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 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
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BWilson

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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/9/2017 5:17:06 AM
September 9, 1939


Quote:
[German] 20th Motorized Infantry Division arrived as the first of the XIX Corps units in East Prussia and concentrated in the rear of Group Falkenhorst. Corps headquarters itself arrived the day Group Falkenhorst was committed. The XIX Corps was retained under army group control and prepared to enter the battle against the Narew Group without waiting for the rest of its divisions. The 10th Panzer Division and East Prussian brigade were relieved from attachment to Group Falkenhorst and attached to the XIX Corps. Guderian quickly formed a line on the left of Group Falkenhorst and moved south on 9 September, followed by the 20th Motorized Infantry Division. Group Falkenhorst, having lost its armored striking force to the XIX Corps, resumed the use of its original designation as the XXI Corps. The XIX Corps was able to report immediate progress southward, but the corps' left flank was completely uncovered and exposed to attack by the Podlaska Cavalry Brigade and other Narew Group units still in the Grodno area and about Bialystok.

The commitment of the XIX Corps on the Third Army front immediately posed another problem. The original boundary of Ostrow Mazowiecka, set for Third Army and Group Falkenhorst, would seriously restrict the freedom of action of the fast-moving armored units and prevent full exploitation of their capabilities. Army Group North requested OKH to assign another objective, suitable for the execution of a wide envelopment. The line Minsk Mazowiecki-Siedlce was settled upon. The army group planners felt that the area west of Siedlce was still too narrow for a sweeping envelopment east of Warsaw. However, it would suffice to form a link up with Army Group South east of the Vistula. Headquarters OKH remained firm in its decision to keep its forces as far to the west as possible.

The XIX Corps' 10th Panzer Division crossed the Narew at Wizna the day it attacked. The following morning the 20th Motorized Infantry Division crossed the river at a point some miles to the west. The corps commander was immediately ordered to move south across the Bug to intercept Polish forces withdrawing eastward from the Vistula.

The XXI Corps, on the right of the XIX Corps, was held up by Polish fortifications at Nowogród at the outset of the drive into eastern Poland. Though it managed to force the Polish 18th Infantry Division to withdraw, the XXI Corps could not maintain the pace of the advance set by the XIX Corps and fell behind.
[Read More]


Quote:
Battle of Wizna (7–10 September 1939) – a battle fought during the September Campaign. These were 720 Polish soldiers under the command of Władysław Raginis who took a famous last stand against 42,200 German soldiers with 350 tanks, 457 mortars, cannon, grenade launchers and 600 Luftwaffe aircraft; the ratio roughly works out to one Polish soldier per sixty Germans and one aircraft. Only a few Polish soldiers were taken into captivity, the rest were killed fighting to the end; the commanding officer kept his oath to die rather than surrender. When his soldiers ran out of ammunition, Raginis ordered his remaining men to surrender while he remained at the command post and committed suicide by detonating a hand grenade. (Wikipedia)



Quote:
On 9 September, a Polish task force of three divisions attacked the flank of the German Eighth Army near Kutno. The commander of the Poznan Army, General Kutrzeba, hoped to force a path open for his forces to pull back to Warsaw . . . Polish divisions pushed forward, forced the River Bzura and threatened the German line of communications . . . . But the Polish counter-attack on the Bzura could not decisively influence the course of combat in central Poland: the Germans had far more combat power at hand. (Soviet history of the war, volume 3)


Image: Remains of a Polish bunker at Wizna.


Image: Devastation wrought upon a Polish column by a German air strike during the Battle of the Bzura.


Image: Battle of the Bzura, first part.


Cheers

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

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Posts: 2859

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/9/2017 9:07:53 AM
From the looks of things, the Poles didn't have a chance in hell.

Thanks Allies,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Posts: 1385

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/9/2017 5:35:11 PM
Phil, you raise some good questions in two different arenas, IMHO. The biggest, I think, is: what kinds of issues should be included in a chronicle? Should we simply report, or should we offer commentary? Should we determine a format for entries, or should we continue to just stumble along as we have been?

One thing that Bill does very effectively is separate source data from commentary. I'm not all that good at such a separation, though I try to indicate when I'm making a comment. Something that Bill introduced yesterday, which I could see becoming a regular feature, is a summary post from time to time. I think his choice of the end of week one was sound, because the major belligerents now have their armies in the field, if not all are fighting. But I think those times for such summary posts, and for larger commentary and assessment, will be obvious as the chronicle progresses. Fall of Poland, German procrastination, Winter War (if it is included), Nordic campaigns, Battle of France and the Low Countries, Italy's entry into the war ... each one (and others) may deserve a pause at its conclusion to assess what happened. When did the Battle of Britain really begin and end? Other than a propaganda success, what was the impact of the destruction of Admiral Graf Spee? Comparatively, how bad was the Blitz? All kinds of questions might arise either as part of this thread or as threads of their own.

I'm also thankful that Bill is so adept and ready to find images to post for this thread. I'm wretched at the process, so his help with my threads in terms of visuals is appreciated. Maybe I better get myself up to speed!

Quote:
In the meantime, evidence of what folks were thinking during these days must be available in a multiplicity of sources.[/quote[

I would be keen to explore testimony for examples of a generational divide, between those who had undergone the experience of 1914 - 18, and those who, like my Dad, had been born in the immediate aftermath of the Great War.

There are probably lots of sources for each country, either at war or neutral. E.g., I've read some outrageous tales based on Lisbon's vitality and treachery during the war. If you were thinking just British folks, most of the material comes from diaries and memoirs. Official comments about civilian attitudes and morale are often distrusted; the government's lack of communication with its citizens was notorious, and the rapid appearance of the Ministry of Information did not give government announcements great credence. Britiain is blessed with the extensive M-O archives, of course, but the process of self-selection in itself compromises the accuracy of certain generalizations based on M-O findings.

I too look forward to imagining you back in your study, and it would be wonderful to see you offering stuff for this chronicle. Nobody has to bite off a section or feel compelled to comment daily, but MHO has some insightful posters who could offer some coverage and turn this chronicle into a rather rich tapestry. I can't speak for Bill, but personally I'm finding that after a single week I'm asking questions I don't have time to find answers for, even if I've stumbled over hints:
• How were the Irish dealing with the war. There are hints Ireland considered siding with Germany before it declared official neutrality. There are reports that in the first few days British Tommies were beaten and even murdered before Sept 8.
• What happened, and how quickly, to Moseley's British Union of Fascists? My step-father-in-law (if such a title exists) was not a member but was a fellow traveller. His youthful holidays were spent in Germany staying at Hitler Jugend camps and hostels, and he was in Danzig on September 1, but he joined the RN soon after his repatriation. Did he do that by his own choice, or did Moseley set this policy for his followers?
• What was going on in the US? Was it just business as usual? What were "common folk" saying about the outbreak of war? How about the various pan-germanic groups?

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: 9/9/2017 6:11:24 PM
Day 9. September 9, 1939 (continued)

Western Front. The first units of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) under General Lord Fort embark for France.” 2194 Days, p 26. Note: Goralski had advanced BEF units arriving on Sept 4.

“Göring threatened reprisals against Britain if the RAF bombed Germany, but he boasted hat Berlin would never be subjected to enemy aerial attack.” Goralski, p 93.
This may refer to a Göring speech that is now all but universal. Here’s one impressive elaboration from Historynet.com’s Jon Guttman:
“Although it has been cited in several variations, the original quotation was given by Resichsmarschall [sic.] Hermann Göring in a speech to his Luftwaffe in September 1939, after France and Britain declared war and the industrial Ruhr district fell within range of their aircraft. “No enemy bomber can reach the Ruhr,” he assured them. “If one reaches the Ruhr, my name is not Göring. You can call me Meyer.” Meyer and its other regional spellings is a very common name in Germany. Some sources, for added irony, later re-quoted his boast as “If one enemy bomb falls on Berlin, you can call me Meyer.” The fact that Allied bombers did pound the Ruhr, however, was reason enough for Germans to start calling air raid sirens “Meyer’s trumpets,” among numerous other sarcastic references.”
The spelling of Meyer is flexible in German, and IIUC in some forms indicates Jewish links. Hope someone can clear up whether if Göring said “Meyer” rather than “Meier” it would make a difference.

“French troops advanced into the Warndt Forest across the German border and occupied three square miles of German territory. The actions was [sic] more for propaganda than military purposes… .
Molotov prematurely congratulated Berlin on the ‘entry of German troops into Warsaw’ and promised Soviet intervention ‘within the next few days.’” Goralski, p 93.
The French incursion may have simply been undertaken to demonstrate France’s full compliance with it’s promise of retaliatory force against Germany.

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: 3438

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/10/2017 2:50:25 AM
September 10, 1939


Quote:
[German] 20th Motorized Infantry Division became heavily engaged with elements of the Polish 18th Infantry Division in the vicinity of Zambrow on 10 September. Units of the 10th Panzer Division were diverted to assist the motorized division, and inflicted heavy losses on the Poles. The remainder of the 10th Panzer Division, followed by the 3d Panzer Division, which had meanwhile rejoined the corps, penetrated to the Nurzyck (Nurzec) River, a tributary of the Bug, west of Bielsk.

Meanwhile I Corps and Corps Wodrig of Third Army moved rapidly toward the Bug after crossing the Narew. Advance elements of Corps Wodrig were across the Bug River by 10 September and drove south to intercept Polish units reported by air reconnaissance to be withdrawing eastward from Warsaw. Third Army headquarters moved to a new location southeast of Mlawa the same day.

Intelligence reports indicated that the Polish Government had fled to the Lwow area and that the Polish High Command had established headquarters in the fortress city. A large number of Polish units had managed to escape to the east of the Vistula, and it could therefore be expected that the Poles would attempt to establish a new defense line in southeastern Poland. A natural line already existed, from Brzesc down the Bug River to Lwow, thence to the west, and south along the San River to the Polish frontier. A deep drive into southeastern Poland would be necessary if this new defense line was to be destroyed before it could be completely organized.

The Eighth Army's successes against the Lodz Army and its deep penetration northeastward across the Polish Plain were to work to Eighth Army's temporary disadvantage in the area of the X Corps at the outset of the second phase of operations, however. The Gienanth Group and the 213th Infantry Division from the army group reserve on the army's north flank were left far to the west. The 221st Infantry Division from the army group reserve was disposed on a very wide front and was also too far to the west to come to the support of X Corps units in case of an attack from the north. The continued advance of Eighth Army to the northeast made necessary an increasing prolongation of the line held by X Corps against the Pozncm Army, particularly on the front of the German 30th Infantry Division.

The 30th Infantry Division made some redispositions to meet a possible attack, but was still in an unfavorable position for defense. Division units were strung out along an open flank for a distance of more than 20 miles and advancing northeastward in column, with only small detachments thrown out for security. The division artillery was scattered throughout the column and a coordinated defensive fire would have been impossible. [See map 9.]

At noon on 10 September the German 30th Infantry Division reported itself under heavy attack from the north by a Polish force estimated at two or three infantry divisions and two cavalry brigades. The army commander first considered counterattacking with the XIII Corps, but discarded this plan in favor of directing the X Corps to turn its front to the north. The 30th Infantry Division lost some ground to the Poles, but the support of the other two infantry divisions of the corps made it possible to establish a new line the following day.

A number of antitank and other army group units were made available to Eighth Army and hurried into line to bolster the front, and the XI Corps was directed to attack the Polish penetration on its eastern shoulder.

Despite the heavy losses incurred by the 30th Infantry Division, the Polish attack served the Germans in that it hastened the encirclement of the Poznan Army at Kutno. The diversion of units to make the attack weakened the eastern front of the Polish force and the XI Corps succeeded in driving the Poles to the west of the Bzura and farther away from Warsaw and Modlin and any possible escape to the two fortress cities.

On 10 September the XVII and XVIII Corps on the Fourteenth Army right crossed the San north and south of Przemysl, forced the 24th Infantry Division of the Polish general reserve to withdraw eastward and drove elements of the Cracow Army's 11th Infantry Division into the fortress city. The two German corps moved rapidly in the direction of Lwow, where the Polish High Command had established headquarters a few days before in an attempt to rally the withdrawing Polish Army for a stand in the southeastern part of the country.

Corps Kaupisch encountered heavy resistance on 10 and 11 September as it moved in on Gdynia from its three land sides. From the Danzig area Brigade Eberhard pushed north along the coast, linked on its left with the 207th Infantry Division, which made its attack from the west. The northern side of the German encirclement was held by a frontier guard regiment, which rested its left flank on the sea and had contact with the regiment that had taken Puck.

Preliminaries to Soviet intervention

Ribbentrop dispatched a second cable on the matter of [Soviet] intervention on 9 September, calling attention to the fact that the Soviet military attaché had been recalled to Moscow. Molotov's reply promised military action within the next few days. The Soviet Foreign Minister also admitted that the summoning of the military attaché to Moscow had been prompted by the impending movement of the Red Army into Poland.

The German Ambassador in Moscow dispatched two additional cables to Berlin on 9 and 10 September. According to the German Ambassador, Molotov had promised more than the Red Army could accomplish within the span of a few days. The Soviet Government had been surprised by the speed of the German advance, and Red Army preparations' for a movement on the scale required were still far from complete. Three million men had been mobilized, but some logistical arrangements still had to be made. Schools were being transformed into temporary hospitals, the supply of gasoline for nonmilitary uses had been curtailed, and certain foodstuffs had already disappeared from the open market.

The cables further indicated that Molotov was desirous of minimizing the odium attached to an aggressive move into eastern Poland. Thus the Russians would announce that the Red Army was coming to the aid of the Ukrainians and Byelorussians (White Russians) resident in eastern Poland who were threatened by the advancing Germans. The Soviet Union was also concerned about a recent announcement by General von Brauchitsch that had been interpreted as an indication that a Polish-German armistice was imminent.
[Read More]


Quote:
On September 10, troops of the [German] Third Army crossed the Bug River near Wyszków and pushed forward in the direction of the railway line connecting Warsaw and Brest. (Soviet history of the war, Volume 3)


Image: German tanks (of Czech manufacture) in Poland, 1939.


Image: German operations in Poland, 1939. (credit: Soviet history of the war, Map 20)


Cheers

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

BWilson

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Posts: 3438

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/10/2017 2:53:15 AM
Should we determine a format for entries, or should we continue to just stumble along as we have been?

 I think we should standardize some things. For example, in text passages referring to various forces, should the Axis forces be italicized (Fourth Army) to avoid confusion? The header format for a day could also be standardized.

Cheers

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

BWilson

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Posts: 3438

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/10/2017 3:09:51 AM
September 10, 1939 (continued)

On the Saar Front


Quote:
Contact made all along the front, except in the Warndt Forest. (Summary of the operations of French VI Corps, one of the formations taking part in the Saar Offensive)



Quote:
By 1939, the threat to Poland from Germany had assumed stark clarity and the Polish government sought more specific assurances of French assistance in case of an attack by Germany against Poland. Talks ensued in Paris between Generals Tadeusz Kasprzycki and Maurice Gamelin which resulted in the Franco-Polish Military Convention of May, 1939. In this convention, Gamelin apparently agreed that if the Germans attacked Poland, the French would commence aerial bombardment of Germany from the first day of war. Land operations of an initial nature were to begin upon the third day of war, followed by a major offensive by the fifteenth day of war. This convention, however, was not to be considered in force unless a separate political convention was also signed, something that did not occur until September 4, 1939.

But the convention was interpreted differently by both parties and differing assumptions about it bedeviled the convention from the start. According to historian Anita Prażmovska, "The results of the talks were found by both sides to most confusing and unsatisfactory . . . . Nor was it clear whether the French had undertaken to start a major offensive against Germany within fifteen days of an attack by Germany on Poland." Gamelin assumed Poland could resist a German attack for months while Kasprzycki assumed that Britain and France could not afford to see Poland fall. Critically, what the convention failed to specify was what the specific objectives of the French offensive were to be. The Polish government envisioned an all-out thrust by the French army into the heart of Germany, while the largely defensive doctrine of the French military led Gamelin to consider a much more restricted and conservative operation that, at best, might cause some redeployment of German forces from Poland. (own research)


Image: French troops in front of a Gasthaus in Lauterbach, 1939.


Cheers

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

BWilson

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Posts: 3438

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/10/2017 3:32:14 AM
September 10, 1939 (continued)


Quote:
After Parliament debated the matter, Canada declared war on Germany on 10 September. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King promised that only volunteers would serve overseas.
[Read More]

Submarine scare off the coast of Australia ("Battle of Terrigal")


Quote:
At this time Stuart [was] on anti-submarine patrol near Sydney, and was directed to the scene of the alleged sighting, where her detection gear picked up what appeared to be a moving submarine. Stuart carried out a depth charge attack early in the evening of the 9th, and launched succeeding attacks during the night. . . . A dawn air search by the Royal Australian Air Force on the 10th covering a radius of seventy miles from Broken Bay, was fruitless, and . . . . Later examination by a naval diving party proved the object to be rock outcrops with sheer faces approximately twelve feet high, the tidal eddies they caused giving the "movement" effect in the destroyers' instruments. (Royal Australian Navy 1939-1942 [official history])


Killed in action: an SS Brigadefuehrer [general], first general officer casualty of the war


Quote:
[Wilhelm Fritz] Von Roettig was killed at about 14:15 on 10 September 1939, near Opoczno, Poland. He was killed when his staff car was ambushed by Polish troops armed with heavy machine guns. (Wikipedia)


Cheers

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

Phil andrade
London, UK
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Posts: 2528

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/10/2017 7:26:10 AM
Brian and Bill ,

From mid week you'll find me on parade with some proper chronological contributions.

Meanwhile, the 10th September 1939 might have given German top brass - and, I dare say , some soldiers of more humble rank, too - pause to reflect on the twenty fifth anniversary of monumental failure to hold things together at the Battle of the Marne, which had fatal consequences for Germany.

There was , I believe, little complacency in the German high command when it came to their onslaught against Poland.

There were some nasty moments for the Germans, and they suffered significant casualties. On some occasions there were crises of morale and there was a determination to countenance these fully and address all failures in a candid manner.

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: 3438

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/10/2017 7:52:01 AM
 I look forward to your comments, Phil. It would be great if you include some discussion of casualties in campaigns (number of Polish soldiers to hit one German and vice-versa).

Cheers

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

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
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Posts: 1941

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/10/2017 2:43:05 PM

Quote:


“Göring threatened reprisals against Britain if the RAF bombed Germany, but he boasted hat Berlin would never be subjected to enemy aerial attack.” Goralski, p 93.
This may refer to a Göring speech that is now all but universal. Here’s one impressive elaboration from Historynet.com’s Jon Guttman:
“Although it has been cited in several variations, the original quotation was given by Resichsmarschall [sic.] Hermann Göring in a speech to his Luftwaffe in September 1939, after France and Britain declared war and the industrial Ruhr district fell within range of their aircraft. “No enemy bomber can reach the Ruhr,” he assured them. “If one reaches the Ruhr, my name is not Göring. You can call me Meyer.” Meyer and its other regional spellings is a very common name in Germany. Some sources, for added irony, later re-quoted his boast as “If one enemy bomb falls on Berlin, you can call me Meyer.” The fact that Allied bombers did pound the Ruhr, however, was reason enough for Germans to start calling air raid sirens “Meyer’s trumpets,” among numerous other sarcastic references.”
The spelling of Meyer is flexible in German, and IIUC in some forms indicates Jewish links. Hope someone can clear up whether if Göring said “Meyer” rather than “Meier” it would make a difference.



Cheers Brian G--brian grafton


Meyer or Meier doesn`t make any difference.

"You can call me Meier" was, and still is, a common german expression equivalent to "I´ll eat my hat".

In German , as in English, there are many surnames named after occupations - Müller/Miller, Bauer/Farmer, Schmidt/Smith, Schütze/Archer, Zimmerman/Carpenter.

A Meier is a buttermaker. As this occupation was a very tedious, boring one ,often made pallatable with a couple of schnapps during the long boring day, the village Meier had the reputation of not being the brightest candle on the cake. The german verb "rummeiern" is often used to describe the kind of often absurd small town politics we all know about. So a Meier has come to mean your normal, not very bright, guy. Jokes often start with " Meier came home ....."

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: 1385

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/10/2017 7:15:29 PM
Day 10. September 10 (continued)
“Canada declared war on Germany. (Hesitation on Canada’s part permitted for a few days the accelerated delivery from the U.S. of large amounts of war goods which were now barred under American neutrality laws.)” Goralski, p 93.

I find this juxtaposition somewhat open to a misunderstanding. Canada’s prime minister had given assurances of Canada’s support should Britain go to war, and Canadian regiments began mustering and recruiting befor Britain’s declaration of Sept. 3. But given the tension of the “Two Solitudes”, and the fact that many francophones were prepared to fight for Canada but not for a British king, the PM felt a formal declaration should come from the House, then in recess. Parliament was recalled, and a vote taken leading to Canada’s separate declaration. The US declared it’s neutrality on September 5: if those five extra days were so vital, why not simply not declare neutrality until transactions were concluded?

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

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

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Posts: 5513

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/10/2017 7:54:08 PM
How would a neutrality declaration have played in 1939 Brian?

Not well among the majority Anglo citizens, I suspect. They would not have understood the subterfuge or the necessity of a delay.

As well, PM Mackenzie King was a nationalist when convenient and yet he adored the monarchy. So he struggled with showing a measure of independence from the crown and while realizing that while Canadians did not want to go to war, many of the English speaking Canadians could not bear to abandon GB in her hour of need.

King himself felt that it was incumbent upon Canada to assist the British but King wanted a war of limited liability. War on the cheap.

King also knew that there was a sizeable number of Canadians who wanted nothing to do with another European war. Memories of the last war were raw and it mattered little that the country's corps was one of the best combat units that the British had.

As you are aware, King was a political survivor and well aware that an assertive move on his part could alienate a large segment of the population.

And so, with respect to a go or no go decision, King announced, "Parliament will decide."

Hence, the delay.

BTW, historian Tim Cook did a credible job of explaining King's thoughts on the matter of war and Canadian participation in his recent book, The Necessary War. Cook felt that King was just being his wily old self that allowed him to survive in Parliament for so long.


Cheers,

George


brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Posts: 1385

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/10/2017 9:58:00 PM
George, two things. My bad writing has, I think, misdirected you. When I wrote "The US declared its neutrality on September 5: if those five extra days were so vital, why not simply not declare neutrality until transactions were concluded?" I meant why wouldn't the US simply save its declaration of neutrality for five days longer. I did not mean to suggest that Canada should declare neutrality.

As to your larger comment, I agree with what you say. King was a wily old bugger at best, and always acted as a political creature. A few days to bring Members back from their summer hols, a day or so to remind everybody that an election is due within six months, a short discussion with his Quebec lieutenant, and King had things under control. Haven't read The Necessary War yet, but it stares at me accusingly in my local bookstore. So I can't comment on Cook's assessment. But I tend to include ego as a main motivator, whether national or personal.

Canada had been in at least slightly unpleasant negotiations over BCATP for some time, and King may have used Canada's delay in declaring war as leverage to gain greater control of BCATP. Once the commitment to war was made official, there are suggestions that BCATP facilities were held out as bribes for ridings that might elect Liberals. By coincidence, the first BCATP facility opened a month after the election was held.

For purposes of the chronicle we are preparing, of course, Canada's motivations are minor concerns. Canada's entry is important because of the human, natural and fabricated products made available to HM government. I made note of Goralski's listing because I believe it was misleading and somewhat insulting. Between September 1939 and December 1941, the US neutral stance was winked at over and over again. Over aircraft. Over US citizens joining Canadian combat arms. Over neutrality patrols in the north Atlantic corridor. To suggest that US war materielle was so readily available that 10 days would make a difference is a bit of a joke: we had little need for Buicks and refrigerators. To suggest that Canada's honour was less important than 10 days' supplies is insulting. It seems to me that is what Goralski insinuates.

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: 3438

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/11/2017 1:42:16 AM
September 11, 1939

Poland


Quote:
The southward movement of the [German] XIX Corps also exposed its left flank to a Polish attack from the Bialystok area to the east. On 11 September Army Group North directed that Corps Brand secure this flank by a move against Bialystok. On the same day the 2d Motorized Infantry Division began moving southward to rejoin XIX Corps, while the corps' 23d Infantry Division remained in the border area.

Army Group South had already been ordered to move deeper into eastern Poland, in the direction of Lublin. Headquarters OKH on 11 September changed the objective of Army Group North to the line Kowela-Slonim. This would effect a second encirclement of Polish forces in the eastern part of the country, beyond the Bug River.

On 11 September OKH placed Eighth Army in control of operations against the Polish forces about Kutno, and the army moved its headquarters to Lodz. The German plan for the operation provided for attacking the Poles from the west, south, and east, while Bock's army group blocked escape north across the Vistula. A day later OKH directed the attachment of the III Corps of Fourth Army south of the Vistula to the Eighth Army as Army Group North prepared to regroup and shift Fourth Army to the drive east of Warsaw. A provisional force was organized to hold the north bank of the Vistula against Polish crossings from the Kutno area.

Included in the Kutno encirclement at this time were 12 Polish divisions, including the Poznan Army's 14th, 17th, 25th, and 26th Infantry Divisions, and the Wielkopolska and Kresova Cavalry Brigades; remnants of the Lodz Army's 2d, 10th, 13th, 28th and 30th Infantry Divisions and Wolynska Cavalry Brigade; and battered units of the Pomorze Army's 4th, 15th and 16th Infantry Divisions that managed to escape destruction following the junction of the German Third and Fourth Armies across the base of the Corridor. This represented more than one third of the entire Polish land force. Some concern was expressed at OKH and the headquarters of both army groups about the capability of this Polish force to break out to the east to join the garrison of Warsaw. For the next few days this encirclement, a development of the original OKH plan to destroy the bulk of the Polish armies west of the Vistula, was to become a focal point of attention in the campaign.

Tenth Army destroyed the Polish force at Radom by 11 September and took 60,000 prisoners. A few Polish units of regimental strength withdrew into the more wooded areas and continued a sporadic resistance that tied down a number of German divisions for several more days. Bridges across the Vistula, including the important crossing at Pulawy, were secured. Tenth Army was directed to move the IV Corps across the river and in the direction of Lublin, to support the advance of Fourteenth Army on that city and its junction with Army Group North. The XIV Corps would remain west of the Vistula temporarily, and clear the area of Polish remnants still trying to escape across the river.
[Read More]

Saar Offensive, re: French VI Corps


Quote:
Recovery of the Ludweiler Tile Factory; a very slow advance in the Warndt [Forest] (numerous land mines).


Other


Quote:
Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic relations with Germany. (Wikipedia)



Quote:
On September 11, 1939 Notre Dame de Paris’s stained glass windows were dismantled – and not returned until after World War II had ended and the Germans had definitively left Paris. Removal of stained glass windows occurred throughout France and in some cases (such as Saint Maclou in Rouen) it was well over 50 years before the stained glass returned home to its church.

Some claim that researchers were so eager to hold on to the stained glass to study composition – that they were loath to return the original stained glass to its proper place.
[Read More]


Quote:
HYDE PARK, N. Y., Monday—I attended a lunch which was held at the Good Housekeeping Magazine office on Friday for a group of brides who are going to meet once a month to discuss problems which come up in their daily living. These are practical problems of personality adjustment and home management where the girl is at work, besides all the varied circumstances which would be apt to occur in a cross-section of the lives of young married people throughout the country. From the questions which were asked me, I realize that many of us have the feeling that we face a world today in which there isn't much use of planning for the future. World conditions may upset at a moment's notice any plan, so why not live from day to day? (Eleanor Roosevelt "My Day" Column)
[Read More]

Cheers

BW
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BWilson

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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/11/2017 1:45:15 AM
September 10, 1939 (continued)


Quote:
The most serious [mishap] occurred on the 10th of September when the [RN] submarine Triton, on patrol on the extension of the Montrose­Obrestadt air patrol line, torpedoed and sank the [RN] submarine Oxley which was similarly employed. To maintain correct position while on a diving patrol is a difficult task for submarines and both the boats involved in this tragic accident were, in fact, out of position. (The War at Sea Volume I: The Defensive U.K. official history)


Image courtesy of TripAdvisor.


Cheers

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

BWilson

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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/11/2017 2:46:19 AM
September 11, 1939 (continued)

 From the Chicago Tribune of 11 September 1939, and Life Magazine Cover for same date.



Cheers

BW
---------------
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Phil andrade
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/11/2017 10:11:59 AM
By the 11th September 1939, after the first nine days of its participation in the Second World War, the British Commonwealth had already sustained significant loss of life .

By consulting CWGC database , I see that commemorations for that period number 2,123. Of these, 214 - ten per cent - are civilians. The toll of the Athenia is apparent in that figure. One of them is named as a little girl of three : a Canadian child on board that ship. Another Canadian is a woman : a stewardess, also on board.

The breakdown :

UK : 1,836

Indian : 240

Australian : 40

Canadian : 3

French : 2

New Zealand : 1

South African : I

The Army figure is 1,542 ; the Navy, 142 ; the Merchant Navy , 81 ; civilians , 214; Miscellaneous, 74 ; and Air Force, 71.

The Miscellaneous are, it seems, members of police or constabulary throughout the Empire.

Many of the armed force deaths are attributable to illness or accident.

With your approval, I will keep posting these data to remind us of the widespread nature of the war ; its multi dimensional aspect, and the poignant stories of such a multitude of people who died or were killed in a bewildering array of tragedies all over the world.

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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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/11/2017 11:05:36 AM
Phil,

 Interesting stats. I suspect the French total is rather higher if one were to include losses among their military in France and the overseas territories (illness, accident, skirmishes with the Germans).

Cheers

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

Phil andrade
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/11/2017 11:12:24 AM
You will find, I think, Bill, that the two Frenchmen are included because they were serving with British Commonwealth forces in some capacity.

There were, I suspect , hundreds - probably thousands - of French servicemen who died in that period, in the main from accidents and illness.

Editing : Truth to tell, I don't really know why those two Frenchmen have been included in the CWGC commemoration . The rationale escapes me. There must be some reason. There are even the the odd Germans included on some days. This is something that I will investigate.

I think it might be a nice touch to use this CWGC register, especially if we go through day by day. I was hit quite hard by the stark record of that three year old Canadian girl who died on the opening day of Britain's war....she was the same age as my youngest grandchild is now. One death is a tragedy ; a million is a statistic .


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

brian grafton
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/11/2017 7:48:55 PM
Fascinating to see what the Trib and Life were doing on a specific date.

To be honest, the "Trib" cartoon reminds me of some of the "Punch" drawings from WW1. Granted, I believe the "Trib" was a staunch supporter of US neutrality, so the sentiment doesn't surprise me. But it does look old-fashioned to me.

The "Life" cover of Mussolini offers broader grounds for speculation, IMHO. All the strength, directness and power we expect of Mussolini, without the strut and swagger of Il Duce. No uniform. No cap. No sneer.

Musso (and Italy) were a very different pair in 1939 than they would be even as early as mid-1940. Largely because of Ethiopia and Spain, Italy was seen as a dominant force in the Med, and therefore a threat to both British and French interests. There was hope during the first week of September that Il Duce might draw the nations back from war. None of that happened, of course, but the choice of this photo for this week's cover suggests how much the world was relying on cooler heads to prevail.

Cheers
Brian G
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brian grafton
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/11/2017 8:12:31 PM
Phil, Bill, I haven't got a number spanning the same days, but Goralski gives the following German numbers after 4 days of war. I'm assuming these are purely military losses during the Polish campaign, but cannot confirm that assumption. Numbers are: 150 killed; 700 wounded. For what those numbers are really worth.

IIUC, French and British servicemen were involved in what we might now call joint ventures, with – e.g. – British junior RN officers on cruises with French warships and vice versa. In terms of naval agreements, I believe these exchange folks were standing watches. Could this kind of thing explain the appearance of those French names?

Phil, I think the concept of "running totals" of losses is a great one, but wonder whether CWGC might need some help from other sources. E.g., did CWGC have responsibility for civilian deaths? I'm asking: I don't know. I also wonder whether you know of access lines to losses by other Allied nations, as the war expands in the coming year. Incomplete or restricted data might, I suggest, skew understanding more fully than no numbers at all.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
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brian grafton
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/11/2017 9:20:16 PM
Day 11. September 11 (continued)

“Germany announced a counterblockade against Britain, saying that since ‘economic warfare was forced on her,’ Germany is ‘no only able to resist every pressure of blockade and every form of British hunger warfare, bt th reply to it with the same methods.’
• The British cabinet decided no further attempt would be made to bomb Germany by air.” Goralski, p 93.

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

BWilson

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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/12/2017 8:42:13 AM
September 12, 1939

Operations in Poland


Quote:
On 12 September OKH directed another change in the mission of Army Group North. The remnants of the Polish armies in the west were all but encircled about Kutno and in the area between that city and Warsaw. The army group's Third Army would be able to exert additional pressure on these Polish armies by investing Warsaw from the east and blocking escape from the city. Accordingly, OKH ordered Army Group North to execute a right turn with a part of its force and present a new front to the west. Third Army's I Corps was ordered to seize the river crossings into the city but to avoid becoming involved in a major engagement in the city itself, where house-to-house fighting would be costly in casualties and would prevent the disengagement of the corps when the expected order to resume the march to the southeast was received. Other Third Army forces would advance to the line Garwolin-Siedlce and establish a front to the southeast. The XIX Corps would drive east of the Bug and take Brzesc, to protect the left flank of the army group and make it possible to resume the army group advance into southeastern Poland with a minimum of delay.

The OKH order of 12 September also made Eighth Army responsible for operations at Kutno and released Fourth Army for movement to the east of the Army Group North front. Bock assigned Fourth Army responsibility for the security of the area in the direction of Bialystok, with Corps Brand and the XXI Corps attached.

The XIX Corps on 12 September controlled the 3d and 10th Panzer Divisions and the 20th Motorized Infantry Division, and the 2d Motorized Division had also rejoined the corps. The 10th Panzer Division led the advance on the left, followed by the 3d Panzer Division, echeloned out to the left rear. On the right the 20th Motorized Division led the advance, followed at some distance by the 2d Motorized Division, which was shifted to the rear of the 3d Panzer Division the following day. The lack of infantry on the left of the armored units was a cause of some concern at army group headquarters, since strong Polish forces were believed to be in the Pripyat Marshes and the heavily forested area to the east.

The difficulty in shifting units across the rear of XIX Corps in order to establish a front to the east was resolved by giving priority to XIX Corps. This involved some risk until the roads to the east were sufficiently clear of XIX Corps columns moving southward from East Prussia, but units of the Narew Group still west of Grodno and Bialystok were in no position to take advantage of the opportunity to attack the flank of the German columns en route to the south.

Eighth Army controlled a total of six corps for the operation against the Polish force at Kutno, including the XI and XVI Corps attached from Tenth Army. These corps were deployed in a rough circle about the Polish force centered between the Vistula and Bzura. One more attempt by the Poles to break out of the encirclement and escape to the southeast on 12 September was thwarted despite the loss of some ground by the Germans. The desperate attacks of the Poles only served to exhaust further their few units still intact.

[XVII and XVIII Corps of the Fourteenth Army] moved rapidly in the direction of Lwow, where the Polish High Command had established headquarters a few days before in an attempt to rally the withdrawing Polish Army for a stand in the southeastern part of the country. A task force under Colonel (later Field Marshal) Schoerner of the XVIII Corps' 1st Mountain Division reached the fortifications of the city on 12 September, and met spirited resistance from the garrison of 12,000 men. The mountain division quickly invested Lwow from the north and west, and cut all contact with the Polish force at Przemysl.
[Read More]

Western Front


Quote:
The Anglo-French Supreme War Council met for the first time, in Abbeville, France . . . . with Britain represented by the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, and Lord Chatfield, the French delegation headed by the Prime Minister, Édouard Daladier, and General Maurice Gamelin. (Wikipedia)



Quote:
At Abbeville, on the Somme, the first meeting of the Allied Supreme War Council was held. During this meeting Gamelin's decision to stop attacking to the West was approved.
[Read More]


Quote:
The decision to stop [the Saar Offensive] was made on September 12 in Abbeville at the first meeting of the Allied Supreme War Council. . . . The Allies not only did not inform Poland of this decision, they also deceived the Polish leadership. . . . History knows few documents in which this kind of hypocrisy was employed to veil the betrayal of an ally. (Soviet history of the war, Volume 3)



Quote:
As part of the Franco-Polish Treaty of 1921 and the military convention of 1936, General Gamelin launched an operation on the western front to relieve the Polish army in the region of the Saar, led by General Prételat's Second Army Group. Their mission was to advance into the zone ahead of the Siegfried Line. This was primarily a kind of rectification of the front to cut off the Warndt and the River Bliess salients. During the night of 5 September 1939, the units set off, cautiously advancing into the section evacuated by the enemy. But this proved to be a trap and many men were lost to mines. The forest of Warndt was captured by the 42nd infantry division, while the 4th army occupied the villages of Carlsbrunn and Saint-Nicalas, with the 3rd army taking Biringen. A number of infantry engagements took place on 9 September. The French crossed the Saar at Welferding and advanced along the Auersmacher plateau. Progress was slow. R 35 tanks of the 20th Combat Tank Battalion advanced to the north of Bliesbrück, four of them being destroyed by mines. The next day the Germans counter-attacked, seizing the village of Apach, which the French recaptured in the evening. The 32nd Infantry Regiment took the German town of Brenschelbach, for the loss of a captain, a sergeant and seven infantrymen. During the evening of 12th September the French seized the German villages of Gersheim, Medelsheim, Ihn, Niedergailbach, Bliesmengen, Ludweiler, Brenschelbach, Lauterbach, Niedaltdorf, Kleinblittersdorf, Auersmacher and Hitlersdorf. The last of these, now called Sitterwald, was captured on 9 September by the 26th Infantry Regiment On 12 September, General Gamelin halted the advance after taking an area of territory 25 km in length and 5 - 8 km wide; the Siegfried Line was not attacked. . . . The operation in the Saar cost the French army around 2,000 soldiers, killed, wounded or sick.
[Read More]

Other


Quote:
* Nazi Germany issued two decrees virtually prohibiting private automobile use after September 20. Special permits would be required to buy gasoline after that date, and every privately owned rubber tire in the country was declared property of the state.

* A decree of the Reich Ministry of the Interior of 10 September that a passport visa is required for [Reich] entry and exit is now enforced; German nationals and residents of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia over 15 years of age must always be able to identify themselves with a ID card upon demand.[Read More]

* The Duke and Duchess of Windsor returned to England from self-imposed exile in France.

* Canada introduced its first war budget. Minister of National Revenue James Lorimer Ilsley announced a new 20% surtax on personal income to pay for the war as well as tax increases on alcohol, tea, coffee and cigarettes. A deficit of $156 million was forecast for the fiscal year. (Wikipedia)


Cheers

BW

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

phil andrade
London, UK
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/12/2017 9:04:26 AM
September 12, 1939...

Fourteen Commonwealth servicemen died : thirteen from the UK and one Indian.

They comprised nine soldiers, four airmen and one sailor. Eleven are commemorated as dying in the UK, one in India, one in Hong Kong, and one in Uganda.

Interestingly, the last mentioned was an African serving in the Kings' African Rifles : being from the Colonies, as distinct from the Dominions or India, he is attributed to the UK as far as the CWGC is concerned... dead from the Colonies and Crown Territories are conflated with the UK death roll.

The Indian was a Sepoy serving in the Indian Hospital Corps. On the register he is named as Nain Sing ; but he is recorded as being the son of Dhanbir and Bhim Kumari, of Terathum, Nepal. The very name Nepal evokes Ghurkha to me.

I would be surprised if any of these fourteen perished at the hands of the enemy : illness and accident took their relentless toll from first to last.

Anxious not to be a one trick pony, I'll relate something different :

Admiral Canaris, head of the Secret Intelligence Service of the German military, visited Hitler's headquarters train after travelling to the front in Poland. He first encountered General Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of the Armed Forces High Command. This was on 12 September.

Canaris had heard reports from Intelligence Officers about an orgy of massacre .

He protested.

I have information , he told Keitel, that mass executions are being planned in Poland, and that members of the Polish nobility and the Roman Catholic bishops and priests have been singled out for extermination .

Keitel's response :

If I were you, I would not get mixed up in this business. This thing has been decided upon by the Fuhrer himself .

Keitel elaborated : from now on, every German Army command in Poland would be accompanied by a civilian chief, who would be in charge of racial extermination.

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

anemone
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/12/2017 9:27:56 AM
10 Sept-The Battle of the Atlantic officially began. On the very same day, the British Admiralty began organizing a convoy system.
13 Sep 1939- U-27 sank British trawler Davara 39 kilometers (24 miles or 21 nautical miles) northwest of Tory Island, Ireland at 0255 hours. The 12 survivors were rescued by merchant ship Willowpool.
14 Sep 1939- German submarine U-39 attacked HMS Ark Royal; the torpedoes went straight at the carrier but they prematurely detonated.What a let off for the Admiralty's monumental mistake for using a valuable fleet carrier in an ASW role

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

John R. Price
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/12/2017 2:03:47 PM
Phil,

If my memory serves wasn't Canaris already in bed with the anti-Hitler groups? Had been since before Munich I believe.
---------------
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: 9/12/2017 3:20:48 PM
John,

You're right, I'm sure.

This foray into the day by day chronicle of WW2 is proving instructive....I have precious little knowledge of so many facets, and I'm looking forward to the learning curve !

A new book is due to be published next week about Munich - by Robert Harris - quite a reputable author when it comes to the story of Anglo German relations, and although it's a novel I think it will be worth the read.

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

MikeMeech
UK
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/12/2017 3:40:40 PM

Quote:
10 Sept-The Battle of the Atlantic officially began. On the very same day, the British Admiralty began organizing a convoy system.
13 Sep 1939- U-27 sank British trawler Davara 39 kilometers (24 miles or 21 nautical miles) northwest of Tory Island, Ireland at 0255 hours. The 12 survivors were rescued by merchant ship Willowpool.
14 Sep 1939- German submarine U-39 attacked HMS Ark Royal; the torpedoes went straight at the carrier but they prematurely detonated.What a let off for the Admiralty's monumental mistake for using a valuable fleet carrier in an ASW role

Regards

Jim
--anemone

Hi
We should remember that although the convoy system was coming into use there would have been a lot of merchant ships that were already at sea sailing back to the UK at the start of the war. Therefore they would require some protection from German submarines as the merchant vessels got closer to the UK and became more concentrated and then becoming better targets for the U-Boats. As a temporary expedient the use of carrier aviation to provide protection for these incoming vessels was quite logical (indeed it could be regarded as a 'duty' of the RN to protect the Merchant Marine). The fact that they were 'fleet' carriers is irrelevant as they were the only carriers the RN had, the aircraft from these carriers could provide at least some protection over a larger area than RN ships by themselves. It was also a risk as they had to be in an area where the U-Boats were hunting the merchant ships therefore putting the carriers in 'harms way'. However, the alternative may have been not providing much in the way of protection to those ships, what would have been an alternative solution during September 1939?

Mike

John R. Price
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/12/2017 6:18:31 PM
Phil,

Many moons ago I did a paper on the military resistance to Hitler pre war and I was going from memory. I really think Munich was the best chance to get rid of him most of the leadership of the Army was on board. After Munich Hitler basically cleans house and retires or replaced the very large majority of Army leadership. I might even go so far as saying Canaris might be the only department head to survive. von Brautush(sp?), Halder, all the commanders of the military regions and many of the department heads are all replaced either through resignation, retirerment or charges.
---------------
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"


brian grafton
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/12/2017 7:12:06 PM
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
---------------
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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/12/2017 8:07:53 PM
Day 12. September 12 (continued)

Western Front
"The sporadic and virtually ineffective French operations against the Germans are halted. It is clear that nothing can no be done to give direct help to the Poles." 2194 Days, p 27.
Compare this with Bill's commentary (above).

Personal note: somewhere there is definition of a committee which suggests that the members of a committee are those who have individually done nothing, but meet to determine nothing can be done.

Even the most optimistic would have known from long before now that nothing could provide "direct help to the Pol" should war break out. This was a defensive treaty with no teeth; there was never any real support that could provide "direct help tot he Poles". That both Britain and France made unsustainable commitments concerning actions in the field is but a small ugliness when dealing with the defeat and destruction of Poland.

Not part of this thread, except for the impact on the war, is the following question? What would have happened had France and Britain had either the balls or the military capability to invade western Germany in the first 10-15 days of the war? Britain didn't have ground troops in place, but must have oversold its RAF capabilities. Otherwise, why would the Polish representative have felt justified in calling for an afternoon attack? France, it seems to me (and I wish there was somebody here to defend the honour of France) that France lied more cravenly than the British, and I hate saying that. But that's what comes through: the meeting at Abbeville was an Allied sell-out just as Munich was. The French have determined they can do no more, and the first meeting between the Allies determines "nothing can be done". Right now, despite its bias, that Soviet history we're getting from Bill sounds pointed and directed but accurate.

Poland

Quote:
• A Czech army-in-exile was formed in Poland. ...
• Ribbentrop demanded, on threat of military action, that the Rumanians not give asylum to Polish officials crossing the border.
Goralski, p 93.

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: 9/13/2017 1:21:31 AM

Quote:
Day 12. September 12 (continued)

Western Front
"The sporadic and virtually ineffective French operations against the Germans are halted. It is clear that nothing can no be done to give direct help to the Poles." 2194 Days, p 27.
Compare this with Bill's commentary (above).

What would have happened had France and Britain had either the balls or the military capability to invade western Germany in the first 10-15 days of the war?


Brian,

 I ran across this discussion on another forum years ago (it took place in 2003). The following comment was made, and although I don't agree with every detail in it, I think the comment makes some good points. For what it is worth, from an anonymous author in the vast and brackish waters of the Internet Marshes:


Quote:
Let's look at what may have happened if they had attacked.

They couldn't possibly have attack before Septermber 21, 1939. The Germans had months to plan the offensive into Poland and had set all of their troops accordingly. The French and English are being asked to attack when their troops are on the wrong side of France. We have to give them a minimum of three weeks to come up with some offensive plan and move troops into position.

By this time the Germans were wrapping up the conquest of Poland.

So the French and English launch a combined offensive into Germany on Sept. 21. The artillery prep would have started the night before and would have alerted the Germans to the strike. Then infantry, supported by tanks, would have begun to crawl behind the barrage into the German positions. The Germans are dug in and fortified and the Allies immediately start taking heavy casualties but make minor headway.

The Luftwaffe certainly could have been almost entirely transfered to the Western border in a matter of hours. On September 22 the Luftwaffe arrives in force. The English Gladiators, MS.406s, and Potez 631s are no match for the veteran German aces in ME109s, especially when the 109 is freed from the constaints of its short range. The Hurricanes and Curtiss H-75s are in woefully short supply and are soon eaten up by attrition. The French and English airforces would have been swept from the skies in a matter of days.

Having acheived air superiority if not total domination, the German tactical bombers began devestating the Allied offensive. Caught out in the open, which they must be to fire and advance, the artillery and tanks are sumarrily destroyed. As more and more equipemnt is transferred to the Western front, the Allied offensive bogs down and is then thrown back on the Maginot line.

The Allies will have lost the greater part of their airforce and thousands of casualties for not having achieved one noticeable piece of ground held. They would have blunted thier own ability to wage war and not damaged the German ability at all.

This isn't pie in the sky .... its real. The allies had no choice but to wait ... they could have waited better I admit .... but they had to wait.

Poland was doomed by its position and the speed of the German advance, not by Allied inactivity.


 And my take is ... it would have been an offensive leading nowhere. The Allies had decided to not violate the territory of neutral countries. That reduces the scope for action to the area from Basel to approximately Thionville. Forget an assault across the Rhine, especially with the Westwall waiting on the other side ... no way the French Army, with an essentially defensive doctrine, would have tried anything that risky. Now the scope for action is reduced to Wissembourg to Thionville.

 Here is the issue. That area leads literally nowhere. The best an offensive there will do is shut down coal mining around Saarbruecken. The terrain is rough: steep, densely forested hills and ridges with deep valleys. The road network in the direction of the Rhine, even today, is a single two-lane highway that can be easily blocked because most of its run is in those valleys. The Germans weren't stupid; they had concentrated most of their best divisions on the Western Front precisely in the border stretch from Thionville to Wissembourg -- and they're defending a fortified area that has a mind-boggling number of land mines emplaced, including the infamous "bouncing Bettys" (recall no army at this point has man-portable mine detectors). So, as the anonymous contributor mentioned above, at a cost of thousands of casualties, the French manage to flank Saarbruecken ... which helps Poland not at all, because the power center of Germany is in Berlin, hundreds of kilometers to the east with several major river crossings along the way. At some point, the Polish campaign wraps up and the Panzers and Luftwaffe head West, probably cut off any Allied spearheads and send the Allies fleeing in disorder back across the border. Given the mentality of the populations of Great Britain and France during the Phoney War, such a denouement may have led to the Allies clamoring for peace in 1939 vice France doing so in June 1940.

Cheers

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

BWilson

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Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/13/2017 2:09:24 AM
September 13, 1939

Poland


Quote:
On 13 September [German] Tenth Army was given control over the VII and VIII Corps on the left flank of Fourteenth Army. The two corps were directed to continue their advance eastward, enveloping the Polish force at Bilgoraj and supporting the movement of Fourteenth Army on Lublin. This shift gave Tenth Army control over all German forces moving on Lublin from the west.

The city of Lwow is dominated by the Zboiska Heights to the north and northeast. It was important that these heights be seized without delay and that the exits from the city to the south and southeast be closed. Security would have to be provided against attacks from the west by the Polish force in Przemysl, and from the southwest, where the entire right flank of the division was exposed to Polish forces being moved up from the southeastern region of the country.

The attack to secure the ridges north and northeast of the city was launched by Group Schoerner at 1000 on 13 September. The task force made rapid progress from the start, reaching the commanding height known as Hill 374 in the afternoon, and Zboiska and the surrounding ridges by dark. The major road to the north was cut by the capture of Zboiska, and the mountain troops dug in to hold their gains against a series of heavy Polish attacks. Other task forces moved out to secure the approches from the southwest and Przemysl, and to close off exits from the city to the south and southeast.

On the left flank of Fourteenth Army, meanwhile, progress was slow, and VIII Corps, had to be shifted to clear the north bank of the Vistula as far as the junction with the San. The units opposing the forces on the left of the Fourteenth Army front comprised remnants of the Polish 21st and 22d Mountain Divisions and the Rzeszow Armored Calvary Brigade. The Polish units fought a strong rear guard action and withdrew across the San in a northeasterly direction to the dense forest and swamp area about Bilgoraj.

On 13 September Army Group South directed Fourteenth Army to send the remainder of its XVIII Corps to take Lwow, after which the corps was to move northward. The XVII and XXII Corps in the center of the Fourteenth Army line were to move to the northeast in the direction of Wlodzimierz and Hrubieszow, to effect a junction with Army Group North east of the Bug River. The VII and VIII Corps on the left were attached to Tenth Army, freeing Fourteenth Army for its extensive operations deeper into southeastern Poland. Army Headquarters moved to Rzeszow.

The Polish force at Hela was completely cut off from land contact with the mainland on 12 September, when the frontier guard regiment at Puck sent a strong force to the north and reached the coast. That night the Poles at Gdynia launched an attack at the boundary line between the 207th Infantry Division and Brigade Eberhard, regained some ground, and temporarily disrupted the schedule of the German advance. The German line was restored [on 13 September].
[Read More]


Quote:
German troops complete their encirclement of Warsaw.
[Read More]

Other


Quote:
The French minelaying cruiser Pluton exploded in the port of Casablanca, killing 186 people. She was sent to Casablanca, in French Morocco, when the war began to lay a minefield, but the order was cancelled a day later and she was ordered to disembark her naval mines. She exploded while landing her still-fuzed mines on 13 September 1939. (Wikipedia)



Quote:
On 12 September 1939, Davara left Fleetwood for a routine fishing trip off of the west coast of Ireland under the command of Skipper William Boyles. A day later on 13 September, the German submarine U-27 spotted the trawler about 21 nautical miles (39 km; 24 mi) North West by North of Tory Island near Donegal, Ireland. U-27 then began shelling Davara. A total of 35 rounds were fired at the trawler and despite suffering damage, the Skipper of the trawler managed to get a lifeboat into the water and the entire crew of the ship abandoned ship.

The shelling of the crew-less Davara continued a further thirty minutes. The shelling stopped at 14:55 with Davara's sinking. The crew of the trawler who had abandoned ship earlier remained in the lifeboat for a further five hours. They were eventually picked up by the West Hartlepool steamer Willowpool and taken to the safety of the shore. The sinking of Davara marked the first time that a British trawler was to be sunk in World War II by an enemy submarine. Davara was the 17th ship sunk by a German submarine in World War II. (Wikipedia)



Quote:
French president Daladier forms a war cabinet.
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Cheers

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

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
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Posts: 523

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/13/2017 2:43:38 AM
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.
---------------
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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Moderator
Posts: 2528

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/13/2017 4:08:58 AM
Bill,

...the mentality of the populations of Great Britain and France....,

That's what intrigues me : what was the popular mood, if such a thing can be discerned ?

That phrase Phoney War speaks loudly.

I wonder when it was coined, and by whom.

Edit : After the war, at least two senior German commanders - Jodl and Westphal - stated that Germany could not have coped with a full scale French onslaught in the West in September 1939.

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

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/13/2017 5:42:50 AM

Quote:
The term ‘Phoney War’ was first used, allegedly, by an American senator called Borah. Winston Churchill referred to the same period as the ‘Twilight War’ while the Germans referred to it as ‘Sitzkrieg’ – ‘sitting war’.

The Phoney War refers to what happened in Western Europe between September 1939 and the spring of 1940. To assume that nothing was going on in Europe would be wrong as Poland was in the process of being occupied with all that brought for the Polish people.

However, in Western Europe very little of military importance did take place. In fact, so little occurred that many of the children who had been evacuated at the start of the war, had returned to their families. To many, war had been declared by Neville Chamberlain, but nothing was actually happening.
History Learning Site

Regards

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

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Posts: 6033
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/13/2017 6:16:46 AM
In September 1939 I was 8 years old-my father,mother and I and My younger brother lived in a Victorian stone built, clay pan tiled roofed house on the River Tweed estuary in a village called Spittal-just over the river from the Royal and Ancient Borough of Berwick on Tweed-the river was the England /Scotland border on the East coast .Father- being a Royal Naval Reservist was called up on the 3rd of September,1939-so no head of household for six years.

I remember I was at school one day early on in the war-1940 I believe; when a single German "hit and run" bomber flew into the estuary looking for Spittal's "industrial corner"-the air raid siren had previously warned of an impending attack and us children were rushed into the school's air rad shelter-a useless brick built edifice in the Main Street.Minutes later we heard the explosions further down the street near the river .

A huge cloud of dust and sand was blown up the street and women were screaming Gas!!We had to don our gas masks until the All Clear was given and we were allowed to go home.When I got home I learned that my mother and my younger brother-who was four years- old had been sitting on a dune when the bomber roared over them.Mother said she saw the crew.Four bombs were dropped ,destroying the empty Red Lion public House and wrecked the empty Fisher Row cottages.No one was hurt; but so much for a Phoney War!!!That was just a taste of what was to come-it got worse.

[Read More]

NB.We lived near Sandstell Rd and the school where the word Main Street is printed.The bombs were dropped on waste ground perhaps 400m from the river



Regards

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

BWilson

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Posts: 3438

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/13/2017 7:28:54 AM
That's what intrigues me : what was the popular mood, if such a thing can be discerned ?

Phil,

 Philip Warner in his book said the French civilian mentality encountered by the BEF was il faut en finir, and by that the French meant "this is not going to end well, let's just get it over with and back to times of peace". General Georges, commander of three French army groups, was strongly opposed to any offensive in 1939 -- he stated he would resign rather than carry it out. So much for self-confidence in the top echelon. The Saar Offensive was prosecuted weakly for five or six days, and then the Allied Supreme Council decided to call it off. Of course, in September 1939 (the only window of opportunity to do anything for Poland), the BEF was barely beginning to trickle into French ports.

 I think the statements of Jodl and Westphal imagine vastly different Allied armies and do not factor in Hitler's determination, the willingness of the SS to back the regime, or the ability of the Germans to move enough armored and air forces to halt any Allied advance.

Cheers

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

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2528

Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/13/2017 8:20:09 AM
Jim,

Thanks for that story from your childhood.

Such vignettes give those of us who were lucky enough to be born after the conflict a better appreciation of what things were like.

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

 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
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