you intercede with Russian Government in the sense that it should not go beyond a demand for the islands.


A Soviet-Lithuanian Pact is signed in Moscow, giving the USSR the use of bases in Lithuania. Vilna is restored to Lithuania from which it was annexed by Poland in 1922. This pact is the last in a series designed to ensure Soviet control of the Baltic.
The Soviet Union announces it will transfer Vilna and its environs to neutral Lithuania in about two weeks (Lithuania had claimed the region after World War I). About 15,000 Jewish refugees flee Soviet- or German-occupied Poland to Vilna in anticipation of the transfer. The Soviets hand over the city to Lithuania on October 28, 1939.

The Estonian government resigns. Uluots is appointed the new Prime Minister and Piip becomes the new Foreign Minister.

British recruitment into the Women's Land Army is suspended after 25,000 have enrolled.

Title: October 11 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 12 October 2009, 20:15:15
October 11 1939

AFL opposes U.S. involvement in WWII
On October 11, 1939, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) declared its opposition to U.S. involvement in World War II. Far from a radical response to America's potential engagement in the war, the AFL's stance was in line with majority opinion. At the time, President Roosevelt was a major proponent of keeping U.S. troops at home. The AFL was not, however, an entirely passive observer of the war. At the same time that they announced their opposition to U.S. involvement, the union also chose to begin a boycott of German, Japanese and Russian goods.

On October 11, 1939, Alexander Sachs, Wall Street economist and longtime friend and unofficial advisor to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, met with the President to discuss a letter written by Albert Einstein the previous August.  Einstein had written to inform Roosevelt that recent research on fission chain reactions utilizing uranium made it probable that large amounts of power could be produced by a chain reaction and that, by harnessing this power, the construction of "extremely powerful bombs" was conceivable.  Einstein believed the German government wasExcerpt from the comic book "Adventures Inside the Atom." Click on this image or visit the "Library" to view the whole comic book. actively supporting research in this area and urged the United States government to do likewise.  Sachs read from a cover letter he had prepared and briefed Roosevelt on the main points contained in Einstein's letter.  Initially the President was noncommittal and expressed concern over locating the necessary funds, but at a second meeting over breakfast the next morning Roosevelt became convinced of the value of exploring atomic energy.

Einstein drafted his famous letter with the help of the Hungarian  émigré physicist Leo Szilard, one of a number of European scientists who had fled to the United States in the 1930s to escape Nazi and Fascist repression.  Szilard was among theAlbert Einstein and Leo Szilard most vocal of those advocating a program to develop bombs based on recent findings in nuclear physics and chemistry.  Those like Szilard and fellow Hungarian refugee physicists Edward Teller and Eugene Wigner regarded it as their responsibility to alert Americans to the possibility that German scientists might win the race to build an atomic bomb and to warn that Hitler would be more than willing to resort to such a weapon.  But Roosevelt, preoccupied with events in Europe, took over two months to meet with Sachs after receiving Einstein's letter.  Szilard and his colleagues interpreted Roosevelt's inaction as unwelcome evidence that the President did not take the threat of nuclear warfare seriously.

Roosevelt wrote Einstein back on October 19, 1939, informing the physicist that he had set up a  committee consisting of civilian and military representatives to study uranium.  Events proved that the President was a man of considerable action once he had chosen a direction.  In fact, Roosevelt's approval of uranium research in October 1939, based on his belief that the United States could not take the risk of allowing Hitler to achieve unilateral possession of "extremely powerful bombs," was merely the first decision among many that ultimately led to the establishment of the Manhattan Project.

Australian Prime Minister Menzies announces the Empire Air Training Scheme, to train aircrew for operations in Europe

Fearing war between the USSR and Finland, President Roosevelt appeals to Soviet President Mikhail I Kalinin for restraint and to "make no demands on Finland which are inconsistent with the maintenance and development of amicable and peaceful relations between the two countries, and the independence of each."

In large Finnish towns, machineguns and anti-aircraft guns are being mounted preparing for a defence against the invader.

Roosevelt orders American scientists to investigate the feasibility of building an "atomic bomb."

The British War Office moves to increase weekly production of mustard gas from 310 to 1200 tons. Britain now has 158,000 troops deployed in France, according to the British Secretary of War, Leslie Hore-Belisha. Meanwhile, in a by-election at Clackmannan and East Stirling, a pacifist candidate draws 1060 votes.

In Germany a false radio report stating that the British government has fallen and an armistice has been declared leads to open rejoicing.

Polish government-in-exile foreign minister, August Zaleski, consults with the British prime minister and Lord Halifax. Meanwhile, a commercial agreement is signed by the British and Soviet governments by which timber will be imported in exchange for rubber and Cornish tin.

Title: October 12 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 12 October 2009, 20:30:56
October 12 1939

The deportation of Jews from occupied Austria and Czechoslovakia to occupied Poland begins under the direction of an SS administration headed by Eichmann.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinhard_Heydrich (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinhard_Heydrich))

Soviet and Finnish representatives meet to discuss border revisions. The Soviets want the cession of some territory near Leningrad, control of the islands in the Gulf of Finland, use of the port of Hanko and other rearrangements of the border in the far north near Murmansk. In return they offer rather more land than they demanded in the Suomussalmi area. The Finns only feel able to offer a much smaller range of concessions.

Chamberlain officially rejects the call for a European conference, to meet and resolve differences with Germany, made by Hitler on October 6. He says that to consider such terms would be to forgive Germany for all aggressions and he warns that German must choose between permanent security arrangements in Europe and "war to the utmost of our strength." Furthermore, he states that "past experience has shown that no reliance can be placed upon the promises of the present German goverment."

The British Expeditionary Force is now fully deployed along the Franco-Belgian border, between Maulde and Halluin.

House of Commons:

HC Deb 12 October 1939 vol 352 cc563-603  563

§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—[Captain Margesson.]

§ 3.48 p.m.

read the complete debate here: [url]http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1939/oct/12/british-reply-to-german-proposals#S5CV0352P0_19391012_HOC_279[/url] ([url]http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1939/oct/12/british-reply-to-german-proposals#S5CV0352P0_19391012_HOC_279[/url])

At 18.08 hours on 12 Oct, 1939, the Emile Miguet, a romper of convoy KJ-2 since 6 October, was shelled and stopped by U-48 190 miles southwest of Fastnet. At 18.20 hours, the U-boat fired a coup de grâce at the abandoned tanker which caught fire after being hit. The burned out wreck was scuttled by HMS Imogen (D 44) (Cdr E.B.K. Stevens, RN) the next day. The survivors were picked up by the American steam merchant Black Hawk.

Title: October 13 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 13 October 2009, 19:49:47
October 13 1939

In a radio broadcast, Colonel Charles Lindbergh questions the right of Canada "to draw this hemisphere into a European war because they prefer the Crown of England to American independence." He appears to meet charges that he is pro-German by calling for both Nazi and Communist influence in America to be "stamped out." He also says that British and French colonies in the Caribbean should be handed over to the US to pay war debts.

Soviet and Finnish representatives continue to meet to discuss border revisions.

The King of Sweden invites the sovereigns of Denmark and Norway and the president of Finland to a conference.

French-German border
Skirmishes are reported east of the Moselle River. French forces demolish three bridges over the Rhine River.

In Bletchley, three people die when two express trains collide in the blackout.

October 13, 1939 & August 4, 1940

In May 1927, a shy, handsome young man from Michigan named Charles Lindbergh suddenly became the idol of millions when he landed his small airplane in Paris after a grueling 33-hour flight from New York - the first person to fly alone,nonstop, across the Atlantic ocean.

Twelve years leater, this politically astute son of a United States Congressman resolved to speak out against President Franklin Roosevelt's illegal campaign to push the United States into the European war that had broken out in September 1939.

The Most important national peace organization of this period was the America First Committee. Founded in July 1940, the broad-based citizens' coalition quickly grew to a membership of some 800,000. For his work as the Committee's most prominent and articulate spokesman, Lindbergh was both widely praised and bitterly denounced.

In a series of persuasive and widely-noted speeches, Lindbergh gave voice to the thoughts and feelings of the great majority of Americans who wanted to keep their country out of war.

Published here are the complete texts of two of these historical addresses: Lindbergh's speech of October 13, 1939, "Neutrality and War," and his speech of August 4, 1940, "Our Relationship with Europe." Each address was broadcast to the nation over the Mutual radio network.

Neutrality and War

Tonight, I speak again to the people of this country who are opposed to the United States entering the war which is now going on in Europe. We are faced with the need of deciding on a policy of American neutrality. The future of our nation and of our civilization rests upon the wisdom and foresight we use. Much as peace is to be desired, we should realize that behind a successful policy of neutrality must stand a policy of war. It is essential to define clearly those principles and circumstances for which a nation will fight. Let us give no one the impression that America's love for peace means that she is afraid of war, of that we are not fully capable and willing to defend all that is vital to us. National life and influence depend upon national strength, both in character and in arms. A neutrality built on pacifism alone will eventually fail.

Before we can intellignetly enact regulations for the control of our armaments, our credit, and our ships, we must draw a sharp dividing line between neutrality and war; there must be no gradual encorachment on the defenses of our nation. Up to this line we may adjust our affairs to gain the advantages of peace, but beyond it must lie all the armed might of America, coiled in readiness to spring if once this bond is cut. Let us make clear to all countries where this line lies. It must be both within our intent and our capabilities. There must be no question of trading or bluff in this hemisphere. Let us give no promises we cannot keep make no meaningless assurances to an Ethiopia, a Czechoslovakia, or a Poland. The policy we decide upon should be as clear cut as our shorelines, and as easily defended as our continent.

This western hemisphere is our domain. It is our right to trade freely within it. From Alaska to Labrador, from the Hawaiian Islands to Bermuda, from Canada to South America, we must allow no invading army to set foot. These are the outposts of the United States. They form the essential outline of our geographical defense. We must be ready to wage war with all the resources of our nation if they are ever seriously threatened. Their defense is the mission of our army, our navy, and our air corps the minimum requirement of our military strength. Around these places should lie our line between neutrality and war. Let there be no compromise about our right to defend or trade within this area. If it is challenged by any nation, the answer must be war. Our policy of neutrality should have this as its foundation.

We must protect our sister American nations from foreign invasion, both for their welfare and our own. But, in turn, they have a duty to us. They should not place us in the position of having to defend them in America while they engage in wars abroad. Can we rightfully permit any country in America to give bases to foreign warships, or to send its army abroad to fight while it remains secure in our protection at home? We desire the utmost friendship with the people of Canada. If their country is ever attacked, our Navy will be defending their seas, our soldiers will fight on their battlefields, our fliers will die in their skies. But have they the right to draw this hemisphere into a European war simply because they prefer the Crown of England to American independence?

Sooner or later we must demand the freedom of this continent and its surrounding islands from the dictates of European power. American history clearly indicates this need. As long as European powers maintain their influence in our hemisphere, we are likely to find ourselves involved in their troubles. And they will loose no opportunity to involve us.

Our congress is now assembled to decide upon thebest policy for this country to maintain during the war which is going on in Europe. The legislation under discussion involves three major issues - the embargo of arms, the restriction of shipping, and the allowance of credit. The action we take in regard to these issues will be an important indication to ourselves, and to the nations of Europe, whether or not we are likely to enter the conflict eventually as we did in the last war. The entire world is watching us. The action we take in America may either stop or precipitate this war.

Let us take up these issues, one at a time, and examine them. First, the embargo of arms: It is argued that the repeal of this embargo would assist democracy in Europe, that it would let us make a profit for ourselves from the sale of munitions abroad, and, at the same time, help to build up our own arms industry.

I do not believe that repealing the armsembargo would assist democracy in Europe - because I do not believe this is a war for democracy. This is a war over the balance of power in Europe a war brought about by the desire for strength on the part of Germany and the fear of strength on the part of England and France. The munitions the armies obtain, the longer the war goes on, and the more devastated Europe becomes, the less hope there is for democracy. That is a lesson we should have learned from participation in the last war. If democratic principles had been applied in Europe after that war, if the "democracies" of Europe had been willing to make some sacrifice to help democracy in Europe while it was fighting for its life, if England and France had offered a hand to the struggling republic of Germany, there would be no war today.

If we repeal the arms embargo with the idea of assisting one of the warring sides to overcome the other, then why mislead ourselves by talk of neutrality? Those who advance this argument should admit openly that repeal is a step toward war. The next step would the extension of credit, and the next step would be the sending of American troops.

To those who argue that we could make a profit and build up our own industry by selling munitions abroad, I reply that we in America have not yet reached a point where we wish to capitilize on the destruction and death of war. I do not believe that the material welfare of this country need, or that our spiritual welfare could withstand, such a policy. If our industry depends upon a commerce of arms for its strength, then our industrial system should be changed.

It is impossible for me to understand how America can contribute civilization and humanity by sending offensive instruments of destruction to European battlefields. This would not only implicate us in the war, but it would make us partly responsible for its devastation. The fallacy of helping to defend a political ideology, even though it be somewhat similar to our own, was clearly demonstrated to us in the last war. Through our help that war was won, but neither the democracy nor the justice for which we fought grew in the peace that followed our victory.

Our bond with Europe is a bond of race and not of political ideology. We had to fight a European army to establish democracy in this country. It is the European race we must preserve; political progress will follow. Racial strength is vital politics, a luxury. If the white race is ever seriously threatened, it may then be time for us to take our part in its protection, to fight side by side with the English, French, and Germans, but not with one against the other for our mutual destruction.

Let us not dissipate our strength, or help Europe to dissipate hers, in these wars of politics and possession. For the benefit of western civilization, we should continue our embargo on offensive armaments. As far as purely defensive arms are concerned, I, for one, am in favor of supplying European countries with as much as we can spare of the material that falls within this category. There are technicians who will argue that offensive and defensive arms cannot be separated completely. That is true, but it is no more difficult to make a list of defensive weapons than it is to separate munitions of war from semi-manufactured articles, and we are faced with that problem today. No one says that we should sell opium because it is difficult to make a list of narcotics. I would as soon seeour country traffic in opium as in bombs. There are certain borderline cases, but there are plenty of clear cut examples: for instance, the bombing plane and the anti-aircraft cannon. I do not want to see American bombers dropping bombs which will kill and mutilate European children, even if they are not flown by American pilots. But I am perfectly willing to see American anti-aircraft guns shooting American shells at invading bombers over any European country. And I believe that most of you who are listening tonight will agree with me.

The second major issue for which we must create apolicy concerns the restrictions to be placed on our shipping. Naval blockades have long been accepted as an element of warfare. They began on the surface of the sea, followed the submarine beneath it, and now reach up into the sky with aircraft. The laws and customs which wrre developed during the surface era were not satisfactory to the submarine. Now, aircraft bring up new and unknown factors for consideration. It is simple enough for a battleship to identify the merchantman she captures. It is a more difficult problem for a submarine if that merchantman may carry cannon; it is safer to fire a torpedo than to come up and ask. For bombing planes flying at high altitudes and through conditions of poor visibility, identification of a surface vessel will be more difficult still.

In modern naval blockades and warfare, torpedoes will be fired and bombs dropped on probabilities rather than on certainties of identification. The only safe course for neutral shipping at this time is to stay away from the warring countries and dangerous waters of Europe.

The third issue to be decided relates to the extensionof credit. Here again we may draw from our experience in the last war. After that war was over, we found ourselves in the position of having financed a large portion of European countries. And when the time came to pay us back, these countries simply refused to do so. They not only refused to pay the wartime loans we made, but they refused to pay back what we loaned them after the war was over. As is so frequently the case, we found that loaning money eventually created animosity instead of gratitude. European countries felt insulted when we asked to be repaid. They called us "Uncle Shylock." They were horror struck at the idea of turning over to us any of their islands in America to compensate for their debts, or for our help in winning their war. They seized all the German colonies and carved up Europe to suit their fancy. These were the "fruits of war." They took our money and they took our soldiers. But there was not the offer of one Caribbean island in return for the debts they "could not afford to pay."

The extension of Credit to a belligerent country is a long step toward war, and it would leave us close to the edge. If American industry loans money to a beligerent country, many interests will feel that it is more important for that country to win than for our own to avoid the war. It is unfortunate but true that there are interests in America who would rather lose American lives than their own dollars. We should give them no opportunity.

I believe that we should adopt as our program of American neutrality - as our contribution to western civilization - the following policy:

   1. An embargo on offensive weapons and munitions.
   2. The unrestricted sale of purely defensive armaments.
   3. The prohibition of American shipping from the belligerent countries of Europe and their danger zones.
   4. The refusal of credit to belligerent nations ortheir agents.

Whether or not this program is adopted depends uponthe support of those of us who believe in it. The United States of America is a democracy. The policy of our country is still controlled by our people. It is time for us to take action. There has never been a greater test for the democratic principle of government.

Our Relationship with Europe

Several weeks have passed since I received the honor of your invitation to speak in Chicago. At that time it was essential to create strong and immediate opposition to the trend toward war which was taking place in this country. The agitation for our entry in the war was increasing with alarming rapidity. Hysteria had mounted to the point where anti-parachute corps were being formed to defend American cities against air attacks from Europe. Greenland, with its Arctic climate, its mountainous terrain, and its ice-filled seas was called an easy stepping-stone for German bombing planes invading America. Cartoons showed the Atlantic Ocean reduced to the width of the English Channel. American safety was said to depend upon the success of European armies. Foreign propaganda was in full swing, and it seemed in many ways that we were approaching the greatest crisis in the history of our country.

But events move swiftly in this modern world, and the true character of a nation lies beneath such surface foam. When the danger of foreign war was fully realized by our people, the underlying tradition of American independence arose, and in recent weeks its voice has thundered through the weaker cries for war.

We have by no means escaped the foreign entanglements and favoritisms that Washington warned us against when he passed the guidance of our nation's destiny to the hands of future generations. We have participated deeply in the intrigues of Europe, and not always in an open "democratic" way. There are still interests in this country and abroad who will do their utmost to draw us into the war. Against these interests we must be continuously on guard. But American opinion is now definitely and overwhelmingly against our involvement. Both political parties have declared against our entry into the war. People are beginning to realize that the problems of Europe cannot be solved by the interference of America. We have at last started to build and to plan for the defense of our own continent. By these acts, our eyes are turned once more in the direction of security and peace, for if our own military forces are strong, no foreign nation can invade us, and, if we do not interfere with their affairs, none will desire to.

Since we have decided against entering the war in Europe, it is time for us to consider the relationship we will have with Europe after this war is over. It is only by using the utmost intelligence in establishing and maintaining this relationship that we can keep America out of war in the future.

I have a different outlook toward Europe than most people in America. In consequence, I am advised to speak guardedly on the subject of the war. I am told that one must not stand too strongly against the trend of the times, and that, to be effective, what one says must meet with general approval.

There is much to be said for this argument, yet, right or wrong, it is contrary to the values that I hold highest in life.I prefer to say what I believe, or not to speak at all. I would far rather have your respect for the sincerity of what I say, than attempt to win your applause by confining my discussion to popular concepts. Therefore, I speak to you today as I would speak to close friends rather than as one is supposed to address a large audience.

I do not offer my opinion as an expert, but rather as a citizen who is alarmed at the position our country has reached in this era of experts. As laymen we are often told that the solution of difficult problems should be left to the specialist. But since specialists differ in the solutions they recommend, they must at least allow us the privilege of choosing those we wish to follow. And in making this choice, it seems that we are back where we started and must form an opinion of our own.

I found conditions in Europe to be verydifferent from our concept of them here in the United States. Anyone who takes the trouble to read through back issues of our newspapers cannot fail to realize what a false impression we had of the belligerent nations. We were told that Germany was ripe for revolution, that her rearmament was a bluff, that she lacked officers, that she flew her airplanes from one field to another so they would be counted again and again by foreign observers. We were informed that Russia had the most powerful air fleet in the world, that the French army was superior to any in Europe, that the British navy was more than a match for the German air force, that Germany lacked enough food, fuel, and raw material to wage war, that the Maginot Line was impregnable, that Italy would never enter a war against England. Statements of this sort have issued forth in an endless stream from Europe, and anyone who questioned their accuracy was called a Nazi agent.

These examples show how greatly we have been misled about the military conditions in Europe. If one goes still farther back, he will find that we have also been misled about political conditions. It has seemed obvious to me for many years that the situation in Europe would have to change, either by agreement or by war. I hoped that we had reached a degree of civilization where change might come by agreement. Living in Europe made me fear that it would come only through war.

There is a probverb in China which says that "when the rich become too rich, and the poor too poor, something happens." This applies to nations as well as to men. When I saw the wealth of the British Empire, I felt that the rich had become too rich. When I saw the poverty of Central Europe, I felt that the poor had become too poor. That something would happen was blazoned even on the skies of Europe by mounting thousands of fighting aircraft.

From 1936 to 1939, as I travelled through European countries, I saw the phenomomenal military strength of Germany growing like a giant at the side of an aged, and complacent England. France was awake to her danger, but far too occupied with personal ambitions, industrial troubles, and internal politics to make more than a feeble effort to rearm. In England there was organization without spirit. In France there was spirit without organization. In Germany there were both.

I realized that I was witnessing a clash between the heirs of another war. A generation had passed since the Treaty of Versailles. The sons of victory and the sons of defeat were about to meet on the battlefields of their fathers. As I travelled first among those who had won, and then among those who had lost, the words of a French philosopher kept running through my mind: "Man thrives on adversity."

The underlying issue was clear. It was not the support of "democracy," or the so-called democratic nations would have given more assistance to the struggling republic of post-war Germany. It was not a crusade for Christianity, or the Christian nations of the west would have carried their battle flags to the confiscated churches of Russia. It was not the preservation of small and helpless nations, or sanctions would have been followed by troops in Abyssinia, and England would not have refused to cooperate with the United States in Manchuria. The issue was one of the oldest and best known among men. It concerned the division of territory and wealth between nations. It has caused conflict in Europe since European history began.

The longer I lived in Europe, the more I felt that no outside influence could solve the problems of European nations, or bring them lasting peace. They must work out their destiny, as we must work out ours. I am convinced that the better acquainted we in America become with the background of European conflicts, the less we will desire to take part in them. But here I would like to make this point clear: while I advocate the non-interference by America in the internal affairs of Europe, I believe it is of the utmost importance for us to cooperate with Europe in our relationships with the other peoples of the earth. It is only by cooperation that we can maintain the supremacy of our western civilization and the right of our commerce to proceed unmolested throughout the world. Neither they nor we are strong enough to police the earth against the opposition of the other.

In the past, we have dealt with a Europe dominated by England and France. In the future we may have to deal with a Europe dominated by Germany. But whether England or Germany wins this war, Western civilization will still depend upon two great centers, one in each hemisphere. With all the aids of modern science, neither of these centers is in a position to attack the other successfully as long as the defenses of both are reasonably strong. A war between us could easily last for generations, and bring all civilization tumbling down, as has happened more than once before. An agreement between us could maintain civilization and peace throughout the world as far into the future as we can see.

But we are often told that if Germany wins this war, cooperation will be impossible, and treaties no more than scraps of paper. I reply that cooperation is never impossible when there is sufficient gain on both sides, and that treaties are seldom torn apart when they do not cover a weak nation. I would be among the last to advocate depending upon treaties for our national safety. I believe that we should rearm fully for the defense of America, and that we should never make the type of treaty that would lay us open to invasion if it were broken. But if we refuse to consider treaties with the dominant nation of Europe, regardless of who that may be, we remove all possiblity of peace.

Nothing is to be gained by shouting names and pointing the finger of blame across the ocean. Our grandstand advice to England, and our criticism of her campaigns, have been neither wanted nor helpful. Our accusations of aggression and barbarism on the part of Germany, simply bring back echoes of hypocrisy and Versailles. Our hasty condemnation of a French government, struggling desperately to save a defeated nation from complete collapse, can do nothing but add to famine, hatred, and chaos.

If we desire to keep America out of war, we must take the lead in offering a plan for peace. That plan should be based upon the welfare of America. It should be backed by an impregnable system of defense. It should incorporate terms of mutual advantage. But it should not involve the internal affairs of Europe; they never were, and never will be, carried on according to our desires.

Let us offer Europe a plan for the progress and protection of the western civilization of which they and we each form a part. But whatever their reply may be, let us carry on the American destiny of which our forefathers dreamed as they cut their farm lands from the virgin forests. What would they think of the claim that our frontiers lie in Europe? Let us guard the independence that the soldiers of our Revolution won against overwhelming odds. What, I ask you, would those soldiers say if they could hear this nation, grown a hundred and thirty million strong, being told that only the British fleet protects us from invasion?

Our nation was born of courage and hardship. It grew on the fearless spirit of the pioneer. Now that it has become one of the greatest powers on earth, ours must not be the generation that kneels in fear of future hardships, or of invasion by a Europe already torn by war.

I do not believe we will ever accept a philosophy of calamity, weakness, and fear. I have faith in an American army, an American navy, an American air force and, most important of all, the American character, which in normal times, lies quietly beneath the surface of this nation.

About 08.30 hours on 13 Oct, 1939, the Stonepool, dispersed from convoy OB-17, was damaged by gunfire from U-42 (Dau) south of Bantry Bay in position 48°40N/15°30W. The ship was en route from Barry to St. Vincent loaded with 6600 tons of coal and general cargo. After ten minutes, the U-boat was forced to dive by the accurate returned fire, leaving the deck gun crew in the water. While the Germans surfaced again to pick up their men, the steamer sent distress signals which brought HMS Ilex (D 61) (LtCdr P.L. Saumarez, RN) and HMS Imogen (D 44) (Cdr E.B.K. Stevens, RN) to the scene. At 18.55 hours, the steamer spotted the U-boat on the surface, which was shortly thereafter sunk by the destroyers.

Title: October 14 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 15 October 2009, 19:05:31
October 14 1939

At 0116 hours on 14 October 1939 the German submarine U-47 fired a spread of three torpedoes at HMS Royal Oak and the British seaplane tender HMS Pegasus lying at anchor in the harbour of Scapa Flow, turned around and fired a stern torpedo at 0121 hours. Captain (Kapitanleutnant) Günther Prien misidentified the seaplane tender as HMS Repulse and claimed a hit, but a torpedo apparently hit the starboard anchor chain of the battleship and did not damage the ships. At 0123 hours, the U-boat fired a second spread of three torpedoes that hit HMS Royal Oak (Capt. William Gordon Benn, RN) on the starboard side and caused a magazine to blew up. The battleship rolled over and sank in 19 minutes in position 58º55'N, 02º59'W. The ship complement was 1208 officers and men, 833 of them were killed and there were 375 survivors.

RESON SeaBat 8125 - HMS Royal Oak (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWaMn9XGzoU#ws-normal)

Why the Royal Oak was sunk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9koTW2uSrd8#normal)

HMS Royal Oak (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZILzTzZ0GI#normal)

Japanese air base at Hankow bombed by Chinese planes.

Polish submarine Orzel reaches British waters after a daring escape from the Baltic Sea. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ORP_Orze%C5%82 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ORP_Orze%C5%82))(http://www.dutchsubmarines.com/export/export_orzel.htm (http://www.dutchsubmarines.com/export/export_orzel.htm))

General Gamelin, French Commander-in-Chief, issues an Order of the Day predicting a massive German offensive "at any moment."(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Gamelin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Gamelin))

Soviet and Finnish representatives conclude the talks to discuss border revisions. There is little change in the terms offered by either side. Finnish counterproposals for a land exchange on their mutual border are refused by the Soviet negotiators.

Senator Key Pittman of Nevada, chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, and the New York Herald Tribune, as well as many Canadians, protest the comments made by Charles Lindbergh in a radio broadcast last night.

The escaped Polish Intelligence team resumes code-breaking operations with their highly secret replicas of the German "Enigma" machine in France.

Title: October 15 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 17 October 2009, 09:13:19
October 15 1939


British Admiral Forbes departed Loch Ewe with battleships NELSON & RODNEY, battlecruiser HOOD, aircraft carrier FURIOUS, light cruisers BELFAST & AURORA and destroyers BEDOUIN, FEARLESS, FOXHOUND and FURY.

Battlecruiser Hood

Loch Ewe is located in the north west Highlands of Scotland about 80 miles west of Inverness. It was of great strategic importance in World War II partly because it is north-facing (and therefore protected from the prevailing westerly winds), plus being less exposed to air attack than the existing base at Scapa Flow.  It was adopted as a gathering place for the North Atlantic Convoys destined for Russia. As well as anti-submarine boom nets, anti-submarine guard loops were laid in conjunction with the controlled mines across the mouth of the loch. Anti-aircraft guns were positioned at Aultbea, Firemore and Tournaig, and a coastal defence artillery site established at Rubha nan Sasan beyond Cove.

After light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON and destroyer MATABELE finished escorting steamer ST CLAIR (1637grt) from Lerwick to Aberdeen, arriving at 0945/14th, MATABELE left on the 14th and called at Scapa Flow. Destroyers MASHONA, PUNJABI, FIREDRAKE left Loch Ewe, also on the 14th, arrived at Scapa Flow later the same day, and then with MATABELE, sailed from Scapa Flow on the 15th to join Forbes at sea.

Destroyer FORESTER departed Scapa Flow on the 16th and also joined Forbes, FAME was boiler cleaning until the 22nd, and TARTAR repairing defects until the 23rd, both at Scapa Flow.

The sortie took the Fleet north of Iceland, 150 miles into the Arctic Circle, to block a reported sortie into the Atlantic by pocket battleship DEUTSCHLAND and to support the Northern Patrol. The destroyers refuelled from the capital ships on the 17th.

Battlecruiser REPULSE with destroyers JERVIS, JERSEY, COSSACK and MAORI departed Rosyth on the 18th, with COSSACK and MAORI arriving back on the 19th and REPULSE, JERVIS and JERSEY joining Forbes at sea on the 20th. The two destroyers were detached for refuelling at Sullom Voe on the 21st and afterwards carried out an anti-submarine patrol off Muckle Flugga. They then left the patrol area to search off the Norwegian coast for American steamer CITY OF FLINT.

JERVIS and JERSEY arrived at Rosyth on the 25th without making contact.

U-37 sank French steamer VERMONT (5186grt) 360 miles SW of Fastnet in 48?01N, 17?22W, with the loss of two crew, the 43 survivors being rescued by destroyer INGLEFIELD. Because of the submarine activity in the area of arriving convoy KJ.2, French destroyers L’INDOMPTABLE and LE MALIN conducted a sweep, and were joined by destroyers CYCLONE and MISTRAL sailing from Brest to assist. On the 17th, CYCLONE attacked a submarine contact. On the same day, destroyer VENOMOUS left Plymouth with the survivors of VERMONT for passage to Havre.

Riga (Estonia)
A German-Estonian treaty is signed providing for the transfer to the Third Reich of Estonians of German ethnic origins.

The Finnish government introduces compulsory national service.

Kaunas (Lituania)
The Polish minister in protests to the Lithuanian government against the incorporation of Vilna, on the grounds that the Soviet Union has no right to dispose of this territory.

German forces are reported massing behind the lines. Reconnaissance forces are active on the whole front.

There are reports of a typhoid and cholera break out in Warsaw.

Title: October 16 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 17 October 2009, 09:35:01
October 16 1939

Hitler's First Aerial Attack on Britian - Luftwaffe Bomb Firth of Forth

First Air Attack on Forth Bridge

On the 16th October 1939 I was a passenger on the Dundee section of an Edinburgh to Aberdeen train which had just entered the first arch at the Southern end of the Bridge. The next stop was to be Leuchars Junction. I was in the corridor with an older boy called Jack Thomas from Edinburgh. We were looking downstream to the right of the carriage and were trying to identify some of the fleet at anchor below the bridge. Almost simultaneously there was a giant waterspout as high as the bridge alongside one of the capital ships and a barge tied up alongside; it seemed to fly up in the air! In later life I discovered it was HMS Southampton. There were two or three other explosions further off and one of the ships was actually struck; it was HMS Mohawk and casualties were sustained on board. The German bombers were in plain sight only a short distance away flying parallel to the bridge. Meanwile the train stopped briefly and as it did so the painters and riggers working scrambled from the scaffolding of the bridge and made for shelter.

The train carried on without futher incident, only by this time the RAF fighters had become involved and drove the raiders out to sea bringing dowm (I believe) three Heinkel bombers in the Forth estuary

There are two sequels to this story:-

(1) One bomber was brought down off the May Island and two crew were rescued by a trawler; they were transferred to Military Custody at Edinburgh Castle and my Uncle William Thomson was with the British Red Cross at the Castle and had to deal with the POW registrations back to Germany. He said the crew were almost certain the War would be over in a matter of weeks.

(2) In 1977 I was working at Edinburgh Airport and had bought a house in South Queensferry in the shadow of the Forth Bridge. One of my neighbours was a retired bridge inspector and I shared with him our memories of that day. Only then did I learn that due to Wartime Security at that time, information regarding the casualties on HMS Mohawk, which included 15 Sailors who were killed, was not released for many years. Some of the dead are interred in the Naval section of South Queensferry Cemetery.

I hope this is of interest to you there cannot be many of us left that were actual eye witnesses to that air battle.

read more about this: [url]http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/72/a1975872.shtml[/url] ([url]http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/72/a1975872.shtml[/url])

Aerial picture of the Forth Bridges in 1939

This amazing photograph was taken on 16th October 1939, the Second World War arrived in Britain by way of Scotland and more precisely Edinburgh when nine Junkers Ju-88 attacked the Rosyth Naval Dockyard, on the north shore of the Firth of Forth; it was the first attack on Britain by the Luftwaffe.

Around 2.30 p.m. the German aircraft were sighted, and Spitfires of 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force, were scrambled from RAF Turnhouse (the site of modern day Edinburgh airport) to intercept the raiders. Additionally Spitfires from 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron, based at RAF Drem located to the east of Edinburgh, in East Lothian, were on patrol at 20,000 feet.

At around 14.35 hours, the Luftwaffe bombers began their attack and were met with anti-aircraft fire. The Spitfires of 603 Squadron that had taken off from Turnhouse were the first to engage the Junkers and soon shot down one of the bombers. The Spitfires from 602 Squadron were then ordered into the attack and they shot down another. During the action the Royal Navy suffered 3 officers and 13 ratings killed and a further 44 wounded on board the light cruisers, HMS Southampton and Edinburgh, and the destroyer HMS Mohawk. There were also two people injured on the ground in Edinburgh by falling shell cases.

With Prime minister, Neville Chamberlain's declaration of War against Hitler's Germany, many people lived in fear of the British Isles being over run by German troops. But no one knew how, when or if the attack would come, so eventually life went back to relative normality. In fact it was the British who struck first when, on Monday 4th September 1939, the Royal Air Force bombed German navel bases at the entrance of Kiev canal.
Hitler and His Generals Plan Their Attack

Back in Germany, Hitler and his military advisors were planning their course of action. If a sea invasion was to be mounted the German navy would have to cross the channel encountering strong, sometimes unpredictable currents, inclement weather and attack from the RAF. So, in order to facilitate a sea crossing and amphibious landing of German troops on British beaches, the Luftwaffe would need to eliminate the threat posed by the RAF. The most effective way to do this would be by bombing grounded aircraft, aerodromes and landing strips rather than one to one aerial dog fights.

The first aerial attack on British territory occurred on 16th October 1939. At 1100 hours, 15 Junkers JU -88 of 1/KG 30 led by Hauptman Helmuth Pohle took off from Westerland. They were on route to bomb their intended target, HMS Hood, which had been sighted off the Scottish coast. The airman had instructions from Hitler not to attack the Hood if she had reached dry dock. The war was still in its early stages and at that moment civilian casualties were still hoped to be kept to a minimum.
HMS Hood, the Intended Target of the Luftwaffe

By the time the aircraft flew over the Forth Bridge, HMS Hood had reached the 'safety' of the dock, but there were other targets in view. However, the German aircraft had been spotted. Tribal Class HMS Mohawk opened fire on the Junkers. Unfortunately the aircraft had time to release 2 bombs which exploded close to the ships, killing 15 men and injuring 30 others. HMS Southampton and HMS Edinburgh also sustained minor damage.

By now the RAF, with Spitfires from 602 and 603 Squadrons, had engaged 9 of the Junkers. Pohle's aircraft sustained several hits before it crashed into the sea killing most of the crew. Pohle was the only survivor from his aircraft and spent the duration of the war as a prisoner. 602 Squadron was based at Drem airbase, their motto: Cave leonem cruciatum – Beware the tormented lion. 603 Squadron was based at Turnhouse, their motto: Gin ye daur – if you dare.

http://ww2history.suite101.com/article.cfm/hitlers_first_aerial_attack_on_british_territor (http://ww2history.suite101.com/article.cfm/hitlers_first_aerial_attack_on_british_territor)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/72/a1975872.shtml (http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/72/a1975872.shtml)
http://haveringhavers.blogspot.com/2007/12/forth-bridge-in-1939.html (http://haveringhavers.blogspot.com/2007/12/forth-bridge-in-1939.html)

Title: October 17 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 18 October 2009, 10:59:58
October 17 1939


German Ju88 bombers strike the British naval base at Scapa Flow. The training battleship Iron Duke (which was the flagship of Admiral Jellico -- 1914 to 1917 -- during World War I) is damaged and has to be beached.


Ju88 link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junkers_Ju_88 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junkers_Ju_88)



The French report sharp infantry engagements on the front near Saarbrucken.

The Germans report "absolute quiet" on the Rhine Front. A lone German soldier was accidentally killed by falling shrapnel from a German anti-aircraft gun.

Turkish representatives break off talks for a defense treaty with the Soviet Union. While the prolonged Turkish-Soviet negotiations end without agreement there are professions of mutual friendliness. Soviet representatives paid tribute to Turkish Foreign Minister Sarajoglu before his departure. Last minute Soviet proposals conflicted with Turkish engagements to Britain and France and these were rejected by Sarajoglu.

In the North Sea... German destroyers lay mines by night off the Humber estuary.

At 16.31 hours on 17 Oct, 1939, the Yorkshire (Master Victor Charles Patrick Smalley) in convoy HG-3 was hit by two stern torpedoes from U-37 and sank about 160 miles west-northwest of Cape Finisterre. The master, 24 crew members and 33 passengers were lost. 105 crew members and 118 passengers were picked up by the American steam merchant Independence Hall and landed at Bordeaux on 20 October.

At 08.00 hours on 17 Oct, 1939, U-46 attacked the Yorkshire in the unescorted convoy HG-3 with four rounds from her 8.8cm gun, no hits were scored and as the vessel fired back the U-boat dived.
At 16.30 hours, U-46 heard a detonation, this was the hit on the Yorkshire by U-37 (Hartmann). 20 minutes later U-46 fired a G7e torpedo at the City of Mandalay, observed a hit amidships in the engine room and saw the ship listing. A second torpedo fired at 17.00 hours detonated prematurely.
The City of Mandalay (Master Alexander Graham Melville) sank a short time later 360 miles west-northwest of Cape Finisterre. Two crew members were lost. The master, 76 crew members and the passenger were picked up by the American steam merchant Independence Hall and landed at Bordeaux.

At 20.35 hours on 17 Oct, 1939, the Clan Chisholm (Master Francis T. Stenson) in convoy HG-3 was hit aft by one torpedo from U-48 and sank about 150 miles northwest of Cape Finisterre. The ship had been hit by a dud torpedo at 20.32 hours. Four crew members were lost. The master and 41 survivors were picked up by the Swedish motor merchant Bardaland and landed at Kirkwall. 17 crew members were picked up by the Norwegian whaler Skudd and 15 others by the Warwick Castle.

Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Mad Russian on 19 October 2009, 08:37:13
The pictures of the Ju-88G6 aircraft you have on here are from very late in the war. Not 1939.

They are night fighters with radar sets mounted in the nose. Probably from the summer of 1944 or later.

Good Hunting.


Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Rattler on 19 October 2009, 12:27:38
The pictures of the Ju-88G6 aircraft you have on here are from very late in the war. Not 1939.

They are night fighters with radar sets mounted in the nose. Probably from the summer of 1944 or later.

Good Hunting.


Indeed, 1942 the first, 1945 the last (with BMW 801D engine).

Here what they probably looked like in ´39:

1937 (Prototypes V4, DB 600 engine):

1939 (A1, Junkers Jumo 211 engine):


Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Mad Russian on 19 October 2009, 13:56:32
Those very much look like the ones.

I have done aircraft modeling much of my life in scales of 1/32 down to 1/600. I have an entire range of WWII aircraft that are done in 1/100 we used for wargaming. I made stands for them and then used those over whatever wargame maps we wanted to show the underlying terrain.

The visual effect of actually seeing the aircraft in flight so to speak was amazing. The picture you displayed brought back memories of many a Battle of Britain fight.

Good Hunting.


Title: October 18 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 19 October 2009, 17:48:24
October 18 1939

The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg)
BERLIN, October 18, 1939-12:40 a. m.
Received Moscow, October 18, 1939-10:05 a. m.
No. 594 of October 17

For the Ambassador in person.

At an occasion soon to arise, I intend to speak in public about the foreign political situation and shall then, with reference to Chamberlain's last speech, deal with the future aims of England and the British propaganda of lies. In this connection I would also like to refute a lie recently circulated in quite specific form by the enemy press, alleging that during my stay in Moscow I had asked the Soviet Union for military assistance, but had met with an outright refusal. I propose to say on this subject approximately the following:

"In its grave disappointment at the recent development in the international situation, which has been strongly influenced by the establishment of friendly relations between Germany and the Soviet Union, British propaganda has left nothing untried to discredit and disturb this development and German-Russian relations. In its well-known manner, it stopped at nothing and has made use of the grossest and most absurd lies. Thus, for instance, it has circulated the statement that in the Moscow negotiations I had asked Herr Stalin for military assistance against Poland, France, and England. To this, Herr Stalin, however, is said to have given only the tart reply: 'Not a single soldier.' But what in reality was the course of these Moscow negotiations? Let me reveal it to you:

"I came to Moscow on August 23 for the purpose of negotiating and concluding in the name of the Führer, a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union. I commenced the negotiations with Stalin and Molotov with the statement that I had not come to Moscow, as the British and French delegates had come at the time, to ask the Soviet Union for armed assistance in case a war should be forced upon the German Government by England. The German Government was not in need of assistance for this contingency, but would, in this event, have sufficient military strength to take up the struggle alone against Poland and its Western foes and to carry it to a victorious conclusion. To this, Stalin, with his characteristic clarity and precision, replied spontaneously: 'Germany was taking a proud attitude by rejecting at the outset any armed assistance from the Soviets. The Soviet Union, however, was interested in having a strong Germany as a neighbor and in the case of an armed showdown between Germany and the Western democracies the interests of the Soviet Union and of Germany would certainly run parallel to each other. The Soviet Union would never stand for Germany's getting into a difficult position.' I thereupon thanked Stalin for his clear and precise statement and told him that I would report to the Führer on this broad-minded attitude of the Soviet Government. Thus the German-Russian negotiations were opened and this exchange of views created from the outset a broadminded and friendly climate, in which within 24 hours the Non-aggression Pact and, in the course of further developments, at the end of September, the Boundary and Friendship Treaty were concluded. Upon the political foundation, it was likewise decided immediately to inaugurate a comprehensive economic program, the implementation of which is now being discussed at Moscow. Germany has need of the raw materials of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union has need of manufactured articles. There is no reason why the flourishing trade of the past between the two nations should not soon revive. On the contrary, I am firmly convinced that the former traditional friendship between Germany and Russia has now been restored, and that it will grow stronger and stronger and that the exchange of goods, which is complementary by nature, will result in an undreamed-of prosperity for both nations in the future. Upon the same political foundation, the German-Soviet declaration of September 28, 1939, has also been agreed upon, to the effect that both Governments would work toward the restoration of peace upon conclusion of the Polish campaign. In case these efforts should fail-as they have-the responsibility of England and France for the continuation of the war would be established and at the same time provision would be made for a consultation between the Government of the Reich and the Soviet Government, in this contingency, on the necessary measures to be taken. These consultations are now under way and are proceeding in the same friendly spirit as the Moscow negotiations, and on the firm basis of kindred interests. In this connection, we expect an early visit of Herr Molotov to Berlin. I believe that this brief account is sufficient to sink once and for all the whole raft of lies of the British Ministry of Lies and the other blundering propaganda centers of our enemies, about the present German-Russian negotiations and the future pattern of relations between the two greatest countries of Europe."

Please inform Herr Stalin as promptly as possible of the account of the Moscow negotiations as given above and wire me his approval.


The president of Finland meets with the kings of Denmark, Norway and Sweden to consider the threat resulting from Soviet demands for a revision of the Finnish-Soviet border. Hitler has already assured the Swedes that Germany will remain neutral in a war between Finland and the USSR and strongly advised the Swedes to do the same.

Britain Prime Minister Chamberlain announces that 8 German aircraft have been shot down, and Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, claims that one in three of the German submarine force have been sunk.

German aircraft reportedly approached Scapa Flow, the base of the British Home Fleet, but no bombs were dropped. The planes were engaged by anti-aircraft fire.

General Wavell, commander of British land forces in the Middles East, and General Weygand, former chief of the French General Staff, arrive by air for talks with the Turkish General Staff at Ankara. Meanwhile, the German Ambassador to Turkey, von Papen, is recalled by his government.

On 18 October 1939, 41 Squadron was ordered to Wick, Caithness. The pilots took off with their 12 Spitfires, followed by the servicing party in a Whitley aircraft of 102 Squadron, which crashed on take-off. Sergeant Pilot Albert Harris, Aircraftman 1st Class Horace Jones, Sergeant Arthur Vincent and four of the Whitley's crew were killed, whilst Sergeant D. Gibbs and Corporal Jenkinson were seriously injured. Gibbs did not return to the Squadron from sick leave until 9 December 1939. (Source: 41 Squadron ORB, PRO Air 27/424)

Late in the day the crew of this aircraft were tasked to fly to Catterick and from there ferry a load of ammunition to Wick. After loading the stores, five passengers boarded the aircraft. Sgt Gaut selected the longest available take-off run, but when about half way across the airfield the Whitley suddenly rose to about 10 feet, followed by a near vertical climb at full throttle. Eye witnesses state that the bomber stalled below 100 feet, and dived nose first into the ground exploding on impact. Miraculously two of the five passengers survived the impact. Among those killed was Sgt Harris, a Spitfire pilot, who on the day previous had shared in the destruction of an He 111 20 miles east of Whitby, Yorks. Those killed were Sgt H. J. Gaut (Pilot), Plt. Off. R. A. M. Luckman, AC1 C. Paterson, AC.1 J. B. Clark, Sgt A. Vincent (41 Sqdn), Sgt. A. H. Harris (41 Sqdn) and AC1 H. Jones (41 Sqdn). Sgt. Gibbs and Cpl. Jenkinson were injured. (Source: RAF Bomber Command Losses, W. R. Chorley)

The details of those killed are:


      HARRIS, Albert, aged 27, Sergeant Pilot, 563150, 41 Squadron RAF, buried in South Hinskey (St. Lawrence) Churchyard, Berkshire, England, Section O, Grave 209. Son of Arthur and Eva Harris, and husband of Violet Ann Harris, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      JONES, Horace, Aircraftman 1st Class (W. Op./Mech. U/T), 533682, 41 Squadron RAF, buried in Droylsden Cemetery, Lancashire, Section F, Grave 482

      VINCENT, Arthur, aged 30, Sergeant, 560443, 41 Squadron RAF, buried in Sunderland Southwick Cemetery, Durham, Section D, Grave 1243. Son of Albert and Dorothy Jane Vincent, of Sunderland and husband of Olga Vincent, of Humbledon, Sunderland

      CLARK, John Baker, aged 20, Aircraftman 1st Class, 567489, 102 Squadron RAF, buried in Thurrock (Corringham) Cemetery, Essex, England, Row D, Grave 1. Son of John Pullen Clark and Gladys Ann Clark, of Corringham

      GAUT, Herbert John, Sergeant Pilot, 562936, 102 Squadron RAF, buried in Sidbury Church Cemetery, Devon, England

      LUCKMAN, Reginald Arthur Morton, aged 27, Pilot Officer, 39744, 102 Squadron RAF, buried in Herne Bay Cemetery, Kent, England, Section BBR, Grave 54. Son of Cyril Herbert Morton and Mary Luckman, and husband of Phyllis Luckman

      PATERSON, Charles, aged 22, Aircraftman 1st Class, W.Op. U/T, 620054, 102 Squadron RAF, buried in Aberdeen (Grove) Cemetery, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Grave 1761

© Sources: "Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War", Volume 1, by W. R. Chorley, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the 41 Squadron ORB, PRO Air 27/424

Base ship HMS Iron Duke beached after being bombed at Scapa Flow by JU88s.

Super DREADNOUGHT-Class Battleship ordered under the 1911 Programme and built by HM Dockyard, Portsmouth. The ship was laid down on 15th January 1912 and and launched by the wife of the 4th Duke of  Wellington on 12th October 1912 as the 2nd RN ship to carry the name, previously used for an ironclad in 1870. Build was completed on 9th March 1914. She was deployed in the Grand Fleet during WWI and was Flagship of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe. After the armistice she took part in Black Sea operations to support the White Russians. She remained on the Active List until 10th December 1931 when Paid-of and  de-militarised. B and Y turrets, the torpedo tubes and some of the armour plating were removed. The ship was then deployed at Portsmouth as Gunnery Firing Ship and after 1936 used as Boys Training ship. In August 1939 she attended  the Review of the Reserve Fleet and took up her war station on 26th August for use as a Depot  Ship at  Scapa Flow. She was one of the last British battleships to be coal fired..

Title: October 19 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 19 October 2009, 20:16:21
October 19 1939

The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office
Moscow, October 19, 1939.
No. 568 of October 1939

Reference your telegram No. 594 of October 17.

Molotov today informed me that Stalin approved the account of the negotiations in Moscow that the Reich Foreign Minister contemplates making in his forthcoming speech. He only asked that instead of the sentences quoted as the statement of Stalin:

"Germany was taking a proud attitude . . . " up to " . . . getting into a difficult position," the following version be adopted: "The attitude of Germany in declining military aid commands respect. However, a strong Germany is the absolute prerequisite for peace in Europe, whence it follows that the Soviet Union is interested in the existence of a strong Germany. Therefore the Soviet Union cannot give its approval to the Western powers creating conditions which would weaken Germany and place her in a difficult position. Therein lies the community of interests between Germany and the Soviet Union."


From Berlin... OKH issues Fall Gelb (Operation Yellow) in response to Directive No. 6 issued by Hitler on October 9th. It provides for a holding action on the French border with the main attack being sent through central Belgium and some attention being devoted to the Dutch. Meanwhile, Hitler officially incorporates western Poland into the German Reich.

The first Jewish ghetto is established in Lublin (Poland), the center of a Jewish "reserve" in eastern Poland.

On the 2nd day an Ango-French-Turkish Treaty of Mutual Assistance is signed. Allied commanders General Maxime Weygand and General Archibald Wavell represent France and Britain respectively. The term of the treaty is 15 years. The Turks pledge to aid the Allies if the war reaches the Mediterranean, but not if such aid could bring Turkey into conflict with the Soviet Union. In return, Turkey receives control of the disputed Sanjak of Alexandretta from French Syria.

Two German airmen, half the crew of a bomber shot down over the North Sea on Tuesday, drifted ashore in a collapsible rubber boat near Whitby.

The British Ministry of Transport announces that in September, first month of the black-out, the total number of persons killed on the roads of Britain was 1130, compared with 617 in August.

Title: October 20 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 20 October 2009, 20:02:47
October 20 1939

The German government warns that neutral merchant ships joining Allied convoys will be sunk without warning. It is also announced that Hitler has signed a decree by which 3,000,000 Jews now living in Poland will get their own territory in eastern Poland, with a Jewish capital at Lublin.

There is patrol and reconnaissance activity between the Moselle and the Saar rivers on the German-Franco border.

The British war office recommends that soldiers at the front read both Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto.

The Australian prime minister, Robert Menzies, announces the reintroduction of compulsory military training, for home service, in January 1940.

Deportation of Jews from Austria to Nisko (Lublin), October 1939

Further to the Note on the conversation between SS Hauptsturmbannfuehrer Eichmann, Dr. Ebner of the Gestapo and the Special Representative of Reichskommissar Dr. Becker, it is stated that the Resettlement operation to Poland will begin at 22.00 hours on October 20, 1939, with the first transport of 1,000 Jews fit for work, from the Aspang Rail Station in Vienna.

The Jews were supplied by the Jewish Community with tools for the erection of a barracks village at Nisko, where transports of Jews fit for work have already been sent from Maehrisch-Ostrau. The Jews on the transport will also be given foodstuffs for 4 weeks.

Further transports will leave regularly on Tuesdays and Fridays of each week with 1,000 Jews. The second and third transports will consist of Jews and Jewesses at present under arrest in Vienna, whose departure date has been set by the Gestapo. From the fourth transport on, complete families will already be sent.

When the barracks village at Nisko has been completed, the Jews who arrived with the first transport will in continuous progression be distributed to the interior to the formerly Jewish villages in that area.

The composition of the transports is arranged by the Jewish Community of Vienna (as long as this remains possible) and a Jewish transport management is responsible for the transports. In addition, each transport is accompanied by 25 police (Schupo) officers under the command of a police captain, who must prevent all danger of escape by use of arms.

Dokumentationsarchiv des oesterreichischen Widerstandes (Document Archives of the Austrian Resistance), 2536


At 06.00 hours on 20 Oct, 1939, the neutral Gustaf Adolf was stopped by U-34 about 50 miles northeast of Sullom Voe, Shetland Islands. The ship carried contraband and was sunk by gunfire at 07.32 hours, after the crew abandoned ship. The U-boat took the lifeboats in tow and stopped the Norwegian steam merchant Biscaya with two shots across her bow at 10.30 hours. The survivors were picked up by the ship and taken to Moss, Norway.


At 10.58 hours on 20 Oct, 1939, U-34 tried to stop the unescorted Sea Venture (Master Charles Swanson Tate) with three shots across the bow about 50 miles northeast of the Shetland Islands, but the ship returned fire inaccurately and tried to escape so the U-boat shelled her until the crew abandoned ship at 11.23 hours. She was sunk by a coup de grâce at 13.40 hours. The master and 24 crew members were picked up by the Lerwick lifeboat and landed at Lerwick, Shetland Islands.

Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Rattler on 20 October 2009, 20:09:49
The British war office recommends that soldiers at the front read both Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto....

Now, *that´s* interesting! Any details as to why both?


Title: October 21 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 21 October 2009, 21:03:09
October 21 1939

French General Gamelin, the Allied Commander-in-Chief, says that he has no intention of attacking the Germans. He has issued orders that if the Germans attack in strength, the French should retreat behind the Maginot Line fortifications.

French and German forces exchange artillery fire in heavy rain.

In Rome an agreement between German and Italian governments for the transfer to the Third Reich of ethnic Germans in South Tyrol is signed.

RAF fighters shoot down 4 out of 9 He115 seaplanes attacking a British convoy in the North Sea. No casualties are suffered by the British aircraft, nor is any damage done to the convoy or escorts.


In the North Atlantic the French Force de raide (including the world's fastest destroyers / http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Force_de_Raid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Force_de_Raid)) escorts a large Atlantic convoy (until October 30th) and intercepts the German SS Sante Fe.

On 21 Oct, 1939, the Orsa (Master Alexander Simpson) struck a mine laid on 5 September by U-15 and sank about 15 miles 150° from Flamborough Head. Eleven crew members were lost. The master and three crew members were picked up by HMS Woolston (L 49) (LtCdr W.J. Phipps) and landed at Roysth.

At 02.00 hours on 21 Oct, 1939, the Capitaine Edmond Laborie struck a mine laid on 16 October by U-19 two miles east of the Inner Dowsing Lightvessel and sank. The wreck was later dispersed.

On 21 Oct, 1939, the neutral Deodata struck a mine laid by U-19 on 16 October 1.5 miles off the Inner Dowsing lightvessel and sank. The wreck was later dispersed. The survivors were picked up by the Gorleston lifeboat Louise Stephens.

U-19 (http://uboat.net/boats/u19.htm (http://uboat.net/boats/u19.htm))

Title: October 22 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 23 October 2009, 19:17:13
October 22 1939

Germany's minister of propaganda, minister Josef Goebbels, calls Winston Churchill a liar in a radio broadcast. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Goebbels (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Goebbels))

Sporadic artillery exchanges take place. The no-man's-land on the Moselle-Rhine is described as a sea of mud.

Soviet elections are held in the Soviet controlled western Ukraine and western Belorussia (formerly Polish territory).

British General Wavell and French General Weygand leave at the conclusion of successful talks with the Turkish General Staff at Ankara.

The Indian Congress Party declines to support the British war effort and condemns British imperialism.

German pocket battleship ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE sank steamer TREVANION (5299grt) in the   South Atlantic in 19?40S, 04?02E.

Battleships at War - Graf Spee (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4CxwuQoHYQ#normal)

Title: October 23 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 24 October 2009, 18:04:54
October 23 1939

Last week the 51,731-ton luxury liner Bremen, missing for six weeks, was discovered in the place where she had been most generally believed to be hiding—Murmansk. The pride of the German merchant marine* had been sitting in Russia's only ice-free Arctic port for a full month. The account of her hair-raising northward run from New York, through the British blockade to sanctuary, came from Elbert Post, ship's cook, only Dutchman in her crew. Repatriated, he gave the story of the Bremen's, last voyage to the Amsterdam newspaper, Het Volk:

"The Bremen left New York harbor [on Aug. 30] at her full speed of 32 knots in the direction of the English Channel. The captain changed direction 200 miles from New York, removed all flags and declined to answer radio calls.

"While she was speeding on, we worked hard and painted the ship grey all over. We were told to paint or drown. On September 3, Captain [Adolf] Ahrens told us that war had started and that the situation was bad.

" 'I don't know why the American Spitzbuben [young rascals] detained us,' he said. 'I am pledged that the enemy shall not get us. I would rather go down and shoot myself.'

"All the crew 'Heil Hitlered' except me, and sang psalms. . . . Eventually we realized we were sailing north. The captain said we were near Iceland, and later disclosed that he was warned just in time that between Iceland and Britain one British ship was watching every ten miles.

"The crew of 940 were trained in lifeboat drill daily and hardly slept. Drums of gasoline stood on deck in order to burn the Bremen at any moment. Lifeboats were kept swung over the side, and intake valves on the hull were ready to be opened.

"We sailed between Iceland and Spitsbergen, and on the morning of September 6 viewed Murmansk and saw a Russian cruiser. The Bremen had luck: fuel for half a day was left when we arrived.

"The old man [Captain Ahrens] brought us through, and no matter what you might say about a Nazi captain, he, together with all these clever boys, outwitted the British Navy."

Soviet and Finnish representatives meet to discuss border revisions. The Finnish delegation is led by Paasikivi and accompanied by Tanner, the Minister of Finance. There is little change in the terms offered by either side.

North of Murmansk, a German prize crew steers the US ship City of Flint into Kola Bay. The steamer was seized as contraband by a German cruiser.

On 9 Oct, 1939, the City of Flint (Master Joseph A. Gainard) was taken as prize by the German pocket battleship Deutschland en route from New York to the United Kingdom in the North Atlantic, because she was suspected to carry contraband. On 21 October, she arrived in Tromsø, Norway, for water. The Norwegian government ordered the ship to leave and she sailed for Murmansk.
On 23 October, the ship arrived at Murmansk, where the German prize crew was interned by the Soviet authorities the next day. On 27 October, the City of Flint was returned to German control and she left the following day and set course to Germany. The master, an inactive US Navy reserve officer, was not allowed to communicate with the US Embassy in Moscow during this time. On 3 November, the City of Flint was stopped by the Norwegian minelayer Olav Tryggvason off the Norwegian coast and ordered to go to Haugesund, Norway. She was finally released at Bergen on 14 November.

Patrolling German and French units engage in combat in the region west of the Saar.

Sir Eric Phipps, the retiring British Ambassador, leaves Paris.

The British Home Fleet escorts an iron ore convoy from Narvik, Norway (arriving on October 31st).

Title: October 24 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 24 October 2009, 18:12:29
October 24 1939

The Polish gold reserves arrive, having traveled via Romania and Syria. The value of the gold is estimated at over £15,000,000.

The Polish Consul-General in London announces that Poles in Britain will be mobilized for service in the Polish Army in France.

A fairly sharp engagement takes place towards the southeastern border of the Forest of Warndt, where a German attack on a French outpost is driven back.

A Soviet-German trade agreement is signed. The USSR agrees to supply 1 million tonnes of grain and fodder to Germany. Meanwhile, the Finnish delegation leaves to consult with their government on new proposals put forward by the Soviet government, concerning boundary revisions.

The Nazi Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop, delivers a speech at Danzig in which he accuses the British government of systematically preparing, over a period of years, to make war on Germany.

Title: October 25 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 25 October 2009, 13:51:08
October 25 1939

Sir A. Southby asked the First Lord of the Admiralty when he expects to be in a position to make a further statement to the House regarding the loss of His Majesty's ship "Royal Oak"?

Mr. Lambert asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can, consistently with the public interest, state the result of the inquiry instituted into the sinking of the "Royal Oak"?

The First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Churchill): The inquiry into the causes of the loss of His Majesty's ship "Royal Oak" is now taking place as speedily as possible, but I cannot say when I shall be in a position to make a further statement as a result of the inquiry. I hope next week.

Mr. Lambert: Will my right hon. Friend make another statement as to the result?

Mr. Churchill: Yes, Sir; I will make another statement, but I shall have to be very careful not to disclose information which might be useful to other parties.

Sir A. Southby: While safeguarding the public interest, will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the very grave apprehension there is in the public mind regarding this matter?

Mr. Churchill replies: Yes, Sir, I will certainly bear that in mind.

Mr. Ammon: Is the committee of inquiry taking into consideration the fact that so large a number of men were drowned in harbour?
Sir Charles Cayzer: Has the attention of my right hon. Friend been called to the statement made by the German U-boat commander himself that he waited for two days outside the harbour watching the tracks of vessels before he decided to go in?

Mr. Churchill replies: Yes, Sir, I have seen a number of statements made by the German U-boat commander. In part they are a repetition of information which I have given to the House, and in part they have no relation to the facts.

Mr. Ammon: Is attention being given to the fact that these men were drowned in harbour?

Mr. Churchill replies: Yes, Sir, but in relation to Scapa Flow, "harbour" is not quite the right term, because it is a great landlocked bay many miles across. This ship was several miles from any other vessel.

Lieut.-Commander Tufnell asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will consider the granting of leave to 1400 survivors of any warship which may happen to be torpedoed during the present war?

Mr. Churchill replies: It is the intention of the Admiralty that the survivors of any of His Majesty's ships which may be sunk during the war, should be granted a period of leave before they are drafted to other duty. Leave was so given to the survivors of His Majesty's Ship "Courageous" and His Majesty's Ship "Royal Oak" and this practice will be continued, provided the manning situation permits.

Colonel Wedgwood asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what other battleships of the "Royal Oak" class were reconstructed so as to be made less vulnerable to torpedoes, and at what expense; and whether he will give orders to stop building aircraft carriers and large battleships, which have no counterpart in the German navy, in order to concentrate on more-needed types of warship?

Mr. Churchill replies: The other battleships of the "Royal Oak" class have been bulged at an average cost of £200,000 each. Battleships and aircraft carriers are being constructed not only by Germany but by every other naval power, and these vessels are, therefore, essential as cover to our control of sea communications throughout the world.

The British Handley Page Halifax bomber makes its maiden flight

Three U-boats are dispatched to the Mediterranean; only U-26 arrives and has no success.

French troops reportedly repulse a German detachment in the region close to the Moselle. As a whole, conditions on are reported to be quiet.
The 'Mosel' (German) or 'Moselle' (French) is a river that makes a natural frontier between France and Germany.
As you can see on the map it goes from North to South inbetween Luxembourg and Switzerland.
This is the same area where one of the last offensives in WWII too place 'Operation Nordwind', the only time 'Himmler' was in direct command of a German attack.

In Mexico City, Leon Trotsky is reported to have said that "Stalin is afraid of Hitler, and is right to be so."

Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 26 October 2009, 21:43:17
October 26 1939

On October 26, 1939, the German occupation authorities established a political administration known as the Generalgouvernement in the sector of occupied Poland that had not been annexed to the Reich. The name originated in World War I, during which the Germans also occupied Poland and established a civil regime under this title. The Generalgouvernement was divided into four districts—Warsaw, Cracow, Radom, and Lublin—each of which was parceled into subdistricts. The capital of the Generalgouvernement was Cracow. After the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, they added a fifth district, Galicia. The Generalgouvernement was headed by Governor-General Hans Frank, former Reich Minister of Justice and a high-ranking Nazi official. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Frank (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Frank))

Hans Frank (r) next to Heinrich Himmler (l)

The Soviet government denies the British claim to have a right to stop Soviet merchant ships bound for Germany.

On the eve of the Senate vote on amending the Neutrality Act, President Roosevelt delivers a fireside chat: "In and out of Congress we have heard orators and commentators and others beating their breasts proclaiming against sending the boys of American mothers to fight on the battlefields of Europe. That I do not hesitate to label as one of the worst fakes in current history. It is a deliberate setup of an imaginary bogy."

The British Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps is formed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Pioneer_Corps (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Pioneer_Corps))

Lord Chamberlain responds to claims made by the Nazi Foreign Minister Ribbentrop that Britain sought and plotted for war with Germany. He says "the whole world knows that this is not true."

Wintry conditions prevail with much rain and snow. Minor encounters between French and German patrols and artillery fire from both sides is reported.

Title: October 27 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 27 October 2009, 21:47:21
October 27 1939


Belgian King Leopold III declares , in a broadcast to the USA, that Belgium is determined to defend its neutrality. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_III_of_Belgium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_III_of_Belgium))
Vicomte Davignon, Belgian Ambassador in Berlin, reports to the Belgian Government that he had learnt from a reliable source that Adolf Hitler intended to invade Belgium soon.
German newspaper commentaries complain about anti-Nazi propaganda in Belgian newspapers and suggest this is a breach of Belgian neutrality.

on this map you can see why it was impossible for Belgium to remain neutral when the war would come, right inbetween Germany and France

Pope Pius XII issues his first encyclical, condemning racism, dictators and treaty violations.

Hitler again commands his generals to prepare for the western offensive.

There are reports of German troops massing in the Saar, along the Belgian, Dutch and Swiss frontiers and along the German North Sea coast.

The US Senate approves amendments to the Neutrality Act, repealing the arms embargo provision.

Title: October 28 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 28 October 2009, 22:05:37
October 28 1939

A motion to amend the U.S. Neutrality Act to allow the sale of arms to besieged allies passes the Senate. It will clear the House and be signed by President Franklin Roosevelt on November 4. The change is contingent on the requirement that arms are not transported by American ships.

At 03.15 hours on 28 Oct, 1939, U-59 stopped the illuminated St. Nidan with gunfire across her bow and ordered the crew to abandon ship. At 04.25 hours, the Lynx II appeared and the U-boat tried to stop her also by gunfire, but the crew abandoned vessel only after three shots were fired into the bridge. The second trawler was sunk by scuttling charges at 06.55 hours and the first at 08.30 hours. Both crews were rescued by the British steam trawler Lady Hogarth. ( http://www.uboat.net/boats/u59.htm (http://www.uboat.net/boats/u59.htm) )

A German He111 bomber was shot down by RAF Spitfires east of Dalkeith in southeastern Scotland -- it is the first German airplane shot down over the British Isles. Two of the 4-man crew survived. The aircraft is part of Luftflotte 2 which is based in the extreme north of Germany and is engaged in attacking shipping off the northern and eastern coasts of Scotland.

RAF aircraft carry out night reconnaissance missions over southern Germany

The British Expeditionary Force in France is reported to have enough food to feed its nearly 200,000 troops for 46 days.

Himmler issues his Lebensborn decree, urging single German women to dispense with the "bourgeois custom" of marriage to bear racially pure children.

Occupied Czechoslovakia... German police fire on student demonstrators in Prague marking the 20th anniversary of the former Czechoslovakian independence. Street fighting later breaks out in the city center with ethnic Germans clashing with Czech nationalists. One student is killed and a total of 16 casualties are reported. Some 3500 people are arrested.

Joseph Tito becomes the first president of independent Slovakia (formerly part of Czechoslovakia).

Molotov -- in a speech before the Supreme Soviet -- asserts the that USSR has a right and duty to adopt strong measures to insure security and publicly demands territorial concessions from Finland.

Title: October 29 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 29 October 2009, 20:03:11
October 29 1939

Reflecting the rising number of Chinese defections to the Japanese, the US military attache in Tokyo reports that there are 100,000 armed Chinese serving as Huang Hsieh Chun (Imperial Assisting Troops).

OKH (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oberkommando_des_Heeres (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oberkommando_des_Heeres)) issues a revision to Fall Gelb (Operation Yellow) with the main thrust shifted slightly south and less strength being sent against Holland. There is an ongoing debate as to how it should be modified further. Also, German warships and U-boats are given permission to attack passenger ships in convoys.

The first contingent of Soviet troops begin occupation of bases in Latvia allotted by the Latvian-Soviet agreement.

An official French communique reports from Paris 'all quiet' generally during the day in France.

An increasing number of British heavy artillery is moved into position on the Western front facing Germany.

At 01.50 hours on 29 Oct, 1939, U-34 fired two torpedoes at two steamers and one destroyer in convoy HX-5A about 180 miles west of Lands End and claimed two hits. In fact, only the ship of the convoy commodore, the Malabar (Master Henry Herbert Armstrong), was hit and sunk. Five crew members were lost. The master, the commodore (Rear Admiral G.W. Taylor, RNR), two naval staff members and 66 crew members were picked up by HMS Grafton (H 89) (Cdr M.S. Thomas, RN) and landed at Plymouth.

http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/85.html (http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/85.html)

Title: October 30 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 30 October 2009, 12:18:39
October 30 1939

Time.com report from 30/10/39:

All that was needed to make War II the legitimate heir to War I was a knitting bee, and busily clacking their needles this week were more than 5,000,000 British women, more than one-ninth of the whole population of the Kingdom. Yet with the demand for yarn ten times greater than in peacetime, the price last week was successfully held to eightpence (14¢) per ounce, up just a penny from the pre-war level.

For once it was not emphasized that many prominent British males, including most of the King's brothers, are expert fancy knitters, samples of whose work are exhibited in Britain occasionally in peacetime. The London Daily Telegraph & Morning Post, close to Downing Street, emphasized rather the feminine side:

"Now, after little more than six weeks, the knitter is conspicuous everywhere. Philosophers, mostly men, agree that for large projects and noble ideals man is supreme. Nothing could prove more strikingly than knitting woman's devotion to the small things. . . . To see a knitter adding a few stitches between stops in a train or omnibus, purling two or casting off between glimpses of Mr. Cooper and Miss Colbert on the screen—this is an object lesson in concentration and in kindly devotion."

Knitting became the acceptable conversational topic at Mayfair dinner tables, even male ARPers knitting to pass the time. Female knitters are called Sister Susies after the popular World War I song: Sister Susie's sewing shirts for soldiers, Such skill at sewing shirts our shy young sister Susie shows, Some soldiers send epistles, Say they'd sooner sleep in thistles, Than the saucy soft short shirts for soldiers sister Susie sews.

Singled out as "The Commander in Chief of Knitting" was retired Vice Admiral Hubert Seeds ("The Dear") Monroe, 62, newly appointed chairman of the Royal Navy War Comforts Committee. For the wartime saucy soft short shirts of British sailors, posited the Admiralty in a broadside to knitters last week, it is necessary to employ two-ply and even three-ply yarn.

The USSR formally annexes the occupied Polish territories.

A German-Latvian treaty for the evacuation of Germans from the Baltic regions is signed.

U-56 hits the British battleship HMS Nelson, the flagship of the Home Fleet, west of the Orkneys but the two torpedoes fail to explode.

The first war film of the conflict, The Lion Has Wings, is premiered, featuring newsreel of a British air attack on a German fleet.

A British government white paper exposes Nazi brutality towards dissidents and Jews, including the concentration camp system.

SS chief Heinrich Himmler designates the next three months as the period during which all Jews must be cleared from the rural areas of western Poland. Hundreds of communities will be affected, and thousands of Jews will be expelled with nothing but what they can carry with them.

Brauchitsch and Halder drive to the Chancellory to see Hitler who explodes in anger and vows to destroy the “spirit of Zossen.” Halder panics and aborts the second coup attempt. Conspirators ordered to shut down the entire plot.

Title: October 31 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 31 October 2009, 11:35:16
The Royal Navy begins a world-wide hunt for the German pocket-battleship Graf Spee. Four battleships, 14 cruisers and 5 aircraft carriers are engaged in the effort.

Mussolini reshuffles his cabinet, replacing pro-Nazi members with neutral members. Six ministries and several secretariats change. Starace is no longer Secretary of the Fascist Party. Count Ciano remains Foreign Minister. Grandi, who is sympathetic to the British, remains head of the Department of Justice. Mussolini believes in occasional "shuffling" of government posts, and these changes are not believed to reflect a change in foreign policy.

At a meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, Molotov lectures Britain and France for continuing the war but gives no more than moral support to Germany. He stresses that the Nazi-Soviet agreements provide that the USSR shall be neutral if Germany is at war. Meanwhile, the first of three further sets of discussions between the Soviets and the Finns over the recent Soviet demands for border revisions begins (the final meeting ends November 9). Soviet negotiators demand strategic territory in the Karelian Isthmus, the Hango naval base and the ice-free port of Petsamo in the Arctic in exchange for Soviet territory along the eastern border. No agreement is reached.

The death penalty is ordered for all Poles disobeying German authority, with the accused to be tried in SS courts.

U 25 sank French steamer BAOULE (5874grt) from convoy 20.K, en route from Casablanca to    Brest, in 43?48N, 09?08W, 45 miles WNW of Corunna; two crew were killed and eleven missing. U 25 sustained damage to her torpedo hatch caused by the blast of her own gun, and was forced to return to Germany.

Supermarine Walrus in Action (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-2UAXblTUE#normal)
Royal Navy heavy cruiser SUSSEX on patrol in the South Atlantic lost her Walrus reconnaissance aircraft (http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/Aircraft/Walrus.htm (http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/Aircraft/Walrus.htm)) when it failed to return from patrol. A three and a half day search for the aircraft was set in motion, but the aircraft was never found. The crew of three, pilot Lt (A) S M Bird, observer Lt C H E Osmaston and the telegraphist  air gunner, Airman W H Brown, were lost.

Royal Navy report:
At the end of October, the following destroyers were out of service – AFRIDI at Newcastle for repairs, AMAZON at Portsmouth for repairs, ARROW at Portsmouth with defects, BOREAS at Portsmouth for repairs, DIAMOND at Singapore for repairs, DIANA at Malta for repairs,  ECHO at Plymouth with damage, ECLIPSE at Plymouth with defects, ENCOUNTER at Plymouth for repairs, FAULKNOR at Clyde for repairs, FORESTER at Clyde with defects, FORTUNE at Clyde for repairs, FURY at Clyde with defects, GARLAND at Malta for repairs, GRAFTON at Plymouth for boiler cleaning, IMOGEN at Liverpool for repairs, INGLEFIELD at Liverpool for repairs, JAVELIN at Middlesbrough for repairs, MASHONA at Tyne for repairs, MOHAWK at Newcastle for repairs, MONTROSE at Plymouth for boiler cleaning, NUBIAN at Southampton with defects, SABRE at Grangemouth  for repairs, SIKH at Malta for repairs, VANOC at Liverpool for repairs, VANQUISHER at Plymouth for repairs, VETERAN at Chatham for repairs, VISCOUNT at Plymouth for boiler cleaning, WALKER at Plymouth with defects, WALPOLE at Liverpool for boiler cleaning, WARWICK at Liverpool for repairs, Canadian OTTAWA at Esquimalt refitting, RESTIGOUCHE at Esquimalt refitting, SKEENA at Halifax refitting.

Title: November 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 1 November 2009, 11:08:07
November 1st 1939

HC Deb 01 November 1939 vol 352 cc1911-2 1911

Sir A. Southby asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is in a position to state whether German surface vessels are operating on the trade routes; and, if so, to what type and class those vessels belong?

Mr. Churchill replies: Two German warships of the "Deutschland" type have been reported as operating in the Atlantic, one in the North, the other in the South.

Mr. Thorne: Are you chasing them?
Sir A. Southby: Are these the only two surface vessels that have been reported, and can reliance be placed on the report that they are of "Deutschland" type?

Mr. Churchill replies: Evidence on this matter, as on other matters in this sphere, is conflicting, but I think that we may be sure that at least one vessel of "Deutschland" type has been abroad on the ocean.

Mr. Alexander: Has the Admiralty any information to that effect from actual naval reports?

Mr. Churchill replies: Oh, yes Sir. We have people who have been held prisoner on board the "Deutschland" and we have reports from sailors of a ship captured by the "Deutschland" who were kept on the "Deutschland" for some time and who had an opportunity of making sure that it was that vessel.

Mr. Cocks: When will the right hon. Gentleman be in a position to state that these ships have been sunk?

Mr. Churchill replies: I do not think that I ought to try to make any forecast of that kind.

Germany formally annexes western Poland, Danzig and the Polish Corridor. This adds the new districts of Posen, Greater East Prussia and Danzig West Prussia to the Third Reich.

The USSR formally annexes part of occupied eastern Poland and incorporates it into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, following the results of plebiscites (possibly rigged) in which the majority of the inhabitants living in the territory reputedly favored annexation.

The Dutch government proclaims a state of siege in frontier areas and flood zones.

Switzerland: Contingency plans are laid in case of an invasion.

Title: November 2 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 4 November 2009, 19:02:49
November 2 1939

Part of eastern Poland is incorporated into Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, following the results of a plebiscite in which the majority of the inhabitants living in the territory reputedly favored annexation. This completes the incorporation of all Polish territory occupied by the USSR.

Hitler recalls his ambassadors from Moscow and Rome for consultations.

King George decorates 5 RAF pilots, leaders of a raid on the Kiel Canal.

Belgian steamer BRUGES (4984grt) reported at 1500 that she was stopped in 45-06N, 8-04W by a U-boat with a skull and crossbones painted on the conning tower.
At 0230/3rd, Greek steamer KORTHION (2116grt) was stopped in 44-32N, 8-12W and reported she had been stopped by the same submarine.

Title: November 3 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 4 November 2009, 19:14:45
November 3 1939

Talks continue between the USSR and Finland on Soviet requests for an exchange of territory and border alterations. Finnish counterproposals were presented, stating it recognized Soviet security needs but that Finland has now gone as far as its "independence, security and neutrality permit." The Finns refuse to allow the Soviets a military base in Finland.
Finland refuses to hand over the isle of Hango to the Russians.

The U.S. Congress amended the Neutrality Act of May 1937, repealing the embargo on arms to belligerents, but also placing the sale of arms exports to belligerents on a cash-and-carry basis. This allowed U.S. munitions manufacturers to sell arms to the Allies while avoiding the war debt problems which emerged during World War I and soured post-war American-Allied relations.

After complaints from employers and trades unions, the blackout in England is reduced by an hour. It now runs from half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise.

The South African Prime Minister, General Smuts, promises to defend British colonies in Africa if required.

Title: November 4 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 4 November 2009, 19:26:37
November 4 1939

1939 US Congress
The Neutrality Act
November 4, 1939
76th Congress, 2nd Session, Public Resolution No. 54


To preserve the neutrality and the peace of the United States and to secure the safety of its citizens and their interests.

Whereas the United States, desiring to preserve its neutrality in wars between foreign states and desiring also to avoid involvement therein, voluntarily imposes upon its nationals by domestic regulation the restrictions set out in this joint resolution; and

Whereas by so doing the United States waives none of its own rights or privileges, or those of any of its nationals, under international law, and expressly reserves all the rights and privileges to which it and its nationals are entitled under the law of nations; and

Whereas the United States hereby expressly reserves the right to appeal, change or modify this joint resolution in the interests of the peace, security or welfare of the United States and its people: Therefore be it Resolved,


Section 1. (a) That whenever the President, or the Congress by concurrent resolution, shall find that there exists a state of war between foreign states, and that it is necessary to promote the security or preserve the peace of the United States or to protect the lives of citizens of the United States, the President shall issue a proclamation naming the states involved; and he shall, from time to time, by proclamation, name other states as and when they may become involved in the war.

(b)Whenever the state of war which shall have caused the President to issue any proclamation under the authority of this section shall have ceased to exist with respect to any state named in such proclamation, he shall revoke such proclamation with respect to such state.


Sec. 2. (a) Whenever the President shall have issued a proclamation under the authority of section 1 (a) it shall thereafter be unlawful for any American vessel to carry any passengers or any articles or materials to any state named in such proclamation.
(b) Whoever shall violate any of the provisions of subsection (a) of this section or of any regulations issued thereunder shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both. Should the violation be by a corporation, organization, or association, each officer or director thereof participating in the violation shall be liable to the penalty herein prescribed.
(c) Whenever the President shall have issued a proclamation under the authority of section 1 (a) it shall thereafter be unlawful to export or transport, or attempt to export or transport, or cause to be exported or transported, from the Untied States to any state named in such proclamation, any articles or materials (except copyrighted articles or materials) until all right, title, and interest therein shall have been transferred to some foreign government, agency, institution, association, partnership, corporation, or national...
(g) The provisions of subsections (a) and (c) of this section shall not apply to transportation by American vessels (other than aircraft) of mail, passengers, or any articles or materials (except articles or materials listed in a proclamation referred to in or issued under the authority of section 12 (i)) (1) to any port in the Western Hemisphere south of thirty-five degrees north latitude, (2) to any port in the Western Hemisphere north of thirty-five degrees north latitude and west of sixty-six degrees west longitude,(3) to any port on the Pacific or Indian Oceans, including the China Sea, the Tasman Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Arabian Sea, and any other dependent waters of either of such oceans, seas, or bays or (4) to any port on the Atlantic Ocean or its dependent waters south of thirty degrees north latitude. The exceptions contained in this subsection shall not apply to any such port which is included within a combat area as defined in section 3 which applies to such vessels...
(i) Every American vessel to which the provisions of subsections (g) and (h) apply, and every neutral vessel to which the provisions of subsection (l) apply, shall, before departing from a port or from the jurisdiction of the United States, file with the collector of customs of the port of departure, or if there is no such collector at such port then with the nearest collector of customs, a sworn statement (1) containing a complete list of all the articles and materials carried as cargo by such vessel, and the names and addresses of the consignees of all such articles and materials, and (2) stating the ports at which such articles and materials are to be unloaded and the ports of call of such vessel. All transportation referred to in subsections (f), (g), (h), and (l) of this section shall be subject to such restrictions, rules, and regulations as the President shall prescribe; but no loss incurred in connection with any transportation excepted under the provisions of subsections (g), (h), and (l) of this section shall be made the basis of any claim put forward by the Government of the United States...
(l) The provisions of subsection (c) of this section shall not apply to the transportation by a neutral vessel to any port referred to in subsection (g) of this section of any articles or materials (except articles or materials listed in a proclamation referred to in or issued under the authority of section 12 (i)) so long as such port is not included within a combat area as defined in section 3 which applies to American vessels.

Sec. 3. (a) Whenever the President shall have issued a proclamation under the authority of section 1 (a), and he shall thereafter find that the protection of citizens of the United States so requires, he shall, by proclamation, define combat areas, and thereafter it shall be unlawful, except under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed, for any citizen of the United States or any American vessel to proceed into or through any such combat area. The combat areas so defined may be made to apply to surface vessels or aircraft, or both.
(b) In case of the violation of any of the provisions of this section by any American vessel, or any owner of officer thereof, such vessel, owner, or officer shall be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both. Should the owner of such vessel be a corporation, organization, or association, each officer or director participating in the violation shall be liable to the penalty hereinabove prescribed. In case of the violation of this section by any citizen traveling as a passenger, such passenger may be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both.
(c) The President may from time to time modify or extend any proclamation issued under the authority of this section, and when the conditions which shall have caused him to issue any such proclamation shall have ceased to exist he shall revoke such proclamation and the provisions of this section shall thereupon cease to apply, except as to offenses committed prior to such revocation....

Sec. 5. (a) Whenever the President shall have issued a proclamation under the authority of section 1 (a) it shall thereafter be unlawful for any citizen of the United States to travel on any vessel of any state named in such proclamation, except in accordance with such rules and regulation as may be prescribed.
(b) Whenever any proclamation issued under the authority of section 1 (a) shall have been revoked with respect to any state the provisions of this section shall thereupon cease to apply with respect to such state, except as to offenses committed prior to such revocation.

Sec.6. Whenever the President shall have issued a proclamation under the authority of section 1 (a), it shall thereafter be unlawful until such proclamation is revoked, for any American vessel, engaged in commerce with any foreign state to be armed, except with small arms and ammunition therefor, which the President may deem necessary and shall publicly designate for the preservation of discipline aboard any such vessel.

Sec.7. (a) Whenever the President shall have issued a proclamation under the authority of section 1 (a), it shall thereafter be unlawful for any person within the United States to purchase, sell, or exchange bonds, securities, or other obligations of the government of any state named in such proclamation, or of any political subdivision of any such state, or of any person acting for or on behalf of the government of any such state, or political subdivision thereof, issued after the date of such proclamation, or to make any loan or extend any credit (other than necessary credits accruing in connection with the transmission of telegraph, cable, wireless and telephone services) to any such government, political subdivision, or person. The provisions of this subsection shall also apply to the sale by any person within the United States to any person in a state named in any such proclamation of any articles or materials listed in a proclamation referred to in or issued under the authority of section 12 (i)....

Sec. 8. (a) Whenever the President shall have issued a proclamation under the authority of section 1 (a), it shall thereafter be unlawful for any person within the United States to solicit or receive any contribution for or on behalf of the government of any state named in such proclamation or for or on behalf of any agent or instrumentality of any such state....

Sec 9. This joint resolution (except section 12) shall not apply to any American republic engaged in war against a non-American state or states, provided the American republic is not cooperating with a non-American state or states in such war....

Sec 12. (c) Every person required to register under this section shall notify the Secretary of State of any change in the arms, ammunition, or implements of war which he exports, imports, or manufactures; and upon such notification the Secretary of State shall issue to such person an amended certificate of registration free of charge, which shall remain valid until the date of expiration of the original certificate. Every person required to register under the provisions of this section shall pay a registration fee of $100. Upon receipt of the required registration fee, the Secretary of State shall issue a registration certificate valid for five years, which shall be renewable for further periods of five years upon the payment for each renewal of a fee of $100; but valid certificates of registration (including amended certificates) issued under the authority of section 2 of the joint resolution of August 31, 1935, or section 5 of the joint resolution of August 31, 1935, as amended, shall, without payment of any addition registration fee, be considered to be valid certificates of registration issued under this subsection, and shall remain valid for the same period as if this joint resolution had not been enacted.
(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to export, or attempt to export, from the United States to any other state, any arms, ammunition, or implements of war listed in a proclamation referred to in or issued under the authority of subsection (i) of this section, or to import, or attempt to import, to the United States form any other state, any of the arms, ammunition, or implements of war listed in any such proclamation, without first having submitted to the secretary of State the name of the purchaser and the terms of sale and having obtained a license therefor....
(g) No purchase of arms, ammunition, or implements of war shall be made on behalf of the United States by any officer, executive department, or independent establishment of the Government from any person who shall have failed to register under the provisions of this joint resolution.
(h) The Board shall make a report to Congress on January 3 and July 3 of each year, copies of which shall be distributed as are other reports transmitted to Congress. Such reports shall contain such information and data collected by the Board as may be considered of value in the determination of questions connected with the control of trade in arms, ammunition, and implements of war, including the name of the purchaser and the terms of sale made under any such license. The Board shall include in such reports a list of all persons required to register under the provisions of this joint resolution, and full information concerning the licenses issued hereunder, including the name of the purchaser and the terms of the sale made under any such license. (i) The President is hereby authorized to proclaim upon recommendation of the Board from time to time a list of articles which shall be considered arms, ammunition, and implements of war for the purposes of this section; but the proclamation Numbered 2237, of May 1, 1937 (50 Stat. 1834) defining the term "arms, ammunition, and implements of war" shall, until it is revoked, have full force and effect as if issued under the authority of this subsection....

Sec 15. In every case of the violation of any of the provisions of this joint resolution or of any rule or regulation issued pursuant thereto where a specific penalty is not herein provided, such violator or violators, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisonment not more than two years, or both....

Sec 19. The joint resolution of August 31, 1935, as amended and the joint resolution of January 8, 1937, are hereby repealed; but offenses committed and penalties, forfeitures, or liabilities incurred under wither of such joint resolutions prior to the date of enactment of this joint resolution may be prosecuted and punished, and suits and proceedings for violations of either of such joint resolution or any rule or regulation issued pursuant thereto may be commenced and prosecuted, in the same manner and with the same effect as if such joint resolution had not been repealed.

[Note: Partial reproduction only. Essentially similar to Neutrality Act of 1937, qv]

The British naval attache in Norway receives an anonymous (by a "German scientist who wishes you well") report revealing secrets of German long-range rockets and radar -- the "Oslo Report." A prototype proximity mine fuse is also left on the windowsill, with the report.

British Rear-Admiral Hugh Sinclair, head ("C") of British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), dies of cancer. He is succeeded by his deputy, Colonel Stewart Menzies.
http://www.answers.com/topic/mi6-british-secret-intelligence-service (http://www.answers.com/topic/mi6-british-secret-intelligence-service)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Sinclair (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Sinclair)

Admiral Sir Hugh Sinclair (1873 – 4 November 1939), nicknamed Quex, was a British intelligence officer. Between 1919 and 1921, he was Director of British Naval Intelligence, and helped to set up the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, commonly MI6) before the Second World War.
Sinclair joined the Royal Navy in 1883, aged thirteen, and entered the Naval Intelligence Division at the beginning of the First World War. He became Director of the Division in February 1919, and later head of the Submarine Service. He became the second director, or 'C', of SIS in 1923.
Beginning in 1919 he attempted to absorb the counter-intelligence service MI5 into the SIS to strengthen Britain's efforts against Bolshevism. When this idea was finally rejected in 1925, he set up his own Counter-Espionage (CE) section. In 1935 he set up the Z Organization, a section of SIS operating in Europe, intended to carry on working independently should SIS itself become compromised. In 1938, with a second war looming, Sinclair set up Section D, dedicated to sabotage. In Spring 1938, using his own money, he bought Bletchley Park to be a wartime intelligence station.
According to records released on 31 March 2005 to the National Archives at Kew, Sinclair was asked in December 1938 to prepare a dossier on Adolf Hitler, for the attention of Lord Halifax, the Foreign Secretary, and Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister. In the dossier, which was received poorly by Sir George Mounsey, the Foreign Office assistant under-secretary - who believed that it did not gel with Britain's contemporary policy of appeasement - Sinclair described Hitler as possessing the characteristics of "fanaticism, mysticism, ruthlessness, cunning, vanity, moods of exaltation and depression, fits of bitter and self-righteous resentment; and what can only be termed a streak of madness; but with it all there is a great tenacity of purpose, which has often been combined with extraordinary clarity of vision."

Title: November 5 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 5 November 2009, 22:12:43
November 5 1939

After plotting with Halder and Beck to arrest Hitler, unless he relents on the plan for a western offensive, the Commander in Chief of the German Army, von Brauchitsch, meets Hitler to discuss the plans for an attack in the west. He argues very strongly that it should not take place as scheduled on November 12th because of weaknesses in the army. Hitler loses his temper during the meeting but is unconvinced by the arguments. Brauchitsch loses his nerve and returns to OKH (Army High Command) headquarters at Zossen, where the conspiracy collapses. Meanwhile, Colonel Hans Oster of the Abwehr (German Military Intelligence) -- one of the Zossen conspirators -- warns Colonel Sas, the Dutch military attache in Berlin, of the impending invasion of the Low Countries. Sas informs the Belgian military attache.

The German government lodges a protest against the release of the interned City of Flint and the German prize crew. The protest is rejected.

Churchill, British First Lord of the Admiralty, visits the French Marine Headquarters.

Finnish-Soviet negotiations continue. The Finnish delegation reports to Helsinki and asks for further instructions.

Marshal Pietro Badoglio reconfirmed as chief of Italian armed forces; increase in Italian army orders by Mussolini.

Canadian C.I.O. declared complete independence from U.S. parent organization and pledged war aid to Dominion

U.33 laid mines off North Foreland, on which two ships were sunk and one damaged.

Force K, consisting of aircraft carrier   ARK ROYAL, battlecruiser   RENOWN, light cruiser   NEPTUNE, and destroyers HARDY, HASTY, HEREWARD, HERO and HOSTILE departed Freetown on 28 October. HERO was detached on escort duties shortly after the first of the month. In 6N, 17 W, 300 miles WSW of Freetown on the 5th, ARK ROYAL aircraft sighted German steamer UHENFELS  (7603grt) which had departed Lourenco Marques, Portuguese Mozambique, on her third attempt to escape back to Germany and after evading sloop EGRET patrolling off the port. HEREWARD was detached from the screen to investigate and UHENFELS attempted to scuttle herself. However, she was captured, Force K and prize arrived at Freetown on the 6th, and UHENFELS was taken for British service and renamed EMPIRE ABILITY. She arrived in the Thames for duty on 5 April 1940.

Title: November 6 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 9 November 2009, 18:38:44
November 6 1939

The American cargo ship, City of Flint, is returned to her captain, Joseph H. Gainard in Haugesund, Norway. Since October 9th, the ship has journeyed under the command of a German prize crew from the Deutschland.

In a speech, Molotov says that the Soviet Union is committed to a policy of peace and blames the war on the forces of capitalism. Meanwhile, the Communist International issues a manifesto in which the German Government is classed with those of Britain and France as being hostile to the workers.

Finnish steamer JESSIE (1405grt) was seized in the Baltic by a German warship, and taken to Kiel.

Title: November 7 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 9 November 2009, 18:50:18
November 7 1939

Trial of Herschel Grynszpan, young Polish Jew, for slaying of German diplomat in Paris Nov. 7, 1938 postponed for duration of war.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herschel_Grynszpan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herschel_Grynszpan)

Herschel Feibel Grynszpan (sometimes spelled "Grynsban", "Grynspan", "Grünspan" or "Greenspan") (born March 28, 1921- circa 1943-45), was a Polish Jews political assassin. Grynszpan's assassination of the German diplomat Ernst vom Rath on November 7, 1938, served as a pretext for the Kristallnacht, the anti-semitic program of November 9–10, 1938. Grynszpan was seized by the Gestapo after the German invasion of France and brought to Germany.

Herschel Grynszpan - Holocaust teen revenge assassination (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEiu_F5Gsr8#normal)

The planned German attack in the west is postponed because of bad weather. This initial postponement will be repeated another 14 times until January 16th, 1940.

The edict ordering Jews in Warsaw into a ghetto is withdrawn. Meanwhile, deportation of Jews from western Poland begin.

Queen Wilhelmina of Holland (the Netherlands) and King Leopold III of Belgium issue an appeal for peace and offer to mediate between the combatants.

A double agent, Paul Thummel, passes details of the planned German western offensive to the Czech government-in-exile.

Thümmel, Paul (?–1945),Dresden-based high ranking member of the Abwehr who, from March 1937, supplied Czechoslovakia with reliable information about Germany's intentions and order of battle. He continued to do so via the Czech underground when the Czech government-in-exile was established in the UK. Code-named A-54, Thümmel's intelligence was passed to both MI6 and the USSR and helped maintain the credibility of  Edvard Beneš, the exiled Czech leader.

Thümmel was a highly decorated Nazi Party veteran and so many protests followed his arrest in October 1941 that the Gestapo released him. Rearrested the following March, he was imprisoned without trial and murdered by his SS guards a few days before the war ended.

The motives for his treachery remain a mystery. He received payments, but not enough to compensate for the dangers to which he exposed himself, and the information he passed was too valuable for him to have been a double agent.

Paul Thümmel

Title: November 8 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 9 November 2009, 18:59:58
November 8 1939

A bomb, concealed in a supporting pillar, explodes in the  Burgerbraukeller in Munich (the famous beer hall of the 1923 Nazi putsch), 20 minutes after Hitler leaves, upon the conclusion of a vehement anti-British speech predicting a five year war. Eight persons are killed. The bomb is rumored to have been planted by the Nazis as an excuse for measures against what remains of the German opposition and as anti-British propaganda. This is attemp 21 by George Elser (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Elser (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Elser))

Murder attempt on 8 november 1939 against Hitler (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4HwA8e71tI#normal)
Hitler in the Burgerbraukeller

George Elser

Hans Frank, Governor of the General Government, in that part of former Poland occupied by the Germans but not annexed, consolidates plans to transport 600,000 Jews and 400,000 Poles from the incorporated territories in the General Government. The operation is to begin December 1st.

Reports of German movements on the Dutch border cause the government to widen the defensive flooding zone.

Finnish negotiators reject Soviet proposals for border revisions. The Finnish negotiators wish to accept some concessions but their government sees the Soviet attempts to bargain as a sign of weakness. Marshal Mannerheim opposes this view.

Title: November 9 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 9 November 2009, 19:09:31
November 9 1939

Two British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) officers, Major Richard Stevens and Captain S. Payne Best, are kidnapped by the Gestapo  while attempting to contact members of the German resistance to the Nazis. The two British agents have been meeting with a "Major Schaemmle" who claims to represent German Army officers plotting to overthrow Hitler. (He is actually Walther Schellenberg, a Gestapo officer.) Their meetings have been at Venlo, 5 miles (8 km) from the German border. Today, they are to meet at a cafe a few yards from the border. Upon arriving, their car is hit by machinegun fire, they are overpowered by German security forces and forcibly taken across the border. Himmler ordered the kidnapping immediately after the Munich bombing incident. One of the officers is carrying a list of British agents with him and from this and other indiscretions as well as from their interrogation, the German authorities are able to arrest many British agents in former Czechoslovakia and other occupied territory. The Venlo Incident is a serious setback for British Intelligence. Both officers remain imprisoned until April 1945.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venlo_Incident (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venlo_Incident))
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigismund_Payne_Best (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigismund_Payne_Best)

German press and radio accuse Britain of organizing the attempted assassination of Hitler in Munich on November 8th.

The Finnish government restates its position that Finland "cannot grant to a foreign military power military bases on her territory and within the confines of her frontiers."

In South Africa, an alleged Nazi plot by armed black shirts to sabotage vital industries in Johannesburg and Pretoria is revealed.

Title: November 10 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 10 November 2009, 20:26:55
November 10 1939

The Phony War on the Western Front continues. The Dutch believe the date of the invasion is November 12, due to Hans Oster’s leak to their military attaché. They cancel Army leave, reinforce the border and prepare to flood strategic areas.

On the French border, German troops reinforce the Siegfried Line. German probing attacks stimulate French rifle and artillery fire.

In Paris, French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier and Commander-in-Chief General Maurice Gamelin receive Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs (a British cabinet post handling British relations with the Dominions), and delegates from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain stays home in London suffering badly from gout. Chamberlain will recover from gout but things only get worse for him. Six months from now he will resign as Prime Minister and in a year he will be dead from cancer.

Title: Novcember 11 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 11 November 2009, 12:17:03
November 11 1939

The German Reich foreign ministry repeats earlier assurances that the neutrality of Holland and Belgium will be respected.

There is limited activity by German patrols and artillery on the German/French border. The BEF holds Armistice Day services amid the great battlefields of the First World War.

Queen Elizabeth broadcasts a message to the women of the Empire, from Buckingham Palace. She says women "have real and vital work to do" and assures women that they are "keeping the Home Front, which will have dangers of its own, stable and strong."

As punishment for reprisals to Polish/German aggression, three boys from Zielonka Poland are taken to the nearby woods and shot.

On November 11, 1939, at 10 [a.m.?], they were taken away to the forest near the Warsaw highway and shot. The content and form of this order confirms suspicions that the crime was planned ahead and committed with premeditation.

The Germans could not forget their defeat in World War I and their disarmament in Ostrów Mazowiecka on November 11, 1918. That is why they prepared a plan to wipe out their disgrace.

A confidant of general governor Hans Frank was appointed mayor of Ostrów Mazowiecka. He was equipped with special authorizations, had an official's uniform with three stars, and a swastika on his sleeve. According to rumors, in addition to organizing city government, his orders were to get even for November 11, 1918. Housed at city hall, this Hitler supporter was in constant communication with the commanders of the military unit commander stationed in town, of the Gestapo, and of the gendarmerie. Starting in late October through November 11, 1939, they gathered a few times a day in his office at city hall, and carried on long discussions, which were not bound to bring in anything good. The results of those discussions were to be seen soon.

Around October 30, 1939, the German authorities issued orders for all the Jews residing in Ostrów Mazowiecka and their families to gather in the market place. All of them were taken by force from their homes to the gathering place, where it was announced that they were no longer allowed to manage any business, such as manufacturing, skilled craft or retail.

The Jews were ordered to leave the city voluntarily within one day and to go across the border (demarcation line) between Germany and the Soviet Union, which was located just outside of Ostrów Mazowiecka. The Jews dispersed quickly and started an immediate escape to the Soviet side. However, some of them, together with their families, including many members of the Board of the Jewish Community (about 600 people), decided to stay in town, and asked the German authorities for permission to continue living in Ostrów. The Germans did not grant such permission, but did not bother those who stayed in town.

This continued until November 9, 1939. On that day, a German soldier in uniform, carrying a gas mask, a bottle filled with liquid and a smoke producer, was seen by Polish residents of the city, including Tadeusz Karwowski. The soldier entered a one story wooden building, previously owned by Jews, located across the street from city hall. He was visible in the attic where, near a small window, he started to collect flammable materials. He poured the liquid from the bottle over them, set them on fire and knocked out a hole in the roof of the building for better airflow. Then, he left the building and went into the street. The adjacent wooden buildings located near, some of which were previously owned by Jews, quickly caught on fire. When a fire brigade arrived with pumps and barrels of water, the Germans did not allow them to proceed until the whole Jewish neighborhood caught on fire. It was only when buildings taken over by the Germans became exposed to the fire that they ordered the firefighters to start putting it the fire out. The moment the fire started, the Germans were spreading the news among the Polish population that the Jews have set the city on fire, which they will be held responsible for.

The Jews were arrested following the forged "crime" of setting the city on fire. The arrests took place during the whole night and the following day, not only in the city, but throughout the county. All those arrested were placed in the cellars at city hall, in the city jail and in the cellars at the brewery. On Nov. 10, 1939, Mayor Funkh issued an order in German to the City Post Station of the Civic Guard. The following is a rough translation:

"To local City Post. Regarding Fire Protection (Fire Department).

All members of the fire brigade should be listed in a roster. The population must be informed that, in case of fire, all males 17 to 45 years old are obligated to avail themselves immediately to the Fire Department. All fire equipment available in the city and its surroundings must be found, collected and stored properly in the Fire Department warehouse. The [local] population must learn about the Jewish plans to start further fires. At all times, at least one person must be on the lookout in each house. Suspects, especially Jews, can be temporarily detained by anybody and sent to the city police station for examination".

source: [url]http://www.ostrow-mazowiecka.com/yrsofstggl.html[/url] ([url]http://www.ostrow-mazowiecka.com/yrsofstggl.html[/url])

Vigo in 1939 (soldiers from the Condor Legion are shown)

A group of German steamers escaped from Vigo, Spain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vigo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vigo)) to attempt to return to Germany:
CORDOBA (4611grt) passed through the Denmark Strait on the 22nd, sighted an armed merchant cruiser but was not seen and arrived at Narvik on the 28th.
LAHNECK (1663grt) successfully passed through the Denmark Strait and arrived at Hamburg on 16 December.
LIVADIA (3094grt) passed through the Iceland-Faroes passage on the 16th, arrived in Honningsvaag on the 27th, and reached Hamburg on 9 December.
LUDOLF OLDENDORFF (1953grt) passing the Iceland-Faroes passage on the 24th was sighted and stopped by light cruiser SHEFFIELD. However, she was able to convince SHEFFIELD she was Danish steamer EDITH and in the confusion following the sinking of the RAWALPINDI, was not questioned further and arrived at Haugesand on 6 December.
PALOS (997grt) passed through the Denmark Strait on the 23rd, and arrived at Hamburg on the 29th.
SEBU (1894grt) passed through the Denmark Strait on the 24th, and arrived at Hamburg on 18 December.
TANGER (1742grt) passed the Iceland-Faroes Passage on the 20th, and arrived at Hamburg on 9 December.
Finally, the last ship of the group, KONSUL HENDRICK FISSER (4458grt) was captured attempting to pass the Iceland-Faroes Passage on the 23rd.

Title: November 12-19 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 19 November 2009, 20:12:40
November 12 1939

Hundreds of dissidents and Jews are arrested in the search for the Munich bombers. Meanwhile, ration cards for clothing are issued.

British King George VI replies to the appeal for peace issued by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and King Leopold of Belgium. Meanwhile, Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, says in a radio broadcast that if the British get through the winter without any serious setback, the first campaign of the war will have been won.

French President Lebrun also responds negatively to the Belgian-Dutch mediation offer.

The first ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association) concert is given for British and French troops in France, starring Maurice Chevalier and Gracie Fields.

Dutch and Belgian foreign ministers meet at Breda.

November 13 1939

On Friday, November 13, my relations with Mr. Chamberlain had so far ripened that he and Mrs. Chamberlain came to dine with us at Admiralty House, where we had a comfortable ?at in the attics. We were a party of four. Although we had been colleagues under Mr. Baldwin for ?ve years, my wife and I had never met the Chamberlains in such Circumstances before. by happy chance I turned the conversation on to his life in the bahamas, and I was delighted to ?nd my guest expand in personal reminiscence to a degree I had not noticed before.

He told us the whole story, of which I knew only the barest outline, of his six years' struggle to grow sisal on a barren West Indian islet near Nassau. His father, the great "Joe", was ?rmly convinced that here was an opportunity at once to develop an Empire industry and fortify the family formes. His father and Austen had summoned him in 1890 from Birmingham to Canada, where they had long examined ! the project. About forty miles from Nassau in the Caribbean Gulf there was a small desert island, aimost uninhabited, where the soil was reported to be suitable for growing sisal. After careful reconnaissance by his two sons, Mr. Joseph Chamberlain had acquired a tract on the island of Andros, and assigned the capital required to develop it. All that remained was to grow the sisal. Austen was dedicated to the House of Commons. The task therefore fell to Neville.

Not only in filial duty but with conviction and alacrity he obeyed, and the next five years of his life were spent in trying to grow sisal in this lonely spot, swept by hurricanes from time to time, living nearly naked, struggling with labor difficulties and every other kind of obstacle, and with the town of Nassau as the only gleam of civilisation. He had insisted, he told us, on months' leave in England each year. He built a small harbour and landing-stage and a short railroad or tramway. He used all the processes of fertilisation which were judged suitable to the soil and generally led a completely primitive, open-air existence. But no sisal! Or at any rate no sisal that would face the market.

At the end of ?ve years he was convinced that the plan could not succeed. He came home and faced his formidable parent, who was by no means contented with the result. I gathered that in the family the feeling was that though they loved him dearly they were sorry to have lost £50,000

I was fascinated by the way Mr. Chamberlain warmed as he talked, and by the talk itself, which was one of gallant endeavour. I thought to myself, "What a pity Hitler did not know when he met this sober English politician with his umbrella at Berchtesgaden, Godesberg, and Munich that he was actually talking to a hard-bitten pioneer from the outer marches of the British Empire!" This was really the only intimate social conversation that I can remember with Neville Chamberlain amid all the business we did together over nearly twenty years.

During dinner the war went on and things happened. With the soup an of?cer came up from the War Room below to report that a U-boat had been sunk. With the sweet he came again and reported that a second U-boat had been sunk; and just before the ladies left the dining-room he came a third time reporting that a third U-boat had been sunk. Nothing like this had ever happened before in a single day, and it was more than a year before such a record was repeated. As the ladies left us, Mrs. Chamberlain, with a naive and charming glance, said to me, "Did you arrange all this on purpose?" I assured her that if she would come again we would produce a similar result.

Finnish delegates, led by Paasikivi, leave for Helsinki after negotiations, over an exchange of territory and border revisions, break down. The Finns are especially unwilling to meet the Soviet demand for the cession of Hanko because it would give the USSR complete control over the Gulf of Finland and the most important part of the country. Meanwhile, in response to the breakdown of the talks, Stalin orders preparations for war against Finland.

British HMS Blanche (http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-10DD-15B-Blanche.htm (http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-10DD-15B-Blanche.htm)) strikes a mine and is sunk off the Thames estuary. It is the first Royal Navy destroyer lost during the war.

In the Shetland Islands, German bombers drop bombs on British territory, for the first time, in a strike targeting naval vessels and flying boats. No significant damage is done. A rabbit is reported to have been killed.

General Henry Crerar sets up the Canadian military headquarters inLondon.

In Bucharest... King Carol of Romania offers himself as a secret mediator between the British and French and the Germans.

November 14 1939

The British and French military commands (after secret, inconclusive discussions with the Belgians) agree to an immediate advance to the "Meuse-Antwerp Line," south and east of Brussels, in Belgium if the Germans invade. This agreement is referred to as "Plan D" (the "Dyle Plan").

In Berlin the initial reaction to the offer of mediation made by Queen Wilhelmina (Holland) and King Leopold (Belgium) is reported to be negative.

Police are reported to have broken up a Czech Fascist demonstration in Prague, 12 persons being injured.

General Sikorski, the head of the Polish government-in-exile based in France, arrives in London.

November 15 1939

There are large-scale demonstrations at the funeral of Jan Opletal, a medical student who was mortally wounded in Prague on October 28th. Police forces (possibly including elements of the Gestapo) make numerous arrests of Czech nationalist protesters. Casualty reports range from 12 injured to suggestions of summary executions.

German Foreign Minister, von Ribbentrop, formally rejects the offer of Belgium-Dutch mediation made by King Leopold and Queen Wilhelmina in meetings with official representatives. He states that as a result of the "blunt rejection" of the German peace appeal by Britain and France, the German government considers the matter closed.

The French government adds three hours to the working week, making it 43 hours long.

In China Japanese forces capture the port of Pakhoi.

The German pocket-battleship Admiral Graf Spee sinks the British tanker Africa Shell south of Madagascar.

November 16 1939

An uprising in Prague is quelled. German authorities declare martial law in Prague. There are reports of many arrests, shootings and deportations.

An offer of mediation made by Romanian King Carol is rejected by both sides.

In Britain the cost of living is reported to have risen 2.5 percent in October.

Finnish armed forces are mobilized as the talks over Soviet demands for an exchange of territory break down in acrimony. The Soviets are seeking to protect naval bases at Leningrad and Murmansk from possible attack by demanding cession of strategic Finnish territory and the lease of Finnish ports in exchange for land in the desolate swamps and forests of Karelia. The Finns refuse.

November 17 1939

At the third meeting of the Supreme Allied Council, in London, it endorses " Plan D," proposed by French General Gamelin (see May 10th, 1940). In case of a German attack through Belgium it is decided to defend a line from the Meuse River to Antwerp.

A Czechoslovakian National Committee is established in Paris under the leadership of the former President of Czechoslovakia, Eduard Benes. The group is recognized by Britain and France in mid-December.

Top Ten Fighting Ships: Pocket Battleship (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqsC5URw5OI#noexternalembed-normal)
German pocket battleship Deutschland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_pocket_battleship_Deutschland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_pocket_battleship_Deutschland)) arrives in Gdynia (in occupied Poland) after her Atlantic raiding cruise in which 2 ships were sunk.

SS forces occupy all Czech universities (during the night of November 16-17) and 9 student leaders are executed; some 1200 are sent to concentration camps. This event becomes the basis for marking November 17th as "International Students Day."

November 18 1939

German planes parachute magnetic mines into British coastal waters for the first time. Four merchant ships are sunk by magnetic mines off the eastern coast. Meanwhile, IRA activists detonate 4 small bombs in London business premises in Piccadilly.

The Dutch liner Simon Bolivar is sunk by a German magnetic mine with 86 killed of about 400 passengers and crew aboard.
Dutch public opinion is outraged because the mine which sunk the Simon Bolivar was in a major traffic lane. International law requires notification of any such mine-laying.

November 19 1939

The first barricades are erected around the Jewish quarter in Warsaw.

In Occupied Czechoslovakia some 50,000 people are reportedly under arrest. Nazi authorities execute 3 more dissidents.

British First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, proposes mining the Rhine, between Strasbourg and the Lauter River, using mine-laying aircraft.

The Chinese Nationalist government at Chungking orders a winter offensive against the Japanese.

Title: November 20 to 23 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 24 November 2009, 20:55:23
November 20 1939

SS troops regained control of the Czech streets.

In Britain... Luftwaffe planes start parachuting mines into the Thames estuary. Meanwhile, the minesweeper HMS Mastiff is blown up while attempting to recover a German magnetic mine in a fishing net.

In Britain... HMT Mastiff (Lt.Cdr. Aymé Arthur Carrington Ouvry, RN) was engaged in the recovery of a mine, which had broken loose from a field laid on the night of 18/11 by German DDs Wilhelm Heidkamp, Hermann Künne and Bernd von Arnim. In the process of hauling it aboard, the mine detonated, destroying the trawler.. The destroyer Gypsy  is sunk by a magnetic mine.
Terukuni Maru, a Japanese motor passenger-cargo liner sunk by a magnetic mine off the coast of England on 2 November 1939. "Terukuni Maru had the unique distinction of being the only Japanese war loss in the Second World War prior to Pearl Harbor." Although allied with Germany, Tokyo lodged a complaint with Berlin over the sinking. As it was impossible to prove the mine was German (although Heal points out the British would not likely be mining their own shipping lanes), NYK never received compensation for the loss of its neutral vessel.

November 21 1939

British Prime Minister Chamberlain announces that German merchant shipping will be seized in retaliation for indiscriminate mine warfare. All goods in Britain, earmarked for shipment to Germany, are confiscated.

In a treaty signed with Germany in Bratislava, Slovakia is given 225 square miles of former Polish territory (which Poland had progressively annexed from Czechoslovakia in 1920, 1924 and 1938).

German battle cruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst begin a sortie in the North Atlantic.

November 22 1939

In Britain... Towards evening, one of the first batches of German magnetic mines to be dropped by parachute, by a low-flying He111, lands on the mud flats at Shoeburyness, near the Thames Estuary and British authorities are immediately informed. Meanwhile, a national savings scheme is launched under the slogan "Lend to Defend the Right to be Free."

In London... Navicerts, warrants first issued in 1915 to neutral ships carrying cargos not harmful to the Allies, are reintroduced.

The French government in Paris announces reprisals, similar to those announced by the British government, concerning the German use of mines.

In Bucharest... The Romanian cabinet resigns.

November 23 1939

Between Iceland and the Faroes, the British armed merchant cruiser, Rawalpindi, armed with only four 6-inch guns, meets the German battle cruiser, Scharnhorst, and is blown out of the water, killing 265 crew. Scharnhorst has been sailing in the company of Gneisenau and because of this meeting they turn back from their raiding mission. They evade searches by many British ships during the next few days and return to base safely. Their escape is aided by the German ability to read many of the British naval codes.

In the early morning hours in England, two Royal Engineers officers, mine experts, succeed in defusing a German magnetic mine stranded in the Shoeburyness mud flat and manage to recover it for study. It can therefore be examined to devise countermeasures. These mines have been in use since October 16th and already they have been responsible for the loss of 50,000 tons of shipping. Meanwhile, bacon and butter are rationed.

The Polish government-in-exile is established at Angers/France, in the west.

In a speech before his senior generals, summoned to the Reich Chancellery, Hitler says that he has led the German people to great heights, while they have only shown a lack of faith. "I am irreplaceable," a frustrated Hitler states. "I shall attack France and England at the earliest moment. My decision is unchangeable."

In Cracow/Poland Dr. Frank, governor of the Government General in Nazi occupied Poland, orders all Jews over the age of ten to wear armbands marked with the Star of David.

Food rationing for pets is announced in Germany

Title: November 24 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 29 November 2009, 10:58:17
November 24 1939

Japanese forces enter the strategically important city of Nanning in China, despite fierce resistance by some 100,000 Chinese Nationalist troops. Loss of the city represents a setback for the Chinese winter offensive and the first Japanese victory since forces advanced west into Kwangsi province in a bid to break Chinese links with Indochina. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanning))

German government takes in trust the property and financial interests of Fritz Thyssen -- the iron and steel magnate and a key supporter of Hitler in earlier years -- who fled to Switzerland in September 1939. (http://www.thyssenkrupp.com/ (http://www.thyssenkrupp.com/))

In London, the Belgian government addresses a note to the British government concerning British reprisals against German mine-laying.

On the Yorkshire coast, over 200 drifting mines wash ashore.

Five survivors of the Dutch tanker Sliedrecht sunk by a U-boat in the North Atlantic, are picked up after 7 days in an open boat. (http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/97.html (http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/97.html))

Title: November 25 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 29 November 2009, 11:10:24
November 25 1939

German forces lay mines off the southwest coast of Sweden in the Baltic sea, inside the 4-mile limit of Swedish territorial waters.

The governments of Italy, Japan, Denmark and Sweden make representations to the British Foreign Office regarding the policy of reprisals.

After attempts from British farmers to save New Forest ponies in the blackout by painting them like zebras, they are removed to safe pastures.(http://www.newforestpony.com/ (http://www.newforestpony.com/))

A new Romanian cabinet is formed by Tatarescu. A smaller pro-German element is reported. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gheorghe_T%C4%83t%C4%83rescu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gheorghe_T%C4%83t%C4%83rescu))

Title: November 26 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 29 November 2009, 11:22:47
November 26 1939

The Mainila incident takes place. Seven artillery shells are fired into the village of Mainila, killing 4 soldiers.
The Soviet government blames Finland for firing on Mainila and demands an immediate withdrawal of Finnish troops from the Karelian isthmus, near Leningrad. The government describes the presence of Finnish troops in the area as a "hostile act."
The Shelling of Mainila (Finnish: Mainilan laukaukset) was a military incident on November 26, 1939, where the Soviet Union's Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila (located near Beloostrov), declared that the fire originated from Finland across a nearby border, and claimed losses in personnel. The Soviet Union gained a great propaganda boost and a casus belli for launching the Winter War four days later.
The Soviet Union had signed international and mutual nonaggression treaties with Finland: the Treaty of Tartu of 1920, the Non-aggression Pact between Finland and the Soviet Union signed in 1932 and again in 1934, and further the Charter of the League of Nations. The Soviet government attempted to adhere to a tradition of legalism, and a casus belli was required for war. Earlier in the same year, Nazi Germany had staged the similar Gleiwitz incident to generate an excuse to withdraw from its nonaggression pact with Poland.
Seven shots were fired, and their fall was detected by three Finnish observation posts. These witnesses estimated that the shells detonated approximately 800 meters inside Soviet territory. Finland proposed a neutral investigation of the incident, but the Soviet Union refused and broke diplomatic relations with Finland on November 29.
Materials in the private archives of Soviet party leader Andrei Zhdanov heavily hint that the entire incident was orchestrated in order to paint Finland as an aggressor and launch an offensive. Some Russian historians have expressed doubts of the document's authenticity. The Finnish side denied responsibility for the attacks and identified Soviet artillery as their source — indeed, the war diaries of nearby Finnish artillery batteries show that Mainila was out of range of all of them, as they had been withdrawn previously to prevent such incidents.
In the days following the shelling, the Soviet propaganda machine generated much noise about other fictitious acts of Finnish aggression. The Soviet Union then renounced the non-aggression pact with Finland, and on November 30, 1939 launched the first offensives of the Winter War.
The Finns conducted an immediate investigation, which concluded that no Finnish artillery or mortars could have reached the village of Mainila. Field Marshal C.G.E. Mannerheim had ordered all Finnish guns drawn back out of range. Furthermore, Finnish border guards testified that they had heard the sound of artillery fire from the Soviet side of the border.
The Russian historian Pavel Aptekar analyzed declassified Soviet military documents and found that the daily reports from troops located in the area did not report any losses in personnel during the time period in question, leading him to conclude that the shelling of Soviet troops was staged. Other Russian historians claim that it is impossible to assign responsibility for the shelling using existing data.
Years after the incident the leader of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev wrote that the Mainila shellings were set up by Marshal of Artillery Grigory Kulik. In 1994, the President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, denounced the Winter War, agreeing that it was a war of aggression.

In the North Sea Polish liner Pilsudski, on charter to the Royal Navy, is torpedoed and sunk, 10 die.
M/S Pi?sudski (later renamed ORP Pi?sudski) was a large ocean liner of the Polish merchant marine, named for Józef Pi?sudski, Marshal of Poland. Launched in 1935, she displaced 14,294 Ton, with a length of 162 metres (530 ft). She sank on 26 November 1939 during her first wartime voyage, as a result of unknown causes (most probably a German mine or mines). She was the sister ship of Poland's other pre-war ocean liner, the MS Batory. The Pilsudski's first and only commanding officer was Cmdr. Mamert Stankiewicz.

British prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, makes his first radio broadcast of the war, saying that the British know the secret of the German magnetic mines and denouncing the indiscriminate laying of mines by German forces.

Title: November 27 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 29 November 2009, 11:29:21
November 27 1939

The Nobel Committee of the Norwegian parliament in Oslo announces that no Nobel peace prize is to be awarded for 1939.
Number of Nobel Peace Prizes
90 Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded since 1901. It was not awarded on 19 occasions: in 1914-1918, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1939- 1943, 1948, 1955-1956, 1966-1967 and 1972.
Why were the Prizes not awarded in those years? In the statutes of the Nobel Foundation it says: "If none of the works under consideration is found to be of the importance indicated in the first paragraph, the prize money shall be reserved until the following year. If, even then, the prize cannot be awarded, the amount shall be added to the Foundation's restricted funds." During World War I and II, no prizes were awarded.

The government of Finland denies charges of firing on Soviet territory, claiming that the artillery fire was from the Soviet side of the border. A mutual withdrawal of troops is suggested.

The Swedish government protests the laying of mines within Swedish territorial waters by German forces.

German government in Berlin states that "Aryans" are given 12 months to divorce Jewish spouses.

British government orders the seizure of German exports on the high seas in reprisal for the magnetic mine campaign.

Japanese forces complete the capture of Nanning, an important rail junction in the southwest.

Title: November 28 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 29 November 2009, 11:34:30
November 28 1939

The Soviet government renounces the non-aggression pact with Finland, signed in 1932. Claims of Finnish troops firing on Soviet forces around Leningrad are made. Meanwhile, orders are issued to the Red Army to invade Finland on November 30th.
A Finnish investigation reveals that Soviet artillery fired the 7 shells at Mainila on November 26th. The Soviet government is informed.

Dr. Frank, German governor of ocupied Poland orders the setting up of Judenrat (Jewish council) in each ghetto, to carry out Nazi orders.

In the Friesian Islands in Holland RAF fighters attack Luftwaffe mine laying seaplanes at Borkum.

The British government declares all German exports to be contraband.

Title: November 29 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 30 November 2009, 20:01:23
November 29 1939

Radio Speech of Comr. V. M. Molotov, Chairman of Council of People's Commissars of USSR on Nov. 29, 1939.
    Men and women, citizens of Soviet Union!

    The hostile policy pursued by the present Government of Finland towards our country compels us to take immediate measures to insure the external security of the state.

    You know that in the course of past two months, the Soviet government patiently conducted negotiations with the Government of Finland concerning proposals which, in the present alarming international situation, it regarded as the minimum essential for insuring the security of the country and particularly the security of Leningrad. In these negotiations the Government of Finland adopted an attitude of irreconcilable hostility towards our country. Instead of finding ground for agreement in a friendly manner, the present rulers of Finland, to please foreign imperialists who kindle hostility towards the Soviet Union, took a different course. Despite all the concessions we made, the negotiations ended without yielding any result.

    The consequences of this are now known.

    In the past few days outrageous provocations by the military of Finland began on the Soviet-Finnish frontier, including even artillery firing on our troops near Leningrad, which caused grave losses in Red Army units. The attempts of our Government to forestall a repetition of these provocations by means of practical proposals addressed to the Government of Finland, far from finding any support, again met with the hostile policy of the ruling circles of Finland. As you know from yesterday's note of the Soviet Government, they replied to our proposals by a hostile refusal and brazen denial of facts, by a derisive attitude toward the victims we have lost, by undisguised striving to keep Leningrad under the direct threat of their troops.

    All this has definitely shown that the present Government of Finland, which become entangled in its anti-Soviet ties with the imperialists, does not wish to maintain normal relations with the Soviet Union. It continues in its hostile attitude towards our country and does not wish to pay any regard the provisions of the non-aggression pact concluded between our countries, desiring to keep our glorious Leningrad under a military threat. From such a government and from its harebrained military, we can now expect only fresh insolent provocations.

    Therefore the Soviet government was yesterday compelled to announce that from now on it considers itself free from the obligations taken on by virtue of the non-aggression pact concluded between the USSR and Finland and now irresponsibly broken by the government of Finland.

    In view of the new facts that the Finnish military units have launched an assault on Soviet troops at the Soviet-Finnish border, the Government is now been compelled to adopt new decisions.

    The Government can no longer tolerate the present situation, responsibility for which fully rests with the Government of Finland.

    The Government of the USSR arrived at the conclusion that it can no no longer maintain normal relations with the Government of Finland and therefore found it necessary immediately to recall its political and economic representatives from Finland.

    Together with this, the Government gave orders to the Chief Command of the Red Army and Navy to be ready for any surprises and immediately to cut short possible fresh sallies on the part of the military of Finland.

    The hostile foreign press asserts that the measures being taken by us are aimed at the seizure or annexation to the USSR. This is malicious slander. The Soviet Government has not had and does not have such intentions. Moreover, if Finland herself had pursued a friendly policy towards the Soviet Union, the Soviet Government, which always strove for friendly relations with Finland, would be ready to meed her halfway in regard to territorial concessions on the part of the USSR. Under this condition the Soviet government would be ready favorably to consider even suh a question as of reuniting the Karelian people inhabiting the main districts of present Soviet Karelia, with the kindred Finnish people in a single and independent Finnish state. For this, however, it is necessary that the Government of Finland should maintain not a hostile but a friendly attitude toward the USSR, which would correspond to the vital interests of both states.

    Others assert that the measures carried out by us are aimed against Finland's independence or at interference in her internal and external affairs. This is equally malicious slander. Irrespective of the regime existing in Finland, we consider her an independent and sovereign country in her external and internal policies. We firmly hold that the people of Finland should itself decide its internal and external affairs in the manner it itself deems necessary. At the proper time the peoples of the Soviet Union did, what was necessary for the creation of an independent Finland. The peoples of our country are ready to render the people of Finland assistance in the future also, in insuring its free and independent development.

    The Soviet Union has equally no intention to prejudice to any extent the interests of other states in Finland. Questions of the relations between Finland and other states form a matter of exclusively concern of Finland herself, and the Soviet Union does not consider itself entitled to interfere in this matters.

    The only purpose of our measures is to insure the security of the Soviet Union and particularly of Leningrad with its population of three and a half million. In the present international atmosphere heated by war, we cannot make the solution of this vital and urgent state problem dependent on the ill will of the present rulers of Finland. This problem will have to be solved by the efforts of the Soviet Union in friendly cooperation with the people of Finland.

    We do not doubt that the favorable solution of the problem of insuring the security of Leningrad will provide the foundation for indestructible friendship between the USSR and Finland.

The Spanish government ratifies a friendship pact with Germany, including secret clauses allowing Germany to use Spanish ports and promising cooperation on police and propaganda.

Diomede on the left

The German freighter Idarwild is sunk by the British warship Diomede off the coast of the United States. The USS Broome had been following the Idarwild until the British warship arrived. The Broome does not intervene in the destruction of the freighter. American behavior in this incident goes unchallenged by Berlin.

Title: November 30 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 30 November 2009, 20:06:07
November 30 1939

On 30 November, Soviet forces invaded Finland with 21 divisions, totaling some 450,000 men, and bombed Helsinki. Later the Finnish statesman J.K. Paasikivi commented that the Soviet attack without a declaration of war violated three different non-aggression pacts: the Treaty of Tartu signed in 1920, the non-aggression pact between Finland and the Soviet Union signed in 1932 and again in 1934, and also the Charter of the League of Nations, which the Soviet Union signed in 1934. C.G.E. Mannerheim was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Defence Forces after the Soviet attack. In further reshuffling, the Finnish government named Risto Ryti as the new prime minister and Väinö Tanner as foreign minister.

On 1 December, the Soviet Union formed a puppet government intended to rule Finland once the war was over. Called the Finnish Democratic Republic, it was headed by O. W. Kuusinen. The government was also called "The Terijoki Government", named after the village of Terijoki, the first place captured by the advancing Soviet army.[62] The puppet regime was unsuccessful and was quietly disbanded during the winter of 1940. From the very outset of the war, working-class Finns stood behind the legal government in Helsinki.[63] Finnish national unity against the Soviet invasion was later called the spirit of the Winter War.

At the start of the Winter War, Finland brought up the matter of the Soviet invasion before the League of Nations. The League expelled the Soviet Union on 14 December 1939 and exhorted its members to aid Finland.

Soviet order of battle

Soviet generals were impressed by the success of the German blitzkrieg tactics. However, the blitzkrieg had been tailored to central European conditions with a dense, well-mapped network of paved roads. Armies fighting in central Europe had recognised supply and communications centres, which could be easily targeted by armored vehicle regiments. Finnish army centres, by contrast, were deep inside the country. There were no paved roads, and even gravel or dirt roads were scarce; most of the terrain consisted of trackless forests and swamps. Waging a blitzkrieg in Finland was a highly difficult proposition, and the Red Army failed to meet the level of tactical coordination and local initiative required to execute blitzkrieg tactics in the Finnish theatre.[68] This system of dual command destroyed the independence of commanding officers.[67]

The Soviet forces were positioned as follows:

    * The Seventh Army was located on the Karelian Isthmus. Comprising nine divisions, a tank corps and three tank brigades,[59] its objective was the city of Viipuri. The force was later divided into the Seventh and Thirteenth armies.
    * The Eighth Army was located north of Lake Ladoga. Comprising six divisions and a tank brigade,[59] its mission was to execute a flanking maneuver around the northern shore of Lake Ladoga to strike at the rear of the Mannerheim Line.
    * The Ninth Army was positioned to strike into central Finland. It was composed of three divisions with one additional division on its way.[59] Its mission was to thrust westward to cut Finland in half.
    * The Fourteenth Army was based in Murmansk. Comprising three divisions,[59] its objective was to capture the Arctic port of Petsamo and then advance to the town of Rovaniemi.

Finnish order of battle

The Finnish strategy was dictated by geography. The frontier with the Soviet Union was more than 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) long, but was mostly impassable except along a handful of unpaved roads. In prewar calculations, the Finnish General Staff, which had established its wartime headquarters at Mikkeli,[69] estimated seven Soviet divisions on the Isthmus and no more than five along the whole border north of Lake Ladoga. In that case, the manpower ratio would favor the attacker by a ratio of 3:1. The true ratio was much higher; for example, twelve Soviet divisions were deployed to the north of Lake Ladoga.
An even greater problem than lack of soldiers was the lack of materiel; foreign shipments of antitank weapons and aircraft were arriving in small quantities. The ammunition situation was alarming, as stockpiles had cartridges, shells and fuel only for 19–60 days. The ammunition shortage meant the Finns could seldom afford counterbattery or saturation fire. Finnish tank forces were operationally non-existent.

The Finnish forces were positioned as follows:

    * The Army of the Isthmus was composed of six divisions under the command of Hugo Österman. The II. Army Corps was positioned on its right flank and the III. Army Corps was positioned on its left flank.
    * The IV. Army Corps was located north of Lake Ladoga. It was composed of two divisions under Juho Heiskanen, who was soon replaced by Woldemar Hägglund.
    * The North Finland Group was a collection of Civic Guards, border guards, and drafted reservist units under Wiljo Tuompo.

Title: December 1 1939
Post by: Koen on 26 October 2010, 17:22:54
December 1st 1939

Helsinki, Finland, is bombed by Soviet aircraft. Casualties amount to 80 killed. Soviet attacks on the Karelian Isthmus continue. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karelian_Isthmus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karelian_Isthmus))

Mannerheim Line - Winter War - Karelian Isthmus - Finland vs Soviet Union (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUpvq1lsIKE#ws)

A number of defensive lines crossed the isthmus during the Soviet-Finnish hostilities in World War II, such as Mannerheim Line, VKT-line, VT-line, Main line (Finnish) and KaUR (Soviet), and fronts moved back and forth over it.
In November 1939, the Soviet Union staged the Shelling of Mainila and invaded Finland in what became known as the Winter War, which took a disproportionally heavy death toll on the Red Army. Only in February 1940 did the Soviet forces manage to penetrate the Mannerheim Line across the isthmus, strength of which is often exaggerated. Finland ceded the Karelian Isthmus and Ladoga Karelia to the Soviet Union in the Peace of Moscow of March 12. According to the protocol appended to the Moscow Peace Treaty, the fighting was ended at noon (Leningrad time), March 13, and by March 26 the Finnish troops had been completely withdrawn. The entire Karelian population of the ceded areas of about 422 thousand people was evacuated to other parts of Finland (see Evacuation of Finnish Karelia). On March 31 most of the ceded territories were incorporated into Karelo-Finnish SSR by a decision of the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union (in the Karelian Isthmus the districts of Jääski, Kexholm and Vyborg). The districts of Kanneljärvi, Koivisto and Rautu as well as the town of Terijoki were, however, included into Leningrad Oblast.

Finnish defensive lines of the Continuation War
In 1941, during World War II, Germany invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa. Few days later Continuation War as it is known in Finland (it is considered to be a front of the Great Patriotic War in the Soviet Union and Russia) started. Finland initially regained the lost territory, reaching the Russian side of the border of 1939 and seen by the Russians as indirectly contributing to the Siege of Leningrad (see Finnish reconquest of the Karelian Isthmus (1941)). Some 260,000 Karelian evacuees returned home.

On 9 June 1944, strong Soviet forces opened the Vyborg Offensive and pushed the front from the pre-1939 border to Vyborg in ten days. The returned Karelians were evacuated to Finland again. In the Battle of Tali-Ihantala, 25 June–9 July, the Finns concentrated their military strength and brought the offensive to a halt at the River Vuoksi, in the northwesternmost part of the isthmus, at the closest point only 40 kilometres from the border of 1940. The Moscow Armistice ending the war was signed on September 19, 1944. The entire isthmus became Soviet, although most of it has never been captured by the Soviets in battles. This time the ceded territories of the Karelian Isthmus (including the districts of Jääski, Kexholm and Vyborg) were incorporated into Leningrad Oblast (unlike Ladoga Karelia, which remained within the Karelo-Finnish SSR). The border of the Moscow Peace Treaty (1940) was recognized by Finland again in the Peace of Paris, 1947.

The legitimate Finnish government is reorganized. A coalition government is formed with Dr. Ryti as Prime Minister and Tanner as Foreign Minister.

A Soviet sponsored Democratic Republic of Finland is established under Finnish Communist Otto Kuusinen at Terijoki on the Gulf of Finland. The Kuusinen government calls on all Finns to "overthrow the oppressor" (i.e., the government in Helsinki) and welcome the "liberators" (of the Red Army). A treaty is signed with the USSR giving the Soviets everything that has previously been demand, in exchange for the whole of Karelia.

The TASS news agency (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telegraph_Agency_of_the_Soviet_Union (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telegraph_Agency_of_the_Soviet_Union)) claims that in Finland, "the people already rose in various parts of the country and proclaimed the formation of a democratic republic. Part of the soldiers of Finland's army already have sided with the new government, backed by the people."

The search for the German warships responsible for RAWALPINDI's (http://www.old-merseytimes.co.uk/rawalpindi.html (http://www.old-merseytimes.co.uk/rawalpindi.html)) loss was discontinued at 0820/1st. Battleship RODNEY, battlecruiser HOOD, destroyers PUNJABI, GURKHA, KANDAHAR and NUBIAN arrived in the Clyde, while battleship NELSON and destroyers FAULKNOR, FURY, FIREDRAKE and FORESTER were north of the Faroes to cover AMCs returning to Northern Patrol.

HMS Rawalpindi was a British armed merchant cruiser (a converted passenger ship) that was sunk during the Second World War.
She started life as the 16,695 registered tons P. & O. Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. ocean liner SS Rawalpindi out of London. She was requisitioned by the Admiralty on 26 August 1939 and converted to an armed merchant cruiser by the addition of eight 6 in (150 mm) guns and two 3 in (76 mm) guns and set to work from October in the Northern Patrol covering the area around Iceland.
While patrolling north of the Faroe Islands on 23 November 1939, she investigated a possible enemy sighting, only to find that she had encountered two of the most powerful German warships, the battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau trying to break out through the GIUK gap into the Atlantic. Rawalpindi was able to signal the German ships' location back to base. Despite being hopelessly outgunned, 60-year old Captain Edward Coverley Kennedy RN of Rawalpindi decided to fight, rather than surrender as demanded by the Germans. He was heard to say "We’ll fight them both, they’ll sink us, and that will be that. Good-bye".
The German warships sank Rawalpindi within 40 minutes. 238 men died, including Captain Kennedy. Thirty-seven men were rescued by the German ships, and a further 11 were picked up by HMS Chitral (another converted passenger ship). Captain Kennedy — the father of broadcaster and author Ludovic Kennedy — was posthumously Mentioned in Dispatches.
Thanks to the actions of Rawalpindi, the German attempt to break out into the Atlantic was foiled. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were forced to return to base in order to avoid interception by the British Home Fleet.

Title: December 2 1939
Post by: Koen on 27 October 2010, 19:59:16
December 2nd 1939

The State Secretary in the German Foreign Office (Weizsäcker) to German Missions Abroad
In your conversations regarding the Finnish-Russian conflict please avoid any anti-Russian note.
According to whom you are addressing, the following arguments are to be employed: The inescapable course of events in the revision of the treaties following the last Great War. The natural requirement of Russia for increased security of Leningrad and the entrance to the Gulf of Finland. The foreign policy pursued by the Finnish Government has in the last few years stressed the idea of neutrality. It has relied on the Scandinavian states and has treated German-Russian opposition as axiomatic. As a result Finland has avoided any rapprochement with Germany and has even rejected the conclusion of a non-aggression pact with Germany as compromising, even though Finland has a non-aggression pact with Russia. Also in the League of Nations, Finland, in spite of the debt of gratitude which she owed to Germany for the latter's help in 1918, has never come out for German interests. Foreign Minister Holsti is typical of this point of view and particularly hostile to Germany. Extensive elements in Finland emphasize their economic and ideological orientation in the direction of democratic England. Correspondingly the attitude of most of the organs of the press is out-spokenly unfriendly to us. The platonic sympathy of England has confirmed Finland in her previous attitude and has done the country no good.

Finns (13,000 men) report the recapture of Petsamo from the Soviet army and successful counterattacks on Karelian isthmus south of Mannerheim line. Mines and traps destroy numbers of Russian tanks.

Helsinki Olympic Games (planned for 1940) abandoned.

German SS Watussi (http://rapidttp.co.za/waratsea/watussi.html (http://rapidttp.co.za/waratsea/watussi.html)) scuttled off South Africa, under shellfire from battlecruiser HMS Renown.

SS Watussi
The photograph shows the well-known German African liner Watussi (9,521 tons) ablaze and sinking 80 miles south of Cape Point on December 2, 1939, after her crew had scuttled her and been picked up by a British cruiser.
The Watussi left the Portuguese East African port of Mozambique, where she had sheltered since the outbreak of war, on the night of November 22. She had on board 43 passengers and 155 crew, and no one knew whither she was bound.
She was intercepted by a S.A.A.F. reconnaissance bomber 100 miles south of Cape Point on the morning of December 2, while heading westward into the South Atlantic, apparently to join the pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee. A couple of bombs dropped ahead of her were required to persuade her to alter course for Simonstown. A few hours later she was seen to be on fire and listing. She stopped and her people left her hurriedly in the boats. The battle-cruiser Renown and the aircraft carrier Ark Royal which were searching for the Admiral Graf Spee arrived soon after, and the Renown sank the blazing hulk by gunfire as darkness was falling, as she threatened to become a danger to navigation.
The Watussi was the largest German ship so far destroyed in the war.

Pro-Finnish demonstrations in Rome, Italy. Vatican condemns Russian aggression.

Title: December 3rd 1939
Post by: Koen on 7 November 2010, 15:38:17
December 3rd 1939

Neutral Sweden: Army reservists called up and minefield laid off the East Coast.

The morning was bright and sunny, at 10.00 the BBC told its listeners to standby for an announcement of national importance. Every fifteen minutes thereafter listeners were told that the Prime Minister would make announcement at 11.15. Music and a talk on "How to make the most of tinned foods" was broadcast in between, then came the Prime minister's announcement: "I am speaking to you from the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street. This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final note stating that, unless we heard from them by eleven o'clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received and that consequently this country is at war with Germany. Now may God bless you all. May He defend the right. It is the evil things that we shall be fighting against, brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution and against them I am certain that the right will prevail".

Just after Neville Chamberlain's radio broadcast of the declaration of war, the following air raid scares took place. At 11.30 an unidentified aircraft passed over No 1 Observer Group at Maidstone, at 5,000' and was moving NE into Kent. Areas 1, 2 and 3 were put on Red Alert (it should have been Yellow), subsequently the plane was found to be French and hadn't filed a flight plan. The All Clear sounded at 11.50.

One unnamed person was reported to have died of heart failure when the sirens sounded, the first Londoner to die after war was declared.

A raid was also reported, via Stanmore, in the Northern Region at app. 11.35 when more than one plane was reported off Berwick going SW. At 11.39 the raid was reported off, but at 11.40 the Alert was sounded for Districts 1 and 5 which covers part of Scotland, also for Fife, the All Clear sounded shortly afterwards. According to local sources, it is generally believed that the Alert sounded at 11.30 and the All Clear sounded at 11.35.

The Government has ordered that gas masks must be carried at all times and that cinemas, theatres and public places are to be closed. The drivers of horse drawn vehicles (milkmen, coalmen etc.) were ordered to tether their horses to the nearest lamp post or tree and all traffic was to stop when an alert was sounded. The BBC closes all radio stations except the Home Service.

National Service (Armed Forces) Act passed. All men between 18 and 41 liable for conscription except those in reserved occupations.

Over the last two days, 44,000 Newcastle children have been evacuated to places in Northumberland, Cumberland and Yorkshire - by October 21st 1939, 11,000 had returned to the city. Some, if not all of the pupils from Cowgate School went to the Hexham area - Canning Street went to the Carlisle area - Richardson Dees School at Wallsend went to the Ponteland area - Rutherford College went to the Carlisle area.

In Newcastle it was announced that "arrangements had been made for substantial shelter to be available for many thousands of people who may be in the streets when an air raid occurs. Business firms, offices and other interests have co-operated with the City Engineers Department to make this practicable".

"Two principal shelters in the official list are as follows: (1) Victoria Tunnel - This shelter has accommodation for 1,000 people with entrances in Claremont Road, Spital Tongues and Ouse Street, off City Road. (2) The Ouseburn Culvert - will give first-class shelter to some 500 people.

At the Tyne Breweries, the workers have organised themselves into all sorts of service groups and a machine-gun has been mounted on top of the water tank.

    Day 1. All times BST. Blackout ends: 06.14, begins: 19.56
    Public Alert: 11.28, All-Clear: 11.43

Finland: The counterattack on 3 December, ordered by the IV Corps HQ, and executed by the PPP 7 and one company from the Er.P 112, was unsuccessful (as an example of the psychological effect, of the battles, on the men of the Er.P 112, during December 4th, one company left it's positions four times without permission and was each time returned to the front). The Finnish units, simply couldn't hold positions for long, as the Soviet 139th division showed unusual initiative and adaptation to the terrain, executing flanking attacks on stronger Finnish positions and rolling through weak ones.

An RAF Wellington bomber accidentally drops a bomb on Heligoland. The bomber, part of 115 Squadron, suffers a "hang up" when one of its bombs fails to drop over the targeted German shipping. The bomb later falls off on the island of Heligoland, the first bomb of the war to land on German territory.

Naval activities
A suspected German battleship was D/F'd in 62-30N, 13W, and battlecruiser HOOD and her destroyers were ordered to proceed as fast as her escorts could steam without damage. Six armed merchant cruisers between Iceland and the Faroes were also to proceed south, but no contact was made.

Heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE and light cruiser NEWCASTLE were on patrol to the northeast of the Shetlands.

Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK departed Scapa Flow for Northern Patrol in the Denmark Strait, and arrived back in the Clyde on the 14th.

Destroyer ASHANTI departed Scapa Flow for Liverpool to refit a leaking feed tank.

Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON had problems with leakage in several oil fuel tanks and marked vibration at high speed. She entered the dockyard in the Tyne on the 24th to repair.

Destroyers out of service on the 3rd were - ASHANTI with leaking feed tanks arrived at Liverpool on the 4th to refit, COSSACK repairing collision damage, FAME repairing weather damage and refitting to complete on the 24th, FORESIGHT repairing weather damage and refitting to complete on the 24th, FORTUNE repairing weather damage, FOXHOUND repairing and refitting to complete on the 11th, GURKHA with turbine defects en route to Southampton, INGLEFIELD to dock at Leith with defects on the 8th, IMOGEN docking to repair asdic, IMPERIAL at Scapa Flow with engine room defects (after escorting battleship RODNEY, IMPERIAL was to repair at Liverpool), INTREPID and IVANHOE refitting to minelaying destroyers to complete on the 9th, KELLY repairing damage and refitting to complete on the 12th, KELVIN repairing collision damage to complete on the 12th, MOHAWK repairing bomb damage, PUNJABI repairing collision damage, SIKH at Malta with turbine defects, and TARTAR refitting and repairing rudder damage to complete on the 15th.

Convoy OA.46 of 19 ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers KEITH, WIVERN and VETERAN from the 4th to 5th. On being released, WIVERN proceeded to escort OA.47.

Convoy OB.46 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WALPOLE until the 3rd and destroyer ESCAPADE until the 5th.

Convoy BC.16S of four steamers, including BARON KINNAIRD, departed the Loire escorted by destroyers MONTROSE and VESPER, and arrived in Bristol Channel on the 6th.

Convoy FN.48 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VALOROUS and sloop BITTERN. Due to increased German activity in the North Sea, the convoy was supported by destroyers JACKAL, JANUS and the Polish BLYSKAWICA. The Polish ship detached that night, and the convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 4th.

Convoy FS.48 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WHITLEY and sloop STORK, and arrived at Southend on the 4th.

Destroyers ICARUS and ILEX carried out an anti-submarine sweep on their way back to Rosyth after a ship had been detected crossing the May Island indicator loop. Destroyers AFRIDI and ZULU searched inshore of May Island, and then proceeded to Rosyth after being relieved by ICARUS and ILEX.

Destroyer VEGA attacked a submarine contact 9 miles SW of St Catherines. Destroyers ACHATES and WINDSOR joined in the search.

Submarine SNAPPER, returning to Harwich from patrol in the North Sea, was struck by a British 100 pound anti-submarine bomb, dropped by a “friendly” Anson aircraft. A direct hit was scored at the base of the conning tower, but the explosion only shattered four light bulbs.

Russian submarine SC.323 damaged German steamer OLIVA (1308grt) with gunfire off Uto. She was damaged again by Russian submarine S.1 off Rauma on the 10th.

U.31 sank Danish steamer OVE TOFT (2135grt) in 55?36N, 00?46E and and Norwegian steamer GIMLE (1271grt) in 57?15N, 01?50E. OVE TOFT lost six crew and 15 survivors were picked up, while GIMLE lost three and her 16 survivors were picked up by Norwegian steamer RUDOLF (924grt).

Steamer MOORTOFT (875grt) was lost in the North Sea to an unknown cause.

Lithuanian steamer KRETINGA (542grt) was seized by German warships as a prize in the Baltic and renamed MEMELLAND for German service.

German pocket battleship ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE sank steamer TAIROA (7983grt) in the South Atlantic in 20?20S, 03?05E.

Heavy cruiser SHROPSHIRE arrived at Simonstown and Force K arrived at Capetown. After refuelling, Force H departed the same day and Force K on the 4th to patrol the Capetown-St Helena trade route.

Light cruiser NEPTUNE departed Freetown and arrived at Dakar on the 4th.

Light cruiser EFFINGHAM departed Kingston and arrived at Halifax on the 6th. However a serious leak had been discovered in the starboard condenser on the 5th, and she had to return to Kingston for repairs.

Convoy SLF.11 departed Freetown on the 3rd escorted by armed merchant cruiser DUNNOTTAR CASTLE and sloop MILFORD, the latter with the convoy for the day only. On the 18th, DUNOTTAR CASTLE developed engine problems and was sent to Gibraltar. She was joined on the 20th by destroyer KEPPEL and on the 21st by French destroyer MAILLÉ BRÉZÉ, and arrived at Gibraltar on the 22nd. Destroyers WHITEHALL and WIVERN joined the convoy in Home Waters.

French large destroyer L’AUDACIEUX was proceeding to Dakar to repair minor defects.

Sloop LEITH departed Malta for Gibraltar, en route to England.

Title: December 4 1939
Post by: Koen on 15 November 2010, 21:22:08
December 4 1939

UK: Admiral Forbes with battleship NELSON and heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE, en route to the Clyde with destroyers FAULKNOR, FURY, FIREDRAKE and FORESTER, entered Loch Ewe to enable the destroyers to refuel. At the entrance, NELSON struck a mine 5.4 cables 38° from Rudha nan Sasan triangulation station laid by U.31 on 28 October. She was seriously damaged, but due to the shortage of minesweepers could not immediately be moved for repairs. No boilers, engines, electrical, steering, or power machinery were affected, but 52 crew were injured, nine seriously. By the end of the year, the Allied shipping lost to mines will amount to 79 ships of 262,700 tons.

Moscow: The Soviet government rejects a Swedish offer to mediate in the war with Finland.
In response to representations made on December 1, by Mr. Laurence B. Steinhardt, Ambassador of the United States to the USSR, on behalf of President Roosevelt, protesting the alleged bombardment of civilians in Finland by Soviet airmen, Mr. Molotov made the following reply:

"Mr. Roosevelt’s suggestion that air bombardment of the population of Finland’s towns should not be permitted, insofar as it is addressed to the Soviet Government, is caused by a misunderstanding. Soviet airplanes have bombed airdromes, but they have not bombed towns and do not intend doing so, because our Government values the interest of the Finnish population no less than any other Government does. Certainly one may fail to see this from America, which is over 8,000 kilometers away from Finland. Nevertheless, facts are facts. In view of this, Mr. Roosevelt’s statement is, as can be seen, pointless."

Moscow' Daily News, December 4, 1939.

Western Front: British King George VI arrives to inspect the British Expeditionary Force and RAF units deployed in France.

Winter War: Finns fortify Aaland Island in the Gulf of Bothnia. Only about 50,000 people remain in the Finnish capital of Helsinki which is being evacuated because of Soviet bombing.

Poland: On December 4th, 1939, the last Jewish school in Warsaw was closed. By then there were some 60,000 children, 5-12, in the Ghetto, including thousands who were unsupervised and exposed to the dangers of the street. Many teachers were unemployed. Appeals were made to the Judenrat and to the Federation for the Care of Orphans to begin a clandestine schooling program under the guise of child protection. A number of kitchens were opened at the initiative of the Federation and former school organizations. They provided several hours daily of unofficial schooling. In September, 1941, the Germans permitted opening 16 schools - three using Hebrew, four Yiddish, four Polish, and five religious schools. Ten thousand children, or one fifth of the Ghetto's total, were organized into three grades. Cold, lack of heat, lack of shoes and clothes were among the reasons that kept attendance low, despite the fact that for the kids, school constituted the only bright spot in the day. Secondary education was forbidden, so it was conducted clandestinely in the form of "student contingents" of six to twenty, organized by former teachers. There were several hundred such contingents in 1941, with about 20% of former secondary students "enrolled." There were also two clandestine university- level courses in medicine and technology, as well as an education course to train teachers for Jewish schools.

The chief problem was finding school accommodations; since much of the activity was clandestine, it was necessary to avoid the watchful eyes of the Gestapo and Jewish spies. Other problems involved getting textbooks and other supplies, finding teachers (many had fled eastward), using the "school" location in shifts, and deciding on the languages of instruction. The main achievement of the clandestine school networks was in giving some shelter to pupils and teachers from the demoralizing reality of daily ghetto life.


Salvage tugs RANGER (409grt) on other duties, and DISPERSER (313grt) were diverted to Loch Ewe to assist. Destroyer ECHO escorted RANGER from Kilchattan Bay, arriving on the 5th. FAULKNOR remained at Loch Ewe and stood by from the 4th to 28th.

The damage to NELSON also forced sister ship RODNEY to remain at the Clyde deferring her docking at Liverpool until NELSON's status was determined. Also, the light cruisers of the Northern Patrol in Loch Ewe could not sail until minesweeping operations cleared the harbour. Attempting to clear the field, armed patrol drifters GLEN ALPYN (82grt) and PROMOTIVE (78grt) were mined and sunk on the 23rd. Five more mines were swept and it was not until 4 January 1940 that NELSON could be safely moved.

Old German steamer ILSENSTEIN (8216grt) sailed ahead of NELSON to detonate any remaining mines. She had been purchased pre-war, departed Rosyth on the 11th escorted by destroyers ESCORT and WOOLSTON for Loch Ewe, and arrived on the 15th. Escorted by FAULKNOR, FOXHOUND and IMPULSIVE, the damaged NELSON proceeded to Portsmouth, and arrived on 7 January for repairs beginning on the 14th. She was repairing until early June 1940, arrived at Greenock on 8 June for refitting and departed on the 29th to rejoin the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

FAULKNOR, FOXHOUND and IMPULSIVE were ordered to remain at Portsmouth for two days, then return to the Clyde. Destroyers ISIS, FAME and FORESIGHT proceeded independently at the same time to Devonport and returned to the Clyde with FAULKNOR, FOXHOUND and IMPULSIVE.

After leaving Gibraltar and sailing via Halifax, which she left on 18 November, battleship WARSPITE arrived in the Clyde, escorted by destroyers EXMOUTH, ECLIPSE and ECHO, which had departed the Clyde on 30 November. The battleship had been originally ordered to go to Portsmouth, but orders were changed in early December due to RODNEY's rudder defect.

Submarines TRITON and TRIBUNE departed Rosyth on patrol.

Destroyers IMPERIAL and IMPULSIVE arrived at the Clyde from Scapa Flow.

On Northern Patrol, the six armed merchant cruisers which were ordered to search for a suspected German battleship on the 3rd were returning to their patrol stations between the Faroes and Iceland. Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK and AMC LAURENTIC were west of the Shetland Islands, proceeding to the Denmark Strait.

Heavy cruiser BERWICK departed Portsmouth for duty with the Northern Patrol, reached Scapa Flow and departed for patrol on the 12th.

Light cruiser ENTERPRISE arrived at Portland from Portsmouth.

Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA departed the Thames and arrived at Loch Ewe on the 5th to provide protection for damaged battleship NELSON.

Destroyers ESKIMO and MATABELE joined destroyers ICARUS and ILEX searching for a submarine in the Firth of Forth.

Destroyer VETERAN, which departed Plymouth on the 3rd, was damaged in a collision with steamer MIRIAM (1903grt) in the English Channel. VETERAN suffered minor damage, arrived back at Plymouth on the 4th but was able to depart on patrol on the 5th. She arrived at Dover on the 9th after convoy duty.

Patrol sloop MALLARD attacked a submarine contact in Liverpool Bay.

Submarine SALMON departed Harwich on the 2nd for patrol, and at 1330/4th fired six torpedoes at U.36 and sank her 75 miles SW from Lister Light in 57?00N, 05?20E; forty crew were lost and there were no survivors. U.36 had been sailing for northern Norway, where she was to join U.38 on patrol and then proceed to a base at Zapadnaya Litsa Bay in Northern Russia for replenishment. At it happened, the base was never used by U-boats.

Convoy OA.47 of nine ships departed Southend escorted by destroyer WREN and sloop ABERDEEN from the 4th to 7th. Destroyer WATCHMAN was with the convoy from the 4th to 5th, and sister ship WIVERN, from OA.46, joined on the 5th, and remained until the convoy dispersed on the 7th.

Convoy OB.47 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WINCHELSEA and VANOC until the 7th.

Convoy SA.20 of one steamer departed Southampton, escorted by destroyer ANTHONY, and arrived at Brest on the 5th.

Convoy FN.49 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WHITLEY and sloop STORK, and arrived in the Tyne on the 5th.

Convoy FS.49 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops GRIMSBY and WESTON. Due to increased German activity in the North Sea, the convoy was supported by destroyers JUNO and JUPITER. It arrived at Southend on the 5th.

Destroyer BROKE was investigating a submarine contact one mile east of Slapton Sands Hotel near Dartmouth.

Destroyers ESKIMO, MATABELE, ICARUS and ILEX departed Rosyth to search for a suspected submarine in the Firth of Forth.

French large destroyer LE TRIOMPHANT departed Cherbourg escorting light cruiser GLOIRE to Brest, arriving on the 5th.

Steamer HAMSTERLEY (2160grt) in convoy FN.48 was damaged by collision off Great Yarmouth, with one crewman lost. She was still afloat the next day but seriously damaged.

Steamer TONGARIRO (8719grt) reported she had a disabled rudder 180 miles SW of Land's End. At 0315/5th, destroyers VERITY and WOLVERINE from the Plymouth command were ordered to assist. She was taken in tow, but broke away. At 1957/10th, she was 15 miles off the Lizard and as a tug could not tow her, destroyer KEITH was ordered to, escorted by WOLVERINE.

U.31 (link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_submarine_U-31_%281936%29)) sank Norwegian steamer PRIMULA (1024grt) in 57?15N, 01?50E, 125 miles east of Aberdeen; eight crew were lost and seven survivors picked up by Danish steamer WM TH MALLING (1034grt) and taken to Methil.

German light cruiser NÜRNBERG laid mines in the Skagerrak off Kristiansand from the 4th to 6th.

German auxiliary submarine chaser UJ.117 (trawler GUSTAV KORNER, 450grt) sank on a German defensive minefield in the Belt. Later, in June 1940, she was salved and repaired.

Convoy HX.11, escorted by destroyer HYPERION and Canadian destroyers ST LAURENT and SKEENA, departed Halifax at 1000. HYPERION was detached early on the 5th and at 1600/5th the Canadian ships turned over the convoy to ocean escort by battleship REVENGE and French submarines SFAX and CASABIANCA as protection against German battleships. The submarines were detached off the Lizard on the 16th and arrived at Brest on the 17th, being escorted into port by French sloop COMMANDANT RIVIERE. Meanwhile destroyers WOLVERINE, WANDERER, WALPOLE and ARDENT provided escort in Home Waters from the 16th to 18th, when the convoy reached Liverpool.

Heavy cruiser KENT departed Colombo on escort duties, and arrived back on the 14th.

Destroyer DIAMOND, having completed her refit, departed Singapore en route to the Mediterranean.

Destroyer DELIGHT departed Aden to return to the Mediterranean Fleet.

Sloop WELLINGTON departed Malta for Gibraltar, where she arrived on the 8th. Next day, she sailed for Freetown to escort convoy SL.13 to the UK.

Minesweepers SUTTON and ELGIN arrived at Gibraltar from Malta, and departed on the 8th for Portsmouth.

French convoy 34.KF of four steamers had departed Casablanca on the 3rd, but next day, still near Casablanca, destroyer ORAGE was damaged in collision with French steamer MARRAKECH. The convoy turned back and arrived on the 6th. Steamers JAMAIQUE and LIPARI left with 37.KF on the 8th, and MARRAKECH and MALGACHE with 38.KF on the 10th. ORAGE was able to leave on the 28th for repairs at Bizerte, arriving on the 30th

Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Alan65 on 15 November 2011, 00:57:06
The Telegraph is now reporting that a grad student in the UK has started 'tweeting' daily WWII events.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/8877167/Six-year-project-to-tweet-the-Second-World-War.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/8877167/Six-year-project-to-tweet-the-Second-World-War.html)

you were ahead of your time in starting this project.

Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: Koen on 15 November 2011, 07:04:15
The Telegraph is now reporting that a grad student in the UK has started 'tweeting' daily WWII events.
[url]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/8877167/Six-year-project-to-tweet-the-Second-World-War.html[/url] ([url]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/8877167/Six-year-project-to-tweet-the-Second-World-War.html[/url])

you were ahead of your time in starting this project.

and I should continue with this topic  :-X (and I will)........ thx for reminding me

Title: 05-12-1939
Post by: stoffel on 8 December 2014, 17:01:06
5 december 1939


Forward units of the Russian 7th army reach the outlines of the Mannerheim line.
This is the last Finnish defensive line held by troops from the 2nd Finnish corps commanded by marshall Mannerheim.
Finnish Blenheim bombers attack Murmansk naval base in Russia.


Stalin rejects a peace proposal with Finland. This proposal was presented to him by the League of Nations.
Stalin claimed the war with FInland allready to be over.


In a speach adressed to the House of Commons Churchill speaks about Germany.
Quote: "Germany wages the lowest form of war, they abandoned the gun for the torpedo, and now the torpedo for the mine."


Colonel general Von Brauchits visits his troops on the western "front".
A new Japanese ambassador is installed in the Japanese embassy in the Tiergarten strasse, Saburo Kurusu.


Roosevelt states the US will remain neutral, it will not get involved in a new European war.
In Texas the army air corps led by LtC Franklin T. Armstrong starts a program to enlist new pilots.
These recrutes have to be found in the colleges across the States. The air corps need 400 recrutes to fill the ranks.
The Ltc arrived on an airbase in a modern bomber, students from Yale were the first to see the plane and to enlist.


People celebrate Sinterklaas birthday, childrens festivities.

Title: 06-12-1939
Post by: stoffel on 8 December 2014, 17:32:37
December 6th 1939



publisher De Amsterdamsche Keurkamer will sell Mein Kampf from Adolf Hitler.
The book is translated by NSB member Steven Barends. Over 150.000 have been sold.


2 armed German trawlers invaded Dutch territorial waters in the Waddenzee to assist an aircraft which made an emergency landing.
It proved the 3 terschelling based ships of the Dutch coast Guard could not prevent the ships from entering the waters, nor could they force them to leave.
The government decided to seize a civilian ship (Laman de Vries) for military duty to support the fleet in the Waddenzee.
lamandevries (http://www.go2war2.nl/picture.asp?pictureid=6472)


This day saw the Germans confiscate all Jewish posessions in Germany.


Roosevelt risks oppostion from the Republicans in his plan to recognize Russia as a souvereign state.
The republicans stated this could be the worst ever thing to do, and harmfull for Roosevelts political career.


Sweden fully supports the Finnish war, people raised money, clothes and other aid. A batallion of volunteers leaves for Finland to join the fightings against the Russians.
Uruguay, in reaction to the Swedish efforts threathens to leave the union of nations in protest.

Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: stoffel on 8 December 2014, 20:24:43
7 december 1939

Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: stoffel on 8 December 2014, 20:25:23
8 december 1939

United Kingdom:
Convoy OA 49 departs Southend.
Convoy OB 49 departs to Liverpool.
Convoy HG 10 departs for Liverpool.

British merchant vessel Merel, This cargo ship was hit by a mine and sank in The Downs, Kent west of the Gull Lightship killing 16 of her crew.
British merchant vessel Brandon,  This cargo ship straggled behind the convoy. She was torpedoed and sunk in the Celtic Sea 120 nautical miles (220 km) off Land's End, Cornwall  by U-48 ( Kriegsmarine) with the loss of nine crew. Survivors were rescued by the trawlers Marie Jose Rosette and Tritten.
British vessel Corea, This cargo ship struck a mine and sank in the North Sea off Cromer, Norfolk. with the loss of eight of her 15 crew. The survivors were rescued by HF Bailey III.

In Egypt general Percy Hobart is relieved from command of an armored division.
The Soviet 136 rifle division is hit hard and retreats followed by a dug in.
The Soviet navy blocks the Finnish coast with a naval blockade.
Union of countries is gathering to discuss the Soviet-Finnish war.

Sweden is mobilizing its army in reaction to possible Soviet action and threats.


German merchant ship the Adolf Leonhardt is sunk by its crew after being intercepted near Angola by HMS Shropshire.

Title: Re: It started September 1st 1939 - WWII Day by Day Recount
Post by: stoffel on 9 December 2014, 16:43:39
9 December 1939

Soviet Union:

The news agency TASS carries an erroneous report that Germany is sending supplies to Finland. In fact, the Germans are not sending supplies, but Italy is shipping material to Finland through Germany. Moscow-Berlin relations are strained by the report.

Finnish troops manage to stop the Russian advance.
Russian ships Sestroretsk, Krasnaya Gorka and Kronshstadt supports the 123rd Rifle division at Koivisto against Finnish attacks.


Corporal Thomas Priday of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry is killed on patrol.This was a tragic friendly fire incident. He is the first British soldier to be killed in the west in the war.
US freighter Explorer detained by the British navy.

French sloop cmdr Duboc attacked a German submarine near Cape Spartel, results unknown.