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 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
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Phil andrade
London, UK
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/13/2017 8:39:29 AM
Phoney or not, the war exacted its toll.

Twenty dead from 13 September 1939 are commemorated on the CWGC database.

Six of these were merchant mariners on board a ship called the Hawarden Castle.

This ship - an old fashioned sloop like vessel - vanished : no record of its fate was ever made. It literally went off the radar.

The fate of so many victims of the conflict .....to perish in circumstances unknown.

At least the CWGC has ensured that their names live for evermore....the six are commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial in London.

Talking of names, it's significant that four of the six had " foreign " names : Scandinavian and Hispanic, and, perhaps, German.

The British Commonwealth ( still known as the Empire by most people at that time ) had some remarkably cosmopolitan credentials : an exemplar of what we like to describe as diversity !

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

BWilson

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Posts: 3296

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/13/2017 11:08:25 AM
** Updated **

Phil,

 I've found the official French website for military deaths in the war. Totals (all causes) for the months of the Phoney War follow. I'll do some extra looking as details are available as to cause of death. [Read More]


Sep 1939 2,364 (September 2 through September 30)
Oct 1939 1,336
Nov 1939 1,194
Dec 1939 1,376
Jan 1940 1,671
Feb 1940 1,727
Mar 1940 1,839
Apr 1940 1,759
May 1940 760 (May 1 through May 9)

Total 14,026


 For comparison, May 1940 lists 24,958.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

phil andrade
London, UK
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Posts: 2475

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/13/2017 3:49:38 PM
Bill,

Many thanks for that. This is really enriching our chronicle.

The total Commonwealth deaths by the end of April 1940 are registered by CWGC as 11,840 ...very similar to that French total you cite .

I do suspect, however, that the French remit is more confined to the purely military, and is not so ubiquitous in terms of global reach.

The CWGC breakdown is :

Army , 4,366
Navy , 3,902
Merchant Navy, 1,692
Air Force, 1,499
Civilian, 280
Miscellaneous , 101.

Close to ninety per cent of these deaths ( 10,734 ) are ascribed to the UK, which, it must be remembered, includes the Colonies and Crown Territories.

For the month of May, 1940, the Commonwealth deaths are registered as 10,641. The figure, although grim, begins to pale beside that of the French.

German military deaths have been estimated by Rudiger Overmans as 29,000 up until the end of April 1940 : more than half of these attributable to the Polish Campaign in one month of fighting in 1939. He states that there were 21,000 German military fatalities in May 1940.

The Poles are estimated to have lost 66,000 soldiers killed in September/October 1939 alone ; as to the number of civilians killed by bombardment and massacred in the genocidal atrocities, the mind boggles.

Regards , Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
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E-7 Sgt First Class
Posts: 460

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/13/2017 4:59:19 PM
Phil,

Do you have a breakdown of who the Polish KIA and civilian killed were against, German or Russian invaders?
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


phil andrade
London, UK
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/13/2017 5:08:24 PM
John,

Not to hand, but I'm pretty sure that the Soviet incursion - although horrible for the Poles - was, compared with the German onslaught, trivial in terms of numbers killed until, of course, Stalin's cohorts began the systematic wholesale massacre at Katyn in the following year.

Editing : If memory serves me, the soviet military casualties against the Poles in September 1939 were no more than ten per cent of those suffered by the Germans : if this is correct, then it follows that fewer than ten per cent of Polish military deaths were suffered against the Russians : the exchange rate would probably have been more favourable for the Poles in their fight against the Russians than it was against the Germans.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
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Posts: 1923

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/13/2017 6:12:35 PM

Quote:
John, you've twigged something. Wasn't there an abortive attempt on Hitler's life during the 1937 or 1938 celebration of the 1923 Putsch? Is that what you are remembering? You're dead right (maybe a bad pun intended) most of Hitler's leadership resigned, retired or resettled. But how many of them were with him before his years in power?

IMHO, the 1923 Putsch was farcical, and I think he had few of his later henchmen with him at the time. He did have Göring, and he had gems like Ludendorf.

Cheers
Brian G
--brian grafton


It was the 1939 celebration . I was planning a post.

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Posts: 1303

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/13/2017 7:49:43 PM
Bill, without getting into nits I agree with both your comments and those from the other forum. My question was what might have happened had the British and French the balls or the military capability to attack. Clearly, they didn't have the capability, so all the balls in the world would have led to the kind of conclusion you suggest. Had they had the capability, things might have been different in your scenario, but that is a "what-if" too many for me. And it is interesting that in neither of your comments you deal with the negative issues of "neutrality" as they might affect Allied attacks on Germany. Violation of Belgian sovereignty by air or ground would have brought Belgium into conflict, probably with Britain alone.

Behind my question was exactly why such unsupportable pacts as the Franco-Polish or British-Polish pact were signed. For that matter, why did the Franco-British "understanding" continue, particularly after the fiasco of Munich?

Hindsight is, of course, wonderful. Without the various treaties linking Poland with its western allies, would the Danzig crisis have been a crisis? Would the by-now-tired assurances of Hitler – "No further demands in Europe" – have worked once more? Wouldn't we be looking at national Niemöllerism, as the nations of Eastern Europe fell one by one? As the did at any rate?

But hindsight also asks what kind of lies Britain and France were telling to Poland about the quality, aggressiveness or rapidity of support. And it asks exactly how much Britain lied to itself about the power and capability of the RN or RAF, or France about it's vaunted army's capabilities and commitments. Britain's army was always small in peacetime, but within a week of "official" war it was clear that the RN could not protect convoys even close to the British Isles. The RAF's two "heavy" wings were no better. Coastal Command was not successful either in reconnaissance or in protecting convoys, and Bomber Command had walked away from its raison d'etre.

AASF would be proven woefully inadequate in May, 1940, and fights would break out in pubs after Dunkirk when RAF types might enter because of their apparent lack of impact on the evacuation. This is for some 8 months from now, but I feel it important as an issue at this point in the war. Because – very simply – Hitler came to power on January 30, 1933. And in Britain, nothing changed. No apparent changes in military training, or redefinition of military requirements, no upgrading of Army procedures geared for colonial rebellion rather than mechanized aggression.

I'm going to step over a line for a moment. I'll be back in a couple of sentences.

If the British government believed their military was prepared for a modern, mechanized war, they were either blind to circumstance or so arrogant that they deserved to be tossed out of power. If they were prepared to offer promises to others with no means of meeting those commitments, they were either stupid or incompetent or arrogant. If their meaningless promises to Poland continued to mislead the Polish government (as it appears to have done) they could be accused of malfeasance at a global level. To me, it appears that the British lied about their commitment, their capabilities and their intentions in their treaty negotiations. Munich wasn't Britain's darkest hour. Poland was. Rant over, for now.

Okay, Bill. Now let me get back to the main stream of this thread.

Cheers
Brian G

---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/13/2017 8:10:10 PM
Trevor, thanks for indicating I wasn't just hallucinating. And I know all of us would like to see what you were going to offer about the 1939 celebration.

But I'd still like to know whether John R. has some stuff concerning earlier attempts on Hitler, because there is of course the popular and abiding myth that "Das Volk" were totally enamoured of their "Führer".

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/13/2017 8:15:27 PM
John R, I'd love to have a reference to it, or even a chance to read it. If it's not too much trouble, please find it for me. Sounds fascinating.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

BWilson

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Posts: 3296

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/14/2017 5:21:40 AM
September 14, 1939

Poland


Quote:
On 14 September the 10th Panzer Division reported that its forward elements had reached [Brest]. The 3d Panzer Division, which had shifted to the left rear of the 10th Panzer Division, covered the corps' left flank by pushing reconnaissance elements out in the direction of Kobryn. The corps commander hurried to join the force that had reached the objective, and the 20th Motorized Infantry Division, its operations against the Polish 18th Infantry Division completed, was shifted eastward to give the Panzer units at [Brest] additional infantry support.

The initial German attack against [Brest] penetrated the city's outer fortifications, and the garrison withdrew into the fortress, known as the Citadel, that formed the core of the city's defensive system. An attempt to take the Citadel by a surprise attack was a failure, and Guderian decided that a determined assault by a larger force would be necessary. . . .

[On] 14 September Gdynia was taken. The Polish force of Colonel Dabek was forced to retreat to the Oksywie Flats, under a steady artillery and air bombardment. The Schleswig-Holstein, lying offshore, joined the artillery bombardment the following day, and an attack by Stuka dive bombers destroyed a major ammunition depot established on the Flats by the Poles. That same day Corps Kaupisch passed to the control of the newly established Military Government Command Danzig-West Prussia.
[Read More]


Quote:
In view of the difficult situation [at Gdynia], the Polish high command ordered its submarines to seek safe haven either in Sweden or Great Britain. Three submarines were interned in Sweden while two reached Great Britain. (Soviet history of the war, Volume 3)



Quote:
The Battle of Przemyśl ended with the Polish surrender of the city. (Wikipedia)


Battle of the Atlantic


Quote:
Sept. 14, 1939: Off the Hebrides, U-39 attacks carrier HMS Ark Royal but misses and is sunk by British destroyers Faulknor, Foxhound, and Firedrake, the first U-boat sunk in WWII.
[Read More]

Other


Quote:
Denmark Fines Hoarders of Gasoline and Foodstuffs (Chicago Tribune headline)



Quote:
GADSEN, Ala., Wednesday—The Cadek Choral Society of Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is a civic chorus conducted by Mr. J. Oscar Miller, sang three songs very beautifully before my lecture last night. I think they must have been slightly discouraged that there were going to be so many attractions in the city on the same evening.

Today an election for Congressman is taking place, so that all the last political meetings were going on last night. The Chattanooga baseball team has fought its way up and won the pennant and played its first game with Atlanta last night, and everyone was anxious to cheer the home team on. It was a tribute to the society that they still managed to have a good audience at the auditorium. I enjoyed the singing so much that I would gladly have had them go on for the whole evening and forget that I had come to give a lecture.

We left this morning at 8:30 by train for Attalla and drove from there to Gadsden, some six miles. Miss Daisy Smith and Miss Coates accompanied us. On our arrival the ladies and gentlemen of the press came up at once. I find a great interest everywhere now in the King and Queen of England's visit. How did they look, how did they act, were they are as democratic as the press reports implied? These are samples of the questions asked me.

After the press conference we went out to see the Alabama School of Trades. This is a state educational institution for the training of white boys and young men in useful occupations and in related technical and occupational knowledge required by the trade. A farm is run in connection with the school and the boys put up thousands of gallons of vegetables and fruits. They made most of the equipment for this small cannery and grew the food which they canned. Their herd of cows is not yet quite adequate to their needs, but they are gradually building it up. They have an electrical shop, a wood-working shop, a welding shop and a printing shop. The boys receive a course in sustenance farming, designed to be of use to the boy who, while holding a job, has perhaps five acres of land which he can utilize to raise his standard of living.

In this school is one of the biggest NYA projects in the state. One- hundred- and twenty-five of the two hundred students are NYA students. They are at present building a barn for which they drew the plans and made the complete working drawings.

We visited a nursery school, staffed in part by NYA girls, run in a poor part of town for underprivileged white children. Then we visited a library in the post- office of Alabama City, where big cotton mills are situated. Here they have about 2,600 books but the circulation is so large that a very good educational job must have been done in the community to awaken a realization of the value of reading.

Back again now at the hotel for a late lunch and an afternoon of rest and work. ("My Day" column by Eleanor Roosevelt for September 14, 1939)


Cheers

BW

---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Posts: 5940
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/14/2017 10:37:45 AM

Quote:
If the British government believed their military was prepared for a modern, mechanized war, they were either blind to circumstance or so arrogant that they deserved to be tossed out of power.


When Chamberlain visited General Montgomery (GOC 3rd Inf. Div.) in December he remarked on the quietude; and said "I don't think the Germans will come-do you??"-Montgomery made no reply -his division being the most active in theatre;Monty was training his men to move rapidly forward to new planned defensive positions- when the time came.He had come early to an opinion that the French were in an alarming state to face a German attack

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

BWilson

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Posts: 3296

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/14/2017 11:35:22 AM
 A brief comment on Week 2.

 While the events this week were not as momentous as the Allies declaring war, the pace of events continues to be riveting. One should attempt to ignore what we know as hindsight and think what the leaders in various powers were experiencing in September 1939. Given what is going on, it is not hard to imagine the national leaders practically reeling from the steady impact of new events. They have just absorbed one striking piece of information when the next arrives ...

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

Phil andrade
London, UK
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Posts: 2475

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/14/2017 11:42:56 AM
The late Martin Gilbert wrote a narrative history of the Second World War which will stand us in good stead here, because he tried to present it in a day by day format.

He focused mainly on the war through the prism of the Holocaust, making it abundantly clear that the genocidal programme was embarked on by the Germans well before the Lake Wannsee Conference, and was underway in Poland in September 1939.

For 14 September 1939, he depicts the fate of Warsaw :

On September 14 the bombing was particularly severe. For Warsaw's 393,000 Jews, one third of the city's inhabitants , it was a holy and unusually happy day in their calendar, the Jewish New Year. Just as the synagogues were filled, a Polish eye-witness noted in his diary, Nalewk, the Jewish quarter of Warsaw, was attacked from the air. The result of this bombing was bloody. That day, German forces entered the southern Polish city of Przemsyl, on the River San, where 17,000 citizens, one third of the total population, were Jews. Forty-three of the leading Jewish citizens were at once arrested, savagely beaten and then shot........East of Przemsyl, on September 14, a Polish officer recalled how, after his infantry division had retreated across the River San, German aircraft raided us at frequent intervals. There was no shelter anywhere ; nothing, on every side, but the accursed plain.. That Eastward march, the officer wrote, was not like the march of an army; it was more like the the march of some Biblical people, driven onward by the wrath of Heaven, and dissolving into the Wilderness.

Gilbert was profoundly influenced by his own Jewish provenance, and it's understandable that he seeks to depict the story of WW2 from a Judaic perspective .

At three years of age, he was actually evacuated from England by sea to Canada at the outbreak of the war , escaping the fate of his three year old counterpart who was so unfortunate as to be on board the Athenia. Vague memories of this early childhood experience inspired him to investigate the whys and wherefores of the conflict.

Editing : I note that, in the last couple of days, the Poles have decided to resurrect their claims for damages from the German government on account of the unspeakable massacres and ruin that the Germans visited upon them in WW2. The Germans have disapproved of recent legislative coups made by the Polish government . The Poles do not take kindly to lectures from the Germans. How will the EU cope with this ?

Regards, Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
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E-7 Sgt First Class
Posts: 460

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/14/2017 12:24:32 PM
Brian,

I'll get upstairs this weekend and see if I can find it. If memory serves over the course of his years in power there were around 40 different plots/attempts to assassinate Hitler.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


scoucer
Berlin, Germany
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 1923

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/14/2017 5:53:19 PM

Quote:
Brian,

I'll get upstairs this weekend and see if I can find it. If memory serves over the course of his years in power there were around 40 different plots/attempts to assassinate Hitler.
--John R. Price


There were 34 atempts to kill Hitler.

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 1923

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/14/2017 6:15:24 PM

Quote:
The late Martin Gilbert wrote a narrative history of the Second World War which will stand us in good stead here, because he tried to present it in a day by day format.

He focused mainly on the war through the prism of the Holocaust, making it abundantly clear that the genocidal programme was embarked on by the Germans well before the Lake Wannsee Conference, and was underway in Poland in September 1939.--Phil andrade


Yes Phil, its important because the New Right are claiming that the Holocaust was a result of the German failure to defeat the Soviet Union.

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
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Posts: 1923

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/14/2017 6:49:42 PM

Quote:
Brian,

There was a attempt, somebody but a bomb in the Munich bat inside a wooden beam on the platform Hitler spoke at but Hitler left early and missed the explosion by about 10 min. But no that isn't what I'm remembering. I'm remembering a plot by some of the military leadership to arrest him, although some in the team of jr officers that were supposed to carry out the arrest claimed they planned to kill him, rather than go to war as long as GB and France held firm. I seem to remember that Canaris was supposed to inform GB & France of the plot and remember seeing speculation on a documentary some years back that Chamberlian may have informed Hitler that there might be a plot. That was more speculation than evidence but the very large majority involved were replaced, resigned or retired within months of Munich. Halder, Witzladen, von Brautisch are the names popping to mind. I'll see if I can find the paper I wrote if you are interested.
--John R. Price


Yes John, this is the Oster Conspiracy named for General Hans Oster, Canaris,s Deputy. Id be interested in it as well.

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Posts: 1303

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/14/2017 9:41:28 PM
Phil, I have every respect for Martin Gilbert, and what I'm going to call "the Jewish problem" (after a brief history of Judaism in Europe written by Louis Golding for Penguin Books as Penguin Special S10. It was titled The Jewish Problem, and appeared in 1938), which can never be far from a narrative of WW2. It continues to receive attention, as we all know, and most of us who claim at least amateur status as military historians would agree the issue must be addressed as a major factor in the war.

You say, "Gilbert was profoundly influenced by his own Jewish provenance, and it's understandable that he seeks to depict the story of WW2 from a Judaic perspective . I agree. But at the same time, I worry that any incident involving Germans and Jews between 1933 and 1945 will inevitably be seen as holocaust-related.

I have just finished reading The Day We Went to War. The title is a bit of a lie, but it does concentrate on the first week of the war, inasmuch as 188 of its 408 pages is dedicated to that week, and of the 188, 179 pages cover from the German initial assault on Sept 1 until midnight Sept 3. The volume draws on extensive archival material, including IWM information, MHO diaries, and what seems to be a wide range of letters, diaries and other sources. It's quite a good read in many ways.

I can't guarantee I have found every example of atrocities, war crimes or viciousness listed in The Day We Went to War during those first 72 hours, but there are a fair number:

September 2

"4.45am (5.45am), BOLESLAWIEC, GERMAN-POLISH BORDER
Men of the SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, Hitler's own bodyguard troops serving with the army's XIII Corps, have just arrived in the village and are pulling Poles and Jews from their homes. They shoot dead the father of Franciszek Lizon at his workbench. An SS trooper also shoots elderly Antoni Czubowicz in the back at point-blank range." (p 107)

"2.00 pm (3.00pm), RYBNIK, SILESIA
Polish soldiers of 12th Infantry Regiment surrender to the Germans. They are thrown to the ground by their captors and tanks are driven over them." (p 111)

"4.00pm (5.00pm), POLAND
"'The Pole' homes are almost all filthy and utterly neglected Open a door to search for weapons and you meet a solid wall of stench. One's gas mask comes in useful when searching these houses. This afternoon the attack continued ... in a nearby place twenty soldiers were murdered by the inhabitants. The order was given to set fire to all the villages. We are not putting up with any more nonsense from the Poles. (Corporal Wilhelm Krey, 13th Artillery Observation Battery, German Army)" (p 114)

"5.00pm (6.00pm) MIELESZYN, GERMAN-POLISH BORDER
In the main street of the small village, SS men first shoot and then bayonet sixty-year-old Tomasz Pasek. Moving on, they now force Jan Maczka, the village storekeeper, to open up his shop. He is then bayoneted to death." (p119)

"7.30pm 98.30pm), PODZAMCZE, LODZ DISTRICT, POLAND
Soldiers from the German 17th Infantry Division break into the home of wheelwright Kazimierz Hoffmann. They force Hoffmann, his wife, six children and neighbour Maria Domalga into the yeard and gun them down. At the same time four other men from the town are first beaten and then bayoneted to death." (p 123)

"7.45pm (8.45pm), WIERUSZOW, NEAR THE GERMAN-POLISH BORDER
In Main Street, SS men from Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler murder three Jews, two men and a woman – all members of the Lewi family." (p 124)

"10.00pm (11.00pm), PODZAMCZE, LODZ DISTRICT, POLAND
German soldiers arrest Mayor Tomasz Monka and two other elderly men. They are taken to a brickyard where they are beaten so savagely that Monka receives fatal injuries." (p 128)

September 3, 1939
"8.00am (9.00am), LEKI DUZE, LODZ DISTRICT, POLAND
Men of SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler enter the small village. They shoot a number of unarmed civilians. Among the dead are Anna Ostrycharz, her small child and brother Stanislaw. The SS men then set fire to Anna's home. Moving on through the village they also murder Jozefa Wysota and Leon Kowalski. The villages are at a loss to know why these indiscriminate killings are taking place because no one has fired on or attacked the Germans." (p 144)

And, inevitably,

"9.15am (10.15am), BYDOSZCZ (BROMBERG)
Polish troops are withdrawing throught the wastern parts of the city when they are suddenly fired upon. The shooting comes from members of the German minority, the Volksdeutsche, who have featured so heavily in Dr Goebbels's probaganda over the past few weeks. One eyewitness to the shootings is Lucy Baker-Beall. She is an English schoolteacher who has taught in Polish schools for the past thirty-two years. Today's attacks on Poles by ethnic Germans are not the first. Miss Baker-Beall heard the first shots on Friday, and she herself has been fired on twice while in the street. Today, she has heard the firing intensify with the Germans using machine guns against the Poles. Among the Polish victims that Miss Baker-Beall sees is an unarmed air-raid warden shot dead with a bullet in his head. Two other wardens, a man and a woman, who live in the same house as Miss Baker-Beall, have also been wounded. A nearby first-aid post is under constant fire from a German-inhabited house. The Poles are taking strong counter-measures. Any German caught with a weapon in his hand is shot. And official Polish count puts the fatalities today, 'Bloody Sunday', at 238 Poles and 223 Germans." (p 148).

Now the author of The Day We Went to War is no slouch. At least in 2009, Mr Charman was Senior Historian at the Imperial War Museum, and the book is published in association with the IWM. Much of the information used comes from the IWM archival collection, which as you know is vast. So why do I feel something is skewed here? Are we just looking at the natural bias of the winners? Were there honestly no nasty incidents where Poles were the perpetrators?

It's interesting to note that only one of the stories I found reflects a distinct German attitude towards the Poles. This might reflect the effect of German propaganda concerning the Poles, who were after all considered Slavic Untermenschen. But there is also the expectation and reality of the Franktireure behind Corporal Krey's comments. Such events just don't seem to find a place in The Day We Went to War.

Anything else to pick up or infer from this collection of tales? Well, it seems that most specific references to Jews appear in comments with SS Leibestandarte Adolf Hitler, or LAH. My only surprise is that they appear so early in the campaign; I thought they were a week away from showing up.

I'm not suggesting that events – atrocities, crimes, slaughters – can't be found, perhaps exactly as described, in the archival material in the IWM. What I'm saying is that we see war through a filter, and that sometimes that filter obscures a balanced account of events.

Thanks for introducing Martin Gilbert to the mix, Phil. As you said in a different post, doing a day-to-day creates a very different perspective from which to see things.

Whoo! What a rant!

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

BWilson

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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/15/2017 3:05:09 AM
Are we just looking at the natural bias of the winners? Were there honestly no nasty incidents where Poles were the perpetrators?

Brian,

 In posing such questions, it is essential to bear in mind a signal distinction. Much of the outside-of-the-rules-of-land-warfare killing done by Germans was a product of policy (whether from the Party or the military), and, as such, operated with sanction of the State. I have no doubt that some Poles were 'perpetrators', but as such, they were acting on their own motivation and not as State-sanctioned actors. This distinction has significant implications for the scale on which such acts are committed.

 The comments of Krey reflect common biases. In those days in the countryside, it was not uncommon for a house to have a place for people and a place for the farm animals. Yes, I have no doubt some of those houses did not smell good. His comment indicates either ignorance of life in the country or a bit of nasty smart-shitting.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

BWilson

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Posts: 3296

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/15/2017 4:09:32 AM
September 15, 1939

Poland


Quote:
The Polish forces immediately east of Warsaw fought desperately but without coordination or direction of effort as Third Army's I Corps cleared the area to the Vistula. The army's Corps Wodrig reported the capture of 8,000 prisoners on 15 September alone as it moved southward.

The XI and XVI Corps reverted from Eighth to Tenth Army control on 15 September, as Tenth Army was made responsible for operations against Kutno from the east. The commander of the Polish force was finally identified as General Bortnowski, of the Poznan Army.

The city of Krasnik was taken on 15 September, and the corps moved rapidly past Lublin toward the Wieprz River. The XIV Corps concentrated on the west bank of the Vistula but did not cross in force, since some of its units were still occupied in clearing the area east of Radom of Polish remnants. On the Tenth Army right, the VII and VIII Corps attached from Fourteenth Army fought hard to destroy the Polish forces at Bilgoraj.

On 15 September Tenth Army reassumed control over the XI and XVI Corps that had been attached temporarily to Eighth Army, and Tenth Army became responsible for two fronts, one facing north toward Warsaw and the other east toward Lublin. The two corps on the Warsaw front would lay siege to the Polish capital from the south and move Panzer units between Warsaw and the Polish forces at Kutno, in support of the Eighth Army effort against the encircled western Polish armies. This would also provide flank protection for Tenth Army on the left, originally the mission of Eighth Army, and would free Eighth Army to concentrate on reducing the Polish force within the encirclement.

Tenth Army units on the Warsaw front held an east-west line. One infantry division was assigned to hold the southern approaches to the city, while the army concentrated stronger forces to move between Warsaw and the mass of Polish units at Kutno. The army commander directed the XI Corps to establish a bridgehead west of the Bzura River, to enable the XVI Corps to cross with its armor and attack the Poles from the east. This operation was worked out in close coordination with Eighth Army, pressing in on the Poles from the northwest, west, and southwest.

Przemysl fell on 15 September, marking the end of organized Polish resistance on the Fourteenth Army front except at Lwow, in the area northwest of Lwow, and near Bilgoraj. The protracted resistance at Lwow led the Fourteenth Army to direct the XXII Corps, after the capture of Wlodzimierz and Hrubieszow, to execute a move to the south with Panzer and motorized units with the mission of destroying the Polish forces still attempting to reach the fortress city. Detachments were also sent to the east to secure the oil fields below Lwow and prevent the escape of more Polish units and small parties to Romania. Meanwhile, a desperate attempt by Polish remnants to reach the garrison at Lwow was thwarted, at the expense of heavy casualties to the 1st Mountain Division, which held the XVIII Corps line north of the city and bore the brunt of the Polish attacks. . . .

On 14 September Ribbentrop was informed that Soviet preparations were complete and a movement into eastern Poland could be expected shortly. However, the Soviet Government refused to order the Red Army to move until the Polish capital had been taken, and requested that the German Government estimate the date by which the capture of Warsaw might be accomplished.

Ribbentrop's reply of the following day, 15 September, contained a note of urgency. The German Foreign Minister stated that the fall of the Polish capital was a matter of only a few days. He urged an immediate move by the Russians, to prevent eastern Poland becoming a political vacuum or the population forming one or more small states. Ribbentrop further proposed the issuance of a joint communique to the effect that Germany and the Soviet Union were moving into Poland to restore peace and order in an area of interest to the Reich and the Soviet state. This would make unnecessary the announcement that the Russians were intervening in Poland in behalf of Russian minorities threatened by the Germans. Ribbentrop ended his cable with a request that the Soviet Government set a date and hour for the movement of troops across the Polish-Russian frontier.
[Read More]


Quote:
Orzeł incident: the Polish submarine Orzeł, at sea when hostilities broke out and unable to return to a Polish base, entered port in Tallinn. Estonian authorities, at the insistence of the German embassy, interned the submarine to prevent it from putting out to sea again. (Wikipedia)


Image: Polish general Władysław Bortnowski. Born in Radom in 1891, he died in 1966 in Glen Cove, New York, USA.



Butterflies flapping their wings in Inner Mongolia


Quote:
In Moscow, representatives of the Soviet government and the Empire of Japan agree to a ceasefire to take place the following day on the battlefield of Khalkhin Gol.
[Read More]

China


Quote:
In mid-September, Japanese troops initiated an operation to seize the city of Changsha. The goals of the operation were to encircle and destroy Chinese troops in the Hunan and Jiangxi Provinces, to seize Hunan Province, and to obtain the region around Changsha as a jumping-off point for further operations in China. . . . The Changsha Operation began on 15 September 1939 with an attack by six Japanese infantry divisions, heavily reinforced by attached artillery units, with which air and surface naval units worked in tandem. At first, Chinese resistance was ineffectual and the Chinese withdrew in the face of Japanese attacks. (Soviet history of the war, Volume 3).


Other


Quote:
Charles Lindbergh made a nationwide radio broadcast in favor of American isolationism. "It is madness to send our soldiers to be killed as we did in the last war if we turn the course of peace over to the greed, the fear and the intrigue of European nations. We must either keep out of European wars entirely or stay in European affairs permanently", Lindbergh said. "We must not permit our sentiment, our pity, or our personal feelings of sympathy, to obscure the issue, to affect our children's lives ... America has little to gain by taking part in another European war." (Wikipedia)
[Read More]

Image: Crop of the German Lage map of Poland on 15 September 1939. Note the concentration of troops around Warsaw.


Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

BWilson

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Posts: 3296

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/16/2017 11:21:26 AM
September 16, 1939

Poland


Quote:
The I Corps laid siege to the Warsaw suburb of Praga on 16 September. Farther south Corps Wodrig completed the destruction of Polish remnants that had fled across the Vistula from the Radom area before the Army Group South advance. The 1st Calvary Brigade patrolled the east bank of the Vistula to prevent further crossings by the Poles.

Fourth Army headquarters was operational southeast of Lomza on 16 September. This permitted Third Army to move its headquarters to Wegrow, where it could direct operations against Warsaw more closely. Bialystok was in German hands, and the Fourth Army front was secure as far south as Bielsk. Polish units identified on the front to the northeast indicated no threat to the army group's left flank.

On 16 September the 10th Panzer and 20th Motorized Infantry Divisions launched a concerted attack on the [Brest] fortress, and took the outer line of defenses. However, the infantry regiment of the 10th Panzer Division failed to advance immediately behind the artillery barrage laid down for its support, and the inner fortress remained in Polish hands.

Despite his hopeless position, [Polish General] Bortnowski made one more effort to break through the German line on 16 September, this time to the north and east in an attempt to cross the Vistula and reach Modlin. This final attempt was fruitless, and the Eighth Army took advantage of the weakening Polish situation to compress the Kutno force into a compact mass and a target small enough for a concentrated air assault.

Tenth Army units on the Warsaw front held an east-west line. One infantry division was assigned to hold the southern approaches to the city, while the army concentrated stronger forces to move between Warsaw and the mass of Polish units at Kutno. The army commander directed the XI Corps to establish a bridgehead west of the Bzura River, to enable the XVI Corps to cross with its armor and attack the Poles from the east. This operation was worked out in close coordination with Eighth Army, pressing in on the Poles from the northwest, west, and southwest.

The bridgehead across the Bzura was established by 16 September, and the two Panzer divisions of XVI Corps prepared to attack immediately, with strong infantry support. A sharp spoiling attack by the encircled Polish force, in an attempt to break out to the east, prevented the implementation of this plan. Two infantry divisions were diverted to stem the attack, and a Panzer division was shifted northward to interpose itself between the Polish force and the capital. The disruption of the German plan mattered little, however, as the Polish force at Kutno expended its strength in attempts to break through the German encirclement.

Fourteenth Army reported some local engagements on 16 September as isolated Polish units were encountered on the army front and in the rear areas. Heavy fighting continued at Lwow and in the area of Bilgoraj.

German shelling of the [Gdynia] Flats and a series of heavy air attacks continued through 16 and 17 September.

Molotov's answer [to Ribbentrop] of 16 September promised military action [against Poland] the next day or the day following; Stalin was in conference with military leaders and would give the date and time that night.
[Read More]

Other (from Wikipedia)


Quote:
* The Battles of Khalkhin Gol ended with an armistice.

* The Saar Offensive ended with an unforced French withdrawal after operations failed to divert any German troops from Poland.

* The British steam trawler Rudyard Kipling was sunk off the west coast of Ireland by the German submarine U-27.


Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/16/2017 10:03:33 PM

Quote:
A brief comment on Week 2.

 While the events this week were not as momentous as the Allies declaring war, the pace of events continues to be riveting. One should attempt to ignore what we know as hindsight and think what the leaders in various powers were experiencing in September 1939. Given what is going on, it is not hard to imagine the national leaders practically reeling from the steady impact of new events. They have just absorbed one striking piece of information when the next arrives ...


Bill, excellent reminder of the pace of events, one all the more interesting because of the relatively slower and less sophisticated access to information in 1939 (and, obviously, throughout the war, though things did improve), the needed continuation of normal functions, and the rather rigid sense of hierarchy which existed in most diplomatic embassies at the time. Add to that the sense that nobody knew – I would argue until the collapse of Poland, which is yet another 2 weeks away – whether we had a major European conflict in the making or still a minor (I believe the Germans were still calling it a) "police action" which, when settled, can be put behind everybody as a minor disturbance. Except for Poland, of course.

There is, as an example, this vignette from September 2, 1939, which captures a sense of what officials had to face:

Quote:
10.00am (11.00am), BRITISH EMBASSY, WARSAW
Patrick Maitland [correspondent for the Times]has come to the Embassy to see if there is any news. He finds the place cluttered with packing cases. Papers and files are being burnt. It is obvious that preparations for evacuation are already taking place. 'Peter' Norton, the highly efficient and practical wife of the Embassy's Counsellor, has managed to scrounge a lorry from the Polish Army for the move. Meanwhile, in the Chancery, the Times correspondent comes across a typist still typing out menu cards for a dinner that ambassador Sir Howard Kennard is due to give next week.The Day We Went to War, (p 108).


This is a mere 29 hours after Germany invaded. Do you pack the good china at this point, or prepare a fine meal for your guests? Given the situation, this is not an idle question.

The other side of this is how the activities of governments were being assessed, both by each other and by their citizens. Civilians might be able to claim ignorance of the sophisticated issues surrounding a formal declaration of war, but in Britain and France the mood was for action:
Quote:
Introduction: resumé of 2 September
For twenty-four hours Poland has been under attack. But there was still no positive news of Britain and France coming to her aid. Huddersfield housewife Marjorie Gothard wrote in her diary, 'the people of Britain wake up to hear that no reply to the Britis ultimatum has come from Hitler'. People were perplexed at the lack of action on Britain's part. There was a genuine concern that the Government was still trying to appease Hitler and wriggle out of its obligations to Poland. A Mass Observation diarist, a woman of twenty-four, 'woke up feeling flattened and weak. News in evening bewildering. What is the reason for delaying the decision? Afraid of letting down Poland.' In Bolton, a woman told Mass Observation, 'No one would stand another Munich.' In her diary, Helena Mott, a persistent critic of Chamberlain and appeasement, wrote with increasing: 'WHY HAVE WE NOT STARTED?!!'
In France too, there was uneasy feeling that the Poles were going to be abandoned, just as the Czechs had been the year before... . The Day We Went to War, p 133.

The expectations of what "starting" would mean were, IMHO, totally misdirected and misplaced. Even at the end of week 2 British military was barely getting it's BEF in place, let alone providing numbers to make a difference in a ground assault. The RAF, stunned by the weaknesses two ops had demonstrated, were in rapid reassessment mode. Over the coming months they would learn a lot about night flying and target finding. The RN was doing daily patrols in and around the near approaches to British ports, but was more capable of setting up protection for convoys for France (the RN did this well in WW1) than setting up protection for convoys that were ocean-going. They would need more time and some very nasty shocks indeed before they could even begin to deal with their responsibilities. And the Army would sit facing neutral territory, miles from even the possibility of facing conflict with Germany.

I think about Mose Allison's great blues song:
People running 'round in circles
Don't know what they're headed for
Everybody's Crying Peace on Earth
Just as soon as we win this war


And I think about how we, who have so much more information available to us, still honestly don't know whether we might find the world at war at any given time. I have a friend travelling in Japan. He and I have travelled together to Europe. He sent me an email this morning, in his usual laconic style:

Quote:
Hi, I hope your week went well.

It's an interesting time here; part of me wishes I could have seen the Scud-like device pass over early Friday morning.

There are many news flashes on emergency procedures and what Japan and America are doing (nothing about S. Korea) however the average Japanese citizen continues on with his/her ‎daily activity. We are in Sapporo, where there is no evidence of any military or other emergency personnel or even a heightened sense of security.

Talking to locals, the biggest concern is what Trump may do outside of sanctions and his usual excessive hot air. Negotiating appears to be the first choice.
Sorry for over-stating the obvious. Keep well.
Aside from certain references, this could be 1918 France, 1962 Cuba, or 2017 Parsons Green.

The activity during the first couple of weeks of the Polish invasion was incredibly rapid. But much of it was in a kind of vacuum. Bill has chosen this as yet another point of reflection. I think he's right. On September 17, I would argue that the idea of a "police action" disappears from the table.

Cheers
Brian G

---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

BWilson

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Posts: 3296

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/17/2017 4:11:18 AM
September 17, 1939

Poland


Quote:
The [Brest] Citadel was finally taken on 17 September, when an infantry regiment of the 20th Motorized Infantry Division launched an assault as the Polish garrison was attempting to break out of the fortress and escape to the west. A total of 600 prisoners were taken by the Germans in this final phase of the Brzesc operation.

While the 10th Panzer and 20th Motorized Infantry Divisions were engaged in taking Brzesc, the 3d Panzer Division moved around the city to the east and drove southward in the direction of Wlodowa.

The 2d Motorized Infantry Division, following the 3d Panzer Division, was assigned the mission of securing the left flank of the corps and moved eastward in the direction of Kobryn. The headquarters of the XIX Corps moved to Brzesc and prepared to meet the Russians, since the corps could not evacuate Brzesc before their arrival.

Active operations ended for part of the XIX Corps with the capture of Brzesc and its Citadel. The 10th Panzer and 20th Motorized Infantry Divisions remained in the Brzesc area. The 3d Panzer Division, which had moved southward on Wlodowa, and the 2d Motorized Division, moving on Kobryn to the east, were to continue their small actions, cutting off Polish units attempting to escape eastward and taking numerous prisoners.

[On] 17 September, German air units attacking Warsaw were diverted long enough from their target to deliver a series of heavy air attacks on the encircled Poles and expedite the movement of ground units toward Kutno. The Polish defensive organization collapsed, and 40,000 prisoners were taken. A strong Polish force managed to fight its way through the German line and moved toward the forested area southwest of Modlin, below the Vistula. This force was immediately engaged by Tenth Army and destroyed.

At the conclusion of the second phase of Army Group South operations Eighth Army was still occupied in clearing the Kutno area of the last remnants of its Polish force. While Tenth Army completed the destruction of those Polish units that had escaped east of the Bzura, Eighth Army destroyed all those remaining west of the river.

On Tenth Army's eastern front, meanwhile, Bilgoraj was taken though stiff fighting continued southeast of the city, and Lublin was entered on 17 September. Advance units, passing between Polish concentrations to the north and south, reached the Wieprz Kiver the same day. Tenth Army units were moving on Chelm and street fighting raged in Lublin as the second phase of Army Group South's operations came to a close. Tenth Army moved its headquarters to a point a short distance southwest of Warsaw and continued its drive in the direction of the Bug River, which would form the limiting line for its advance.

On 17 September the Poles broadcast a request that they be allowed to send representatives to arrange the removal of noncombatants [from Warsaw]. The request was acknowledged by the Germans, who indicated their willingness to receive the Polish emissaries, although Hitler had indicated that the time allotted for evacuation had elapsed. The Polish emissaries never appeared, however.

At 0200 on 17 September, in the presence of Molotov, the German Ambassador was informed by Stalin that Soviet troops would move into Poland at 0600 that same day. Stalin requested that German aircraft remain west of the line Bialystok-Brzesc-Lwow, since Russian aircraft would begin bombing operations in the area of Lwow immediately following the crossing of the frontier.

From available records it appears that the German Foreign Minister and other government leaders had not taken the military officers directing operations into their confidence on the negotiations being carried on between Berlin and Moscow. Jodl mentioned later that he was informed of the impending move by the Red Army only two or three days before it took place. Warlimont, chief operations officer of Jodl's Armed Forces Operations Office, states that he knew nothing of the move until called by General Koestring from Moscow the morning the Red Army crossed the frontier. Koestring himself had not been fully advised of the Red Army's preparations and plans to cross into Poland. As a result of this lack of direction from the Reich's highest official quarters, which were themselves completely uninformed of the actual Russian intentions until less than four hours before the actual intervention of the Soviet Union, German troops continued to move eastward and beyond the demarcation line which had been agreed upon. Some German units could not disengage from contact with the Poles immediately upon receipt of orders to do so; others were forced to fight a series of rear guard actions as they moved back to the demarcation line.

Army Group North was informed of the Red Army's movement into eastern Poland by OKH early on 17 September, and was directed to remain west of the line along the Bug River-Brzesc-Bialystok. Units of the XXI Corps in the Bialystok area and a motorized division of XIX Corps in the Brzesc region had already advanced east of this line. These units were to be permitted to remain east of the line long enough to complete their missions, after which they were to withdraw. The plan to send armored and motorized infantry columns to Slonim and Kowela was abandoned. Despite the OKH order to confine its operations to the area west of the Bug-Brzesc-Bialystok line, Army Group North instructed its air reconnaissance units to continue flying missions to Grodno and other points deep enough to provide security for the army group.

The second phase of operations by Army Group North was completed with the intervention of the Red Army. All organized resistance in the area between Warsaw and Brzesc had ended, and Army Group North had established contact with Army Group South across the Vistula at Gora Kalwarja. Farther east advance Panzer units of XIX Corps had established radio contact with Panzer elements of Rundstedt's force and only a few miles separated the armored spearheads of the two German army groups. Prisoners taken on 16 and 17 September represented half the identified Polish divisions and almost one-third of the cavalry brigades, and their statements indicated complete despair on the part of the remnants of the Polish Army.

Relations with the Russians suffered several setbacks at the outset in the Army Group North area. Russian aircraft bombed a bridge nine miles west of Bialystok on 17 September, killing three German soldiers and several Labor Service men. Other Russian air attacks inflicted casualties on advance units of XIX Corps east of the Bug.

The Red Army crossed the border into eastern Poland with two army groups, called "fronts" in Soviet usage.9-5 It was of particular interest to the Germans to note that the units of these two fronts were drawn from the interior of the Soviet Union. Garrison troops in the frontier areas remained at their home stations, and the defensive capability of the Red Army in the western Soviet Union was not greatly weakened by the venture into Poland.

The White Russian Front, in the north, was commanded by Army Commander Kovalev, with headquarters in Minsk. (The regular ranks for general officers, except for marshals, had not yet been reintroduced in the Red Army.) The front consisted of the Third and Eleventh Armies, the former assigned the mission of advancing on Brzesc and Bialystok while the latter moved into the area of Poland adjacent to the Lithuanian and East Prussian frontiers. The Third Army comprised one. tank, one cavalry, and one infantry corps, with a total of two infantry and three cavalry divisions and an unknown number of tank brigades. The Eleventh Army controlled three similar corps, with one additional infantry division.

The Ukrainian Front, on the south, was commanded by Army Commander Timoshenko, with headquarters at Proskurov, east of Lwow. The front consisted of the First and Tenth Armies, the former assigned the mission of moving on Lwow while the latter advanced on the Lublin area. The First Army was the far stronger of the two, with a tank corps, two cavalry corps, and four infantry corps. First Army had a total of at least six infantry and six cavalry divisions, and an undetermined number of tank brigades. The Tenth Army comprised only two corps, with two cavalry divisions and an undetermined number of infantry divisions.

According to the estimates made at OKW, the Russians committed a total of at least 20 to 24 infantry divisions, 15 cavalry divisions, and 9 tank brigades to the advance into Poland. No figures were given on the number of troops that this may have involved. Since they expected to meet little or no resistance and possibly in order to impress the Poles and Germans, the Russians sent their tank and motorized units on ahead, where the terrain permitted, followed by the infantry at some interval. Horse cavalry units were used in broken country or areas in which the road net did not permit the use of motor vehicles. This accounts for the frequent mention in German headquarters journals of the sudden appearance of Russian armored and horse cavalry units. (Editor's note: a contemporary order of battle for the Soviet forces invading Poland in 1939 may be found here: [Read More])

The actions of the Russians on moving into Poland put the lie to their claims of assistance to the Russian minorities. The Red Army offered the Germans armed assistance wherever it should be necessary, even though this assistance usually came too late, and destroyed or captured organized Polish forces with which it came into contact even prior to the surrender of Warsaw and the destruction of the last major Polish force at Kock. Little information as to Russian activities in eastern Poland was allowed to leak out once the Red Army established control of the area; no mention at all of these activities appears in German reports of the period, possibly due in some part to lack of interest in areas beyond the control of the Wehrmacht and in which the Reich had no immediate concern, but more likely because of the stringent security measures taken by the Russians in their newly acquired territories.
[Read More]


Image: Soviet troops entering Poland, 1939.

Editor's note: Interesting how the Soviet move into Poland took place one day after matters with the Japanese were settled at Khalkin Gol.


Image: Polish Campaign, mid-September


Quote:
Given these conditions, the Soviet government was forced to take diplomatic and military actions in order to protect the people of West Ukraine and West Belorussia from enslavement by the fascists. [Editor's note: "West Ukraine" and "West Belorussia" were actually, according to the international frontier, eastern Poland.]

True to her internationalist duty, on 17 September 1939 the Soviet government ordered the Red Army to cross the international frontier. Soviet troops obeyed these orders and promptly halted a further advance of fascist aggression to the east. . . .

The anti-Soviet foreign policy of the Polish government had went against the national interests of the Polish people and undermined the ability of Poland to ward off German aggression. (Soviet history of the war, Volume 3)



Image: Chicago Sunday Tribune for 17 September 1939.

Other


Quote:
* British aircraft carrier HMS Courageous was sunk off the coast of Ireland by German submarine U-29. An earlier unsuccessful attack on Ark Royal by U-39 on 14 September, followed by the sinking of Courageous three days later, prompted the Royal Navy to withdraw its carriers from anti-submarine patrols. Courageous was the first British warship to be sunk by German forces. The commander of the German submarine force, Commodore Karl Dönitz, regarded the sinking of Courageous as "a wonderful success" and it led to widespread jubilation in the Kriegsmarine (German navy). Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, commander of the Kriegsmarine, directed that Schuhart be awarded the Iron Cross First Class and that all other members of the crew receive the Iron Cross Second Class. (Wikipedia)


Editor's note: 519 RN men, including the ship's captain, were lost when the carrier sank.


Image: HMS Courageous


Image: HMS Courageous sinking after attack by U-29.

Cheers

BW



---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Posts: 1303

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/17/2017 7:05:41 PM
Day 17. September 17 (continued)
Sunday.

Note: I have added the day of the week to the header, and will add phase of the moon once the air battle truly begins.


Quote:
Poland The Polish president, Ignacy Moscici, his government and the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish armed forces, Marshal Smigly-Rydz, resign and take refuge in Rumania.
2194 Days of War, p 28.


Quote:
• Moscow informed Finland Russia would respect its neutrality.
• Russia recognized Slovakia as an independent state.
• Italy assured Athens it would take no military action against Greece even if Italy entered the war.
Goralski, p 95.


Quote:
At 15.55 hours on 17 Sep 1939 the unescorted Kafiristan (Master John Busby) was torpedoed by U-53 about 350 miles west of Cape Clear. The ship had been missed by a first torpedo at 15.42 hours and was sunk by a coup de grâce at 16.14 hours. Six crew members were lost. The master and 28 crew members were picked up by the American merchant American Farmer and landed at New York.
[Read More]


Quote:
On 17 Sep 1939, HMS Courageous (50) (Capt W.T. Makeig-Jones, RN) was on anti-submarine patrol about 350 miles west of Lands End, escorted by HMS Inglefield (D 02) (Capt A.G. Talbot, RN), HMS Ivanhoe (D 16) (Cdr B. Jones, RN), HMS Impulsive (D 11) (LtCdr W.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Intrepid (D 10) (Cdr J.W. Josselyn, RN). At 14.45 hours, the group picked up a distress call from Kafiristan being attacked by U-53 (Heinicke) about 350 miles west of Cape Clear. The destroyers HMS Inglefield (D 02) and HMS Intrepid (D 10) were detached and the carrier launched four Swordfish aircraft, one of them forced the U-boat to dive without damaging it at 17.00 hours. About 18.00 hours, U-29spotted the carrier group and began chasing it, but had no chance to get into a favorable attack position until the carrier turned into the wind to recover the four Swordfish returning from the search for U-53. She was now heading on a straight course at 18 knots towards the U-boat which attacked only five minutes after the last aircraft landed. At 19.50 hours, U-29 fired a spread of three G7e torpedoes at HMS Courageous (50) and hit her with two of them on the port side abaft the bridge. She almost immediately took a heavy list to port and sank after 17 minutes about 190 miles southwest of Dursey Head, Ireland. The commander, 17 officers and 501 ratings were lost, including 36 RAF service crewmen. All Swordfish aircraft of 811 and 822 Sqdn FAA were lost with the ship.

While HMS Ivanhoe (D 16) attacked U-29 with depth charges, HMS Impulsive (D 11) began to rescue the survivors and was soon joined by the American steam merchant Collingsworth, the British steam merchant Dido and the Dutch steam passenger ship Veendam, which launched 14 lifeboats and also saved the ships log. The rescue work proved difficult due to the heavily oiled sea. Further help arrived when HMS Kempenfelt (I 18) (Capt C. Caslon, RN) and HMS Echo (H 23) (Cdr S.H.K. Spurgeon, RAN) joined HMS Ivanhoe (D 16) in the submarine hunt together with the returned HMS Intrepid (D 10), but the U-boat escaped during the night. Also the two light cruisers HMS Caradoc (D 60) (Capt E.W. Longley-Cook, RN) and HMS Ceres (D 59) (Capt E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at the scene together with HMS Kelly (F 01) (Capt L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, RN), but the cruisers were soon ordered away. Dido had picked up 23 officers and 195 ratings and was escorted to Liverpool by HMS Intrepid (D 10). The survivors rescued by the neutral merchants were transferred to HMS Inglefield (D 02)and HMS Kelly (F 01) and arrived at Devonport on the evening of 18 September.
[Read More]

Note the presence of HMS Kelly, captained by Lord Louis Mountbatten. IIRC, both the ship and the skipper were used as the basis of Noel Coward’s In Which We Serve, considered by some to be the best Allied propaganda film of WW2.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
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"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/18/2017 7:17:47 AM
September 18, 1939

Poland


Quote:
On 18 September OKH directed the resumption of operations against Warsaw, and Third and Tenth Armies commenced a heavy and sustained artillery bombardment of the Polish capital. The First Air Force joined the attack with a dive bomber attack on water works and other utilities on 20 September. On the ground small task forces made a series of probing attacks against the city's defenses.

Officer prisoners revealed that the garrison of Warsaw was composed in large part of regular troops, under [Polish] General Rommel, former commander of the Lodz Army. Morale was good, under the circumstances, and ammunition in ample supply. The city's communications system and sources of electric power were still intact. The food situation was unknown, but at best it could only be fair in view of the large civilian population to be fed and the impossibility of any resupply from outside Warsaw. Third Army met spirited resistance to the north and east of the city, as did Tenth Army to the south and west.

A total of 2,000 prisoners was taken on 18 September [at Gdynia].

The joint communique issued on 18 September stated only that the Russian movement into Poland did not conflict with the nonaggression pact and that both German and Soviet Governments desired only to restore order and assist the Poles to reestablish their political existence. Two days later the Soviet Government proposed that no residual Polish Government be formed and that the country be partitioned along the line formed by the Soviet and German spheres of influence agreed upon in the nonaggression pact. The Reich Government immediately assented and Ribbentrop prepared to go to Moscow to conclude negotiations and settle the fate of the Polish state.
[Read More]


Quote:
The Polish submarine Orzeł escaped from internment at Tallinn and began a perilous 27-day voyage to Scotland. The crew's navigational charts had been confiscated by Estonian military authorities but someone from the British embassy might have secretly provided them with new charts. The Soviets angrily accused Estonia of helping the Orzeł to escape and threatened to enter Estonian territorial waters to search for the submarine. (Wikipedia)



Quote:
German and Soviet troops encounter one another at Brest. (chroniknet.de)


Other


Quote:
* William Joyce began making English-language propaganda broadcasts over German radio to England. He would earn the nickname Lord Haw-Haw. (Wikipedia)


Cheers

BW

---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

brian grafton
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/18/2017 6:03:29 PM
Day 18. September 18 (continued)
Monday


Quote:
In simultaneous announcements, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland declared they intended to continue trading with all belligerents to protect their economic existence. (Goralski, p 95)



Quote:
Under pressure from the German government, Rumania interns the members of the government of Poland who had asked for asylum the previous day. (2194 Days, p 28)



Quote:
Three ships of British registry were sunk.
U-35 sank two of three trawlers (Arlita and Lord Minto west of the Hebrides. The third trawler took aboard the crew of the two sunk ships and was allowed to proceed.
U-32 sank Kensington Court, a merchant steamer, 120 miles off Land’s End. Master and crew were rescued by two RAF Coastal Command Sunderlands.
Copy abstracted from «uboat.net».
Note: in all four sinkings, no lives were lost. U-boat captains assured themselves that crew were at least relatively safe before sinking their ships. In fact, in an earlier encounter that day U-35 allowed the trawler St Alvis to survive (after throwing her radio overboard) because U-35's captain did not deem St Alvis's life boat large enough to carry the trawler’s crew to safety.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/19/2017 8:39:12 AM
September 19, 1939

Poland


Quote:
[The] German attack of 19 September [at Gdynia] became a clearing operation. Oksywie was taken in the late afternoon and the Germans had established firm control of the Flats by evening. Colonel Dabek committed suicide rather than surrender his command.
[Read More]


Quote:
* The Battle of Wilno ended with the Soviet capture of the city.

* The Battles of the Bzura and Kępa Oksywska ended in German victories.

* The Red Army joined the Battle of Lwów.

* The Battle of Wólka Węglowa was fought, resulting in Polish tactical victory.

* Hitler entered the former Free City of Danzig and gave a speech denouncing the Polish government and warning England that Germany would never capitulate even if the war lasted years. (Wikipedia)



Quote:
* In the Bzura pocket, the remnants of the Polish Poznan and Pomerania Armies surrender.

* In the lower house of Swiss government, Albert Maag-Socin and Ludwig Rittmeyer criticize, in a question to Parliament, the rigorous procedures of the Foreigner Police against illegal border crossers. (chroniknet.de)


Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

brian grafton
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/19/2017 6:48:32 PM
Day 19. September 19 (continued)
Tuesday


Quote:
Poland The Red Army joins up with German troops at Brest-Litovsk. The Führer makes a triumphal entry into Danzig, and there makes a foreign policy speech that seems to offer conciliation with France and Britain. …
Western Front The first British army corps lands in France. (2194 Days, p 28.)

Note different assessments of Hitler’s speech from Wikipedia and 2194 Days.

Quote:
On 26 August 1939 the passenger ship Rawalpindi of the P. & O. Steam Navigation Co Ltd, London was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. Conversion was completed on 19 September 1939.«uboat.net»

Note: no U-boats or Allied ships lost on this date.

Cheers
Brian G
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/20/2017 2:34:40 AM
 The bulk of Hitler's speech can be read here [Read More]. "Conciliation" is not the word I would use, more like lecturing and finger pointing. He expresses sympathy with ordinary Polish and French soldiers, yet the policies of his state much more often than not led to mistreatment of Allied prisoners of war, and of civilians in occupied territories. The entire text is his usual style -- very manipulative. FWIW, the Wikipedia bit was sourced to a Page 1 story of the Chicago Daily Tribune. [Read More]


Image: From Page 1 of the Chicago Daily Tribune, September 20, 1939.

Cheers

BW
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With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/20/2017 1:39:40 PM
September 20, 1939

Poland


Quote:
[German] First Air Force joined the attack [on Warsaw] with a dive bomber attack on water works and other utilities on 20 September. On the ground small task forces made a series of probing attacks against the city's defenses.

Hitler's order to withdraw to the demarcation line of the Narew-Vistula-San Rivers was communicated to the army groups on 20 September and necessitated a move far to the west of the line of 17 September. The Fuehrer's directive required immediate disengagement from the Polish forces still carrying on hostilities and withdrawal without delay to the west of the line formed by the three rivers.

The order for evacuation took little cognizance of the military situation. The German combat units in eastern Poland had several thousand wounded they had been unable to evacuate, thousands of prisoners of war, a large number of disabled tanks and other vehicles, and in addition they were in possession of large stocks of Polish Army matériel, ammunition, foodstuffs, and other supplies. Personnel, vehicles, and animals had just completed a campaign over vast distances; the men and horses required rest and the motor vehicles were in need of repairs. Rail transportation to move any but a small portion of the German forces to the west was completely inadequate.

Rundstedt reported the destruction of the Polish concentrations south of Bilgoraj during the several days preceding the receipt of orders to evacuate eastern Poland. Fourteenth Army on 20 September also reported the capture of 11,000 prisoners northwest of Lwow, ending operations in that area. The siege of Lwow was still in progress when Army Group South received orders to withdraw west of the Vistula-San River line.
[Read More]


Quote:
* Army Kraków surrendered in the Battle of Tomaszów Lubelski. (Wikipedia)


Other


Quote:
* The German submarine U-27 was sunk by British destroyers west of Scotland. (Wikipedia)

* German Jews and Jews of other nationalities in the Reich are forbidden to possess radio receivers. (chroniknet.de)


Cheers

BW

---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

brian grafton
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/20/2017 7:22:29 PM
Day 20. September 20 (CONTINUED)
Wednesday. New moon.


Quote:
Western Front The first engagement between the RAF and the Luftwaffe was fought over Aachen when a flight of Me-109s intercepted three RAF Battles patrolling the French-German border. Two Battles and a Messerschmitt were downed. (Goralski, p 95)

The Fairey Battle was single-engined, typically with a crew of three in combat, and was classified as a “light bomber”. It carried 4 x 500 lb bombs in wing cells (and could carry an additional 500 lb bomb externally), and had minimal defensive power (1 fixed forward-facing .303 mg; 1 articulated rear-facing .303 mg). Designed as a “fast bomber” capable of outrunning fighter a/c, it was actually some 140 mph (230 km/h) slower than the Bf-109F, which it would face during the Battle of France.

Eight of the 13 squadrons comprising the RAF Advanced Air Striking Force were Battle squadrons, with 2 Blenheim l sqdns (also bombers, but rated as “medium bombers”) and 3 Hurricane sqdns as fighter support. This was, in effect, 1 Group RAF Bomber Command, but had been removed from Bomber Command control and assigned support duty for the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) prior to the outbreak of war.

The Battle was to prove extremely vulnerable under combat conditions, and would be withdrawn from combat after horrendous losses in the Battle for France. Officially the a/c was according to some sources (e.g., Wikipedia) withdrawn from service in late June 1940. Nevertheless, there were Battle squadrons assigned tentative roles as attack bombers against barges should Operation Sealion (in German: Seelöwe) be executed. The a/c was eventually relegated to training commands, and (with a crew of 2) proved successful as a target tug.

From William Shirer’s Berlin Diary, Little Brown (Canada):
Quote:
Hitler lent us [ed.: foreign press?] on e of his thirty-two-passenger planes to bring us back from Danzig. Tonight the [German] press talks openly of peace. … All the Germans I’ve talked to today are dead sure we shall have peace within a month. They are in high spirits. (p 217)

In the Saar village of Ottweiler yesterday the Germans buried with full military honours Lieutenant Louis Paul Dechanel of the French army. His father had been President of France. He was killed leading a detachment agains the Westwall. At his burial a German military band played the Marseillaise. The Germans took a news-reel of the ceremony and will use it in their propaganda to show the French they haven’t anything agains France. (p 219)


Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/21/2017 1:48:24 AM

Quote:
Day 20. September 20 (CONTINUED)
Wednesday. New moon.

The first engagement between the RAF and the Luftwaffe was fought over Aachen when a flight of Me-109s intercepted three RAF Battles patrolling the French-German border. Two Battles and a Messerschmitt were downed. (Goralski, p 95)
The Fairey Battle was single-engined, typically with a crew of three in combat, and was classified as a “light bomber”. It carried 4 x 500 lb bombs in wing cells (and could carry an additional 500 lb bomb externally), and had minimal defensive power (1 fixed forward-facing .303 mg; 1 articulated rear-facing .303 mg). Designed as a “fast bomber” capable of outrunning fighter a/c, it was actually some 140 mph (230 km/h) slower than the Bf-109F, which it would face during the Battle of France.

Eight of the 13 squadrons comprising the RAF Advanced Air Striking Force were Battle squadrons, with 2 Blenheim l sqdns (also bombers, but rated as “medium bombers”) and 3 Hurricane sqdns as fighter support. This was, in effect, 1 Group RAF Bomber Command, but had been removed from Bomber Command control and assigned support duty for the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) prior to the outbreak of war.

The Battle was to prove extremely vulnerable under combat conditions, and would be withdrawn from combat after horrendous losses in the Battle for France. Officially the a/c was according to some sources (e.g., Wikipedia) withdrawn from service in late June 1940. Nevertheless, there were Battle squadrons assigned tentative roles as attack bombers against barges should Operation Sealion (in German: Seelöwe) be executed. The a/c was eventually relegated to training commands, and (with a crew of 2) proved successful as a target tug.



Images: Fairey Battle and Messerschmidt Bf 109

Cheers

BW

---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

Phil andrade
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/21/2017 2:46:06 AM
The father of a lifelong friend of mine was a pilot in a Fairey Battle.

Now in his 97th year, and very recently widowed, he resides in a care home.

His story is the stuff of legend.

He was shot down while on a mission to bomb the German bridgehead at Sedan.

He spent the remaining five years of the war in a POW camp.

I musn't jump the gun, so will keep powder dry on this until the thread reaches the appropriate point in the chronology.

In the meantime, isn't this German sensibility about the honoured burial of that French officer remarkable ?

The most terrible conflict in history ....and yet there are these episodes of incongruous chivalry.

It makes me think that there was a strong impulse among many people - and the Germans no less than anyone else - to avert the forthcoming nightmare .

Regards , Phil
---------------
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/21/2017 3:00:01 AM
September 21, 1939

Poland


Quote:
Progress was slow in reducing the city of Warsaw by artillery fire and air bombardment. The garrison had made good use of the brief cease-fires to build additional barricades and weapons emplacements, and Warsaw's artillery still answered the fire of the Germans. A large militia force, hastily organized, supplemented the efforts of the Army and police. The situation with the diplomatic colony was resolved on 21 September when it was arranged for personnel of the neutral embassies, consulates, and missions to leave the city through the [German] Third Army lines.

The destruction of the Gdynia force completed German operations in the upper Corridor, except for Hela. A regimental combat team of the 207th Infantry Division, reinforced by all but one battalion of the division artillery and by the artillery of Brigade Eberhard, was assigned the task of taking Hela. The extremely narrow peninsula extending out to the Polish naval base precluded the commitment of a force of any greater size, and a seaborne landing against heavily fortified Hela promised little success without heavy losses.

The regiment assigned to take Hela made a limited advance out onto the peninsula on 21 September, to find it heavily mined and stubbornly defended.

To effect the withdrawal [from eastern Poland] in orderly fashion, the German ground forces on 21 September were ordered by OKH to draw back along a series of phase lines, each located progressively farther to the west. Where possible, an interval of 15 miles was to be maintained between the Wehrmacht and the Red Army, but unit commanders were authorized to deal with the Russians should they overtake German troops on the move. The wounded were to be left behind with medical personnel for later evacuation. Captured matériel was to be evacuated by the Germans where practicable, otherwise it would be left behind for the Russians. German matériel that could not be evacuated was to be left under guard and removed later. Particular care was to be taken to destroy disabled Mark IV tanks that could not be salvaged.

The evacuation order instructed Rundstedt to leave the reduction of Lwow to the Russians. The attack planned by XVIII Corps for 21 September was cancelled, and the corps prepared to move to the west. Contact had already been established with the Russians when Red Army tanks had suddenly appeared at Winniki, southeast of Lwow.

The Polish garrison of Lwow abruptly and unexpectedly surrendered to the 1st Mountain Division as it made ready to withdraw from its siege lines on 21 September. The occupation of the city was left to the Russians and the 1st Mountain Division moved westward toward the San with the rest of the XVIII Corps.

Tenth Army ceased operations at Chelm and began its withdrawal to the west of the demarcation line. Chelm had already been taken under artillery fire and preparations were under way for an infantry assault when the withdrawal order arrived.
[Read More]

Other


Quote:
* The Chief of the Security Police and Security Service of the SS, Reinhard Heydrich, declared the nature of the occupation of Poland thus: Liquidation of the intelligentsia, ghettoization of the Jews, and forced resettlement of Poles to a region of Poland that would have Cracow as its administrative center. (chroniknet.de) Reinhard Heydrich met with police and security officials in Berlin. Heydrich ordered that Germany's Jews and Romani be transferred to Poland using freight cars. (Wikipedia)

* Armand Călinescu, Prime Minister of Romania, was assassinated in Bucharest by members of the Iron Guard. (Wikipedia)

* President Roosevelt made a speech to Congress saying the United States should amend its Neutrality Acts to allow countries fighting Germany to purchase American arms. The president said the current laws stood to give passive "aid to an aggressor," while denying help to victimized nations. (Wikipedia)




Images: Armand Călinescu and Reinhard Heydrich.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

anemone
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/21/2017 10:23:58 AM
22nd September 1939

Battle of Lvov

On September 22, 1939, the act of surrender was signed in the suburb of Winniki in the ciry of Lvov . The Red Army accepted all conditions proposed by General Władysław Langner.

The privates and NCOs were to leave the city, regster themselves at the Soviet authorities and be allowed to go home.

Officers would be allowed to keep their belongings and leave Poland for whatever country would accept them.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

brian grafton
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/21/2017 6:26:47 PM
Day 21. September 21 (continued)
Thursday.

This should have been listed yesterday. My apologies.

Quote:
RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS, 20 September to 25 November 1939

After the costly raid on German warships on the second day of the war, there was no day activity of any kind for Bomber Command squadrons until 20 September, when a series of photographic reconnaissance flights over Germany commenced. The purpose of these was to discover whether the Germans were carrying out a military build-up in Western Germany after the end of the Polish campaign and whether a German attack on France was likely to occur. Road and rail communications were thus frequently photographed. a watch was also kept on German airfields and naval bases. 2 series were also made to the Ruhr to photography power stations there which were being considered as future bombing targets. These daylight reconnaissance flights were all carried out by Blenheims of 2 Group. …
The Blenheims flew 37 of these sorties on 11 days during this period, the most sorties in any one day being 6 on 30 October. These dangerous and lonely flights were carried out with much determination, but at heavy cost. … The 7 planes lost in this period represented 19.4 per cent of the sorties flown. (BC War Diaries, p 24)
Minor note: I make the percentage lost 18.9 per cent, not 19.4.

For those who are interested in such things, the early history of the Blenheim is worth a read. The following misses some of the nuances, but might work as a teaser. [Read More]
The Blenheim Mk l entered service in 1937, but was being phased out by the Blenheim Mk IV, introduced in the summer of 1939. The Mk lV was up-engined, but added weight made the Mk lV slower than the Mk l. Side note: Canada's aircraft industry began building a Canadian version of the Blenheim Mk iV. It was designated a Bristol Bolingbroke.

Losses in reconnaissance roles during this nine-week period were unsustainable, though at 19 per cent they were marginally better than the 23.3 per cent loss rate on September 4.

A point that must be made at some time, and which is vital until the German invasion of France and the Low Countries in May 1940 is that both Holland and Belgium were militantly neutral. British a/c could not overfly their territories, just as BEF or French ground forces were not welcome on neutral soil. Because of that, to reach the Ruhr meant much longer flights with much lengthier times over German territory. This undoubtedly accounted for at least some of the losses to 2 Group’s Blenheim.


Quote:
BERLIN, September 21

…Heard President Roosevelt ask the special session of Congress to repeal the neutrality law and allow cashing-carry goods to be sold to those who could buy – France and Britain. Hardly had the President stopped talking before the Wilhelmstrasse issued a statement to the foreign press charging the President with being unneutral. Last summer I tried to find out whether America came into the calculations of the Nazis at all. I couldn’t find any evidence that they gave a damn about us. 1914-17 all over again. But now they’re beginning to think about us.

The war, maybe, is just beginning, even though the Germans, after annihilating Poland, would like to see it ended. Woder why Hitler said at Danzig two nights ago – and the press echoed it – “We will never capitulate.” Why bring up the subject when your positions looks so strong? (Berlin Diary, pp219-220)


Cheers
Brian G

Edit: I forgot the war at sea.

Quote:
After 14.10 hours on 21 Sep 1939, U-35 fired three torpedoes at convoy OA-7southwest of the Scillies, missed a destroyer and a tanker and damaged Teakwood. The damaged ship was taken to Falmouth, escorted by HMS Ardent (H 41) (LtCdr J.F. Barker, RN) which also took wounded sailors aboard for treatment. Shortly thereafter the destroyer was relieved by HMS Vesper (D 55)(LtCdr W.F.E. Hussey, RN) and returned to the convoy. («uboat.net»)


B
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brian grafton
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/21/2017 9:44:19 PM
Phil, looking forward to your story in a host of ways.

It is difficult, at least for me, to sound so critical of various fighting organizations, because for the most part I respect and honour those who served. Whatever lies might have been told aside, brave men (and in rare instances, women, given the WW@ environment) were placed in poor equipment and asked to fight according to either nonsensical or wildly outdated regulations.

Your friend's father survived, but many Battle pilots and observers/gunners/navigators did not. But he spent five years in limbo, and I would argue he did so because of false regulations that developed next-to-useless a/c which met 10 Year Rule requirements. I could go on, but I think many of my views are known.

The German burial episode is, I agree, bizarre. I tend to see this as a propaganda exercise, to be honest, just as I see the photos of German troops in Poland serving food to starving peasants as propaganda.

The war would get uglier in the coming years, as we all know. But even once RAF Bomber Command began what Goebbels saw as raids by "terrorfliegers", there were indications that the best thing that could happen to an RAF flier who was shot down was to be taken into custody by a regular military arm rather than the civilian population or any member of the "political" military. I think warriors knew then, as they know now, that military actions are obscene, but the men who commit them are trapped in a system that supports obscenity.

I guess my vision is a lot bleaker than yours is. But I also think that if we forget an enemy – in this case, a German – is also a human, we are in danger of losing sight of what we are fighting about.

Cheers
Brian G
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"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/22/2017 3:09:08 AM
22nd September 1939 (continued)

Poland


Quote:
Hitler visited Third Army units on 22 September and observed the shelling of Praga from a church tower outside the city. The Fuehrer was opposed to an assault on that part of the city east of the Vistula. However, he approved an attack on that part of Warsaw west of the Vistula that would be occupied by the Germans according to the German-Soviet pact. An attack from the west would also drive the mass of the Warsaw population out of the city to the east and relieve the Germans of responsibility for them. Hitler was informed the same day of the death of General von Fritsch, whom he had removed as commander in chief of the Army over a year earlier. General von Fritsch, despite his retired status, had insisted on his prerogative as honorary regimental commander of accompanying the 12th Artillery Regiment of the 12th Infantry Division into the field, and was killed while observing a division action before Praga.

[German] XIX Corps turned Brzesc over to the Red Army on 22 September in a formal ceremony in which both German and Russian units paraded. The corps then began its return to East Prussia, where tanks and other motor vehicles could receive urgently needed repairs and maintenance.
[Read More]

Other


Quote:
* Second meeting of the Allied Supreme War Council, this time in Hove.

* The German government orders that schoolchildren age 16 years and older will help with the harvest during their holiday from school. (chroniknet.de)



Image: German and Soviet troops parade in Brest, September 22, 1939.

Cheers

BW


---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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E-9 Sergeant Major
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Posts: 1303

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/22/2017 8:07:33 PM
Day 22. September 22 (continued)
Friday.

Nothing to add to Bill’s listing for Poland.


Quote:
The [I]D.A.Z[/I] [edit: presumably the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung], commenting on Roosevelt’s message asking for he repeal of the neutrality law, says tonight: “America is not Roosevelt, and Roosevelt must reckon with the American people.” Yesterday the B.Z.[edit: perhaps the BZ am Mittag, but I’m not sure. Trevor? Anyone?] saw some hope in what it called the “Front of Reason” in America. In that front it put Senators Borah and Clark, Colonel Lindbergh, and Father Caughlin !” (Berlin Diary, p 220.
Note on including information from William Shirer’s Berlin Diary: it was meant to be a public record of observations, not a personal memoir. Shirer notes in the Foreword to the work:
Quote:
Most diaries, it may well be, are written with no thought of publication. …
This journal makes no pretence to being of that kind. It was recorded for my own pleasure and peace of mind, to be sure, but also – to be perfectly frank – with the idea that one day most of it might be published. … The only justification [ed: for thinking such a thing might happen] was that chance, and the kind of job I had, appeared to give me a somewhat unusual opportunity to set down from day to day a first-hand account of a Europe that was already in agony and that, as the months and years unfold, slipped inexorably towards the abyss of war and self-destruction. Berlin Diary, p [v]


At sea


Quote:
At 14.30 hours on 22 Sep 1939 the unescorted Akenside (Master John Thomas Nelson) was stopped by U-7 with machine-gun fire 15 miles west by north of Marsten Island. The crew immediately abandoned ship in lifeboats after a distress signal was sent. The U-boat then sank the vessel with a torpedo. The master and 25 crew members were picked up by the Norwegian torpedo boat Storm and the Marsten Pilot Boat and landed at Bergen.(«boat.net»)
Sailing from Blyth [Northumbria?] to Bergen. Cargo: coal.


Quote:
At 23.00 hours on 22 Sep 1939 the Martti-Ragnar (Master J. Soderblom) was stopped by U-4 about 15 miles east of Arendal and searched. The boarding party ignited three scuttling charges at 00.15 hours on 23 September, because the ship carried contraband and the vessel sank after two hours.[ed.: the Martti-Ragnar was sailing to Ellesmere Port in Wales.] The crew had abandoned ship in two lifeboats, which were towed by the U-boat towards the coast. The men were picked up by two fishing boats and landed at Arendal at 07.30 hours. («boat.net»)
A Finnish steamer in Norwegian waters. Cargo: cellulose, pulp, sulpher.


Quote:
Operation SK, North Sea - Rear Admiral, Destroyers on light cruiser AURORA with destroyers TARTAR, BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, ESKIMO departed Scapa Flow and light cruisers SOUTHAMPTON, GLASGOW, SHEFFIELD with destroyers JERVIS, JERSEY, JAVELIN, JUPITER of the 7th Flotilla departed Rosyth to attack German shipping off the Norwegian coast.
 
To cover the operation, battlecruisers HOOD and REPULSE left Scapa Flow with destroyers FAME, FORESIGHT, FIREDRAKE, FORTUNE. Soon after sailing, FORTUNE got a submarine contact which was confirmed by destroyer FIREDRAKE, but attacks did not produce any results. Battleships NELSON and RODNEY, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, and destroyers FAULKNOR, FOXHOUND, FEARLESS, MATABELE, MASHONA, SOMALI also left Scapa Flow as cover. …
By 23 September, all forces involved had returned to their ports of departure.(«naval-history.net»)
Note: this is an enormous Operation involving 27 ships, five of them capital ships. Yet all forces had returned to port the next day?

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

BWilson

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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3296

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/23/2017 2:42:26 AM
September 23, 1939

Poland


Quote:
On 23 September units of the 10th Panzer Division engaged in a sharp skirmish with advancing Russian cavalry. Russian losses were reported as 2 dead and 23 wounded. The incident was attributed to a mistake in identification and was settled by the local German and Russian commanders. A number of other localities were turned over to the control of the Red Army without incident.

General von Bock commented at some length on the impression made by the Russians. The Army Group North commander noted that the Red Army was poorly disciplined and the troops were unsoldierly in appearance. The political commissars were truculent and unfriendly. Bock directed that contact would be maintained only through officers and that there would be no general fraternization.

A heavy engagement was reported in the Tenth Army area on 23 September, when a strong Polish force attacked the withdrawing Germans in the Zamosc region. Tenth Army reacted quickly, surrounding part of the Polish force southwest of Zamosc and driving the remainder to the south and into the area to be occupied by the Red Army.
[Read More]


Quote:
OKW issued a summary of the situation in Poland. The summary began, "The campaign in Poland is finished." (chroniknet.de)


Other


Quote:
The Panama Conference began with 21 countries of the Americas in attendance. (Wikipedia)



Quote:
Austrian neurologist and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud died in London. (chroniknet.de)


Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
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