MHO Home   Forum Home   Help   Register   Login
 
 
Welcome to MilitaryHistoryOnline.com.
You are not signed in.
The current time is: 11/23/2017 7:09:00 PM
 (1939-1945) WWII Battles
AuthorMessage
brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/1/2017 8:22:44 PM
Day 1
Early on the morning of Sept 1, German troops invaded Poland. The reason given was because Polish troops had invaded Germany. The larger issue was the demands that Germany have both access and control of Danzig, an international enclave under treaties after WW1 but also a city with a huge German population and a clear preference for political and cultural links with Germany. The real issue was probably just that Poland was the next on a list for Nazi control and exploitation.

Two European nations – Britain and France – had assured Poland of their support in the event of German invasion. Neither expect to be called on their commitments. Neither had the capability or power to offer practical assistance. Once German troops entered Poland, both Britain and France searched furiously for means by which they could back out of their commitments.

In a larger light, there were envoys from the US attempting to ease tensions. There were movements from Italy attempting to reduce the belligerency. But when all else was said and done, neither Britain nor France wanted to go to war over Poland. They had bluffed, and been called.

As early as this first day, German power was demonstrating it's effectiveness. Germany had, IIRC, a 3:1 superiority ratio in a/c. But she also had a military plan which made effective use of a/c, as long-range artillery, as aerial threat, as effect ground suppression.

It would take 2 days for France and Britain to declare official war against Germany. In the mean time, from almost the first hour elite German troops (including the SS LAH) were demonstrating what German conquest might mean to the Poles.
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/2/2017 2:35:49 AM
Day 2


Quote:
On September 2nd, at the instigation of the Quai d'Orsay, the Italian government suggested convening a four-power conference 'to try and find a peaceful solution to the German-Polish dispute'. But the British government having made it a condition that the Reich should first withdraw its troops from all Polish territories that they already occupied, the suggestion fell through. (From Sixty Days that shook the West, by Jacques Benoist-Méchin, edition of 1963 by G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York)


 Prewar, the French Army had 33 active divisions. Mobilization of reserve divisions had begun on 22 August, and the bulk of the reserve divisions were mobilized by 2 September. The reserve divisions, however, were all over the country and suffering from deficits in manpower, transportation, armaments, and training. Most were not ready for any kind of action until a month (or more) later. The active divisions meanwhile, erected a defensive screen at France's borders behind which the reserve divisions could shake themselves out. As it was initially unclear how the situation might develop, this meant France was also devoting military forces to screening the borders of Italy and Spain, as well as those of Switzerland, Germany, and the low countries. (Source: own research; dates for mobilization and indications of unit readiness taken from Les Grandes Unités Françaises Historiques Succincts, volumes I, II, and III, French Army Historical Service, published 1967 in Paris)

 Order of battle information for Great Britain's army, navy and air force may be seen here (pages can be drilled down into for further information):
[Read More]
[Read More]
[Read More]

Cheers

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/2/2017 2:49:57 AM

Quote:
Day 1
Early on the morning of Sept 1, German troops invaded Poland. The reason given was because Polish troops had invaded Germany. The larger issue was the demands that Germany have both access and control of Danzig, an international enclave under treaties after WW1 but also a city with a huge German population and a clear preference for political and cultural links with Germany. The real issue was probably just that Poland was the next on a list for Nazi control and exploitation.

Two European nations – Britain and France – had assured Poland of their support in the event of German invasion. Neither expect to be called on their commitments. Neither had the capability or power to offer practical assistance. Once German troops entered Poland, both Britain and France searched furiously for means by which they could back out of their commitments.

In a larger light, there were envoys from the US attempting to ease tensions. There were movements from Italy attempting to reduce the belligerency. But when all else was said and done, neither Britain nor France wanted to go to war over Poland. They had bluffed, and been called.

As early as this first day, German power was demonstrating it's effectiveness. Germany had, IIRC, a 3:1 superiority ratio in a/c. But she also had a military plan which made effective use of a/c, as long-range artillery, as aerial threat, as effect ground suppression.

It would take 2 days for France and Britain to declare official war against Germany. In the mean time, from almost the first hour elite German troops (including the SS LAH) were demonstrating what German conquest might mean to the Poles.
--brian grafton


 My mother-in-law and her brother were teenagers that day. Not understanding what war was really like, they spent the day at a nearby lake; she remarked it had been beautiful summer weather that day. The family later learned that two cousins from a nearby city had attempted to travel to Warsaw (reacting to German propaganda on the radio that claimed the Polish government wanted the people to fall back to the capital). The teenage boys over-nighted in a barn with others on the road. There they were discovered by German troops, who sealed the barn and set it afire.

 By 1945, the brutality of the German occupation had claimed not only the life of my mother-in-law's brother, but her older sister as well, leaving her with no surviving siblings.

Cheers

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/2/2017 3:02:50 AM

Quote:
Day 1
Early on the morning of Sept 1, German troops invaded Poland. The reason given was because Polish troops had invaded Germany. The larger issue was the demands that Germany have both access and control of Danzig, an international enclave under treaties after WW1 but also a city with a huge German population and a clear preference for political and cultural links with Germany. The real issue was probably just that Poland was the next on a list for Nazi control and exploitation.

Two European nations – Britain and France – had assured Poland of their support in the event of German invasion. Neither expect to be called on their commitments. Neither had the capability or power to offer practical assistance. Once German troops entered Poland, both Britain and France searched furiously for means by which they could back out of their commitments.

In a larger light, there were envoys from the US attempting to ease tensions. There were movements from Italy attempting to reduce the belligerency. But when all else was said and done, neither Britain nor France wanted to go to war over Poland. They had bluffed, and been called.

As early as this first day, German power was demonstrating it's effectiveness. Germany had, IIRC, a 3:1 superiority ratio in a/c. But she also had a military plan which made effective use of a/c, as long-range artillery, as aerial threat, as effect ground suppression.

It would take 2 days for France and Britain to declare official war against Germany. In the mean time, from almost the first hour elite German troops (including the SS LAH) were demonstrating what German conquest might mean to the Poles.
--brian grafton


 The first day is also the day the myth of Polish cavalry charges against tanks was "born", at Krojanty:


Quote:
Having been ordered to hold the area, Colonel Mastelarz decided to take the regiment’s 1st and 2nd Squadrons through the forest and attempt to attack the German infantry positions from the rear. That evening, Mastelarz’s two cavalry squadrons surprised a German infantry battalion in an open area.

Ordinarily, after cavalrymen had arrived at a battle area, they would dismount and use their rifles and other weapons to engage the enemy. However, in this case, Mastelarz had the advantage of both surprise and mobility, so he ordered a mounted saber attack against the German infantry.

The 1st and 2nd Squadrons, a force of about 250, charged out of the forest across an open area and into the German formation. With only a few casualties, the Poles quickly gained the advantage during the close-in fighting, and the Germans started falling back.

Just when it looked like the Poles were going to win the skirmish, several German armored cars equipped with machine guns and automatic cannon appeared and opened fire on the Polish cavalry who then broke off the attack and retreated from the battle scene. Losses to the Polish squadrons were about 20 killed, including Colonel Mastelarz, and an unknown number, probably about 60, wounded or captured. This was the first cavalry charge of World War II.
[Read More]

 The incident was manipulated by Italian and German propaganda personnel and presented as a "charge against tanks". The world press seized this nonsense with gusto and promoted the view of the Polish troops as heroic but idiotic. Postwar, the Soviets were happy to keep the myth alive because it served their purpose of denigrating the prewar Polish regime and army.

Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/2/2017 10:38:40 PM
Thanks for good links to British resources. I instinctively distrust such tables of availability, and I wish these had more explanations attached. But they provide a good base to work from.


Quote:
Prewar, the French Army had 33 active divisions. Mobilization of reserve divisions had begun on 22 August, and the bulk of the reserve divisions were mobilized by 2 September. The reserve divisions, however, were all over the country and suffering from deficits in manpower, transportation, armaments, and training. Most were not ready for any kind of action until a month (or more) later.

During complex discussions between France, Britain and Poland during Day 2 (Sept 2), much of what others saw as French stalling centred on both the mobilization and the evacuation of certain Parisians deemed necessary to be removed from the capital and the imminent bombardment expected within minutes of any declaration of war. Such is the frustration between British and French officials that Britain determines to lead the way towards declaration of war.

There is a hint of distrust concerning French intentions, whether justified or not. Note the following, e.g.:
"1:30 am, FOREIGN OFFICE, WHITEHALL
...Dr Hugh Dalton, Labour's spokesman on foreign affairs, ...sees that the cabinet meeting is breaking up and intends to buttonhole Lord Halifax. ...Ivone Kirkpatrick, who has served in the Berling embassy under [Ambassador Neville] Henderson, tells him, 'If we rat on the poles now, we are absolutely sunk, whatever the French do. We shall have no chance against Hitler. But if we go ahead, we shall have two chances. First, we may shame the French into coming in, even though they would not have moved unless we had; second, even if the French say out, we shall have the opinion of the world behind us, and we at least have the Poles on our side with a chance that the United States and others will come in before we are beaten.'" The Day We Went to War, p 138.

Personal comment about Lord Halifax. I have never liked him, his attitude, his power, or his arrogance. But here is another Sept 2 vignette from that early meeting referred to above. Halifax has returned to the Foreign Office at 02:00 after the decision to challenge Hitler.
"2/00am, FOREIGN OFFICE, WHITEHALL
Now the decision [to challenge Hitler] has been taken, there is a general feeling of relief and a lightening of tension. Lord Halifax calls for beer. And bottles are brought to the Foreign Secretary's office by one of the resident clerks, who only looks half awake." The Day We Went to War, p 139.
Not a big deal, but one of those touches that reminds amateur historians that they are dealing with humans, not ciphers. Can you imagine how good that beer would have tasted?

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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/3/2017 4:37:26 AM
Day 3


Quote:
On September 3rd, at 11 a.m., Great Britain declared herself in a state of war with Germany. Not without diffidence and without consulting Parliament, the French government followed suit at 5 p.m. the same day. The Second World War had begun. -- Sixty Days that shook the West



Quote:
On the 3. September 1939, a military commission will be sent from Warsaw, via Stockholm, to Paris and London. At their farewell, Marshall Rydz-Smigły stated, "The front has collapsed everywhere. We can only retreat behind the Vistula, if that is feasible." -- Polen Feldzug, Janusz Piekalkiewicz, Augsburg: Bechtermünz Verlag, 1997.



Quote:
3 Sep _____ [German] Army Group North cuts the Corridor and Army Group South crosses the Wartha. Britain and France declare war on Germany.

The first phase of the campaign in the north was completed on 3 September with the linking of the [German] Third and Fourth Armies. The Pomorze Army force assigned to the defense of the Corridor proper had been destroyed, with a loss of 15,000 men in prisoners alone, 90 field pieces, and large stocks of matériel. The Modlin Army, from which the Germans claimed to have captured 10,000 prisoners, had been forced to withdraw southward from the Mlawa area. The Corridor was cut at base and center. The northern end of the Corridor and the fortress of Westerplatte in Danzig Harbor remained in Polish hands, but under constant attack by German ground, air, and sea forces. The Podlaska Cavalry Brigade of the Narew Group made several local penetrations into East Prussia in the area held by Corps Brand during this period of operations. These actions received much publicity in the foreign press but affected the campaign very little.

Czestochowa was taken on the morning of 3 September, and [German] Tenth Army seized several bridgeheads across the Warta despite determined Polish resistance. Fourteenth Army fought its way through the fortifications about Katowice and Mikolow in its zone of advance, and moved east along the Vistula. The southern Polish armies, bypassed in numerous places by the fast-moving German columns, began a hurried withdrawal. The troops on the front noted a marked decrease in Polish resistance and made extensive gains.
[Read More]


Quote:
Great Britain and France did not therefore declare war on Hitler's Germany to help Poland, nor "in the name of fighting Fascism". They did it, because Germany, conscious of its strength, had begun to threaten its former patrons. The expansionist ambitions of the fascist regime, its pursuit of hegemony in Europe and its plans for world domination struck directly at the interests of monopoly capitalism in both of the Western powers. Nevertheless, imperialistic circles in Great Britain and France hoped that following the conquest of Poland, Germany would unleash a war against the Soviet Union.

Thus, the Second World War began as an unjust, imperialistic war, as much as from the side of fascist Germany as from that of Great Britain and France. -- Geschichte des Zweiten Weltkrieges 1939-1945 in Zwölf Banden (DDR translation of the Soviet official history of the war), Volume 3, Chief Editor: Andrei A. Grechko, Berlin: Militärverlag der DDR, 1977.


Image: Polish fortification near Mława


Cheers

BW

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/3/2017 5:55:15 PM
Day 3: September 3, 1939 (continued)

11:35 GMT?
"Great Britain announces a naval blockade of Germany; all goods being carried to Germany on ships of any nation are to be confiscated."2194 Days of War (1979), p 21.

Also of note: WSC once again becomes First Lord of the Admiralty.

11:48 GMT
RAF Station Wyton

"Blenheim bomber N6215 of No. 139 Squadron takes off on the Royal Air Force's first operation of the war. ...Its mission is to make a reconnaissance of the German base at Wilhelmshaven. This will prepare the way for a later bombing raid. Though reluctant to order attacks on German land targets for fear of killing civilians, the Government are agreed that the German fleet is a legitimate target. Even so there are still a number of provisos in place. The ships may only be attacked if the on the high seas, or in the open waters of their bases, but definitely not while still in dockyards." The Day We Went to War (2009), p 190

This is not just British decency at play. Germany and France will abide by the same basic rules (despite the evidence of bombing across Poland) until the (probably inadvertent) bombing of Rotterdam on May 14, 1940.

Also of RAF note:
"British Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft dropped six million leaflets on cities in northern Germany and the Ruhr, the first of the propaganda raids." World War II Almanac: 1931-1945 (1981), p 91

19:39 GMT
Atlantic Ocean

SS Athenia is torpedoed by U-boat U-30, commanded by Oberleutnant Fritz-Julius Lemp. The liner was steaming for Montreal when Lemp, mistaking her for an armed cargo vessel, attacked.

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

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

urankjj
Forest Falls, CA, USA
Posts: 9
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/3/2017 6:05:22 PM
Let's not forget what happened the day before that on 8/31/1939. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleiwitz_incident, I know that because my wrist watch suddenly stopped working on that same day, 78 yrs later. Go figure....

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 537
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/3/2017 11:19:07 PM
How about these two for Sept 3, 1939

The Bromberg Massacre in the Polish city of Bromberg. German infiltrators or ethnic Germans not in uniform shoot at a retreating Polish Artillery Unit which retaliates against ethnic German civilians with and without arms followed by the Germans retaliating against ethnic Polish civilians after securing the city. Estimates vary of between 200 and 450 German dead an 600-700 Polish dead.

Brian you forgot to give the number of killed on the Athenia which was 112.
---------------
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"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 537
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/3/2017 11:26:50 PM
2 for September 4, 1939,

In the first RAF offensive action of the war they launch a raid on the German Fleet off Wilhelmshaven. Three bombs hit the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer but all three fail to explode causing minimal damage.

The United States initiates the Neutrality Patrol.
---------------
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"


BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/4/2017 1:04:06 AM

Quote:
2 for September 4, 1939,

In the first RAF offensive action of the war they launch a raid on the German Fleet off Wilhelmshaven. Three bombs hit the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer but all three fail to explode causing minimal damage.

The United States initiates the Neutrality Patrol.
--John R. Price


September 4, 1939


Quote:
Operations in Western Poland

[German] Third Army reported its XXI Corps in firm control of Grudziadz on 4 September. Engineers immediately set to work repairing the bridges across the Vistula, to establish a further linkup with Fourth Army.

On the left of the Third Army front I Corps and Corps Wodrig regrouped to resume their southward advance from Mlawa. The army group was critical of the operations just concluded at Mlawa, taking the position that Third Army should have bypassed the Polish defenses. Little resistance was encountered immediately south of Mlawa, but a stiff defense was expected along the Narew Kiver.

Fourth Army opened the second phase of operations with its XIX Corps clearing the area west of the Vistula near Grudziadz of Polish units still trying to escape from the Corridor. Reaching the river, the XIX Corps moved northward. Other Fourth Army units south of Grudziadz crossed the Vistula the same day, while fighting a series of actions with the remnants of Polish units that had infiltrated through the XIX Corps. At the base of the Corridor Fourth Army forced the Pomorze Army's 15th Infantry Division to withdraw from its positions north of Bydgoszcz.

The Advance across the Polish Plain and into Galicia

By the morning of 4 September [German] Army Group South estimated the withdrawing Poznan Army incapable of launching a heavy attack on the exposed left flank of the Eighth Army as it advanced northeastward. Tenth Army had virtually destroyed the Cracow Army's 7th Infantry Division and taken 1,000 prisoners, including the division commander. Heavy losses had also been inflicted on the Krakowska Cavalry Brigade. Tenth Army's Panzer divisions continued the drive eastward, moving beyond Radomsko, while two light divisions protected the right flank of the Panzer units and advanced to the Pilica River. Fourteenth Army reported the destruction of the Cracow Army's 6th Infantry Division and a general Polish withdrawal toward Cracow and the east.

The XXII Corps was operational under Fourteenth Army control on 4 September and advancing northward in the Novy Targ sector, with a Panzer, a mountain, and a light division attached. The XVIII Corps, which had controlled these three divisions the morning of the attack, had been withdrawn to assume control of two mountain divisions on the right front of the army and make a crossing into Poland farther to the east.
[Read More]

Image: German regimental command post in Poland, 1939


Cheers

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/4/2017 1:11:22 AM

Quote:
Day 3: September 3, 1939 (continued)

11:35 GMT?
"Great Britain announces a naval blockade of Germany; all goods being carried to Germany on ships of any nation are to be confiscated."2194 Days of War (1979), p 21.

Also of note: WSC once again becomes First Lord of the Admiralty.

11:48 GMT
RAF Station Wyton

"Blenheim bomber N6215 of No. 139 Squadron takes off on the Royal Air Force's first operation of the war. ...Its mission is to make a reconnaissance of the German base at Wilhelmshaven. This will prepare the way for a later bombing raid. Though reluctant to order attacks on German land targets for fear of killing civilians, the Government are agreed that the German fleet is a legitimate target. Even so there are still a number of provisos in place. The ships may only be attacked if the on the high seas, or in the open waters of their bases, but definitely not while still in dockyards." The Day We Went to War (2009), p 190

This is not just British decency at play. Germany and France will abide by the same basic rules (despite the evidence of bombing across Poland) until the (probably inadvertent) bombing of Rotterdam on May 14, 1940.

Also of RAF note:
"British Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft dropped six million leaflets on cities in northern Germany and the Ruhr, the first of the propaganda raids." World War II Almanac: 1931-1945 (1981), p 91

19:39 GMT
Atlantic Ocean

SS Athenia is torpedoed by U-boat U-30, commanded by Oberleutnant Fritz-Julius Lemp. The liner was steaming for Montreal when Lemp, mistaking her for an armed cargo vessel, attacked.

Cheers
Brian G
--brian grafton


Image: U-30


Image: SS Athenia


Cheers

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/4/2017 1:56:49 AM
Day 3: September 3, 1939 (continued)


Quote:
Thus, in Australia, soon after Chamberlain's announcement, Mr. T. J. Hawkins of the Naval Secretariat informed the Secretary of the Defence Department, Mr Shedden, that a naval signal had been received containing the order: "Commence hostilities at once against Germany." Shedden informed Mr F. Strahan, Secretary of the Prime Minister's Department, at Canberra, that although the pre-arranged signal from the Dominions Office announcing the outbreak of war had not arrived, this naval signal had been picked up. Within an hour a meeting of the Executive Council had been convened in the Prime Minister's room at the Commonwealth offices in Melbourne and the issue of a proclamation declaring the existence of a state of war approved. At 9.15 p.m. the voice of the Australian Prime Minister, Mr Menzies, was heard by listeners throughout Australia. "It is my melancholy duty", he said, "to inform you officially that, in consequence of a persistence by Germany, in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is also at war."
[Read More]

Cheers

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/4/2017 2:39:56 AM
Day 4: September 4, 1939 (continued)


Quote:
Within a few hours of the opening of hostilities -- at 1.50 a.m. on the 4th -- Australia's first shot in the war was fired from a fort at Port Phillip Heads across the bows of a small coastal steamer which failed to stop for the examination vessel after passing through the Rip. "The Captain", said the Melbourne Sun the following morning, "explained that he had given the name of the ship and thought he could enter without heaving to"; and the paper added severely "he is not likely to repeat the mistake".
[Read More]

Cheers

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/4/2017 4:22:35 AM

Quote:
Let's not forget what happened the day before that on 8/31/1939. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleiwitz_incident, I know that because my wrist watch suddenly stopped working on that same day, 78 yrs later. Go figure....
--urankjj



Quote:
As early as two hours after the bogus attack on the radio station, the Berlin radio broadcast the news in exactly this tone. Nevertheless, it was impossible to impose this line of communication to full extent, although on 1 September 1939 the first thing the world public opinion saw was the falsified information regarding the “Polish attack”. The true face of the Gliwice provocation was only known by the world through the testimony of Naujocks delivered ​​during the Nuremberg trials.

Today the radio station buildings in Tarnogórska Street form a department of the Gliwice Museum. They are no longer used for transmitting broadcasts. Only for the first few years after the war the Gliwice radio station was used for retransmitting the broadcasts of the Katowice Radio, and in the years 1950-1956 it served as a radio jamming device for disrupting the signal of the Radio Free Europe.

The historic antenna tower, which is now the highest wooden building in Europe, still serves the purpose of communication, although in a slightly different manner, by carrying dozens of different types of antennas, which in no way diminishes its tourist appeal.
[Read More]

Image: The tower at (formerly Gleiwitz) Gliwice.


Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/4/2017 5:15:34 PM
Day 4. Sept 4, 1939 (continued)

“Spain declared its neutrality, but Franco secretly pledged support for the Axis cause.” World War II Almanac: 1939-1945, (1981), p 92. To be cited as Goralski in any of my subsequent posts.

“Advance units of the British Expeditionary Force [BEF] began landing in France.” Goralski, p. 92.

“Japan declares her neutrality and will ‘concentrate her efforts on a settlement of the China affair. Japanese troops have been fighting in China since 1931, and there has been open war since 1937.” 2194 Days of War, (1977), p . To be cited as 2194 Days in any of my subsequent posts.

“WILHELMSHAVEN AND BRUNSBÜTTEL

After an early Blenheim reconnaissance, 15 Blenheims and 14 Wellingtons were dispatched to bomb German warships. 5 planes from each force failed to find targets in low-cloud conditions. Most of the remaining Blenheims carried out low-level attacks on the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer and on the cruiser Eden in Wilhelmshaven harbour. At least 3 bombs hit the Admiral Scheer but they failed to explode; the Emden was damaged and suffered some casualties when a Blenheim crashed onto it. 5 Blenheims were shot town, all or most by anti-aircraft (Flak) fire; 107 Squadron lost 4 of its 5 planes on the raid. …
Little is known of the Wellington attacks on ships at Brussbrüttel in the mouth of the Kiel Canal. 4 crews reported that they had found targets to bomb. Owing to navigation error, 2 bombs were dropped on the Danish town of Esbjerg, 110 miles north of Brunsbüttel, and 2 people were killed there. Some of the Wellingtons were attacked by German fighters and 2 Wellingtons were lost.
Total effort for the day: 30 sorties, 7 aircraft (23.3 percent) lost.” Bomber Command War Diaries (1990), p 22. To be cited as BC War Diaries in any of my subsequent posts.

In dry prose, this comes across as a disaster:
• of 29 a/c, 10 did not find targets.
• of 19 continuing a/c, more than 5 (but fewer than all) Blenheims found targets and only 4 Wellingtons could make the same claim.
• For the (maximum of)13 a/c actually attacking, 7 a/c were lost. That is 53.8% loss rate for effective sorties.

This entry is indicative of RAF Bomber Command challenges until at least early 1942. Poor target finding, navigational errors, daylight vulnerability and sometimes high losses were much too high.

LEAFLET RAIDS, 4/5 September to 23/24 December 1939.
113 sorties on 22 nights during this period were undertaken. A total of 4 Whitleys were lost performing these duties. (Précis of BS War Diaries entry, pp. 22-23)

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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/5/2017 1:03:18 AM

Quote:
Day 4. Sept 4, 1939 (continued)

“Spain declared its neutrality, but Franco secretly pledged support for the Axis cause.” World War II Almanac: 1939-1945, (1981), p 92. To be cited as Goralski in any of my subsequent posts.

“Advance units of the British Expeditionary Force [BEF] began landing in France.” Goralski, p. 92.

“Japan declares her neutrality and will ‘concentrate her efforts on a settlement of the China affair. Japanese troops have been fighting in China since 1931, and there has been open war since 1937.” 2194 Days of War, (1977), p . To be cited as 2194 Days in any of my subsequent posts.

“WILHELMSHAVEN AND BRUNSBÜTTEL

After an early Blenheim reconnaissance, 15 Blenheims and 14 Wellingtons were dispatched to bomb German warships. 5 planes from each force failed to find targets in low-cloud conditions. Most of the remaining Blenheims carried out low-level attacks on the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer and on the cruiser Eden in Wilhelmshaven harbour. At least 3 bombs hit the Admiral Scheer but they failed to explode; the Emden was damaged and suffered some casualties when a Blenheim crashed onto it. 5 Blenheims were shot town, all or most by anti-aircraft (Flak) fire; 107 Squadron lost 4 of its 5 planes on the raid. …
Little is known of the Wellington attacks on ships at Brussbrüttel in the mouth of the Kiel Canal. 4 crews reported that they had found targets to bomb. Owing to navigation error, 2 bombs were dropped on the Danish town of Esbjerg, 110 miles north of Brunsbüttel, and 2 people were killed there. Some of the Wellingtons were attacked by German fighters and 2 Wellingtons were lost.
Total effort for the day: 30 sorties, 7 aircraft (23.3 percent) lost.” Bomber Command War Diaries (1990), p 22. To be cited as BC War Diaries in any of my subsequent posts.

In dry prose, this comes across as a disaster:
• of 29 a/c, 10 did not find targets.
• of 19 continuing a/c, more than 5 (but fewer than all) Blenheims found targets and only 4 Wellingtons could make the same claim.
• For the (maximum of)13 a/c actually attacking, 7 a/c were lost. That is 53.8% loss rate for effective sorties.

This entry is indicative of RAF Bomber Command challenges until at least early 1942. Poor target finding, navigational errors, daylight vulnerability and sometimes high losses were much too high.

LEAFLET RAIDS, 4/5 September to 23/24 December 1939.
113 sorties on 22 nights during this period were undertaken. A total of 4 Whitleys were lost performing these duties. (Précis of BS War Diaries entry, pp. 22-23)

Cheers
Brian G
--brian grafton


Image: Vickers Wellington


Image: Bristol Blenheim


Image: Armstrong Whitworth Whitley


Cheers

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/5/2017 1:11:02 AM

Quote:
Day 4. Sept 4, 1939 (continued)

“Spain declared its neutrality, but Franco secretly pledged support for the Axis cause.” World War II Almanac: 1939-1945, (1981), p 92. To be cited as Goralski in any of my subsequent posts.

“Advance units of the British Expeditionary Force [BEF] began landing in France.” Goralski, p. 92.

“Japan declares her neutrality and will ‘concentrate her efforts on a settlement of the China affair. Japanese troops have been fighting in China since 1931, and there has been open war since 1937.” 2194 Days of War, (1977), p . To be cited as 2194 Days in any of my subsequent posts.

“WILHELMSHAVEN AND BRUNSBÜTTEL

After an early Blenheim reconnaissance, 15 Blenheims and 14 Wellingtons were dispatched to bomb German warships. 5 planes from each force failed to find targets in low-cloud conditions. Most of the remaining Blenheims carried out low-level attacks on the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer and on the cruiser Eden in Wilhelmshaven harbour. At least 3 bombs hit the Admiral Scheer but they failed to explode; the Emden was damaged and suffered some casualties when a Blenheim crashed onto it. 5 Blenheims were shot town, all or most by anti-aircraft (Flak) fire; 107 Squadron lost 4 of its 5 planes on the raid. …
Little is known of the Wellington attacks on ships at Brussbrüttel in the mouth of the Kiel Canal. 4 crews reported that they had found targets to bomb. Owing to navigation error, 2 bombs were dropped on the Danish town of Esbjerg, 110 miles north of Brunsbüttel, and 2 people were killed there. Some of the Wellingtons were attacked by German fighters and 2 Wellingtons were lost.
Total effort for the day: 30 sorties, 7 aircraft (23.3 percent) lost.” Bomber Command War Diaries (1990), p 22. To be cited as BC War Diaries in any of my subsequent posts.

In dry prose, this comes across as a disaster:
• of 29 a/c, 10 did not find targets.
• of 19 continuing a/c, more than 5 (but fewer than all) Blenheims found targets and only 4 Wellingtons could make the same claim.
• For the (maximum of)13 a/c actually attacking, 7 a/c were lost. That is 53.8% loss rate for effective sorties.

This entry is indicative of RAF Bomber Command challenges until at least early 1942. Poor target finding, navigational errors, daylight vulnerability and sometimes high losses were much too high.

LEAFLET RAIDS, 4/5 September to 23/24 December 1939.
113 sorties on 22 nights during this period were undertaken. A total of 4 Whitleys were lost performing these duties. (Précis of BS War Diaries entry, pp. 22-23)

Cheers
Brian G
--brian grafton


 And, as for the Luftwaffe ...


Equipment of Luftwaffe First Line Units on September 1, 1939
[Read More]

Aircraft type Strength

He 111 bombers 780
Do 17 bombers 470
Do17 recon 280
Ju 88 bombers 20
Ju 87 dive-bombers 335
Me 109 D fighters 235
Me 109 E fighters 850
Me 110 heavy fighters 195
Ar66 fighters 5
Ar68 fighters 35
Hs126 tactical recon 195
He46 tactical recon 100
Coastal aircraft 205
Miscellaneous 65

Total 3,960


German AA guns at the start of the war


Quote:
The Germans expanded the role of flak as they assessed the Spanish Civil War, where antiaircraft artillery also served as an infantry support weapon. On the basis of that war, the Germans doubled the number of their flak units. So when World War II began, the Germans had 2,600 heavy and 6,700 light flak guns.

On 1 January 1938 the British had only 180 antiaircraft guns larger then 50mm. This number slowly increased to 341 by September 1938 (Munich), to 540 in September 1939 (declaration of war), and 1,140 during the Battle of Britain. (Archie, Flak, AAA, and SAM, Dr. Kenneth P. Werrell, Maxwell Air Force Base: Air University Press, 1988).


 (Werrell's book may be downloaded as a PDF at) [Read More]

Cheers

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/5/2017 1:23:20 AM
September 5, 1939


Quote:
[German] Army Group North was obliged to revise its plan with the receipt of orders from OKH on 4 September and during the night of 4-5 September. In the first of the two orders, OKH authorized the organization of only a small provisional force of fortress troops and reservists from units already available in East Prussia to move on Lomza. The second order directed the Fourth Army to continue its drive on Warsaw from the northwest. Panzer and motorized units (XIX Corps) could be shifted to the left front of Third Army, but would have to remain west of the line Ostrow Mazowiecka-Warsaw in the drive on the Polish capital.



Quote:
Additional gains were reported by all three armies on 5 September. Eighth Army was advancing rapidly to the northeast, while its X Corps presented a front to the north. Several battalions of the IV Frontier Command, a regiment of the 62d Infantry Division, and elements of the 252d Infantry Division crossed the Reich frontier to fill the gap formed as Eighth Army moved farther eastward. The frontier command and the infantry units were immediately organized into a task force known as Group Gienanth and given responsibility for the defense of Army Group South's exposed left flank. As Eighth Army continued to move eastward the front presented by the X Corps became more extended despite the relief afforded by the commitment of Group Gienanth. The Poznan Army to the north had not been engaged as heavily as the other Polish armies in the frontier area and still possessed a considerable combat potential.

Tenth Army units were across the Pilica by 5 September, and the way was open for an advance across the Polish Plain to the capital. The Polish reserves had been committed and there were a few units to be drawn upon to reinforce the sagging defense line before Warsaw.

Fourteenth Army drove eastward on Cracow against stiffening resistance on 5 September. The XXII Corps below the Vistula moved in the direction of the San River, and the XVIII Corps fought a way into Poland through the eastern Carpathian passes.
[Read More]

 (A map of the Polish campaign for 1 to 14 September 1939 may be seen at--) [Read More]

Image: Pilica River near Sulejów.


Cheers

BW

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/5/2017 9:23:24 PM
Day 5. September 5, 1939 (continued)

“General Jan Christian Smuts was named prime minister of South Africa after the legislature defeated a proposal that the country declare its neutrality. Many South Africans of Dutch descent were sympathetic to Germany’s racial policies and were not disposed to aid the British in any way.” Goralski, p 92.

A day after establishing what FDR calls Neutrality Patrols, the US proclaims its neutrality. Goralski, p 92; 2194 Days, p 25.

No offensive action by RAF except on-going leaflet raids. Reconnaissance flights will begin on 20 September. No offensive Bomber Command action until 29 September 1939. BC War Diaries, p 24.

NOTE
An earlier post concerning Sept 3 events (by John R. Price) raised the issue of the Bromberg Massacre.
Quote:
The Bromberg Massacre in the Polish city of Bromberg. German infiltrators or ethnic Germans not in uniform shoot at a retreating Polish Artillery Unit which retaliates against ethnic German civilians with and without arms followed by the Germans retaliating against ethnic Polish civilians after securing the city. Estimates vary of between 200 and 450 German dead an 600-700 Polish dead.


According to Goralski (p 92) this event occurred on Sept 5 – if Goralski is discussing the same event. I don't know which date – Goralski's or John R. Price's – is more accurate.
“Polish rear guards and armed civilians offered determined resistance at Bydgoszcz before yielding to German III Corps units. The invaders found hundreds of German residents of the city massacred by the fleeing Poles. Hitler used these instances of such documented atrocities to justify the invasion.”

There is a (possibly biased) history of Bydgoszcz, which has also from time to time been known as Bromberg, available at the following link, found doing a random search of the web under “Other Names for Bydgoszcz”.
[Read More]
Other sites may offer different histories, but it appears that Bydgoszcz was from its appearance in the 11th century a frontier outpost, with allegiance at various times to the Teutonic Order, to Poland, and perhaps to Germany. There was a treaty signed there under what appears to be its German name (Treaty of Bromberg) in 1657, and by 1919 the population by nationality (or at least by declared nationality) was 80% German, 20% Polish. That changed with the reincorporation of Bydgoszcz into Poland in 1920, when large portions of the German community (and a proportion of the Jewish community) left. By the 1930s, about 6.5% of the population identified itself as German.

Had John R. Price not made a note of "the Bromberg Massacre", I wouldn't have included Goralski's comments. John feels it an important event. The obvious point is that unless more folks participate in this process, all kinds of events might be missed. Some of them may be of personal interest as the day-to-day of the chronicle develops: that's okay. E.g., I had a British relative of sorts who was in Danzig when the war broke out. Somewhere I have scanned copies of the relevant pages of his British passport, showing the travel stamps he received to be ferried out of Danzig to a neutral nation in western Europe. If I can find them, I think that might add something to the chronicle.

Cheers
Brian G

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

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

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2549
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/6/2017 2:00:33 AM
Brian,

Shocking revelations about the ineffectiveness and ineptitude of BC's early attempts to make its mark.

I wonder how far this reflects British preparedness for war in general.

There are aspects of government that suggest a thorough and pretty competent preparation for the conflict on the Home Front.

Maybe the civilian population was more successfully marshalled than the armed forces.

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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/6/2017 2:50:19 AM
I don't know which date – Goralski's or John R. Price's – is more accurate.

 Goralski has it wrong and didn't mention the sniping by German persons of some kind (agents, civilians, special ops personnel, etc.) against retreating Polish troops. John's version of the event matched how it is described by current historiography and has the correct date.

 I think it likely, that besides return fire from Polish troops, that some Polish civilians may have attacked German civilians in the city. The chaos of war, coupled with two ethnic groups who had no great affection for each other could have easily led to criminal acts IMO. The situation is made somewhat more murky by the fact the city was bombed by the Luftwaffe during the tactical actions in and around the city, and so civilians of both ethnic groups suffered casualties from that as well.

 I'm leaping ahead in the chronology, but the accounts of sniping at Bromberg sound like what was reported by French and British troops in 1940. It was apparently common. One French captain noted in his diary, "we shoot the ones we capture (meaning snipers not wearing a uniform), all that is required by headquarters is that we keep a count of how many we have shot".

Cheers

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/6/2017 3:22:49 AM
September 6, 1939


Quote:
Declaration of war by the Union of South Africa against Germany. (Soviet history of the war, Vol. 3)



Quote:
An additional link was established between the Third and Fourth Armies southeast of Grudziadz on 6 September, and the German line across the Southeastern area of the Corridor was shortened. The XIX Corps headquarters and one division were immediately withdrawn and moved to the left flank of Third Army, where the corps would organize the provisional force OKH had authorized for the move on Lomza. Army Group North moved its headquarters to Allenstein in East Prussia the same day, and remained there to the end of the campaign. Third Army moved to the frontier area south of Allenstein and Fourth Army shifted to a point within the Corridor northwest of Bydgoszcz.

Rundstedt's headquarters revised its earlier estimate of the Poznan Army's capabilities on the Eighth Army flank on 6 September and prepared to meet a Polish attack from the north. The army group commander requested additional cavalry for reconnaissance purposes but OKH could make no cavalry available. To restrict the Poznam Army's movement and channel its withdrawal, two infantry divisions of the army group reserve were sent into line between X Corps and Group Gienanth, strengthening that part of the Eighth Army front facing north.

Tenth Army continued to move northeastward on a wide front on 6 September, making deep penetrations with its Panzer divisions. The Poles contested the advance of the Panzer divisions bitterly, since they were closest to Warsaw and threatened the eastward retreat of the Lodz and Poznan Armies. The Panzer divisions were followed by infantry divisions, which quickly cleared the captured areas of bypassed Polish units and stragglers. The Panzer division on the northern flank beat off heavy counterattacks, inflicted severe losses on the Poles, and captured the commander of the Polish general reserve's 29th Infantry Division. Fourteenth Army captured the key city of Cracow the same day. Intelligence reports indicated that the Poles were attempting to rally remnants of their Cracow Army in the area of Radom.

The first phase of Army Group South's operations was completed by 6 September. The Poznan Army had been forced to withdraw eastward. The Lodz Army was under heavy attack. Cracow had been taken and remanants of the Cracow Army at Radom were about to be enveloped by Tenth Army. The Carpathian Army had been forced to withdraw toward Lublin and Lwow.

No great number of prisoners had been taken in a single engagement, as had happened in the Corridor to the north a few days earlier. However, Army Group South reported several thousand captives in the Cracow area, and Tenth Army had bypassed thousands of Polish troops in its advance across the Warta; these were still being captured by the infantry units that had followed the armor. The Poles also committed a larger proportion of their general reserve to stem the rapid advance of the stronger southern army group and to meet the threat Rundstedt posed to the capital and control center of the Polish defense effort. Tenth Army had had innumerable obstacles with which to contend, as the Poles destroyed bridges and other construction before its tank columns, and part of Fourteenth Army had had to fight its way through mountain passes defended by picked Polish mountain troops.
[Read More]

Image: Polish 7TP tanks in 1939.





Cheers

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

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
Posts: 2885
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/6/2017 9:19:34 AM

Quote:
Day 1
Early on the morning of Sept 1, German troops invaded Poland. The reason given was because Polish troops had invaded Germany. The larger issue was the demands that Germany have both access and control of Danzig, an international enclave under treaties after WW1 but also a city with a huge German population and a clear preference for political and cultural links with Germany. The real issue was probably just that Poland was the next on a list for Nazi control and exploitation.

Two European nations – Britain and France – had assured Poland of their support in the event of German invasion. Neither expect to be called on their commitments. Neither had the capability or power to offer practical assistance. Once German troops entered Poland, both Britain and France searched furiously for means by which they could back out of their commitments.

In a larger light, there were envoys from the US attempting to ease tensions. There were movements from Italy attempting to reduce the belligerency. But when all else was said and done, neither Britain nor France wanted to go to war over Poland. They had bluffed, and been called.

As early as this first day, German power was demonstrating it's effectiveness. Germany had, IIRC, a 3:1 superiority ratio in a/c. But she also had a military plan which made effective use of a/c, as long-range artillery, as aerial threat, as effect ground suppression.

It would take 2 days for France and Britain to declare official war against Germany. In the mean time, from almost the first hour elite German troops (including the SS LAH) were demonstrating what German conquest might mean to the Poles.
--brian grafton



Brian,

Sad times for Western Civilization!

[Read More]

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

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 537
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/6/2017 2:28:14 PM
Brian,

My information/dates came from a article published by the Polish Institute of National Remembrance in 2004 by a Polish historian, Thomasz Chincinski and from the testimony of a British eyewitness in Bromberg on Sep 3, 1939.

The information I have on population is that according to the Polish Census of 1932 there were about 137,000 ethnuc Germans in Bromberg but by 1939 there were only about 10,000 left.

I don't feel it a very important event in the overall picture but it is certainly as important as a bombing raid in which only three bombs hit a major target and all three failed to explode. It in no way is a excuse or explination of what the Nazis did but shows that not only one side is guilty of atrocities.

---------------
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
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/6/2017 7:52:19 PM
Day 6. September 6, 1939 (continued)

"Britain’s first air raid warning turned out to be false. RAF planes sent aloft to intercept the imagined attackers ended up shooting at each other. Spitfires shot down two Hurricanes.Goralski, p 92.
Wrong on one count, misleading on another. The first air raid sirens were heard at 11:28 on 3 Sept, just after war was declared by Britain. Those sirens were false as well, but that was not known during the event. And the raid Goralski cites was the result of a false reading by the Chain Home network, Britain’s primitive defensive radar system.

The RAF timeline for 1939 offers the following:
“Also on this day is the Battle of Barking Creek, when a error in identification in the Chain Home Radar system led to RAF aircraft engaging each other over the Thames Estuary. Blenheims, Hurricanes and Spitfires, not physically unlike the German Ju 88 and Bf 109, reported seeing enemy aircraft and several claims were made.”
---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/6/2017 9:24:17 PM

Quote:
Shocking revelations about the ineffectiveness and ineptitude of BC's early attempts to make its mark.

I wonder how far this reflects British preparedness for war in general.

Phil, that's a question for a more organized and encompassing brain than mine, to be honest. But I think all armed services of the UK demonstrated early military weaknesses that basically demonstrated civilian government misapplication of reality to issues. In a nutshell, government was forced to choose between reputation and capability through a time of economic and social hardship and upheaval. Obligations under the "Ten Year Rule" were obscured, manipulated or falsely represented: the history of the Fairiy "Battle" demonstrates. Decisions concerning high-angle guns for RN vessels were laughable, based on dismissal of actual test findings (from friendly navies) to ungrounded assumptions of attack probabilities. RN destroyers, as a result, were equipped with a maximum elevation of 40°. Only Capital Ships were considered viable targets, and dive bombers were discounted. More efficient and effective high angle a-a was designed for larger vessels, but only while rejecting many of the difficulties of high-angle shooting (stabilization is an obvious one) while underway.

The costs of developing or maintaining military preparedness were prohibitive, of course, at a time when the promised "home for heroes" had a particularly hollow ring outside the Home Counties. Massive unemployment, massive poverty, the indignity of the "dole". But the government was doing little to alleviate those issues (and in fact showed no signs of wishing to alleviate them). In truth, it had little money, and it seems to have opted to maintain the cultural status quo and the image of Empire rather than offer wide-ranged assistance to its working poor or a strong defence force for any national emergency.

Here I go on my high horse! Sorry.


Quote:
There are aspects of government that suggest a thorough and pretty competent preparation for the conflict on the Home Front.

Maybe the civilian population was more successfully marshalled than the armed forces.

I think you are right in saying there are suggestions of preparation for conflict. There were, IMHO, three weaknesses in their approach.

First, a problem that affected most European nations that were active in WW1: aerial bombing, and the attendant Douhet phenomenon. Crudely explained, the population is divided into three groups: those who are trained in war, and can face the trials of combat; those who are civilians, and who are untrained for trials of combat; naifs, who are vulnerable to issues without understanding or even recognizing them. In WW1, young officers on leave from the trenches never spoke honestly about the horrors of trench warfare, because the sanctuary of civilian ignorance was part of the world they were protecting.

Douhet simply said that, because of aerial warfare, there would no longer be a separation between a battlefield of soldiers and a battlefield of civilians, except... . Civilians were not capable of surviving a military attack. Bombers would kill them in huge numbers, creating panic and revulsion so strong that governments would be forced to sue for peace. Answer: evacuate those most in peril of bombing. This was done in England and in France, at the very least. I think the model might have been developed in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War, but I'm not certain.

But, going to point two, at least in England it was not done effectively across the board. National policy would be delegated to county authority, who might delegate further to local or city officials. These were officials elected on merits that were not necessarily supportive of evacuation or other ARP measures. "Duty", I admit, is a glorious concept which was adopted by many of the wealthy and influential in British society, and which provided (through WA and other extraordinary groups) volunteer assistance on a vast scale across Great Britain. But those often came after the realization that the official in charge of civilian protection and control had determined the issue was low on his list of priorities.

Third point (and this is in some ways part of the larger, emotional impact of Douhet), much of the prep for Home Front issues was misdirected and miscalculated on a scale hard to believe. The percentage of deaths expected; the levels of panic expected, the requirement for medical incarceration were all way out of proportion to what actually occurred. I have read of 500,000 papier mache coffins stockpiled to look after the first two weeks' dead in London. Bad as things were, they never reached those levels by some levels of magnitude. What the planning didn't prepare for or expect was the need for housing, for a square meal, for replacement of clothing, for a means of checking up on family and friends.

I'll stop now. A good volume to find and read is Tom Harrisson's Living Through the Blitz (1976). Harrisson was one of the founders of M-O (Mass-Observation), and this volume draws on M-O diaries and journals to give an interesting description of how prepared the Home Front was, and how well the home folk coped during a huge crisis.

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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/7/2017 1:37:27 AM
September 7, 1939


Quote:
All three of its armies reported progress as [German] Army Group South entered the second phase of operations, and OKH cancelled its planned airborne attack on the Vistula crossing at Pulawy. The three army headquarters had to displace forward again to maintain proper control over their advancing units. On 7 September [German] Eighth Army moved to the vicinity of Lodz, as it pressed the attack against that city and the Lodz Army.
[Read More]

 Elements of four French corps subordinated to three different field armies began a limited offensive in the region south of Saarbrücken. Ostensibly intended to assist Poland as part of a Franco-Polish military alliance, the offensive moved too slowly to impact German operations in Poland. The French command was rent with dissent regarding the wisdom of the offensive, the French air force was not prepared to provide support to French troops on the ground, and the difficulties imposed by rough terrain, the Westwall and its minefields, a sparse road network, and the presence of enough Category I and II German divisions ensured any French advance would be neither rapid nor decisive in terms of impact on the fate of Poland.



Image: Vistula River by Puławy.


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

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2549
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/7/2017 7:28:17 AM
Brian,

Many thanks for answering my post and discussing the question of preparedness - or otherwise - in the military and civilian realms.

I am profoundly impressed by your knowledge and grasp, to the extent that I feel out of my depth.

The deficiencies - some of them seem staggering in retrospect - that were extant must not obscure the huge achievements ....indeed, in a sense they are all the more remarkable on account of those very defects.

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
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/7/2017 6:06:02 PM
Day 7. September 7, 1939 (continued)

The Battle of Westerplatte ends with Polish surrender. Westerplatte was under fire from Day 1, including being shelled by the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein, in Danzig on a “good will” visit when war broke out.

“Hitler, in a meeting with Admiral Erich Raeder, directed the German Navy, ‘in order not to provoke neutral countries, the United States in Particular, it is forbidden to torpedo passenger steamers, even when sailing in convoy. …The order was the result of the Athenia sinking… .” Goralski, p 92.

While speaking of the German navy, remember that two Panzershiffe were at sea as surface raiders. Admiral Graf Spee had sailed on 21 August 1939 and Deutschland, which would be renamed Lützow, on 24 August 1939. They would receive attack orders on 26 September 1939.

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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/8/2017 12:56:17 AM
September 7, 1939 (continued)

Image: Action at Westerplatte (Wolne Miasto Gdańsk = Free City of Danzig)



Cheers

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/8/2017 1:04:35 AM

Quote:
Day 7. September 7, 1939 (continued)

The Battle of Westerplatte ends with Polish surrender. Westerplatte was under fire from Day 1, including being shelled by the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein, in Danzig on a “good will” visit when war broke out.

“Hitler, in a meeting with Admiral Erich Raeder, directed the German Navy, ‘in order not to provoke neutral countries, the United States in Particular, it is forbidden to torpedo passenger steamers, even when sailing in convoy. …The order was the result of the Athenia sinking… .” Goralski, p 92.

While speaking of the German navy, remember that two Panzershiffe were at sea as surface raiders. Admiral Graf Spee had sailed on 21 August 1939 and Deutschland, which would be renamed Lützow, on 24 August 1939. They would receive attack orders on 26 September 1939.

Cheers
Brian G
--brian grafton


Image: DKM Admiral Graf Spee


Image: DKM Deutschland


Image: DKM Schleswig-Holstein


Cheers

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

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2549
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/8/2017 3:35:38 AM
Does memory serve me if I mention that the Germans were so impressed by the defence put up by the Poles in that place that they accorded the garrison full military honours when they surrendered ?

It's such a contrast with the usual narrative of German conduct in Poland, and seems so quirky, that I deem it worthy of reference.

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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/8/2017 7:56:37 AM

Quote:
Does memory serve me if I mention that the Germans were so impressed by the defence put up by the Poles in that place that they accorded the garrison full military honours when they surrendered ?

It's such a contrast with the usual narrative of German conduct in Poland, and seems so quirky, that I deem it worthy of reference.

Regards, Phil
--Phil andrade


 The Wikipedia article makes it out to be a mixed bag, but apparently honors were accorded.


Quote:
At 0945 the white flag appeared; the Polish defense had impressed the Germans so much that the German commander, General Friedrich-Georg Eberhardt, allowed Sucharski to retain his ceremonial szabla (Polish sabre) in captivity (it was apparently confiscated later). . . At the same time Polish wireless operator Kazimierz Rasiński was murdered by Germans after the capitulation; after brutal interrogation, he had refused to hand over radio codes and was shot.

Sucharski surrendered the post to Kleikamp and the Germans paraded in full order when the Polish garrison marched out at 1130, still proud and erect, though exhausted.


Cheers

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/8/2017 12:34:23 PM
September 8, 1939


Quote:
(German) Army Group North received a welcome but premature message from Rundstedt's headquarters the evening of 8 September. According to Army Group South, the XVI Corps had taken Warsaw and established several crossings on the Vistula. The entry in the headquarters journal of Army Group North noted that "The drama is approaching its finale." The hope of a quick victory was dashed when it was learned that only one division had reached Warsaw and had been forced to withdraw, and that no crossing had been made along the Vistula.

The combat potential of (German) Eighth Army was increased considerably at the outset of the second phase of Army Group South's operations with the attachment of the XI and XVI Corps from Tenth Army. The XI Corps held the right of the army line, while XVI Corps reached the suburbs of Warsaw with its 4th Panzer Division on 8 September and its 1st Panzer Division penetrated to the Vistula.
[Read More]


Quote:
[In Kutno] on September 8, a Polish force of eight divisions and two cavalry brigades, taken from Armies Poznan and Pomerania, is massing in preparation for a counter-attack. . . .

The Polish military attaché in Paris wrote in his report for September 8, "Until September 7, 1939, 10 o'clock, Western Europe is not truly at war. Neither the French nor the Germans are shooting. Air operations do not take place. As usual, I have no direct contact with General Gamelin. One talks mostly with his liaison officer, General Dentz, who gives me no straightforward responses. My assessment: the French are not further mobilizing, they await the outcome of the fighting in Poland." (Soviet history of the war, volume 3)


Cheers

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/8/2017 12:43:19 PM
 A comment. Quite a pace of events when one takes in the whole picture. The Allies may have attempted to appease Hitler early on, but when push came to shove, there was no waiting months on end ("Saddam, this is your last chance to leave Kuwait, or we'll talk bad about you for yet another month!") ... no, Hitler was told to get out of Poland, and when he did not do so, the British and French went to war. In truth, their operations were less than half-hearted and they had no clear idea of what to expect from modern warfare. But eight days into the war, there is already a major campaign on the ground in Poland, air raids, skirmishing along the Westwall, and submarine and surface naval operations taking place.

Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/8/2017 6:46:01 PM

Quote:
A comment. Quite a pace of events when one takes in the whole picture. The Allies may have attempted to appease Hitler early on, but when push came to shove, there was no waiting months on end ("Saddam, this is your last chance to leave Kuwait, or we'll talk bad about you for yet another month!") ... no, Hitler was told to get out of Poland, and when he did not do so, the British and French went to war. In truth, their operations were less than half-hearted and they had no clear idea of what to expect from modern warfare. But eight days into the war, there is already a major campaign on the ground in Poland, air raids, skirmishing along the Westwall, and submarine and surface naval operations taking place.

Further to BW's comment, with which I whole-heartedly agree. Phil, if you're reading this, put my earlier post about British readiness into this context.

As Bill suggests, the pace of events in the first seven days is extraordinary, particularly when compared with Gulf War rhetoric. It is possible to argue, of course, that there had been threats and counter-threats since Hitler's rise to power in 1933, the violation of the Munich Agreement on 15 March 1939 became the line in the sand for Britain and, to a lesser extent, France. Once he marched into Prague, I would argue the march to war had begun.

Reluctance and resolution are strange bed-fellows. Yet Britain and France declared war on Germany. And as Bill says, they had no idea what to expect.All the Allies knew was what they didn't want to have happen. There were sufficient fears to argue reaction and declarations might be fine, but don't rock the boat. Some of this was cynical, as the descriptions of French dabbling in the region of the Saar demonstrate, but some was elemental, as the desperation to evacuate the innocent from London and other centres shows.

Nobody knew what war would mean. Few at any level seemed to understand the limitations of warfare, being too conscious of the potential. Take as an example the following from September 1, the day of the invasion:
"2.00pm, FOREIGN OFFICE, WHITEHALL
A telegram is received from Sir Howard Kennard, the British ambassador in Warsaw. In it he includes the request from Polish foreign minister Colonel Beck that the RAF should mount 'some military action from the air this afternoon'.", Day We Went to War, p 93.
Set aside the fact that no RAF bomber could reach Poland, or was even at war with Germany, the time of the request. Set aside the fact that no RAF aircraft was sanctioned to fly over neutral territory (Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway Sweden) and it would be a strain for an RAF bomber to strike Germany. Berg (and his rank suggests at least a passing acquaintance with military issues) surely didnt' believe such a raid was possible. Or does he simply not understand air war? Or is he (at the time of his country's greatest need) mocking Britain for a lack of response (after nine hours of the invasion)?

We're one week in. British troops are in France, and French troops are in enemy territory. RAF BC has already begun to discover how inappropriate its prewar plans are; Allied shipping has already had some fearsome losses; most news commentators have noted none of civilians the belligerent nations (except Poland for the first 24-36 hours) are showing support for the war. In Poland, it is increasingly clear that: 1) Polish forces cannot match the Germans; and 2) help is not on the way. The blow from the east has yet to occur.

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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/8/2017 8:11:11 PM
Day 8. September 8, 1939 (continued)

FDR began defining his nation’s concept of neutrality, including expansion of military enlistments in various services.

Initial German assaults on Warsaw’s suburbs were repulsed.

“Declaring that Germany was resorting to unrestricted submarine warfare, Britain announced a long-range blockade, broadening the original blockade announcement of Sept 3.” Goralski, p 93.
Though not a direct response to the sinking of Athenia, this probably reflects WSC’s desire to make the RN an aggressive force.

“The British revive the convoy system for their merchant ships. Three protected routes are established, two from Liverpool and from the Thames to the Atlantic, one from the Thames and the Firth of Forth.”2194 Days, p. 26.
Help from other members requested: re. the last listing from 2194 Days. I have always read the "one from the Thames and the Firth of Forth" to mean "one between the Thames and the Firth of Forth", seeing this as bad writing. In-shore shipping was vital to Britain, and would become a point of some dispute as German presence in the English Channel and the North Sea became more prevalent and aggressive.

Have I been misreading this? Are there other explanations for this reference to shipping between the Thames to the Firth of Forth? The issue will arise in a different form in about 10 months' time, when the "Kanalkamf" is at its height.

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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/9/2017 2:38:22 AM

Quote:
Day 8. September 8, 1939 (continued)

FDR began defining his nation’s concept of neutrality, including expansion of military enlistments in various services.

Initial German assaults on Warsaw’s suburbs were repulsed.

“Declaring that Germany was resorting to unrestricted submarine warfare, Britain announced a long-range blockade, broadening the original blockade announcement of Sept 3.” Goralski, p 93.
Though not a direct response to the sinking of Athenia, this probably reflects WSC’s desire to make the RN an aggressive force.

“The British revive the convoy system for their merchant ships. Three protected routes are established, two from Liverpool and from the Thames to the Atlantic, one from the Thames and the Firth of Forth.”2194 Days, p. 26.
Help from other members requested: re. the last listing from 2194 Days. I have always read the "one from the Thames and the Firth of Forth" to mean "one between the Thames and the Firth of Forth", seeing this as bad writing. In-shore shipping was vital to Britain, and would become a point of some dispute as German presence in the English Channel and the North Sea became more prevalent and aggressive.

Have I been misreading this? Are there other explanations for this reference to shipping between the Thames to the Firth of Forth? The issue will arise in a different form in about 10 months' time, when the "Kanalkamf" is at its height.

Cheers
Brian G
--brian grafton



Quote:
The earliest mercantile convoys of the war were the east coast convoys between the Thames and the Firth of Forth (F.N.) or vice versa (F.S.). They started on the 6th of September and were initially sailed in each direction every second day. These convoys were the special responsibility of the Rosyth Escort Force--composed of ships with good anti-aircraft as well as anti-submarine armaments. On the 7th of September outward-bound ocean convoys were started. One series (O.A.) sailed every alternate day down-Channel from Southend and another (O.B.) left Liverpool, generally on the same day, and steamed south through the Irish Sea. During the first phase of the war these outward ocean convoys were only given close escort as far as Longitude 121/2° West; west-bound ships dispersed two days after the escorts had left And continued to their destinations independently. The destroyers generally waited at the rendezvous to bring back the next inward convoy. South-bound ships from the O.A. and O.B. convoys were formed into Gibraltar (O.G.) convoys when they reached a position off the Scilly Islands and proceeded with an ocean escort only, until they were met by anti-submarine vessels from Gibraltar to the west of the Straits. (War at Sea 1939-1945 Volume I The Defensive [U.K. official history])




Cheers

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

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2549
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/9/2017 3:54:44 AM
Brian,

Conscious of the fact that I'm not contributing much here, I'm anxious to assure that I find this thread captivating and hope to make a better account of myself when I get home to my bookshelves.

I wonder how far the Nazi Soviet pact deterred the Franco British alliance from making a move effective demonstration on behalf of Poland.

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

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.

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
, Posts: 3454
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
Posts: 2885
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
Posts: 1400
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
Posts: 1400
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
, Posts: 3454
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
, Posts: 3454
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
, Posts: 3454
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
, Posts: 3454
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
Posts: 2549
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
, Posts: 3454
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
Posts: 1944
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
Posts: 1400
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
Posts: 5560
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
Posts: 1400
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
, Posts: 3454
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
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
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
, Posts: 3454
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
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2549
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
, Posts: 3454
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
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2549
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
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
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
---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
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
---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
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
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
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
Posts: 2549
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
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6041
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
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 537
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
Posts: 2549
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
Posts: 312
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
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 537
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
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
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
---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
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

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

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
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
, Posts: 3454
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.
[Read More]

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
Posts: 537
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
Posts: 2549
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
Posts: 6041
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
Posts: 6041
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
, Posts: 3454
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
Posts: 2549
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

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2549
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
, Posts: 3454
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.

phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2549
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
Posts: 537
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
Posts: 2549
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
Posts: 1944
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
Posts: 1400
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
Posts: 1400
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
Posts: 1400
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
, Posts: 3454
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.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6041
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
, Posts: 3454
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.

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2549
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
Posts: 537
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
Posts: 1944
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
Posts: 1944
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
Posts: 1944
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
Posts: 1400
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
, Posts: 3454
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.

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
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.

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
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.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
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
, Posts: 3454
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.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
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
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
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.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
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
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
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.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
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
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
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
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
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.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
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.

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
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.

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2549
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
---------------
"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
, Posts: 3454
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.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6041
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
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
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
---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
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
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
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.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
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
, Posts: 3454
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.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/23/2017 11:29:50 PM
Day 23. September 23 (continued)
Saturday

I have nothing to add to Bill’s comments on Poland. To all intents and purposes, the campaign is over, and the cleaning up has begun.


Quote:
BERLIN, September 23

General von Fritsch, the man who built up the modern German army and then retired just before the Anschluss because of a fight with Hitler over attacking Austria, which he opposed, has been killed in action before Warsaw. A little strange. He had no command but was with the regiment of which he is honorary colonel.(Berlin Diary, p 221)
My understanding (corrections if wrong, please) is that von Fritsch had every right to insist on being with these troops even though he was not in command, either because of his final status within the army or because of his honorary status with the regiment.

Quote:
Starting day after tomorrow, new rations cards for food. The German people will now get per week: one pound of meat, five pounds of bread, three questers of a pound of fats, three quarters of a pound of sugar, and a pound of ersatz coffee made of roasted barley seeds. Heavy labourers are to get double rations, and Dr. Goebbels – clever man ! – has decided to classify us foreign correspondents as heavy labourers. (Berlin Diary, p 221)

General comment: IIUC, the first rationed substance in Britain was petrol (car gas). But Britain, like Germany, was a net importer of foodstuffs. As the war progressed, rationing became for many on both sides of the conflict a measure of resolve, a measure of commitment and a burden suffered more by urban than country folks.

I was born in 1941, and somewhere I have the ration books for various members of my extended family. Yes, Canada rationed, but never to the extent that many other nations were forced to do.


Quote:
Mussolini restated Italy’s intention to remain neutral unless attacked, following a policy to “strengthen our army in preparation any eventualities and support every possible peace effort while working in silence.” (Goralski. p 95)



Quote:
British northern waters - battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN departed Scapa Flow at 2330, escorted by destroyers ESK and EXPRESS, to refit at Portsmouth. At 1750/24th, the destroyers attacked a submarine contact 25 miles off the north coast of Ireland. The three ships arrived at Portsmouth at 0930/26th.
 
Western Atlantic - convoy HX.2 departed Halifax at 0900 escorted by heavy cruiser YORK and Canadian destroyers ST LAURENT, FRASER, and SAGUENAY. YORK detached on the 25th, and the convoy reached Liverpool on 10 October.
 
British east coast - destroyers FORTUNE and FIREDRAKE attacked U.14, 40 miles NNE of Peterhead, but no damage was done.
 
Skagerrak - U.4 captured Finnish steamer WALMA (1361grt) off Smagen on the west coast of Sweden and scuttled her off Hallo in 58‑15N, 11‑00E. The entire crew was saved. («http://www.naval-history.net»)


Apologies: I was helping a daughter move today, and missed the chance to cover U-boat successes for the date.

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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/24/2017 3:54:00 AM
September 24, 1939

Poland

Ed.: The campaign in Poland has now drawn down to final resistance on the Hel Peninsula, in southeast Poland, and, the largest battle yet to be fought -- in Warsaw itself.


Quote:
Various plans to take that part of Warsaw west of the Vistula were discussed and discarded. It was finally decided by OKH that Army Group South's Eighth Army, which had finished clearing Kutno, would direct the effort to capture Warsaw. Eighth Army headquarters moved to a point southwest of the capital on 24 September, relieving Tenth Army Headquarters, which moved southward to the vicinity of Kielce again. Eighth Army quickly completed its plans and final dispositions for the attack.

The Eighth Army Commander, General Blaskowitz, was instructed that he was not to permit the civilian population to leave the city prior to the assault. The worsening food situation within Warsaw and the large numbers to be fed would aid materially in hastening the surrender of the capital.

Hela was taken under fire by the Schleswig-Holstein, which was joined by the Schlesien on 24 September.
[Read More]


Image: DKM Schlesien.


Quote:
The Luftwaffe bombed Warsaw for the first time, reducing entire streets to rubble and causing widespread fires. The British government considered the bombing a breach of the pledge Germany made at the start of the war to refrain from indiscriminate attacks. (Wikipedia)


Other


Quote:
France commences talks with Switzerland on French support in case of an attack on Switzerland by Germany. (chroniknet.de)


Cheers

BW


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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/25/2017 7:30:21 AM
September 25, 1939

Poland


Quote:
The rail line used by the Poles to move their heavy artillery out to positions on the [Hel] peninsula was cut by Stuka bombing on 25 September and the offshore bombardment intensified.

Three military government commands, responsible directly to OKH, followed the German armies into Poland. These commands had army status, and were placed in control of the three military government areas (Militaerbezirke) into which western Poland was arbitrarily divided; headquarters were at Danzig, Poznan, and Cracow. The officers in charge of these commands were known as military government commanders (Militaerbefehlshaber), and their mission during the period of operations consisted chiefly of securing the German counterpart to the United States Army's communications zone, from the border of the Reich to the rear areas of the field armies. To carry out their mission, the military government commands were assigned one or two third--or fourth wave divisions, some frontier guard units that had crossed the border with the Army, and a number of security battalions consisting of troops of the older age groups.

The command at Poznan was the first to take control of its assigned area, moving in 11 September, under General der Artillerie Alfred von Vollard-Bockelberg. The second, at Danzig and responsible for the former German province of West Prussia, moved in the following day, under General der Artillerie Walter Heitz. The third, at Cracow, was commanded by General List of the Fourteenth Army, functioning in a dual role, and assisted by a small additional staff. This last command became operational on 13 September.

By 25 September the end of the campaign was fast approaching and Hitler ordered the establishment of a military government organization for the occupied Polish territories. This organization would include four area military government commands, with headquarters at Poznan, Danzig, Cracow, and Lodz. The Fuehrer selected Rundstedt as commander in chief for the conquered eastern territories, placing him in control of tactical units and military government. Army Group North and Fourth Army headquarters soon left for the west, to be followed shortly by Tenth Army. On its transition to OB EAST, Rundstedt's headquarters found itself in control of the four military government commands and the three armies remaining in Poland.
[Read More]


Quote:
Heavy Luftwaffe attack on Warsaw. (chroniknet.de)


Other


Quote:
Germany distributes new ration cards. (chroniknet.de)



Quote:
The British began laying anti-submarine mines in the Strait of Dover. (Wikipedia)



Quote:
Şükrü Saracoğlu, foreign minister of Turkey, begins an almost month-long visit to the USSR. (Soviet official history of the war)



Quote:
A tropical storm made landfall [in] California, the only tropical storm to do so in the twentieth century. (Wikipedia)


Cheers

BW

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/25/2017 6:31:05 PM
Day 24. September 24 (continued)
Sunday

I have nothing to add to Bill’s comments on Poland. To all intents and purposes, the campaign is over, and the cleaning up has begun. But Shirer’s comments are interesting:


Quote:
BERLIN, September 24
The [German] High Command, reviewing the Polish campaign, says the fate of Poland was really decided in eight days. By that time the German army had already obtained its main strategical object, the trapping of the main part of the Polish forces within the great elbow of the Vistula River. Some other things: 450.000 Polish troops captured, 1,200 guns taken, and 800 airplanes either destroyed or captured; and at the end of eighteen days of fighting not a single Polish division, not even a brigade, was left intact. (Berlin Diary), p 221


Cheers
Brian G

Apologies for being late with this post, meagre as it is.
---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/25/2017 7:17:49 PM
Day 25. September 25 (continued)
Monday

General comment in a sidebar between September 25 and 26 (Goralski, p. 96, citing Matthew Cooper’s The German Army, 1933-1945 as source:

Quote:
HORSES AT WAR
Despite the commonly held perception of World War II as a highly mechanized conflict, horses formed a key element in the field of transport. It was certainly true in Asia, bu few have understood the extensive use of true horse power in Europe. The German army – famed for its panzers and lighting attacks – is a case in point.
When the war began in 1939, only four of the Wehrmacht’s 90 infantry divisions were totally motorized. Of the rest, it can be said that without animals they could hardly have moved at all. This is dramatically illustrated by meticulously kept German statistics. The better equipped of the non motorized infantry divisions had 394 passenger cars and 615 trucks, bu each was also allotted 4,842 horses. The poorest of those divisions had 330 passenger cars and 248 trucks – and 6,030 horses.
The German ground forces possessed well over a half-million horses on Sept. 1, 1939. But the time the war ended, a total of 2,700,000 horses had served the Wehrmacht. That is nearly twice the number used by the Germans in World War I. In that “primitive” war of lesser geographical dimensions, the Germans employed but 1,400,000 horses.



Quote:
Germany’s Kriegsmarine orders 42 new U-boats (U-137 to 166, plus 14 in the U-500 series)(«boat.net»)



Quote:
At 05.55 hours on 25 Sep 1939 the Silesia was hit by one torpedo from U-36 and sank 45 miles west-northwest of Egerö Lighthouse, Norway. The ship had been stopped by the U-boat and Fröhlich came to the conclusion that she carried contraband after checking the papers of the ship. The crew was ordered to abandoned ship in two lifeboats, which were then taken in tow by the U-boat and released about 12 miles from the coast. The men in the boats were picked up after three hours by the Suecia and brought to the Egerö Lighthouse. One of the empty lifeboats would not be found until 21 December. («uboat.net»)

Silesia was a steam merchantman of under 2,000 tons. Completed for a British firm in 1923, she had Swedish registry from 1936 until her sinking. No losses from the crew of 19.


Quote:
Anti-submarine minefields, Dover Straits - the British started laying a deep minefield between Folkestone and Cap Griz Nez to close the Straits to German submarine traffic. Minelayers ADVENTURE, PLOVER and auxiliary minelayers SHEPPERTON, HAMPTON laid 3636 mines and completed the field on 23 October.
 
Only U.31 was able to pass successfully through the Dover Strait during the war, on the 11th/12th September. U.35 attempted to pass through at approximately the same time, but was forced to abandon the attempt and instead proceeded to her patrol area by the north-about route.
 
U.12 was lost in the field on 8 October, U.40 on the 13th, and U.16 badly damaged and ultimately lost on the 24th. («www.naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/26/2017 4:08:18 AM
September 26, 1939

Poland


Quote:
The [German] Eighth Army attack [on Warsaw] began on 26 September, with a heavy air and artillery bombardment followed by an assault from the south. The first and second line of bunkers were taken, and prisoners reported that communications within the city had been cut and electric power was no longer available. Third Army supported the attack by a heavy artillery barrage on Warsaw's defenses from the north. By order of Hitler, the capture of the city was to be accomplished by 3 October, before the arrival of the Russians at Praga to the east of the Vistula.

Two Polish envoys crossed the German lines north of Warsaw the evening of 26 September with a letter from [Polish] General Rommel requesting a 24-hour cessation of fire and a surrender parley. The cease-fire request was refused and the German artillery fire intensified, though the Poles were informed that a local truce could be arranged in order to allow Polish emissaries to cross the lines in the event General Rommel decided to surrender the city. The incident was reported through army and army group headquarters to OKH, which directed that the surrender would be taken by Eighth Army and that only an unconditional surrender would be accepted.
[Read More]

War at Sea


Quote:
Thirteen German aircraft attack a British naval task force in the North Sea and claim to have sunk the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal. (chroniknet.de). . . aah, but the claim is mistaken! The German pilots did not see if the carrier had been hit, and a reconnaissance flight later located the two battleships, but not Ark Royal. Based on this information, the Germans incorrectly claimed that Ark Royal had sunk. To prove the German propaganda false before it had a negative effect on Britain's allies, Winston Churchill personally reassured United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt that the carrier was undamaged and invited the US naval attaché to view Ark Royal in dock. The British naval attaché in Rome was instructed to assure Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini that the ship was still in service. This was an embarrassment for Goebbels and Nazi propaganda. (Wikipedia)


War in the Air


Quote:
A Luftwaffe aircraft was shot down by the British for the first time. A Dornier Do 18 flying boat was downed by a Blackburn Skua of 803 Naval Air Squadron north of the Fisher Bank. (Wikipedia)


Other


Quote:
In London, Winston Churchill announces that British merchantmen will be armed. (chroniknet.de)



Quote:
In Paris, the French communist party is banned for its support of the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact. (chroniknet.de)



Quote:
In Berlin, the army office for weapons development (Heereswaffenamt) organizes a team of military personnel and leading German atomic scientists to explore the potential of atomic power and weapons. (chroniknet.de)



Quote:
Werner von Fritsch was given a funeral with full military honors in Berlin. (Wikipedia)



Images: Blackburn Skua and Dornier Do-18


Image: HMS Ark Royal


Images: German 75-mm infantry gun firing on Warsaw, and grave of General Fritsch in the Berlin Invalidenfriedhof.

Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/26/2017 7:39:09 PM
Day 26. September 26 (continued)
Tuesday


Quote:
BERLIN, September 26
They buried General von Fritsch here this morning. … Hitler did not show up, nor Ribbentrop, nor Himmler, though they all returned to Berlin from the front this afternoon. The official death notices in the papers omitted the usual “Died for Führer’ and said only: “Died for the Fatherland. …

Hitler showed a typical smallness in declining to attend the funeral. He cannot forgive a man who has crossed him, even in death. …

New restrictions today on clothing. If I order a new suit, my tailor must make it out of a piece of cloth exactly 3.1 metres by 144 centimetres [Ed.: roughly 10 feet x 5 feet]. Also the papers inform us we can no longer get our shoes half-soled. No more leather. We must wait for a new substitute material not yet out. (Berlin Diary, pp 223-224.)

At sea

Quote:
British northern waters - German submarines were deployed off the Orkneys to intercept British naval units - U.10 from 26 September to 15 October, U.22 from 28 September to 16 October, U.23 from 2nd to 16th October, U.20 from the 1st to 17th, and U.18 from the 3rd to 16th. On 29 September, U.22 fired at a submarine east of Dogger Head, but the attack failed due to torpedo defect. …

British east coast - convoy FS.11 departed Methil, and arrived at Southend on the 28th.
 
Convoy FN.11 departed Southend, and arrived at Methil on the 28th.
 
Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO departed Dover and arrived at Grimsby later the same day.
                                                                             
Kattegat/Skagerrak/Baltic – German destroyers HANS LODY, FRIEDRICH IHN, ERICH STEINBRINCK and four torpedo boats of the 6th Torpedo Boat Flotilla inspected 45 merchant ships in the Kattegat from the 26th to 28th.
 
Destroyers WILHELM HEIDKAMP, BERND VON ARNIM, ERICH GIESE, DIETHER VON ROEDER, HANS LÜDEMANN, HERMANN KÜNNE, KARL GALSTER stopped 58 merchant ships in the Skagerrak from the 28th to 30th. Nine were sent to Kiel as prizes and ARNIM captured two Danish steamers with cargo bound for England. On the 30th, ROEDER, LÜDEMANN, KÜNNE, GALSTER proceeded to Swinemünde and HEIDKAMP, ARNIM, GIESE to Kiel. …

UK-France convoys - BC.4 departed Quiberon Bay and arrived in Bristol Channel on the 28th. …

Gibraltar-UK (HG) convoys - The first of the series, HG.1, departed Gibraltar with 27 ships and local escort provided by destroyers GRENVILLE, GIPSY, GRIFFIN, GRENADE. Polish destroyer BLYSKAWICA joined the escort from the 26th to 28th and light cruiser COLOMBO from the 26th to 5 October. …
 
Convoy HGF.1 departed Gibraltar with steamers SCYTHIA (19,761grt), ORFORD (20,043grt), MEMNON (7506grt), and ORCADES (23,456grt) and no escort. They arrived at Liverpool on 1 October. …
 
Caribbean/ Atlantic - convoy KJ.2 departed Kingston escorted by light cruiser ORION from the 26th to 29th and French submarine SURCOUF from the 26th to 17 October. Destroyers MALCOLM, VANOC, WARWICK, VANESSA joined the escort on the 15th. VANOC, WARWICK, VANESSA detached on the 17th, and MALCOLM on the 18th, when the convoy arrived.(«http://www.naval-history.net»)


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

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

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
Posts: 2885
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/26/2017 9:42:00 PM
BW, & Brian G.,

Great work on this interesting informative thread, for all you do this Bud's for You!

Cheers,
MD

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/27/2017 10:31:15 AM
September 27, 1939

Poland


Quote:
[Polish] General Kutrzeba appeared the following morning to accept the German terms in the name of General Rommel. The Polish envoy was immediately conducted to Eighth Army to conclude the negotiations for the surrender [of Warsaw]. Hostilities ceased at 1400 on 27 September, and 140,000 Polish troops lay down their arms, including the garrison in the eastern suburb of Praga. All Polish military personnel were ordered to be ready for evacuation by 29 September. Warsaw was in a serious situation, with over 16,000 of the garrison wounded and heavy casualties among the civilian population. The supply of drinking water had been cut off for five days, making it necessary for the garrison and population to use the water of the Vistula; an epidemic of typhoid appeared imminent. All public utilities had been heavily damaged and would require extensive repairs. The city was also on the verge of starvation.

On 27 September air support [for German operations on the Hel Peninsula] was withdrawn as the Luftwaffe was deployed to the west.
[Read More]


Quote:
Colonel-General von Rundstedt is named as the chief of military administration in occupied Poland. (chroniknet.de)


Other


Quote:
The Reich Main Security Office was created under the command of Heinrich Himmler. (Wikipedia)


Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/27/2017 5:36:33 PM
Day 27. September 27 (continued)
Wednesday

I have nothing to add to Bill’s comments on Poland.

Germany

Quote:
Hitler told his military commanders that he had decided “to attack in the West as soon as possible since the Franco-British Army is not yet prepared.” He set Nov. 12 as the tentative attack date. (Goralski, p 96)

A different reading on the above reference is:
Quote:
Hitler tells his principal commanders that he intends to attack France (but some of the German generals refuse to take seriously a programme apparently so far beyond the reach of German military power). (2194 Days, p 28)

At Sea

Quote:
At 06.10 hours on 27 Sep 1939 the neutral Algeria was stopped by U-36 20 miles west of Skudesnaes and was sent to Kiel as prize, arriving on 4 October. Three days later, ship and cargo were released by the Germans.
A small steam merchantman of Swedish registration, Algeria was sailing from Gothenburg to Genoa with a cargo of pig iron and paper pulp.

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

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

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1944
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/27/2017 6:46:44 PM
Day 28. September 28

At Goethestrasse 24, Berlin-Lichterfelde, the house of retired General Ludwig Beck, a secret meeting took place. Present are Generals Franz Halder, Walther Von Brauchitsch, Hans Oster and retired General Hans von Haeften.





Here the decision was made to reactivate the "Oster" conspirators and to assassinate Hitler and Himmler.

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.

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/28/2017 1:32:08 PM
September 28, 1939

Poland


Quote:
[Fortress] Modlin continued to resist despite the surrender of the capital and a series of heavy attacks by the Third Army, supported by Eighth Army south of the city. The cessation of hostilities at Warsaw made large masses of artillery and increased air support available to Third Army. The bombardment of the fortress city was intensified and German infantry managed to infiltrate the first line of fortifications. An armistice was arranged at 0730 on 28 September and the formal surrender to Third Army's II Corps took place the following day. Twenty-four thousand Polish troops at Modlin laid down their arms in unconditional surrender, and German troops entered the fortress at noon. General Thommee, commander of the Modlin force, attributed his surrender to the cutting off of the water supply; the loss of food stores in the bombardment; the complete exhaustion of the defending troops, who had suffered 4,000 casualties in wounded alone; and the infantry attack.


Editor: Hela Peninsula is still resisting.

Other


Quote:
* Germany and the Soviet Union signed the German-Soviet Frontier Treaty, amending a secret clause in the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.

* The Soviet–Estonian Mutual Assistance Treaty was signed in Moscow. (Wikipedia)


Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/28/2017 7:34:16 PM
Day 28. September 28 (continued)
Thursday. Full Moon.


Quote:
BERLIN, September 28
At midnight tonight I did a microphone interview with Germany’s ace submarine skipper, Captain Herbert Schultze. …
The captain told a story of how he had torpedoed the British ship Royal Sceptre, but, at the risk of his own skin, had arranged rescue of those aboard by another British vessel, the Browning. … Now, a few days before, I remembered, London had reported that the Royal Sceptre had been torpedoed without warning and that the crew and passengers, numbering 60, had presumably perished. I wondered who was right.(Berlin Diary, pp 225-6)

NOTE: Schultze was.
Quote:
At 12.00 hours on 5 Sep 1939, U-48 opened fire with the deck gun for 25 minutes at the unescorted Royal Sceptre (Master James William Gair) about 300 miles northwest of Cape Finisterre. The ship had sent distress signals when the U-boat was sighted and tried to escape. She was sunk by a coup de grâce at 13.38 hours after the crew had abandoned ship in the lifeboats. The master was killed and nine crew members were wounded by gunfire. The Petrofina and the Danish motor ship Erria heard the distress signals and searched for survivors, but they had been picked up by the Browning and landed at Bahia, Brazil on 26 September. The ship had been stopped by the U-boat at 15.05 hours the same day. The crew first abandoned ship in panic, but they were ordered to reboard their vessel and to pick up the survivors of Royal Sceptre. («boat.net»)
Schultz survived the war, making his home in England. He died, I believe, in 1980.

At sea

Quote:
At 00.30 hours on 28 September 1939 the unescorted and neutral Nylandwas stopped by U-16 about 25 miles west-southwest of Stavanger, Norway. The master of the vessel boarded the U-boat and reported that he does not have the papers, because they fell overboard. At 04.30 hours, a boarding party under command of the LI went over to the ship and found a telegram that the ship should go to Ramsgate instead of Antwerp. At 07.20 hours, the boarding party came back and the Swedish crew was ordered to abandon ship in the lifeboats. They brought the master to the boats and gave them supplies before sinking the ship by a torpedo at 08.25 hours. The crew was picked up by the Norwegian minelayer Olav Tryggvason.

On 28 September 1939 the unescorted and neutral Jern (Master G. Gabrielsen) was stopped by U-32 about 70 miles southwest of Skudenes and the crew was given 15 minutes to get into the lifeboats. A boarding party from the U-boat scuttled the ship by three scuttling charges at 15.37 hours about 85 miles west of Jæren´s Rev. Five of the Norwegians had to help the boarding party to bring the explosives to the ship. The survivors were taken towards the shore on the U-boat before being transferred to the Swedish steam merchant Caledonia. The next day they were transferred to the Norwegian torpedoboat Lyn and taken to Kristiansand.(«boat.net»)


Cheers,
Brian G

Additional information concerning the war at sea.


Quote:
Northern Patrol - light cruisers CARDIFF and DRAGON departed Scapa Flow on Northern Patrol duties, and arrived back 5 October.
 
British northern waters - U.18 and U.22 were ordered into the approaches to Scapa Flow.
 
British east coast - Convoy FS.12 departed Methil and arrived at Southend on the 30th. There was no FS.13.
 
Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON and destroyers JERVIS and JUPITER attacked a submarine contact outside May Island.
                                                                          
Norwegian waters - U.7 sank Norwegian steamer SOLAAS (1368grt) 25 miles SW of Lister Light. (DB - The German "Seekrieg" states that SOLASS was sunk next day on the 29th by Luftwaffe I/ZG26 in the North Sea. Editor: According to "Axis Submaríne Successes" by Rohwer, U.36 stopped SOLASS on the 28th, released her, but she sank next day, possibly mined)
 
English Channel - destroyer KEMPENFELT, escorting convoy OA.11, collided with steamer HESTER (1199grt) off Newhaven. She was taken to Devonport for repairs which completed 7 November.
 
Destroyer IMPULSIVE on patrol in the English Channel was damaged by heavy seas, and taken to Devonport for repairs completed 23 October.
 
Central and South Atlantic - French submarine PONCELET sighted German merchant ship CHEMNITZ (5522grt) at 0830, shortly after she departed Las Palmas, Canary Islands to return to Germany. She was stopped in 38-05N, 30-40W at 1305 and escorted to Casablanca, arriving 3 October. CHEMNITZ was renamed SAINT BERTRAND in French service and served in the French Merchant Marine until the fall of France when she returned to German hands. Between the 25th and 1 October, light cruiser DUGUAY TROUIN had been searching for CHEMNITZ as well as steamer AMASIS, both of which had been reported departing Las Palmas early on the 24th
 
Convoy SL.3 departed Freetown on the 28th September, escorted by light cruiser DAUNTLESS, both arriving at Gibraltar on 9 October. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the15th.
                                                                          
Destroyers of the 4th Destroyer Division were ordered home from the South Atlantic. However, the order was cancelled on 1 October because of German raider activity in the South Atlantic.
 
Light cruiser DANAE departed Simonstown on escort duties and arrived back on 2 October.
 
Indian Ocean - light cruiser BIRMINGHAM arrived at Singapore.
 
Pacific - New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES arrived at Buenaventura, Colombia and departed on the 30th, escorting steamer ORDUNA (15,507grt) to Callao, where they both arrived safely on 4 October.(«naval-history.net»)


B
---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/28/2017 9:42:55 PM
General comments after four weeks of war. Perhaps I should have held off on my comments until month-end, but I'm making them now for what I think are sound reasons

At the end of the 4th week:
• Poland no longer exists as a nation state, and words to be uttered (I believe tomorrow, 29 Sept 1939) are chilling, in hindsight. See my entry for that day.
• In the West, the Phony War – the Sitzkrieg – is becoming the norm for ground action. Most European action will become diplomatic, but based on official intransigence on the part of Britain and France and false statesmanship on the part of Germany. This is still a confined war, with only five nations involved and two true belligerents. Publicly, Germany is calling for an end to the war before it begins, since the casus belli no longer exists, but noone trusts Hitler, and Britain and France argue that destruction of Poland does not negate the reasons for the state of war that exists. At the same time, while both Spain and Italy have declared their neutrality, both are seen as political allies of Germany who could enter the war on Germany's side. This would leave France with enemies on three sides, which must be a potential nightmare for the French.
• In the air, as on the ground, there is a lack of major activity, or will be after a raid by the RAF on 29 Sept 1939. See my entry for that date.
• At sea, the focus to date has been largely in European ocean waters, around the Western Approaches, along the Norwegian coast, and through the Kattagat/Skaggerak/Baltic. But that is changing, which is one reason my offering for 28 Sept 1939 is so naval-heavy. Ships are being sunk or taken in the Southern Approaches (off, e.g., Cape Finisterre). Convoys are finally approaching the war one from Britain's dominions and colonies in the East, which expands RN zones of protection. Destroyer divisions are being kept at sea in the South Atlantic as reports of German raiders increase. HMS Achilles – she will become HMNZS Achilles later in the war, but is recognized as a New Zealand ship – is doing escort duty on the west coast of South America. It is a war Germany cannot win, but the U-boat factor will make things very hard on merchant seamen over the next six years. It may be quiet on the ground, but it is expanding nonetheiess. The war at sea, at least, is becoming global.

As a contributor to this thread, there will increasingly be times when I have more information than I can realistically include in a post. Today is certainly one: I have left out East Coast convoys, England-France convoys, and heaps of other convoy information and ship movements, and collisions at sea. So don't think I'm giving you all the goods: I'm often giving you highly edited copy, and I'm often excising stuff I don't think is important. I'm not consciously skewing the information I include, though that might of course happen since my choices will inevitably reflect my own interests.

If you're following this forum, please note the references I am using, and go and explore the overwhelming detail they offer. I have to assume they too have made decisions about what to include, but they offer massively more information than I can.

It's good to see other MHO members offering entries. And I think I have to state that this isn't an exclusive thread in which Jim and Brian play historian. Because we're attempting to make this a chronicle, a post would work best on the date it occurred. And it would be wonderful if any contributor would take the time to follow the format that seems to be developing.

Nuff said.

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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/29/2017 2:46:04 AM
September 29, 1939

Poland


Quote:
With the support of the two old battleships, another [German] ground attack was launched down the narrow [Hel] peninsula on 29 September.
[Read More]

Editor's note: Fortress Modlin capitulated on this day.


Quote:
The Battles of Parczew, Jabłoń and Milanów between the Polish Army and the Red Army began. (Wikipedia)



Quote:
In Poznan, Hans Frank establishes a German civil administration. (chroniknet.de)

Editor's note: A notoriously brutal governor-general of occupied Poland, Frank was hanged for war crimes on 16 October 1946.

Other


Quote:
Estonia signed an agreement with the Soviet Union allowing the Soviets to establish naval and air bases within Estonia's borders. (Wikipedia)



Quote:
Fritz Kuhn, leader of the German-American "Bund", is arrested in New York City. (derniere-guerre.com)

Editor's note: Kuhn was charged with, and convicted of, embezzlement. After his term in prison, his citizenship was revoked, and he was held in a camp for enemy aliens. In September 1945, he was deported to Germany and died in Munich on December 14, 1951.

Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/29/2017 7:40:33 PM
Day 29. September 29 (continued)
Friday
Poland

Quote:
Germany and the /Soviet Union signed a boundary and friendship create. It formally divided Poland, giving the Germans control over the area generally west of the Bug River. The occupying governments said the partition was necessary “after the disintegration of the former Polish state: and Moscow and Berlin ‘consider it their task to restore in this region law and order [ed’s emphasis: and to insure nationals living there an existence corresponding to their national character.” … Russia achieved its gains through an invasion against an overwhelmed Poland and lost only 737 men in the brief conflict. (Goralski, p 96)


The air war

Quote:
NORTH SEA – HELIGOLAND

After a 25-day interval since the last bombing raid on German warships, 11 Hampdens in 2 formations were dispatched to search the Heligoland area. 6 aircraft bombed two destroyers but without scoring any hits. The second formation of 5 aircraft of 144 Squadron, did not return; a German radio broadcast stated that it had met ‘a hornet’s nest’ of fighters and all the Hampdens had been shot down. Post-war records show that 18 of the 24 aircrew were killed… .( Bomber Command War Diaries, p 24)
NOTE: the loss rate (5 of 11 a/c) is 45.5 per cent, a totally unsustainable rate and one that suggests once more than Bomber Command hasn’t yet made any correct assessment of Bomber Command’s weaknesses. I would have thought that is what the 25-day interval was for!

The Handley Page Hampden was somewhat unique in design, which may reflect its 1936 Specification. It may have been meant as a “schnellbomber”, though (at 255 mph) its maximum speed was never high. Coming into service in 1938 as a “medium” bomber, the Hampden could carry 4,000 lbs internally. For a bomber, she was easy to fly and agile in flight. But her narrow body made her tiring to fly and vulnerable to injuries to the pilot. Typically in 1939, she carried a crew of 4, though this entry from BC War Diary suggests most of the lost a/c were carrying 5 crew (24 air crew to 5 a/c).

U-boats at sea

Quote:
At 07.45 hours on 29 Sep 1939 the neutral Takstaas (Master Kristian M. Eltvedt) was stopped by warning shots from the 20mm gun by U-7 about 10 miles off Marsteinen Lighthouse, outside Bergen, Norway. After examining the papers, Heidel gave the crew 20 minutes to abandon ship in the two lifeboats because the ship was en route to England. At 08.55 hours, the U-boat fired a torpedo that hit on the starboard side amidships and caused a list to starboard but she remained afloat on her load of lumber. The Germans circled the ship and fired with the 20mm gun at the water line until a Norwegian aircraft appeared and forced them to dive. The lifeboats were later taken in tow to Sund in Korsfjord by the Norwegian torpedoboat Storm and continued to Bergen on their own. The ship was after a few hours taken in tow by a Norwegian tug, but broke in two and while the foreship sank, the afterpart was towed in and most of her cargo was salvaged.(«uboat.net»)
NOTE: Another officially neutral ship (Norwegian) but carrying cargo for Britain. Note too that many of the ships being sunk are older (pre-WW1) and less well-equipped (poor radio equipment), as well as being relatively small (under 2,000 tons).

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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/30/2017 2:38:11 AM
September 30, 1939

Poland


Quote:
A further attack [on the Hel Peninsula] on 30 September gained the tiny village of Ceynowa for the Germans, and a final assault was planned for 2 October.

By 30 September [German] Eighth Army was engaged in evacuating the Polish garrison of Warsaw and with the numerous tasks involved in establishing control over the Polish capital. Tenth Army was still in contact with Polish remnants east of the Vistula, and Fourteenth Army had completed its evacuation to the San River.

Several incidents occurred during this period in the Fourteenth Army area when German and Russian troops exchanged fire. The incidents were settled by the local commanders concerned and no further action was taken by either side.

The German Army suffered a total of 8,082 officers and men killed, 27,278 wounded, and 5,029 missing in its 36 days of operations in Poland. Luftwaffe and Navy losses were much lighter. The figure on missing Army personnel can be considered as high, in view of the fact that the German Army destroyed the Polish Army and recovered most prisoners taken by organized military units.

Two hundred and seventeen tanks were destroyed during the period 1-30 September, including 89 Mark I vehicles, 83 Mark II's, 26 Mark III's, and 19 Mark IV's. Neutral sources also reported over 400 German aircraft of all types destroyed. Sustained operations over poor roads and rough terrain far ahead of maintenance facilities was extremely wearing on armored vehicles as well as trucks, requiring extensive repair work at the end of the campaign. German aircraft that participated in the campaign were in little better condition by the end of operations, having had to fly repeated sorties as the weather permitted, often from bases with only the most primitive landing and few if any maintenance facilities. The situation in the XIX Corps perhaps best exemplified the matériel situation by the end of operations when the entire corps was temporarily immobilized in East Prussia while its tanks, armored cars, and trucks were overhauled and repaired.

The Polish losses were staggering. The Germans claimed 694,000 prisoners of war, out of some 800,000 who had served in Poland's defense; the remainder were killed, captured by the Russians, had fled into Romania or Hungary, or had hidden in isolated areas of their own country. The Germans, by their own count, captured a total of 3,214 field pieces, 16,500 machine guns, 1,700 mortars, and enormous quantities of small arms and ammunition. The captured ordnance and other matériel was not considered suitable for issue by Wehrmacht standards, but could be put to use by Germany's various satellites.

The civilian population which came under German control as a result of the campaign comprised approximately 221/2 million persons. Some three-quarters of a million were ethnic Germans and available for military service. Some of the other minorities, as the Ukrainians, were not opposed to cooperation and service with the Germans. However, the bulk of the Polish population under German control were considered as the people of an occupied country. As a result, sizeable military forces had to be maintained in Poland until the time that the Wehrmacht began to concentrate its forces in the east for the campaign against the Soviet Union more than a year later. The units assigned to this occupation duty were usually of far lower combat potential than those assigned to front-line service, but the necessity of keeping a military force in Poland at all tied down personnel and equipment that might have been put to use elsewhere in the major war effort in which the Reich now found itself engaged.
[Read More]


Quote:
A Polish government in exile is established in Paris, with Władysław Sikorski as Prime Minister. (derniere-guerre.com)



Quote:
The Battles of Parczew, Jabłoń and Milanów ended. (Wikipedia)


Western Front


Quote:
Beyond the Rhine, German propaganda units of the Wehrmacht began broadcasting messages to French garrisons using loudspeakers. Between two popular songs, the Germans seek to undermine the morale of the soldiers and the French populations by broadcasting real and false news, rumors, as well as pacifist messages calling on them to lower their arms, or to beware of the British. Leaflets and postcards with messages for peace, or poems, are printed and dropped over eastern France. Radio transmitters are also being employed to broadcast messages by French speakers working for the Nazis. Among others is Jacques de Lesdain who works for "Radio-Stuttgart". This psychological war will soon be christened "Phoney War" (or, "War of the Loudspeakers") by the British. It will quickly become the "Drôle de guerre" for the French (an expression invented by Roland Dorgelès in his columns in the journal Gringoire) and the "Sitzkrieg" or "sitting war" for the Germans. So many words to highlight the absence of offensive movement on the front for eight months. (derniere-guerre.com)

Editor's note: Lesdain would be condemned to death in absentia by a French court in 1950. He took refuge in Rome and found employment writing for L'Osservatore Romano, the journal of the Vatican. Jacques de Lesdain, attaché to the French ambassador in Peking, world traveler, author, editor, enthusiastic supporter of the Vichy Regime, Nazi collaborator, and fugitive from French justice; died in 1975 or 1976, some 94-95 years old. His precise date of death and the location of his grave are unknown.


Images: Władysław Sikorski and Jacques de Lesdain.

Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 9/30/2017 6:06:02 PM
Day 30. September 30 (continued)
Saturday

Quote:
• Germany notified Britain its armed merchantmen would be sunk without warning. The action was claimed to the result of British merchant ships attacking German submarines.
• The British cabinet authorized poison gas shipments to France for use if the Germans began using chemical warfare weapons. (Goralski, p 96)


Quote:
• the German pocket-battleship Admiral Graf Spee sinks the British steamship Clement. The Allied forces have now lost 185,000 tons of merchant shipping. This marks the beginning of the search for the German pocket-battleship by the Royal Navy. (2194 Days of War, p 28)


Quote:
BERLIN, September 30
The talk of peace dominates all else here today. The Germans are sure of it, and one of the secretaries of the Soviet Embassy told me today Moscow was too. He said London and Paris would jump at the chance for peace now. The Völkische Beobachter observes today: “All Europe awaits the word of peace from London. Woe to them who refuse it. They will some day be stoned by their own people.”

Ciano to see Hitler here tomorrow. Talk of the German using him to pressure London and Paris to make peace. (Berlin Diary, 228)


U-boats

Quote:
At 10.17 hours on 30 Sep 1939, U-3 surfaced beneath the unescorted and neutral Vendia (Master P. Lund) and ordered her to stop by signal flags about 35 miles northwest of Hanstholm. Her lookouts had difficulties to see the U-boat at first as it was approaching from astern on a parallel course in a patch of sunlight and could not see what the flags meant, but then stopped the engines when the U-boat fired a few warning shots with a machine gun at 10.40 hours. However, what happened next is disputed. According to Schepke, the ship stopped slowly and nothing more occurred until it suddenly began to move again and turned hard towards U-3 in an attempt to ram at 11.24 hours. Schepke quickly fired a badly aimed torpedo that hit the Vendiaaft and broke off the stern which sank immediately. The wreck sank after an explosion at 12.05 hours. Six survivors, among them the master, were picked up by the Germans after about 45 minutes and shortly thereafter transferred to the Danish steam merchant Svava for repatriation.

At 21.08 hours on 30 Sep 1939 the neutral Gun (Master J.M. Persson) was stopped by U-3 about 30 miles northwest of Hanstholm. The master came aboard with the papers of the ship, which showed that she was carrying contraband. While the Germans interviewed the master, the vessel suddenly began moving and turned towards the U-boat. Warned by a similar behavior of Vendia earlier that day, U-3 evaded quickly and sent a boarding party of four men, led by WO Lt. Fraatz, aboard at 22.00 hours. Shortly thereafter the U-boat had to dive when a vessel was sighted heading for the stopped ship, this proved to be HMS Thistle (N 24) (LtCdr R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) which was attacked with one G7a torpedo at 22.56 hours. The torpedo missed and the submarine dived shortly afterwards, although they were not aware of the attack. The submerged HMS Thistle passed under the stern of the steamer, not knowing that Germans were aboard and prepared the ship for scuttling. The submarine surfaced after one hour and left the area, encountering the lifeboat with the Swedish crew. They told them to return to their ship as she was still afloat, but in the meantime the seacocks had been opened and scuttling charges were placed. The boarding party left the Gun in one of her lifeboats and were picked up by the Danish steam merchant Dagmar along with the Swedish survivors. At 05.30 hours, U-3 stopped this steamer to take off the boarding party and then went to the drifting Gun to sink her by a torpedo at 09.10 hours.(«uboat.net»)
A long account, given in full because it demonstrates the possible complexities of any U-boat attack under rules covering ship sinkings in the early months of the war. The sinking of Gun, a Swedish neutral of only 1198 tons, involves five ships, a possible ramming, and 12 hours of danger.

At sea

Quote:
Western Atlantic - convoy HX.3 departed Halifax at 0800 escorted by Canadian destroyers FRASER and ST LAURENT, and was joined at sea by four unescorted steamers which had departed Halifax as HX.3S on the 29th. Heavy cruiser BERWICK patrolled five miles ahead of the convoy. The destroyers were detached on 1 October and BERWICK on the 2nd. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 14th October.
 
German waters - destroyers PAUL JACOBI and BRUNO HEINEMANN, which had recently completed refitting and repairs at Wilhelmshaven, were attacked by British bombers in the German Bight, but neither was damaged. Destroyers of the 1st Flotilla in the Jade prepared to sail in support, but the attack ended before they sailed.
                                                                             
English Channel - light cruiser CERES departed Plymouth on escort duties and arrived back later the same day.
 
Destroyer MONTROSE attacked a submarine contact 31 miles south of Plymouth, and was joined in the seach by destroyers ACHATES, ACHERON, ARROW, INTREPID, KINGSTON.
                                                                             
UK-France convoys - BC.7S of 17 steamers, including BARON MACLAY and NEW TEXAS (Cdre) departed Bristol Channel, escorted by destroyers VIVACIOUS, VISCOUNT, ESCORT, ELECTRA and arrived in the Loire on 2 October.
                                                                             
Caribbean - convoy KJ.(B)1 departed Kingston, unescorted most of the way, but was joined by destroyer WINCHELSEA from 12 to 14 October, when the convoy arrived in England.
 
Australian light cruiser PERTH departed Kingston on patrol duties.
                                                                             
Mediterranean - Convoy Blue 3 departed Port Said with 24 ships. Destroyers DUCHESS, DEFENDER and sloops GRIMSBY and FOWEY provided escort from the 30th to 5 October, when off Malta DUCHESS and DEFENDER were relieved by destroyers GRENADE and GRIFFIN. GRENADE and GRIFFIN detached off Algiers on the 8th to return to Malta and the convoy continued without escort from Algiers to Gibraltar.
 
Destroyers DUNCAN, DAINTY, DARING, after calling at Colombo on the 17th‑19th and Aden on the 26th‑27th September, reached Suez to join the Mediterranean Fleet.
 
South Atlantic - German pocket battleship ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE sank steamer CLEMENT (5051grt) off Pernambuco IN 09‑05S, 34‑05W. The crew was put into boats until GRAF SPEE stopped Greek steamer PAPALEMOS (3748grt) and put on board CLEMENT’s Master and Chief Engineer. They were put ashore at Cape Verde Island on 9 October. One boat with 13 crew was picked up by Brazilian steamer ITATINGA (2114grt) on 1 October and taken to Bahia, arriving on the 3rd. The other three boats with the rest of the crew reached Maceio on the 4th.(Excerpted from «naval-history.net»)
NOTE: under German waters the incident described echoes an event recorded for 29 September in Bomber Command War Diaries, p 24.

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

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/1/2017 1:38:39 PM
October 1, 1939

Poland


Quote:
On 1 October [Polish] Rear Admiral J. Unrug, commander at Hela, requested a surrender parley. The Polish emissary accepted the German terms of unconditional surrender at 1700 the same day and all resistance ceased. A total of 5,000 prisoners was taken at Hela to bring the number captured by
Corps Kaupisch during the course of operations to 18,000. Hela also yielded 41 artillery pieces of various calibers and two small naval vessels.

On 1 October Tenth Army was alerted for movement back to Germany. At the same time, OKH informed Army Group South that the demarcation line had been changed again and would follow the Pisia and Narew Rivers to Ostroleka, thence past Ostrow Mazowiecka to the Bug, south along the latter to a point east of Tomaszow, west to the San, and south to the Slovak frontier. This would extend the German zone to the east, in places over 100 miles. The change had been made at the request of the Soviet Government, which desired to add Lithuania to its own sphere of influence. In exchange for Lithuania the Russians were willing to give the Germans that area of Poland between Warsaw and the Bug River.
[Read More]


Image: Partitioned Poland, 1939 - 1941. (Wikimedia)

Other


Quote:
Following the lightning-fast German successes in Poland, an instruction from the French General Staff, transmitted to all units, instructs "the preponderant role of armored units is to act in close liaison with air power". (derniere-guerre.com)



Quote:
London decrees the conscription of young men aged 20 to 22 years. (derniere-guerre.com)



Quote:
In Germany, the unit price of margarine increases from 0.63 to 0.98 Reichsmarks. In Protestant churches in Germany, thanks is given from the pulpits for a "rich harvest" on the "Polish battlefields". (chroniknet.de)


Cheers

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

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1944
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/1/2017 4:32:48 PM
Day 31 1st October

Hitler orders what will become known as “Aktion T4” – a secret euthanasia programme. It is backdated to 1st September so as to appear as a war measure.

[Read More]





T4 Begutachter



“Wo bringen sie uns hin ?” – ( Where are you bringing us ? – The Memorial










This is just a few bustops from me.

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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/1/2017 7:02:10 PM
Trevor, just a note about "T-4". It was antedated by some years by other Nazi programs enacted as early as July, 1933.[Read More]
I'm certain you are aware of this, but some MHO members may not be.

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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/1/2017 7:45:33 PM
Day 31. October 1 (continued)
Sunday

Non-date related sidebar included with Oct. 1 items from Goralski, p 97:
Quote:
ENEMY ALIENS IN BRITAIN
At the outbreak of the war 75,000 Germans and Austrians lived in Great Britain. Within days about 350 were arrested as dangerous. The more obviously pro-Nazis had already left the country. An estimated 50,000 were refugees and presumed relatively “safe.” All Germans and Austrians not arrested, however, were restricted. None could travel more than five miles from home without having official permission or own a plane, boat, car, camera, nautical chart, or large-scale map unless authorized. Tribunals were established to pass on the loyalty of the questionable enemy aliens. Within two months 19,300 cases were reviewed. Of these, 15,140 were released with no further restrictions, 3,920 remained under restrictive security, and 230 were interned.
NOTE: The Tribunals were established by 28 September, meaning that on average they were making decisions on the lives of 315 persons per day.

Poland

Quote:
The poles have left 694,,000 prisoners in German hands and 217,000 more in the hands of the Russians. The number of Polish dead, wounded and missing is not known. The Germans have come out of the operations cheaply, with 10,572 dead, 30,322 wounded and 3,409 missing. (2194 Days.p 29)


Far East

Quote:
Japanese XI Corps forces began withdrawing from northern Hunan Province in China, ending an abortive attempt which began in early August to capture Changsha and the Tungting Lake area. Known as the first battle of Changsha, the action was a major victory for Chiang Kai-shek’s forces which had previously failed to distinguish themselves in battle. (Goralski, pp 96-7)


U-boats

Quote:
At 18.45 hours on 1 Oct 1939, U-35 attempted to stop the neutral and unarmed Suzon (Master R. Lejeune) by light signals, but she tried to escape and only stopped when a warn shot from the deck gun actually hit #2 hold. The 20 crew members then hastily abandoned ship in two lifeboats and were questioned by the Germans, who gave them the course to the nearest land. The U-boat then fired a torpedo that hit the ship on port side abreast the funnel, causing her to break in two and to sink almost immediately 42 miles 330° from Ushant. At 00.05 hours on 2 October, the survivors were picked up by HMS Acheron (H 45) (LtCdr R.W.F. Northcott, RN), escorting convoy MB-10 and landed at Brest on 4 October. («uboat.net»)
Suzon was a Belgian merchantman of 2,239 tons. All 20 of her crew survived.

At sea

Quote:
RN ship movements – Battleships RESOLUTION and REVENGE of the Channel Force at Portland were ordered to join the South Atlantic Command at Freetown. The orders were cancelled on the 5th before sailing. On the 7th, both battleships sailed for Halifax and duty in the North Atlantic Escort Force.

Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK departed Portsmouth on 29 September escorted by destroyer EXPRESS. The cruiser arrived at Scapa Flow on the 1st to relieve light cruiser EDINBURGH in Cruiser Squadron 18. EDINBURGH was then attached to Cruiser Squadron 2 of the Humber Force. Heavy cruiser NORFOLK arrived at Rosyth on the 3rd. After completing the replacement of a gun at Rosyth, both heavy cruisers proceeded to the Mediterranean. NORFOLK departed Rosyth on the 7th and SUFFOLK departed Scapa Flow on the 8th. En route in heavy weather on the 11th, NORFOLK's Walrus was washed off the catapult and lost and her catapult trolley badly damaged. Both cruisers arrived at Gibraltar on the 12th and departed on the 14th. They arrived at Alexandria on the 18th.

Battleships NELSON, RODNEY, battlecruisers HOOD, REPULSE, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, light cruiser NEWCASTLE (above, postwar - Navy Photos) and destroyers ASHANTI, MASHONA, MATABELE, SOMALI, FAME, FORESIGHT, FORTUNE and FIREDRAKE departed Scapa Flow for Loch Ewe where they arrived at 0700/2nd.

Light cruisers DIOMEDE and DUNEDIN, which departed Scapa Flow on 30 September, were on Northern Patrol between the Orkneys and the Faroes. Light cruisers CARDIFF and DRAGON, which departed Scapa Flow on 28 September, were also on Northern Patrol.

UK-France convoys – Convoy OA.13 departed Southend escorted by destroyers JACKAL and JANUS, and dispersed in 48-50N, 13-40W on the 4th.

Convoy OB.13 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VERSATILE and WARWICK to 4 October.

Convoy DB.10 departed Southampton with two personnel ships, escorted by destroyers ARROW and INTREPID, and arrived at Brest on the 2nd.
 
Convoy MB.10 departed Southampton with six cargo ships, escorted by destroyers ACHERON and ACHATES, and also arrived at Brest on the 2nd.
 
Convoy BC.6F of steamers FENELLA, ST JULIEN, TYNWALD and ULSTER PRINCE departed the Loire without escort, and safely arrived in the Bristol Channel. («http://www.naval-history.net»)


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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/1/2017 7:49:58 PM
Night 31. October 1/2
Sunday/Monday

Quote:
The first British Aircraft of the war to fly over Berlin – from 10 Squadron [ed.: of 4 Group] – did so on 1/2 October; this was a round trip of at least 1,000 miles. Airfields in France, particularly Villeneuve near Paris, were often used as advanced refuelling bases for distant targets or as relief landing grounds on return from long flights. (BC War Diaries, p 23)
NOTE: Middlebrook's comment is a reminder that RAF a/c could not fly over either Belgium or Holland, since both states were still neutral. Their aggressive neutrality hindered RAF Bomber Command until the German invasion of the west in May 1940.

Quote:
RAF planes flew over Berlin for the first time in the war, dropping leaflets. (Goralski, p 97)


Quote:
BERLIN, [I]October[/I] 2
Just heard the BBC announce that English planes had flown over Berlin last night. A surprise to us here. No air-raid alarm. No sound of planes. But they’re all lying these days. The Germans say they’ve sunk the Ark Royal, for instance. 9Berlin Diary, p 228)

NOTE: this raid – wherever it may have ended up dropping those leaflets – came two days after a full moon. Full moon provides much better ground illumination, and therefore in theory better navigational assistance, to night bomber crews throughout the war. Thus the full moon was called a “bomber’s moon”. IIRC, RAF bomber crews increasingly called it a “night-fighter’s moon” – just a touch of what the Germans called Galgenhumor.

Like all terms, it can be demonstrated and/or disproved. The first RAF Millenial raid on Cologne was under a full moon; the five-day Battle of Hamburg was over by the full moon.

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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/2/2017 2:23:21 AM
October 2, 1939

Poland

Editor's note:
Despite the fall of Warsaw and the defeat of the Polish Army, Polish resistance continues. The first resistance organizations have already formed, and units of the regular army remain in the field. There is one battle yet to be fought on Polish soil. A government in exile has formed in Paris, and Polish soldiers are making their way to France in sufficient strength to organize two infantry divisions by the time of the campaign in the West in the spring of 1940. Germany and the Soviet Union do not yet understand that, though they have occupied Poland and formally removed it from the map of Europe, they have not defeated Poland. Polish troops, despite everything, would go on to fight on every front in the European war, and Poland, as a (vastly and violently altered) nation-state would reemerge after the war. And even after 45 years of domination by Soviet communism and its Polish helpers, a thread of memory endured among the Poles: memories that honored the Poland of prewar times, the sacrifice of the Polish Army in 1939, and the officially forgotten Polish formations that fought in western Europe throughout the entire war.

This all occurred despite a massive national bloodbath. Estimates vary a bit, but most center around the figure of six million civilian casualties ... six million from a prewar population of 27 million. The civilian losses were almost evenly divided between ethnic Poles and Jews. Beyond these losses, Polish sources estimate a loss of some 155,000 soldiers killed or missing during the course of the entire war.

Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/2/2017 5:33:14 PM
Day 32. October 2 (continued)
Monday

Western Atlantic

Quote:
A “zone of safety” around the Western Hemisphere was proclaimed by the Congess of American Republics in Panama. South of Canada, the zone varied in width from 300 to 1,000 miles, and belligerents were warned to stay clear. The action was objected to by the British and Germans, London on the grounds it would work to the disadvantage of the Royal Navy, and Berlin because it restricted U-boat operations.
• Germany advised the U.S. all merchant ships in international waters were subject to German navy boardings for search. (Goralski, p 97)

Germany
Quote:
BERLIN, October 2
The family of Eleanor K., a naturalized American girl of German parentage who has been very helpful to me for years, has been after me since yesterday to do something about locating her. She left Amsterdam for Berlin a few days ago, but failed to arrive. I went of the the consulate today and G. to put through a blitz call to the German secret police at the Dutch border. Answer: Eleanor is under arrest there. How shall I explain that to her family? (Berlin Diary, pp 228-9)

U-boats

Quote:
At 18.25 hours on 2 Oct 1940 the unescorted Kayeson (Master William Ayres) was hit in the fore ship by the last torpedo from U-32 west of Ireland. The submerged U-boat came too close to the target and slightly collided with its rudder, bending the bow to port. They surfaced and tried to finish her off with the last two rounds from the deck gun, but missed due to high swells. Shortly thereafter the ship sank steeply by the bow. The Germans had observed how the crew abandoned ship in the lifeboats, but the master and 37 crew members were lost. («boat.net»)
NOTE: Kayeson was a British steam merchantman carrying 2802 tons of general cargo and 3901 tons of coal.

At sea

Quote:
Hunt for Graf Spee – The Admiralty received their first notice that a German raider was operating off Pernambuco when news of the sinking of the CLEMENT by pocket battleship ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE reached England. They responded with the immediate dispatch of aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and battlecruiser RENOWN to Freetown. ARK ROYAL and destroyers ASHANTI and FORESIGHT departed Loch Ewe on the evening of the 2nd, while RENOWN and destroyers TARTAR and BEDOUIN left Scapa Flow the same day, and joined at sea. Following their escort duties, the destroyers returned to Scapa Flow on the 4th. To relieve ARK ROYAL, FURIOUS, which was being used as a training aircraft carrier at Rosyth, was ordered to join the Home Fleet for operations at Loch Ewe. FURIOUS departed Rosyth on the 1st escorted by destroyers JERVIS, JUPITER, JAGUAR and STURDY. On the 2nd, JERVIS and JAGUAR attacked a submarine contact off Bell Rock, River Tay.
 
Special duties – Light cruisers EFFINGHAM, EMERALD, ENTERPRISE departed Scapa Flow for Plymouth, where they arrived late on the 3rd. At Plymouth, EMERALD and ENTERPRISE embarked gold for transfer to Canada, while EFFINGHAM underwent repairs completed on the 9th.
 
Gibraltar convoys – The first of the UK to Gibraltar convoys, OG.1, of 37 ships was formed from two convoys. Light cruiser CERES departed Plymouth on the 1st to escort OG.1 to Gibraltar and act as convoy commodore. (1) OA.12G was escorted by CERES and destroyers IMPERIAL and ISIS, (2) OB.12G was escorted by destroyers ILEX and IMOGEN. The four destroyers were detached on the 3rd and joined convoy HG.1. On the 8th, the convoy was joined by destroyer VELOX from Gibraltar, when, still escorted by CERES, it arrived at Gibraltar.

[Ed. summary:] Considerable activity surrounding ship movements, from Scapa to the Yangtse, largely to strengthen RN resources in Home waters. («www.naval-history.net»)


Quote:
Lloyd George stood in the House of Commons. It was October 3, 1939.
“It is quite clear from what has appeared int eh press,: the former prime minister said, “that there has been discussion between the parties concerned, Russia, Germany and Italy, of more detailed terms of peace.” He wondered whether Parliament might not go into secret session to talk over any proposals; it was, he said, very important not to make any hurried rejection. (Human Smoke, p 148)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/3/2017 5:26:42 AM
October 3, 1939

Poland


Quote:
Army Group South's commander was redesignated OB EAST (Oberbefehlshaber Ost) as of 3 October, with responsibility for all of occupied Poland. Under this reorganization, Rundstedt became the Commander in Chief East.
[Read More]

Western Front


Quote:
1 Corps of the British Expeditionary Force takes up positions on the French-Belgian frontier. (chroniknet.de)


Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/3/2017 4:58:32 PM
Day 33. October 3 (continued)
Tuesday

Very little activity on land or in the air. No snippets from Berlin Diary.

U-Boats

One sinking:
Quote:
About 15.40 hours on 3 October 1939 the unescorted and neutral Diamantis(Master Panagos Pateras) was hit by one torpedo from U-35 and sank about 40 miles south-southwest of the Scilly Islands. She had been stopped in bad weather by the U-boat at 13.15 hours and the crew was ordered to abandon ship. After the first two G7a torpedoes fired exploded prematurely, a G7e torpedo was fired and worked correctly. Because the lifeboats were not suited for use in the bad weather, Lott decided to take all crew members aboard and landed them the next day in Dingle Bay, Ireland. «uboat.net»
Diamantis was a Greek merchantman carrying 7,700 tons of manganese ore to Barrow-in-Furness. Ship’s complement of 28 all survived. Werner Lott, Kapitänleutnant of U-35, survived the war, dying in 1997 aged 89.

At sea

Quote:
Home waters – Anti-aircraft cruisers CALCUTTA departed Grimsby on patrol and arrived back on the 4th, while CAIRO departed and arrived back later the same day.
 
U.K.-France convoys – Convoy OA.14 of seven ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers KELLY, KINGSTON, MONTROSE from the 3rd to 6th.
 
Convoy OB.14 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VANOC and WHIRLWIND until the 5th.
 
Convoy BC.8S departed Bristol Channel, escorted by destroyers EXMOUTH (S.O.) and EXPRESS. The convoy was also escorted by French large destroyers L'INDOMPTABLE, TRIOMPHANT and MILAN on the 4th and 5th, and arrived in the Loire on the 5th.
 
Convoy SA.10 of one cargo ship departed Southampton, escorted by destroyer ANTHONY, and reached Brest on the 4th.
 
Convoy FS.16 departed Methil, arriving at Southend on the 5th. There was no FN.16 convoy.
 
Kattegat/Skagerrak – German destroyers HERMANN SCHOEMANN, FRIEDRICH IHN, ERICH STEINBRINCK and torpedo boats GREIF, FALKE and ALBATROS conducted anti-shipping patrols in the Kattegat and Skagerrak from the 3rd to 5th.
… 
Shim movement – Heavy cruisers SUSSEX and SHROPSHIRE, which departed Alexandria on the 2nd, left Suez on the 3rd for the Red Sea. They reached Aden on the 6th and departed the same day for duty in the Indian Ocean, arriving at Simonstown on the 13th.
 
Heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND and light cruiser DESPATCH departed Freetown for South America, with DESPATCH arriving at Bermuda on the 15th for docking.
 
Heavy cruiser BERWICK arrived at Halifax.
 
Mediterranean convoys – Destroyers GRENVILLE, GIPSY, GRENADE, GRIFFIN from Convoy Green 3 and DELIGHT and DECOY from other escort duties arrived at Malta. DELIGHT and DECOY departed the next day, while GRENADE and GRIFFIN left on the 5th to relieve destroyers DUCHESS and DEFENDER escorting convoy Blue 3. DUCHESS and DEFENDER reached Malta on the 5th.
 
Convoy SO.19 of armed merchant cruiser ALCANTARA (22,209grt) and steamers ATHLONE CASTLE (25,564grt), EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA (21,833grt) and FRANCONIA (20,175grt) arrived at Gibraltar. Destroyers INGLEFIELD and IVANHOE arrived separately that day after being separated in heavy weather. From there, the convoy proceeded as Convoy Red 2 escorted by destroyers GREYHOUND and GLOWWORM, later joined by sister ships GRENVILLE and GIPSY.
 
Far East – Norwegian steamer HOEGH TRANSPORTER (4914grt) was sunk on a British defensive minefield off St John Island at the entrance to Singapore with the loss of one member of crew. The wreck and cargo were salved. («naval-history.net»


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/4/2017 1:00:33 AM
October 4, 1939

Poland


Quote:
The last organized stand by the Polish Army was made at Kock, where heavy fighting raged from 4 to 6 October. Panzer and motorized infantry units of Tenth Army ended this last Polish resistance, and the Kock force surrendered on 6 October, adding 17,000 more to the total of prisoners taken by the Germans. The Polish Campaign was over, though sporadic fighting was to continue in some of the more remote areas for a considerable period.
[Read More]

Editor's note: The fighting at Kock was the last large organized stand by the prewar Polish Army. The next phase of conventional warfare on the territory that had been part of the Polish Republic of 1939 would take place on June 22, 1941.


Image: Battle of Kock, situation as of 5 October 1939

Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/4/2017 3:03:15 PM
Day 34. October 4 (continued)
Wednesday


Quote:
BERLIN, October 4
Two choice press bits today: The 12-Uhr Blatt headline in red ink all over page 1: “ENGLAND’S RESPONSIBILITY – FOR THE OUTRAGEOUS PROVOKING OF WARSAW TO DEFEND ITSELF.” The Nachtausgabe’seditorial, arguing that America is not nearly so anxious to join the war ‘as are Herr Roosevelt and his Jewish camarilla.” (Berlin Diary, p230)


U-boats

Quote:
At 06.00 hours on 4 Oct 1939 the unescorted Glen Farg (Master Robert Galloway Hall) was hit by a G7a torpedo from U-23 about 60 miles south-southwest of Sumburgh Head. The ship had been spotted at 04.45 hours and was stopped with machine gun fire. The Germans re-opened fire when the radio was used and waited for the crew to abandon ship before sinking her with the torpedo. The survivors were picked up by HMS Firedrake (H 79)(LtCdr S.H. Norris, RN) and landed at Kirkwall the next day. («boat.net»)
Glen Farg, a steam merchant of under 1,000 tons, was sailing from Folden Fjord near Trondheim to Grangemouth carrying general cargo, including pulp, carbide, paper and ferro-chrome. Ships complement lost 1 of 17.

Glen Farg was sunk by Otto Kretschmer, one of the most successful U-boat captains. He was depth-charged and, after surfacing and saving most of his crew, his U-99 sank from under him. He spent the rest of the war in a POW camp in Canada, but ultimately returned to duty with the post-war German navy. He died in 1998 at age 86.

At sea

Quote:
Home waters – Destroyers FEARLESS and FOXHOUND arrived at Scapa Flow.
 
Submarine SWORDFISH began a refit at Dundee completed on 12 February 1940, and arrived at Blyth on the 13th. The same day, she proceeded to Scapa Flow, via Rosyth, to work up.
 
Atlantic coast – French heavy cruisers ALGÉRIE, DUPLEIX and destroyers MAILLÉ BRÉZÉ and VAUQUELIN departed Oran for Dakar, arriving on the 14th.
 
French submarine BÉVÉZIERS departed Cherbourg for Brest, escorted by large destroyer JAGUAR.
 …
 
Skagerrak and Kattegat – German destroyers HERMANN SCHOEMANN, FRIEDRICH IHN, ERICH STEINBRINCK and torpedo boats GREIF, FALKE, ALBATROS operated in the Skagerrak and Kattegat on contraband control duties. Swedish steamers BRITT (1544grt) and MERCIA (1184grt) were taken in prize by German warships 12 miles south of Hano in the Baltic and taken to Rendsburg. They were renamed LEBA and TRAUTE FAULBAUM, respectively, for German service.
 
Major convoy – Convoy KJ.3 departed Kingston escorted by light cruiser ORION, which was relieved by heavy cruiser BERWICK on the 8th, and later Australian light cruiser PERTH, both of which were relieved on the 15th in 39‑58N, 43W by cruiser EFFINGHAM. … [Ed. truncation: RN and French assets at various times during this convoy’s crossing totalled some 30 ships.] KJ.3 arrived off southern Ireland on the 25th, with EFFINGHAM reaching Devonport on the 26th for boiler cleaning, and the convoy arriving on the 28th with WOLVERINE, VERITY, VOLUNTEER and VERSATILE.
 
Ship movements – Destroyers INGLEFIELD and IVANHOE departed Gibraltar to return to Plymouth after escort duty with convoy SO.19.
 
Submarine SEAL arrived at Alexandria from the Red Sea.
 
Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM departed Singapore on patrol and arrived back on the 22nd.
 
Light cruiser DURBAN departed Capetown for Simonstown, arriving on the 6th.
 
New Zealand light cruiser LEANDER departed Wellington for Auckland. («naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/5/2017 6:48:27 AM
October 5, 1939

Poland: Fighting continues around Kock.

Other:


Quote:
In Moscow, the USSR and Latvia sign a support pact that gives the Soviets military bases in Latvia. (chroniknet.de)


Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/5/2017 1:51:17 PM
Day 35. October 5 (continued)
Thursday

Quote:
Hitler flew to Warsaw to inspect the damage inflicted by his forces.
• Latvia and Russia signed a 10-year mutual assistance treaty. The Soviets were given naval and air bases on the Baltic Sea.
• Russia, saying that “now that the international situation has altered on account of the war,” invited Finland to begin discussions on territorial adjustments.
• The last of the Polish troops surrendered, in the Radzyn-Kock area. In all, about 694.000 Poles out of an 800,000-man force were captured by the Germans. The remainder were killed, captured, or fled to Rumania and Hungary. Germany army losses in the campaign were 13,111 killed and missing and 27, 278 wounded. ( Goralski, p 97)
Compare this with a second statement:

Quote:
Mutual assistance treaty, signed between the USSR and Latvia, granting Russian sea and air bases. 92194 Days, p29)
Ed’s note: Neither 2194 Days nor data provided by Bill Wilson mentions the last resistance as ending on Oct. 5.

One more comparison, though probably of apples and oranges. A relatively lengthy assessment by Shirer is worth offering in full. It demonstrates the value of a thinking mind in assessing incoming data:

Quote:
BERLIN, October 5
Reichtag tomorrow. Hitler expected to offer peace terms. No one expects them to be very generous. He himself flew to Warsaw today to hold a triumphant review of his troops. He mad a speech to his soldiers, the speech of a conquering Caesar.
The people here certainly want peace. The government may want it for the moment. Will Britain and France make it now, and then maybe next year have to mobilize again? Hitler has won the war in Poland and lost the peace there – to Russia. The Soviets, without a fight, get nearly half of Poland and a stranglehold on the Baltic states and now block Germany from its two main goals in the east, Ukrainian wheat and Rumanian oil. Hitler is hastily withdrawing all Germans from the Baltic states, where most of them have been settled for centuries. Estonia has capitulated to Moscow and agreed to the Soviets’ building an air and naval base on its soil. The foreign ministers of Latvia and Lithuania are shuttling back and forth between their capitals and Moscow trying to save the pieces. And once the Soviets get a wedge in these Baltic states, how soon will they go Bolshevik? Soon. Soon. (Berlin Diary, pp 230-2310)


U-boats

No ships sunk. Marwarri, an 8,000 ton merchantman, was damaged by a mine laid by U-32 in Bristol Channel. She was carrying “government stores”. Of her 31 crew, 2 died.

At sea

Quote:
Concentraton at Scapa – Battleships NELSON, RODNEY, battlecruisers HOOD, REPULSE, and aircraft carrier FURIOUS and escorting destroyers departed Loch Ewe and arrived at Scapa Flow.
 
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD departed Scapa Flow for Invergordon, arriving on the 6th. She was back at Scapa the same day.
 
Home waters – Light cruisers CALYPSO and CALEDON departed Scapa Flow for Northern Patrol. CALYPSO arrived back on the 11th and CALEDON on the 13th.

Steamer MARWARRI (8063grt) was damaged in the Bristol Channel, 3½ miles 190° from Scarweather Light Vessel, on a mine laid by U.32 on 17 September. She was run aground in Mumbles Bay to prevent her sinking and salved the following month.


Submarine SEAWOLF fired two torpedoes at German torpedo boat FALKE in 57-39N, 9-28E, but missed. The target was reported as a light cruiser of the NÜRNBERG class.
 
Convoys – Convoy OA.15 of six ships departed Southend escorted by destroyer ANTELOPE from the 5th to 8th, when the convoy dispersed.
 
Convoy OB.15 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WALPOLE and WINCHELSEA until the 8th.
 
Convoy BC.7S of 17 steamers including NEW TEXAS (Commodore), departed Quiberon Bay escorted by destroyers EXPRESS, ESK, ESCAPADE and ECLIPSE, and arrived safely in Barry Roads on the 8th.
 
After survey ship FRANKLIN sighted a submarine 9 miles 310° from Calais High Light, destroyer BRAZEN carried out an unsuccessful search.
 
U.K.-Gibralter convoys –French destroyers CASSARD and KERSAINT arrived at Gibraltar to exchange convoy escort duty with British destroyers GREYHOUND and GLOWWORM.

Mediterranean convoys –Steamers ALCANTARA (22,209grt) and FRANCONIA (20,75grt) of convoy Red 2 collided between Gibraltar and Malta. The convoy proceeded to Malta where FRANCONIA was repaired completing on 14 November, while ALCANTARA after temporary repairs and escorted by destroyer GRIFFIN, was able to proceed on the 13th for Alexandria, arriving on the 16th. Destroyer GRENVILLE continued with steamer EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA, and destroyer GIPSY, no longer needed to escort ALCANTARA, headed for Alexandria.
 
Convoy HGF.2 departed Gibraltar with liners CIRCASSIA (11,136grt) and DERBYSHIRE (11,660grt), and arrived at Liverpool on the 9th. Both liners were taken in hand for conversion to armed merchant cruisers.
 
Convoy HG.2 of 13 ships departed Gibraltar escorted by destroyers DOUGLAS and VELOX. Ocean escort was provided by armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA which sailed with the convoy from the 5th to 13th, when it arrived at Liverpool.
 
Surface raiders – German pocket battleship ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE captured steamer NEWTON BEECH (4651grt) in the South Atlantic in 09‑35S, 06‑30W. After her cargo and crew were transferred, she was scuttled late on the 8th.
 
German pocket battleship DEUTSCHLAND sank steamer STONEGATE (5044grt) east of Bermuda in 31‑10N, 54‑00W after the crew had been taken off. Later, when American steamer CITY OF FLINT was captured, STONEGATE’s crew was transferred to her.
 
Response to surface raiders – As a result of the sinkings by German pocket battleships, the British Admiralty ordered the organization of further Hunter Groups along the lines of the ARK ROYAL-RENOWN force.
 
Battleship RAMILLIES in the Mediterranean was ordered to join the North Atlantic Escort Force, departed Gibraltar at 1215, escorted by destroyers WISHART and VORTIGERN, but was recalled at 2233/6th to replace battleship MALAYA, due to leave the Mediterranean. RAMILLIES, WISHART and VORTIGERN arrived back at Gibraltar on the 8th. RAMILLES stayed in the Mediterranean until November when she was transferred to the East Indies, serving with the 3rd Battle Squadron at Aden from November until May 1940.
 
Heavy cruisers NORFOLK, SUFFOLK and light cruiser EFFINGHAM were detached from the Home Fleet to operate in the Denmark Strait against any raider threat to the convoy routes in the South Atlantic (at that time only GRAF SPEE had been identified. They were there to keep other raiders from going into the South Atlantic or returning to Germany). EFFINGHAM proceeded to Plymouth to repair defects, and left again on the 9th.
 
Light cruisers COLOMBO and CERES of the 11th Cruiser Squadron, previously attached to the Northern Atlantic Command at Gibraltar and the Channel Force based at Portland respectively, replaced EFFINGHAM in the Northern Patrol. The 12th Cruiser Squadron, Northern Patrol was redesignated the 11th Cruiser Squadron, and COLOMBO became Flagship of Captain R J R Scott AM, Commodore, 2nd Class at Plymouth on the 9th. She arrived on station on the 13th and CERES on the 31st after refitting at Plymouth.
 
[Ship movement – NORFOLK and SUFFOLK proceeded to the Mediterranean, where they served in the 1st Cruiser Squadron until arriving back in England on 11 November. They left Portsmouth on 16 and 18 November respectively, called at the Clyde, and were both on Northern Patrol on the 22nd. («naval-history.net»)
Editorial comment: the sea war can often be shortened, but on this date it is possible to get some idea of both the complexity of a war at sea and a hint of the concept that the RN was receiving intelligence concerning potential German naval actions. I’ll try to keep future naval data under control, but there will be certain times – Graf Spee, Bismarck, the Channel Dash and others – where greater detail may be deemed appropriate.

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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/6/2017 2:28:13 AM
Ed’s note: Neither 2194 Days nor data provided by Bill Wilson mentions the last resistance as ending on Oct. 5.

 Apparently, the last regular Polish units surrendered on October 6th. Wikipedia has this to say:


Quote:
The Polesie Independent Group [a battlegroup of a couple of divisions] surrendered on 6 October at 10:00. In his last order General Kleeberg wrote that the reason for his decision to capitulate was that they were surrounded and ammunition and food were depleted.


while a Polish site states:


Quote:
On October 5, General Kleeberg decided to surrender. SGO "Polesie" units laid down arms on 6 October in the area of Czarna.


... reading between the lines, it sounds like the battle was largely over by the close of October 5th but the formal surrender did not occur until the following day.

Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/6/2017 5:50:45 PM
Day 36. October 6
Friday. Third-quarter moon.

Germany

Quote:
Hitler delivered a Reichstag speech in which he indicated Germany was now content with its contests and would agree to peace with the Allies: “Germany has no further claims against France. …nowhere have i ever acted contrary to British interest.” (Goralski, p 97)

Quote:
In a speech in the Reichstag, Hitler appears for peace, proposing that the Western powers should recognize the new status quo in eastern Europe. (2194 Days, p29)

Excerpts from a lengthy diary entry by Shirer:
Quote:
BERLIN, October 6
Hitler delivered his much advertised “peace proposals’ in he Reichstag at noon today.

Hitler offered peace in the west if Britain and France stay out of Germany’s Lebensraum in eastern Europe. The future of Poland he left in doubt, though he said Poland would never agains endanger (!) German interest. In other words, a slave Poland, similar to the present slave Bohemia.

Hitler was calmer today than usual. … Most of the deputies I talked to afterwards took for granted that peace was assured. (Berlin Diary, pp31-2.)

In the air
No noted activity.

U-boats

Quote:
At 16.20 hours on 6 Oct 1939 the Lochgoil struck a mine laid on 17 September by U-32 about five miles off Scarweather Light Vessel in the Bristol Channel. She was run aground in Mumbles Bay, salvaged on 28 November and repaired at Swansea. («uboat.net)
Lochgoil, a British merchantman of some 9,400 tons, was carrying general cargo, including AA guns, from Newport to Vancouver. No crew were lost.

At sea

Quote:
Northern patrol – Light cruisers CARDIFF and DELHI departed Scapa Flow for Northern Patrol, arriving back on the 13th. At this time, six cruisers were at sea on Northern Patrol.
 
U.K. - France convoys – Convoy BC.9S of nine steamers, including BARON GRAHAM (Commodore), CERVANTES and TASSO, departed the Bristol Channel escorted by destroyers WESSEX, VANESSA (SO), VENETIA and VISCOUNT, and safely arrived in the Loire on the 8th.
 
Convoy SA.11 of one steamer departed Southampton, escorted by destroyer VIVACIOUS, arriving at Brest on the 7th.
 
Convoy FN.17 departed Southend and reached Methil on the 8th, while FS.17 departed Methil and arrived at Southend on the 8th.
 
Ship movement – Destroyer ICARUS departed Malta after completing her collision repairs, left Gibraltar on the 8th and arrived at Plymouth on the 11th.
 
Light cruiser CAPETOWN, due to be assigned to the Northern Patrol, left Gibraltar for Malta at 1730/6th, and arriving on the 8th, commenced repairs which completed on the 21st.
 
Caribbean – American destroyer BORIE (DD 215, LCDR R M Morris) off the north coast of St Thomas, Virgin Islands, reported a submarine on the surface, which submerged on her approach. It turned out to be one of the French submarines in the Caribbean.(«naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/7/2017 10:37:30 AM
October 7, 1939

Germany


Quote:
A regulation of the Reichsverkehrsministeriums obligates all inland and seagoing vessels to comply with anti-aircraft defense requirements. (chroniknet.de)


Poland


Quote:
Heinrich Himmler is tasked with organizing the forced resettlement of Poles into the Generalgouvernement. (chroniknet.de)


Editor's note: Prewar Poland no longer exists. The bulk of the country has been annexed by Germany and the Soviet Union. Wikipedia: Hitler decreed the direct annexation to the German Reich of large parts of the occupied Polish territory in the western half of the German zone, in order to increase the Reich's Lebensraum. Germany organized most of these areas as two new Reichsgaue: Danzig-West Prussia and Wartheland. The remaining three regions, the so-called areas of Zichenau, Eastern Upper Silesia and the Suwałki triangle, became attached to adjacent Gaue of Germany. Draconian measures were introduced by both RKF and HTO to facilitate the immediate Germanization of the annexed territory, typically resulting in mass expulsions, especially in the Warthegau. The remaining parts of the former Poland were to become a German Nebenland (March, borderland) as a frontier post of German rule in the east. A Führer-decree of October 12, 1939 established the General Government; the decree came into force on October 26, 1939.


Images: Postage stamp and map of the Generalgouvernement, as it existed before the German invasion of Russia.

Western Front


Quote:
The British Expeditionary Force completed its crossing to France. (Wikipedia)


Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/7/2017 3:07:39 PM
Day 37. October 7 (continued)
Saturday.

No additional information re Poland to that provided by B Wilson.

No entry from my copy of Berlin Diary.

U-boats

Quote:
On 7 Oct 1939 the Binnendijk struck a mine laid on 10 September by U-26, 2.5 miles southeast of the Shambles Lightvessel and sank about 1 mile north of the Lightvessel at 14.00 hours the next day. The wreck was dispersed by explosives on 10 October.
Note: Bennedijk, a Dutch steam merchant of 6873 tons, sank with no loss of life to her crew of 42. She was carrying 1,000 tons of general cargo and oil on a Boston-New York-Rotterdam route.

At sea

Quote:
Ship movements – Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN departed Portsmouth at 0042, escorted by destroyers SALADIN and SCIMITAR and arrived at Devonport at 1240 to complete her refitting.
 
Destroyer ECHO departed Dover and arrived at Devonport on the 12th.
 
Destroyer ESKIMO arrived at Scapa Flow after repairs in the Tyne.
 
Atlantic convoys – Battleships REVENGE, RESOLUTION and aircraft carrier HERMES, escorted by destroyers WOLVERINE, WITHERINGTON, VOLUNTEER and VERITY departed Portland at 0930, and light cruisers EMERALD, ENTERPRISE, CARADOC, escorted by destroyers INGLEFIELD and IVANHOE, departed Plymouth, all on 7th. At 1910/7th both forces rendezvoused for passage to Halifax for escort duty. CARADOC had been at Plymouth since 25 September repairing defects prior to leaving station. Her refit completed on the 6th.
 
CARADOC rejoined the force at 0735/10th, and all ships arrived safely at Halifax on the 16th escorted into port by Canadian destroyers FRASER and ST LAURENT which joined on the 15th. In addition to their convoy escort duties, REVENGE and RESOLUTION were carrying a large amount of British silver for safekeeping in Canada. The Halifax Escort Force was commanded by Rear Admiral L E Holland who was relieved by Rear Admiral Stuart S Bonham-Carter on 1 January 1940. From Halifax, the Force could offer convoy protection in the Western Atlantic.
 
U.K.-France convoy – HERMES and CARADOC proceeded to Brest and en route, HERMES was met by French destroyers BOURRASQUE, ORAGE, and MISTRAL, which had also departed Brest on the 7th. The French ships arrived back on the 8th.
 
French naval operations – French battleship STRASBOURG and destroyers LE FANTASQUE, LE TERRIBLE and L'AUDACIEUX left Brest, still on the 7th, to join HERMES for operations as Hunter Group N and set out that evening for Dakar. Heavy cruisers ALGÉRIE and DUPLEIX joined en route and Group N arrived at Dakar on the 14th, where after refuelling, the Force was due to proceed to the West Indies.
 
French submarines FRESNEL, LE GLORIEUX and REDOUTABLE departed Toulon and arrived at Gibraltar on the 10th escorted by destroyer LA RAILLEUSE. They departed that day, escorted by destroyer LYNX and arrived at Casablanca on the 13th. LA RAILLEUSE left Gibraltar on the 11th to return to Toulon.

South Atlantic convoy – Convoy OA.16G of 27 ships departed Southend, escorted by destroyer ECHO from the 7th to 9th, and merged with OB.16G escorted by destroyer VIMY and patrol ship/minesweeper GLEANER to the 10th, on the 11th to form OG.2. This convoy reached Gibraltar on the 17th.

On the 7th, the Admiralty ordered the 4th Destroyer Flotilla, anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY, and sloops FLEETWOOD and GRIMSBY, now serving in the Mediterranean to sail for Portland with moderate dispatch.
 
Ship redeployment – [Destroyer] MOHAWK departed Malta on the 7th and Gibraltar on the 9th to return to England, reached Portland on the 11th, refuelled at Harwich and arrived at Humber on the 12th to join Rosyth Command.
 
GALATEA departed Malta on the 7th for Alexandria, arriving on the 10th. AFRIDI and GURKHA reached Malta on the 7th, left next day en route to England, departed Gibraltar on the 10th and arrived at Portland on the 13th for duty with the Home Fleet.
 
COSSACK, MAORI, ZULU, NUBIAN arrived at Alexandria on the 2nd from escorting convoy Green 2, and after refuelling left Alexandria on the 7th for Malta. COVENTRY left Alexandria on the 7th and arrived at Malta on the 9th. All five ships then sailed from Malta on the 9th, arrived at Gibraltar on the 11th and left the same day, arriving at Portland on the 14th without NUBIAN which reached Portsmouth the same day.
 
COVENTRY departed Portland on the 14th, and arrived at Portsmouth that night, left on the 19th for the Humber and reached Immingham on the 20th. COSSACK, MAORI, ZULU departed Portland immediately after refuelling and proceeded to the North Sea for escort duties.
 
FLEETWOOD departed Gibraltar on the 7th and arrived at Portland on the 11th. GRIMSBY was with convoy Blue 3, arrived at Gibraltar on the 11th and departed that day for Portland. In 36-02N, 6-50W, she attacked a submarine contact.
 
South Atlantic – German pocket battleship ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE sank steamer ASHLEA (4222grt) in the South Atlantic in 09S, 03W after the crew was put aboard captured steamer NEWTON BEECH.
 
Caribbean – Heavy cruiser BERWICK called at Bermuda, departed again the same day, and arrived back on the 18th.

Eastern waters – Light cruiser LIVERPOOL departed Colombo and arrived at Bombay on the 9th.

Light cruiser DANAE departed Capetown on escort duties. … («naval.history.net»)


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

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

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1944
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/7/2017 5:22:33 PM
Day 37. October 7

Germany

Adolf Hitler appoints Heinrich Himmler as “Reich Commissar for the protection of the German Race” and issues a decree empowering Himmler to deport all Jews from Greater Germany to the east, where they would be resettled together with almost 2 million Polish Jews now under German rule.

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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/8/2017 4:43:13 PM
Day 38. October 8 (continued)
Sunday.

No additional information concerning Poland or army activities.

Quote:
BERLIN, October 8.
…I leave tomorrow for Geneva to recover my senses and fetch some winter clothing, as the weather has turned cold. I did not bring any winter things when I left Geneva exactly two months ago. I did not know. Two months! What an age it seems. How dim in memory the time when there was peace. That world ended, and for me, on the whole, despite its faults, it injustices, its inequalities, it was a good one. I came of age in that one, and the life it gave was free, civilized, deepening, full of minor tragedy and joy and work and leisure, new lands, new faces – and rarely commonplace and never without hope.
And now darkness. A new world. Black-out, bombs, slaughter, Nazism. Now the night and the shrieks and barbarism. (Berlin Diary, p 233)

In the air

Quote:
NORTH SEA SWEEPS, 8 October to 2 December 1939

Flights by formations of bombers searching for German ships to attack were made on 9 days between 8 October and 2 December. The bombers did not approach the German mainland and the normal ‘beat’ was the 125-mile stretch of sea between Borkum and Salt which marked the outer limits of Germany’s small North Sea coast.
A total of 61 sorties were flown – 55 by Wellingtons and 6 by Hampdens. No German ships were seen; no bombs were dropped; no aircraft casualties were suffered. (Bomber Command War Diaries, p 24)

U-boats
Quote:
At 14.04 hours on 8 October 1939 the unescorted and neutral Vistula was stopped by U-37 with a shot across her bow about 35 miles northeast of Muckle Flugga, Shetland Islands. It was found that the ship was carrying contraband and she was sunk with 14 rounds from the deck gun at 15.00 hours. The crew abandoned ship in two lifeboats, was provided by the Germans with food and then set sails for the nearby Shetland Islands. («boat.net»)
Vistula, a Swedish merchantman of 1018 tons, was sailing from Gothenburg to Hull laden with general cargo, including steel and paper. Nine of her 18 complement died.

War at sea

Quote:
North Sea. German activity. - Sortie by German battlecruiser GNEISENAU, light cruiser KÖLN, and destroyers PAUL JACOBI, MAX SCHULTZ, BERND VON ARNIM, WILHELM HEIDKAMP, FRIEDRICH IHN, DIETHER VON ROEDER, ERICH STEINBRINCK, FRIEDRICH ECKHOLDT and KARL GALSTER from Kiel to operate off the south coast of Norway. They were to sink Allied shipping and entice the British Home Fleet into the range of Luftwaffe bombers. Destroyers HANS LODY and ERICH GIESE were to have sailed but suffered equipment defects. In addition, U.10, U.18, U.20, U.23 were deployed in a patrol line to attack the Home Fleet.
 
North Sea. U.K. response – Admiral Forbes, informed of these movements by a RAF Coastal Command Hudson sighting, went to sea from Scapa Flow with the Home Fleet. Battleships NELSON, RODNEY, battlecruisers HOOD, REPULSE, aircraft carrier FURIOUS, light cruisers AURORA, SHEFFIELD, NEWCASTLEand destroyers SOMALI, MASHONA, ASHANTI, ESKIMO, BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, FAULKNOR, FURY, FORESTER, FAME, FORESIGHT, FORTUNE and FIREDRAKE. Heavy weather damaged FORTUNE at the start and she detached to the Clyde arriving on the 9th, and repairing until 2 November.
 
HOOD, REPULSE, AURORA and SHEFFIELD with SOMALI, MASHONA, ESKIMO, ASHANTI sailed for a position 50 miles NW of Stadlandet in 63‑00N, 04‑00E. At the same time, NELSON, RODNEY, FURIOUS and NEWCASTLE with FAULKNOR, FURY, FORESTER, FAME, FORESIGHT, FIREDRAKE, PUNJABI and BEDOUIN sailed for a position north of Muckle Flugga in 61‑00N, 00‑00E,. Both forces were to reach their positions by dawn on the 9th, then steam towards each other in a pincer movement.
 
Skaggerrak – Light cruisers SOUTHAMPTON, EDINBURGH, GLASGOW with destroyers JERVIS, JUPITER, JAGUAR departed Rosyth, while destroyers JACKAL and JANUS departed Grimsby and joined at sea to operate off the mouth of the Skagerrak in 57‑45N, 05‑00E, before sweeping north. At 0605/9th, JAGUAR was detached to Rosyth for refuelling and en route, was attacked by German bombers, but not damaged. JERVIS and JUPITER were ordered to search for Danish steamer TEDDY (557grt) which had picked up the crew of a German Dornier flying boat shot down on the 8th. They too were attacked by German bombers at 1518, but again without damage. However, JUPITER broke down at sea at 1650 and was taken in tow by JERVIS.
 
JAGUAR, refuelling completed and JERSEY, which just finished repairs after her 22 September collision, were ordered to join the Humber Force off the Pentland Skerries to screen the withdrawal of JERVIS and JUPITER. Departing Rosyth, JAGUAR struck a small islet above the Forth bridge and damaged her starboard propeller shaft, arriving at Leith on the 11th for repairs. Just as unfortunate was JERSEY. Leaving at the same time she struck the Rosyth boom, and her repairs at Leith were not completed until the 16th.
 
SOUTHAMPTON, GLASGOW, EDINBURGH and JACKAL and JANUS of the Humber Force were heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe between 1120 and 1645/9th off the mouth of the Skagerrak. SOUTHAMPTON and GLASGOW were near missed, but neither was damaged. Shortly before arriving at Scapa Flow on the 10th, JUPITER was able to proceed on her own, screened by SOUTHAMPTON, GLASGOW, JACKAL and JANUS.
 
Battleship ROYAL OAK with destroyers MATABELE and STURDY sortied from Scapa Flow on the 9th to patrol to the west of the Shetlands in Fair Island Channel, but in heavy seas, ROYAL OAK's destroyers lost touch and she returned to Scapa Flow, arriving on the 10th.
 
Home Fleet destroyers FOXHOUND and FEARLESS undergoin minor repairs at Scapa Flow were absent from this operation. Destroyer TARTAR with major machinery defects was repairing at Scapa Flow until the 23rd.

U.K.-France convoys – Convoy BC.8S of steamers BARON MACLAY, CLAN MONROE and TRELAWNY departed the Loire escorted by destroyers WESSEX, VISCOUNT and VENETIA, and arrived safely in the Bristol Channel on the 10th.
 
Convoy FN.18 departed Southend and arrived at Methil on the 10th. There was no convoy FN.19.
 
Convoy FS.18 departed Methil and arrived at Southend on the 10th. There was no convoy FS.19.
 
Other German naval activity – U.15 completed a survey of the English east coast and Straits of Dover lightships and buoys.
 
Finnish steamer INDRA (2026grt) was badly damaged by a mine near Terschelling; six crew were injured and they, together with 14 other crew were taken to Ymuiden, where INDRA was towed for repairs.
 ...
U.12 was mined and sunk off Dover with the loss of her 27 crew. The body of commanding officer, Kptlt von der Ropp was found near Bleriot Plage near Calais on the 29th.
 
Gibraltar convoys – Convoy OG.2 was formed from the merging of OA.16G and OB.16G. The 30 ships proceeded to Gibraltar without an ocean escort, but were met by destroyers WATCHMAN and VELOX and escorted into Gibraltar on the 17th.
 
North Atlantic convoys – Convoy HX.4 departed Halifax at 0900, escorted by heavy cruiser YORK and Canadian destroyers FRASER and ST LAURENT, the latter detaching on the 8th. YORK and FRASER detached on the 10th with YORK arriving back on the 13th. The bulk of the dispersed ships of the convoy reached Liverpool on the 22nd and one ship on the 24th.
 
Caribbean convoys –Convoy KJ.4, the last of the KJ series which only began on 15 September, departed Kingston. Because of German raiders in the Atlantic, ships from the Caribbean now went north along the American coast and joined the HX convoys from Halifax before beginning the Atlantic crossing.
 
Mediterranean convoy – Convoy Green 4 departed Gibraltar with 39 ships, including 14 from OG.1, escorted by French destroyers CASSARD, KERSAINT and British sloop ABERDEEN. The French ships were relieved on the 13th by British destroyer GRENADE, and the convoy reached Port Said on the 17th escorted by GRENADE and ABERDEEN. («naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/9/2017 7:48:47 AM
October 9, 1939

War at Sea


Quote:
In the Atlantic, [German] pocket battleship Deutschland intercepts the City of Flint, an American freighter, which took part in the rescue of the Athenia passengers (September 3) and transported 4,000 tons of petroleum products destined for Great Britain. Accused of smuggling, the American ship was seized by a German capture crew and sailed to Tromsø, Norway. It is the first time since the beginning of the war that an American ship is captured by the Germans. (derniere-guerre.com)


Western Front


Quote:
Directive Nr. 6 is issued by Hitler, ordering preparations to commence for an invasion of France through Belgium and The Netherlands. (chroniknet.de)



Quote:
35 of 46 communist deputies in the French government are arrested for antiwar activity. (la-guerre-au-jour-le-jour.over-blog.com)


Other


Quote:
Finland mobilizes army reservists in response to Soviet pressure to alter the international border. (la-guerre-au-jour-le-jour.over-blog.com)


Cheers

BW

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

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1944
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/9/2017 12:26:28 PM
Day 39 October 9

Poland


The first Jewish ghetto is established in Piotrkow, Poland.

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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/9/2017 2:53:01 PM
Day 39. October 9 (continued)
Monday. Waning crescent moon.

No notable activity in the air.

U-boats

Construction of 34 U-boats ordered this day. No ships lost to U-boats.

At sea

Quote:
Northern patrol – Six British cruisers were on their Northern Patrol stations.
 
Light cruiser BELFAST had departed Scapa Flow on the 1st for Northern Patrol. On the 8th, she stopped Swedish steamer LILJEVALCH (5492grt) but allowed her to continue after inspection, and next day, stopped Norwegian steamer TAI YIN (7077grt), sending her into Kirkwall to check for contraband.
 
Shortly after sending off TAI YIN, BELFAST sighted another steamer which proved to be German liner CAP NORTE (13,615grt) carrying German reservists from South America. She was captured 50 miles NW of the Faroes in 63N, 10W and light cruiser CALYPSO, also on Northern Patrol in the area, arrived to assist. CAP NORTE was sent off towards Kirkwall under a prize crew…, and at 0730/10th, was turned over to light cruiser DELHI. They … reached Kirkwall on the 12th. CAP NORTE was renamed EMPIRE TROOPER for British use as a troopship. After dealing with her, BELFAST, her prize crews depleted, returned to Scapa Flow, arriving at 1500/13th.
 
From 29 September to 12 October, 64 ships were sighted by the Northern Patrol. Of these 26 were eastbound and 20 of them were sent to Kirkwall for inspection. CAP NORTE was the only German ship intercepted in this period.
 
Local waters – Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO departed Grimsby on escort duties and arrived back on the 11th.
 
Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA departed Grimsby on escort duties and arrived back on the 10th.
 
Destroyers VIVACIOUS and ESCAPADE were involved in a minor collision leaving Milford Haven. ESCAPADE was docked at Newport completing repairs on the 20th, while VIVACIOUS was only very slightly damaged and did not require repair.
 
French naval activity – French large destroyer PANTHÈRE collided with Belgian trawler VAN EYCK near Boulogne, and was repaired at Cherbourg, completing at the end of October.
 
U.K.-France convoys – Convoy OA.17 of eleven ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers ACASTA and ARDENT from the 9th to 11th.
 
Convoy OB.17 escorted by destroyers IMOGEN and ILEX departed Liverpool, the destroyers remaining with the convoy until the 12th.
 
Convoy BC.10F of troopship ULSTER PRINCE departed Bristol Channel escorted by destroyers EXPRESS and ENCOUNTER, and arrived safely in the Loire on the 11th.
 
Convoy BC.10S of steamers BEAVERDALE, BELLEROPHON (Commodore), BRIARWOOD, CITY OF DERBY, DORSET COAST, EILDON, ERATO, FLORISTAN, LYCAON, MERKLAND, PEMBROKE COAST, RAMON DE LARRINGA and VOLO departed Bristol Channel escorted by destroyers EXMOUTH, ECLIPSE, MONTROSE and VIVACIOUS. The convoy safely arrived in the Loire on the 11th.
 
Convoy SA.12 of two steamers departed Southampton, escorted by destroyers VENOMOUS and ANTHONY, and reached Brest on the 10th.
 
Caribbean convoys – Destroyers WALPOLE, AMAZON and WINCHELSEA departed Milford Haven to escort convoy KJ.1B.

North Atlantic – German pocket battleship DEUTSCHLAND stopped American steamer CITY OF FLINT (4963grt) in the North Atlantic off the Newfoundland Banks. Captured British crew from steamer SOUTHGATE were put aboard, and disguised as Danish steamer ALF, she sailed towards Murmansk, arriving at Tromso on the 20th and the British crew put ashore. She continued on to Kola Bay where she arrived on the 22nd.
 
Ship encounters – Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and battlecruiser RENOWN, sailing as Force K and en route to Freetown, encountered a merchant ship which identified herself as the American DELMAR. Lacking destroyers, the merchant ship could not be boarded and she was allowed to go on her way. Later intelligence revealed that the genuine DELMAR was in New Orleans and this had been German supply ship ALTMARK.
 
Mediterranean – The 1st Battle Squadron - aircraft carrier GLORIOUS, light cruiser PENELOPE, and destroyers DUNCAN, DARING, DAINTY, GRAFTON, GIPSY, GALLANT and BULLDOG exercised off Alexandria. Battleship MALAYA with GLORIOUS, BULLDOG and DARING were then detached to Socotra to arrive on the 16th.
 
Destroyer DEFENDER arrived at Malta on the 5th and was out of service for 7 days with perforated boiler tubes.
 
Southen waters – Light cruiser DANAE departed Capetown on escort duties. («naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/10/2017 11:26:56 AM
October 10, 1939

Western Front


Quote:
In a radio broadcast, French prime minister Édouard Daladier rejects the German peace offer of October 6th. (chroniknet.de)


Other


Quote:
With the signing of the basing agreement with Lithuania, the Soviet Union transfers the (from 1922) Polish city of Wilno and the region around Wilno to Lithuania. Editor's note: Vilnius (Wilno) to this day is still part of Lithuania. (chroniknet.de)



Quote:
The three Baltic Republics have become part of a "Soviet security zone", and their military and diplomatic orientation are now orbiting Moscow despite having signed previous agreements with Germany. The Reich makes no public objection to this change. (derniere-guerre.com)



Quote:
In a meeting with Hitler, Admiral Raeder points out the importance of Norway and states an invasion of the country would secure naval bases for the Reich. Meanwhile, in London, Winston Churchill asks for permission from the war cabinet to mine Norwegian territorial waters in order to interdict the shipments of iron ore to Germany. (la-guerre-au-jour-le-jour.over-blog.com)



Quote:
Finland evacuates selected districts along the international frontier with the Soviet Union. (la-guerre-au-jour-le-jour.over-blog.com)


Cheers

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

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1944
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/10/2017 7:09:42 PM
11.10.39

Leó Szilárd and Albert Einstein's letter (sent on 2 Aug 1939) reaches Franklin Roosevelt, who agrees to establish a committee for the research of nuclear energy as a weapon. This would lead to Roosevelt's decision to establish the Uranium Advisory Committee.

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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/10/2017 9:16:49 PM
Day 40. October 10 (continued)
Tuesday.

Western Front

Quote:
GENEVA,October 10

Coming up the Rhine from Karlsruhe to Basel this morning, we skirted the French frontier for a hundred miles. No sign of war and the train crew told me not a shot had been fired on this front since the war began. Where the train ran along the Rhine, we could see the French bunkers and at many places great mats behind which the French were building fortifications. Identical picture on the German side. The troops seemed to be observing an armistice. They went about their business in full sight and range of each other. For that matter, one blast from a French”75” could have liquidated our train. The Germans were hauling up guns and supplies on the railroad line, but the French did not disturb them.
Queer kind of a war. (Berlin Diary, p 234)


No notable activity in the air.

U-boats

MAJOR EDIT: No U-boat activity on this date.

War at sea

Quote:
Ship movements – Destroyer WALPOLE, en route to join convoy KJ.1B, blew a joint in the main pipe to her starboard high pressure receiver, but was able to continue and arrived at Liverpool on the 17th, repairing until the 21st.
 
Destroyer KANDAHAR (Lt Cdr W G A Robson) was completed and after working up at Portland, joined the 5th Destroyer Flotilla with the Home Fleet on 3 November.
 
Light cruiser DAUNTLESS departed Gibraltar and arrived at Malta on the 13th, en route to the China Station.

North Atlantic – At 0100/10th, the GNEISENAU force arrived back at Kiel after accomplishing nothing, with destroyer FRIEDRICH ECKHOLDT arriving separately at Swinemünde. Upon receiving news of the German's return at 1454, Admiral Forbes returned to port.
 
Battleships NELSON, RODNEY, battlecruiser HOOD, and destroyers FAULKNOR, BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, FURY, FORESTER and FIREDRAKE went directly to Loch Ewe, arriving on the 11th.
 
Destroyers FOXHOUND and FEARLESS departed Scapa Flow on the 10th to escort the fleet into Scapa Flow, which arrived on the 11th. The ships concerned were battlecruiser REPULSE, aircraft carrier FURIOUS, light cruisers AURORA, NEWCASTLE and destroyers ESKIMO, SOMALI, MASHONA, ASHANTI, FAME, FORESIGHT, MATABELE, STURDY, FOXHOUND and FEARLESS, plus the Humber Force, less light cruiser EDINBURGH which had been detached and went directly to Rosyth.
 
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD had detached from the main force late on the 9th to patrol in the Denmark Strait and arrived back at Loch Ewe on the 15th. Destroyer FAULKNOR was weather damaged and repaired in the Clyde until 2 November, while JANUS and JACKAL were in a minor collision at Kirkwall.
 
Light cruisers DIOMEDE and DRAGON left Scapa Flow on Northern Patrol duties.
 
Group U-boat activity – The first attempt to conduct a U-boat group operation with a tactical commander on board (KKpt Werner Hartman, Commander of Submarine Flotilla 6, on U.37) was begun. Of the nine submarines designated, only three finally took part. (1) U.25 and U.34 could not complete repairs in time, (2) U.47 was detached for the operation against British units at Scapa Flow, and (3) U.42 departed Wilhelmshaven on 30 September, U.48 on the 4th, U.37 on the 5th, U.46 on the 8th, U.45 on the 10th, and U.40 on the 11th. However, U.42, U.45 and U.40 were lost before the operation could be mounted. Only U.37, U.46 and U.48 were left to attack convoy HG.3 on the 17th.
 
South Atlantic – German pocket battleship ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE captured steamer HUNTSMAN (8196grt) in the South Atlantic in 08‑30S, 05‑15W. HUNTSMAN and German supply ship ALTMARK met on the 16th, her cargo was transferred, and crew taken off on the 17th, after which HUNTSMAN was scuttled in 16S, 17W.
 
Dockyard requirements – Light cruiser CERES departed Gibraltar with turbine defects and arrived at Plymouth on the 13th for repairs completed on the 27th.
 
Mediterranean waters – Destroyers GRAFTON and GALLANT departed Alexandria for Gibraltar to escort battleship RAMILLIES, due to sail on the 15th for Alexandria.

Southern oceans – Australian heavy cruisers AUSTRALIA, CANBERRA and light cruiser ADELAIDE searched the Gabo Island area for German ships until the 13th.
 
Eastern Pacific –New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES arrived at Valapariso for two day self maintenance to correct engine room defects.
 
Caribbean –Forces disposed in the West Indies for patrol and escort duties were (1) Jamaica Force – British light cruiser ORION, the Australian PERTH and Canadian destroyer SAGUENAY, (2) Antilles Force - French training cruiser JEANNE D'ARC, sloop VILLE D'YS, submarine AGOSTA, (3) Oil Supply Protection Force – British sloops DUNDEE, PENZANCE and French submarine OUESSANT. («naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/11/2017 10:33:02 AM
October 11, 1939

Other


Quote:
A Finnish delegation arrives in Moscow to discuss Finland's frontier with the Soviet Union. (chroniknet.de)



Quote:
German authorities announce the use of mustard gas by the Poles during the Polish Campaign.


Editor's note: Apparently, gas mines were employed in one action by Poles to defend a bridge; the mines that exploded gassed a few German soldiers. There is also an incident in which a German bomber was mistakenly loaded with gas bombs that were dropped on Warsaw. Both were isolated instances.

Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/11/2017 7:51:27 PM
Day 41. October 11 (continued)
Wednesday.

USA

Quote:
Fearing war between Russia and Finland, Roosevelt appealed to Soviet President Mikhail I. Kalinin for restraint on Moscow’s part and to “make no demands on Finland which are inconsistent with the maintenance and development of amicable and peaceful relations between the two countries, and the independence of each. (Goralski, p 98)


Europe

Quote:
Britain’s War Office moved to increase the weekly production of mustard gas from 310 to 1,200 tons. Britain now had 158,000 men in France. (Goralski, p 98)


Quote:
The French Premier, Edouard Daladier, in a broadcast to the nation, scornfully dismisses Hitler’s proposals of 6 October. (2194 Days, p 29)

No meaningful activity in the air war.

No meaningful activity by U-boats.

War at sea

Quote:
North Sea – Destroyer BEAGLE attacked a submarine contact in 51‑17N, 01‑42.7E.
 
Caribbean convoy – Destroyers WINCHELSEA and WALPOLE with convoy KJ.1B attacked a submarine contact 11 miles from Great Ormes Head, later determined to be a wreck.
 
Atlantic convoys – Convoy OA.18 of nine ships departed Southend and dispersed on the 17th, possibly escorted by destroyers MONTROSE and VIVACIOUS which departed Milford Haven on the 9th.
 
Convoy OB.18 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VERSATILE and MACKAY until the 14th.
 
U.K.-France convoy – Convoy BC.10F of troopship ULSTER PRINCE departed the Loire escorted by destroyers EXPRESS and ENCOUNTER, and arrived safely in the Bristol Channel on the 12th.
 
Northern waters – Three cruisers were on Northern Patrol duty, while light cruiser SHEFFIELD was on a special patrol between Iceland and Greenland.
 
Mediterranean – Heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE departed Alexandria for Malta, arriving on the 13th for repairs to her rudder, which were completed on the 21st. She left on the 24th and arrived back at Alexandria on the 26th.
 
Destroyers HARDY, HASTY, HOSTILE, HEREWARD and HERO departed Malta on the 2nd and Gibraltar on the 5th for duty with the South Atlantic Command at Freetown. HEREWARD and HERO, escorting liner ATHLONE CASTLE, arrived at Freetown on the 11th, while HARDY, HASTY, HOSTILE joined aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and battlecruiser RENOWN in 11-50N, 21-00W, also on the 11th. These ships arrived at Freetown on the 12th and after replenishment put back to sea on the 14th for patrol duties.
 
DAINTY and minesweeper SUTTON left in the Malta Channel on the 16th, and DUNCAN and KERSAINT were relieved by destroyers GRAFTON and GALLANT on the 17th. The two G-class destroyers remained until the 18th when Mediterranean convoying was discontinued. The convoy arrived safely at Gibraltar on the 21st.
 
Mediterranean convoy – Convoy Blue 4 departed Port Said with 29 ships on the 11th, escorted by destroyers DAINTY and DUNCAN. Minesweeper SUTTON brought two ships from Alexandria on the 12th to join the convoy. DUNCAN departed at 0545/16th to refuel at Malta and rejoined in the Malta Channel at 1415/16th with French destroyer KERSAINT.
 
Ship movement – Destroyer DIANA arrived at Suez from Singapore to reinforce the Mediterranean Fleet.
 
Submarine SEAL, passing through the Mediterranean en route to the Home Fleet, escorted damaged destroyer GARLAND which was towed by netlayer PROTECTOR, from Alexandria to Malta where they arrived on the 11th. General submarine movements at this time follow:
 
Group 1, PORPOISE, CACHALOT, SEAL departed Malta on the 11th, escorted by PROTECTOR as far as Galita Island. PROTECTOR returned to Malta to meet Group 2, SEALION, SALMON, SHARK and SNAPPER and escorted them later the same day to Galita Island. Both groups reached Gibraltar on the 15th and left on the 16th for Portsmouth, with Group 1 arriving on the 20th and Group 2 on the 22nd.
 
SNAPPER went directly into dock with engine problems which had caused problems on passage from Gibraltar. Repairs completed on the 28th and she went to Sheerness for docking from 2 to 11 November. CACHALOT and SEAL were shortly sent to Halifax to escort convoys, while PORPOISE arrived at Chatham on the 24th for refitting.
 
SEALION, SALMON, SHARK were almost immediately deployed off the Dogger Bank on a patrol line, which ended on 4 November when they were ordered to Rosyth. SEALION, SALMON, SHARK, SNAPPER, along with SUNFISH, STERLET of the 2nd Submarine Flotilla and depot ship CYCLOPS, formed the 3rd Submarine Flotilla. The Flotilla was based at Harwich and began operations in late November.
 
Gibraltar-U.K. convoy – Convoy HGF.3 departed Gibraltar with steamer NARKUNDA (16,632grt) the only ship in the convoy.
 
Eastern seas – Heavy cruiser CORNWALL departed Colombo on patrol and arrived back on 3 November.
 
Light cruiser LIVERPOOL departed Bombay to search for German raiders in the Seychelles area, Amirante Group, and Providence, Farquhar, Aldabara anchorages. The patrol ended on 13 November when she arrived at Colombo. («naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/12/2017 3:17:35 AM
Quote:
The French Premier, Edouard Daladier, in a broadcast to the nation, scornfully dismisses Hitler’s proposals of 6 October. (2194 Days, p 29)


 I had that one occurring on the 10th of October per chroniknet.de . Interesting how only 70-odd years down the road, sources have already lost "precision to the day" on when some of these events occurred.

Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/12/2017 4:18:35 PM
Yes, Bill. This happens even within some single sites. I've noticed it a couple of times already on «Uboat.net», for instance. A ship is torpedoed in the late evening hours but does not finally sink until early the next morning. Which date is appropriate to record the encounter?

In some instances, I think the sources of information for Goralski, 2194 Days and other sites I am using may the culprit. I notice, e.g., that «naval-history.net» occasionally seems to use official Admiralty times of receipt of information for their entries, rather than the date/time of the event itself. I'm not familiar enough with the site to know if there are reasons for this.

In the particular issue you note concerning Daladier, I included it largely because of the "scornfully dismisses" comment. Snippets of emotion like that delight me in chronicles; they allow a peek at the humans behind the events! But I should note that, though I did not include it, the following item is listed under October 10 in Goralski: "Hitler repeated his willingness to make peace with Britain and France" (p 98). That might make Daladier's response on October 11, and another by Chamberlain on October 12, more understandable. Doesn't make the dates any more correct, of course.

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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/12/2017 5:25:52 PM
Day 42. October 12
Thursday. New moon.

[Europe]

Quote:
Britain rejected Hitler’s peace overtures. Chamberlain warned Germany to choose between permanent security arrangements in Europe or “war to the utmost of our strength.” He added that “past experience has shown that no reliance can be placed upon the promises of the present German Government.”
• Germany began deporting Austrian and Czech Jews to Poland. (Goralski, p 98)


Russia-Finland talks

Quote:
Russia presented its official demands to Finland, and exchange of territory (2,123 square miles of Russian for 1,042 Finnish) and military bases designed to secure “the safety of Leningrad” and assurances that “Finland will maintain firm, friendly relations with the Soviet Union.” Leningrad was 20 miles from the frontier. (Goralski, p 98)

NOTE: Britain’s rejection and the Soviet-Finnish talks are reiterated, but with less detail, in 2194 Days, p 29).

No notable air activity.

U-boats

Quote:
At 18.05 hours on 12 October 1939 U-37 tried to stop the unescorted and neutral Aris about 150 miles west of Achill Head, but she did not stop and used the radio because they had transported war materials to Britain according to the master. The crew abandoned ship in two lifeboats after a round hit the funnel at 18.20 hours. At 19.45 hours, the U-boat fired one G7a torpedo which passed underneath the keel. She was sunk by a second torpedo after shells fired into the waterline did not sink the ship. The U-boat then towed the lifeboats 80 miles towards the coast of Ireland before leaving the area. The survivors were picked up by the Danish motor merchant Sicilien and landed at Stornoway.

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

NOTE: Aris, a Greek steam merchantman of 4,810 tons, was in ballast, sailing from Troon to Hampton Roads. Of the complement of 29, 2 died.
Emile Miguet, a French motor tanker of 14,115 tons, was carrying 137,000 bbl of gasoline and crude oil. She was en route from Corpus Christi to Le Havre via Kingston. From an unknown complement, 2 died.

Quote:
Ship movements – Battlecruiser REPULSE, after degaussing at Kirkwall, departed Scapa Flow with destroyers FAME and FORESIGHT at 1734 for boiler cleaning at Rosyth.
 
Light cruisers GLASGOW and NEWCASTLE were detached from the Home Fleet to cover convoys in the Western Approaches. They left Scapa Flow on the 12th at 1737 and 1915 respectively.
 
Light cruiser DUNEDIN departed Scapa Flow for Northern Patrol at 1810.
 
Light cruiser EDINBURGH departed Rosyth.
 
Northern waters – Four light cruisers were on Northern Patrol, with light cruiser SHEFFIELD still on patrol in the Denmark Strait.
 
Home waters – Destroyers AMAZON and WAKEFUL were submarine hunting off Dover.
 
Destroyers ARROW, ACHATES, ACHERON, WREN and sloop FLEETWOOD were submarine hunting off Newhaven.
 
Western Approaches – Destroyers FURY, BEDOUIN, PUNJABI were submarine hunting off the Hebrides.
 
Destroyer WOLVERINE attacked a submarine contact 51‑31N, 5‑41W.
 
Damage – Destroyer ECHO ran aground as she entered Plymouth in a heavy fog, damaged her stern and repaired at Plymouth, completing on 17 November.
 
Minesweeper/escort ship JASON ran aground on Row Point and sustained minor damage which was soon repaired.
 
U.K.-France convoys – Convoy BC.9S of six steamers, including CERVANTES and GUELMA (Commodore) departed the Loire, escorted by destroyers EXMOUTH and ECLIPSE, and arrived safely in the Bristol Channel on the 14th.
 
Convoy FN.20 departed Southend and arrived at Methil on the 14th. There was no convoy FN.21.

Convoy FS.20 departed Methil and arrived at Southend on the 14th.
 
U.48 sank steamer HERONSPOOL (5202grt), a straggler from convoy OB.17, 260 miles SW of Fastnet in 50‑13N, 14‑48W. American steamer PRESIDENT HARDING (13,869grt) picked up the SOS of EMILE MIGUET (above) and sailing to rescue her survivors in 50‑08N, 14‑00W, came upon HERONSPOOL's entire crew and rescued them. PRESIDENT HARDING continued her rescue mission, but by that time BLACK HAWK had picked up EMILE MIGUET's crew.
 
Caribbean convoy – Convoy SLF.4 departed Freetown unescorted and arrived at Liverpool on the 20th («naval-history.net»)

NOTE: According to «Uboat.net», Heronspool was lost on October 13.

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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/13/2017 1:30:41 PM
October 13, 1939


Quote:
Denmark, Sweden, and Norway simultaneously issue diplomatic notes to the Soviet Union stating they expect the current negotiations between the Soviet Union and Finland will not impact Finland's neutrality stance. (chroniknet.de)



Quote:
Radio speech by Colonel Lindbergh, an admirer of Germany and a staunch supporter of neutrality, calling for the surrender of the French West Indies to the United States in payment of war debts and stigmatizing Canada's entry into the war, which, according to him, brings the American continent into the war. (derniere-guerre.com)



Quote:
At Bletchley, three people die in a train collision blamed on blackout conditions. (la-guerre-au-jour-le-jour.over-blog.com)



Quote:
Three bridges over the Rhine are destroyed by French forces. (la-guerre-au-jour-le-jour.over-blog.com)


Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/13/2017 7:03:34 PM
Day 43. October 13 (continued)
Friday.

U-boats

Quote:
At 01.16 hours on 13 Oct 1939 the unescorted Heronspool (Master Sydney Edward Batson, OBE) was hit by one torpedo from U-48 and sank 260 miles southwest of Cape Clear. The vessel had been missed by five torpedoes fired by the U-boat at 20.24, 21.15, 23.05, 23.50 and 23.52 hours on 12 October. The master and crew were rescued by the American passenger ship President Harding and landed at New York.

At 08.14 hours on 13 October 1939 the unescorted Louisiane, a straggler from convoy OA-17, was stopped with gunfire by U-48 about 230 miles west-southwest of Cape Clear. After the crew abandoned ship, the vessel was shelled from 08.35 until 08.45 hours and sank ten minutes later. One crew member was lost. The survivors were later picked up by HMS Imogen (D 44) (Cdr E.B.K. Stevens, RN).
...
About 08.30 hours on 13 Oct 1939, the Stonepool, dispersed from convoy OB-17, was damaged by gunfire from U-42 (Dau) south of Bantry Bay in position 48°40N/15°30W. The ship was en route from Barry to St. Vincent loaded with 6600 tons of coal and general cargo. After ten minutes, the U-boat was forced to dive by the accurate returned fire, leaving the deck gun crew in the water. While the Germans surfaced again to pick up their men, the steamer sent distress signals which brought HMS Ilex (D 61) (LtCdr P.L. Saumarez, RN) and HMS Imogen (D 44) (Cdr E.B.K. Stevens, RN) to the scene. At 18.55 hours, the steamer spotted the U-boat on the surface, which was shortly thereafter sunk by the destroyers. («Uboat.net»)
Heronspool, a British steam merchantman of 5,202 tons, was carrying 8,000 tons of coal from Swansea to Montreal. Of an unknown number of crew, none were lost. NOTE: six torpedoes were expended over a period of five hours to sink Heronspool, an indication of the troubles the German navy were having with their torpedoes.

Louisiane, a French steam merchantman of 6,903 tons, was carrying general cargo between neutral ports (Antwerp to the Gulf ports) via Havana. Of an unknown number of crew, one was lost.

Stonepool would be sunk 11 September 1941 while in Convoy SC-42, sailing from North America to the U.K.

At sea

Quote:
Ship movements – Aircraft carrier FURIOUS sailed at 0140 from Scapa Flow for Loch Ewe, escorted by destroyers FEARLESS and FOXHOUND, and arrived later that day.
 
Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON and destroyers MATABELE, JERVIS, JUPITER, JACKAL and JANUS departed Scapa Flow for patrol at 1016.
 
Light cruiser BELFAST arrived at Scapa Flow at 1500.
 
Light cruiser CALYPSO departed Scapa Flow for Northern Patrol, and arrived at Sullom Voe on the 20th.
 
Light cruisers DELHI and CALEDON arrived at Scapa Flow.

Atlantic convoys – Convoy OA.19 of 13 ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers ELECTRA and ESCORT until the 17th, when they detached to convoy HG.3.
 
Convoy OB.19 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VANOC and WARWICK from the 14th to 16th.
 
Action against U-boats – U.40, which departed Wilhelmshaven on the 10th for her second war patrol, was mined and sunk at 0200 in the Dover Strait in the Folkestone-Gris Nez deep minefield. Thirty eight crew including commanding officer Kptlt Wolfgang Barten were lost, with destroyers BRAZEN and BOREAS picking up three survivors and five bodies at 0945/13th, 9 miles 155° from the S Goodwin Light Vessel.
 
Destroyers ILEX and IMOGEN encountered U.48 on the surface 400 miles west of Land's End at 1016, and drove her down with gunfire, but without inflicting any damage.

Destroyer KELLY, escorting a convoy in the English Channel, attacked and claimed to have sunk a submarine. She and sister ship KINGSTON arrived at Dover on the 15th.
 
Destroyer AFRIDI, in company with GURKHA, attacked a submarine contact 3.4 miles 173° off Beachy Head. Salvage ship TEDWORTH conducted diving operations and discovered it had been a wreck.
 
Destroyer ECLIPSE, escorting convoy BC.9S from Quiberon Bay to Barry with sister ship EXMOUTH attacked a submarine contact off the Lizard, in 49-38N, 5-45W.
 
Anti-submarine trawlers BLACKBURN ROVERS (422grt) and GRIMSBY TOWN (422grt) attacked a submarine contact in 51-16N, 5-48W.
 
Patrol sloops PC.74, KINGFISHER and anti-submarine trawler LADY BERYL (417grt) were submarine hunting off Liverpool.
 
Incidental damage – Destroyer SABRE, at anchor at Rosyth, was rammed by armed merchant cruiser JERVIS BAY and sank to deck level. She was taken to Grangemouth for repairs, completing on 6 May 1940.
 
Southern convoy – Convoy HG.3 of 25 ships departed Gibraltar escorted by destroyers KEPPEL and WISHART. After attacks on the 17th while it was only under aircraft protection, destroyers ELECTRA and ESCORT joined the convoy on the 18th from OA.19, leaving on the 19th with the Channel section of HG.3 after being relieved. Destroyer KEITH joined that same day, the 19th and stayed until the 21st. Before then, French destroyers LE TRIOMPHANT and LÉOPARD had been with the convoy from the 17th, arriving back at Brest on the 20th. Destroyers ACASTA, WAKEFUL and anti-submarine trawler LORD WAKEFIELD joined on the 20th and remained until the 21st, destroyer WREN joined the same day, and the convoy arrived at Liverpool, still on the 21st.
 
Ship movement – Aircraft carrier GLORIOUS, battleship MALAYA, destroyers BULLDOG and DARING were detached from the Mediterranean Fleet for operations in the East Indies, arriving at Aden on the 13th.
 
Heavy cruisers SUSSEX and SHROPSHIRE arrived at Simonstown after sailing from the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal.
 
Light cruiser DURBAN departed Simonstown for Mauritius.
 
South America Station – New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES left Valparaiso to join Commodore Harwood on the South America Station. She refuelled from British tanker ORANGEMOOR off Coquimbo on the 15th, passed the Straits of Magellan on the 19th and arrived in the Falklands on the 21st. Leaving on the 23rd after refuelling; ACHILLES rendezvoused with heavy cruiser EXETER off Lobito Island on the 26th. They joined heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND on the 27th and all three operated together until 5 November. («naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/14/2017 12:22:37 PM
October 14, 1939

War at Sea

Editor's Note:
Will let Brian Grafton describe the famous event of this day; my summary would lack detail and nuance.


Quote:
Polish submarine Orzeł arrives in Great Britain after a hazardous journey that began in Poland. (la-guerre-au-jour-le-jour.over-blog.com)


Other


Quote:
In France, refugee Polish analysts resume their attack on, and replication of, the German Enigma cipher machine. (la-guerre-au-jour-le-jour.over-blog.com)



Quote:
Finland and the Soviet Union halt their negotiations over adjustments to their common frontier. (la-guerre-au-jour-le-jour.over-blog.com)



Quote:
In the Reich, rationing of textile items commences. (la-guerre-au-jour-le-jour.over-blog.com)


Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/14/2017 8:59:14 PM
Day 44. October 14 (continued)
Saturday.

Little of note in the air war.

Major event of this day is the sinking of HMS Royal Oak by U-47, commanded by Günther Prien, in the middle of Scapa Flow.

Brief background: Scapa is an anchorage rather than a harbour, with many entries/exits. It is situated in the Orkney Islands, off Scotland’s north coast. Scapa was serviced by shore facilities, and protected by defensive features (anti-submarine booms, shore batteries) and naval patrols. Many argue that some of these were ineffectual and outmoded at the outbreak of war.

Scapa had been a major naval base during WW1, since senior naval officials deemed it a decent location from which to block the German High Seas Fleet from surging into the Atlantic and beyond. It was also the site of the surprise scuttling of the German Grand Fleet on 21 June 1919. And it was determined that it would continue to be the major base of the British Home Fleet throughout most of WW2. There are too many sites online for me to recommend one in particular. Most get the basic facts straight.

I have separated this event from other naval and U-boat activities for the day. At least some of the interest rests in discrepancies between accounts, though they are often minor:

Quote:
The British battleship Royal Oak was sunk … by a German submarine, and 833 men were lost. The captain of U-47, Lieutenant Günther Prien, was acclaimed a national hero for his remarkable feat of penetrating the bay and making two approaches even with several torpedo failures. (Goralski, p 98)


Quote:
At 1:30 a.m. … U-47 …penetrates the strongly defended naval base of Scapa Flow … and sinks the British battleship Royal Oak (29,150 tons). British losses are 786 dead. The forcing of Scapa Flow … is a serious blow to the prestige of the Royal Navy. (2194 Days, p 29)


Quote:
At 01.16 hours on 14 October 1939 U-47 fired a spread of three torpedoes at HMS Royal Oak (08) (Capt W.G. Benn, RN) and the British seaplane tender HMS Pegasus lying at anchor in the harbour of Scapa Flow, then turned around and fired a stern torpedo at 01.21 hours. Prien claimed a hit on the seaplane tender, misidentified as HMS Repulse (34), but one of the torpedoes apparently hit the starboard anchor chain of the battleship and both targets were undamaged.
At 01.23 hours, the U-boat fired a second spread of three torpedoes which hit HMS Royal Oak (08) on the starboard side and caused a magazine to blow up. The battleship rolled over and sank in 19 minutes. 386 of the survivors, including the commander, were rescued by the drifter HMS Daisy II (Skipper John Gatt) which had been alongside as tender.

[Complement (loss of life):] 1260 officers and men (835 dead and 425 survivors). («uboat.net»)


Quote:
U.47 sank battleship ROYAL OAK … (Flagship Rear Admiral H E C Blagrove, Captain W G Benn) at 0058 at anchor in Scapa Flow and escaped unharmed. Rear Admiral Blagrove, Lt Cdr S D Roper, Lt J E Moore, Captain H E Balls RM, Instructor Lt H Stewart, Lt (E) R L W Clark, Lt (E) C H Cock, Lt (E) M P Roupell, Surgeon Lt (D) W A Dickie, Surgeon Lt H J Cornelius RNVR, Sub Lt J L T Graham Brown, Chaplain Reverend J D B Cree, Midshipmen P W C Graham, E J Martin, N M Patterson, PG Piddington, S R M Wilson, Paymaster Midshipman W J R Bowhay, Commissioned Gunner A Powell Rtd, Commissioned Telegrapher R Hughes Rowlands, Warrant Engineer W H G Cheesley, Warrant Ordnance Officer R D Ward, Naval Cadets V G U Jay, A D McDermott, and eight hundred and nine ratings were lost.
 
Anti-submarine operations were conducted in the harbour by destroyers SOMALI, MASHONA, ASHANTI until the 22nd, but without result as U.47 had escaped the area shortly after sinking ROYAL OAK. The first attack made was by destroyer ASHANTI at 1030/13th, long after the submarine had departed. Fortunately, most of the Fleet was at Loch Ewe. However, old seaplane tender PEGASUS was in the berth next to ROYAL OAK and, although identified by U.47 as battlecruiser REPULSE, was not damaged.
 
Ship movements as a result of the sinking –Light cruisers AURORA at 0829 and BELFAST at 0730 and most of the fleet auxiliaries in the Orkneys left for Loch Ewe, arriving on the 14th. Anti-aircraft ship CURLEW was able to proceed there on the 16th.
 
The cruisers on Northern Patrol were transferred to Sullom Voe which was only protected by an anti-submarine net. Light cruisers CALEDON,CARDIFF, DELHI and COLOMBO at 0730 and armed merchant cruisers CALIFORNIA, MONTCLARE, SCOTSTOUN, SALOPIAN and CHITRAL departed Scapa Flow on the 14th, and AMCs AURANIA, RAWALPINDI and TRANSYLVANIA on the 15th.
 
Remaining at Scapa Flow were: base ship IRON DUKE, accommodation ship VOLTAIRE, destroyers SOMALI, MASHONA, ESKIMO, ASHANTI which were standing by for convoy duty, destroyer TARTAR with serious defects and minesweepers HAZARD, HEBE, SEAGULL,SHARPSHOOTER, SPEEDY.
 
Light cruiser CALEDON arrived at Kirkwall on the 18th, and COLOMBO at Sullom Voe on the 18th. («naval-history.net»)


U-boats

From Convoy KJF-3 (Kingston-UK), two ships sunk:
Quote:
In the morning on 14 October 1939, U-45 attacked the unescorted convoy KJF-3 about 230 miles southwest of Fastnet and reported the sinking of three big steamers. In fact, two ships, Lochavon and Bretagne were sunk and the British steam merchant Karamea (10350 grt) was missed, because a torpedo detonated prematurely. The U-boat was lost later the same day.

The survivors from Bretagne were picked up by HMS Imogen (D 44) (Cdr E.B.K. Stevens, RN) and HMS Ilex (D 61) (LtCdr P.L. Saumarez, RN).

The master, 55 crew members and six passengers from Lochavon (Master Charles Edward Rathkins) were picked up by HMS Ilex (D 61) (LtCdr P.L. Saumarez, RN) after eight hours and landed at Plymouth on 15 October.

At 12.13 hours on 14 Oct 1939 the Sneaton (Master Thomas Granger) was stopped by U-48 with gunfire about 150 miles southwest of Cape Clear and was sunk by a torpedo 20 minutes later after the crew abandoned ship. One crew member was lost. The survivors were picked up by the Belgian tanker Alexandria André and landed at Weymouth. («Uboat.net»)
Bretagne, a French steam merchantman of 10,108 tons carrying general cargo from Cristobal to Le Havre, has 7 crew dead of an unknown number.

Lochavon, a British motor merchantman of 9,205 tons, was carrying general cargo, including … dried fruit from Vancouver to Southampton. No losses from a crew of 62.

Sneaton, a British steam merchant of 3,677 tones, was carrying 4,300 tons of coal from Cardif to Red de Janeiro. One crew dead of an unknown complement.

At sea

Quote:
Anti-submarine work – Submarine STURGEON fired three torpedoes at U.23, 20 miles E of the Skaw in 57-50N, 9-59E at 1452.
 …
U.K.-France convoy –Convoy FS.21 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers VIVIEN, WHITLEY, WITCH and sloop STORK, and arrived at Southend on the 16th. There was no convoy FN.21.
 
French movements and refitting – French destroyers BRESTOIS and BOULONNAIS departed Brest for Cherbourg, where BRESTOIS began refitting. The third destroyer of the 5th Division, FOUDROYANT, was on escort duty in the Atlantic and joined the other two on 2 November.

German U-boat losses –U.45 was then sunk south of Ireland in 50‑58N, 12‑56W by destroyers INGLEFIELD, IVANHOE, INTREPID and ICARUS, which departed Plymouth on the 13th for anti-submarine patrol in support of KJF.3. All 38 crew were lost.

Surface action – German pocket battleship DEUTSCHLAND sank Norwegian steamer LORENTZ W HANSEN (1918grt) east of Newfoundland in 49‑05N, 43‑44W, with the loss of three crew. The survivors were put aboard Norwegian tanker KONGSDAL (9959grt) stopped later the same day.
 
Ship movements: Mediterranean – Aircraft carrier HERMES and French battlecruiser STRASBOURG arrived at Dakar having departed Plymouth and Brest, respectively, on the 7th.
 
Light cruiser DAUNTLESS departed Malta and reached Port Said on the 16th.
 
Destroyers GRAFTON and GALLANT reached Gibraltar to escort battleship RAMILLIES, and DUCHESS to escort convoy Green 5.
 
South America Station – Destroyers HAVOCK and HOTSPUR arrived off Montevideo for refuelling and left again that evening.
 
South Atlantic – Heavy cruisers SUSSEX and SHROPSHIRE of British Force H, departed Simonstown and swept the southern half of the Capetown to Freetown route. On the 22nd, they returned to refuel - SUSSEX at Simonstown and SHROPSHIRE at Capetown.
 
Australian ship movement – Australian light cruiser HOBART departed Sydney late on the 13th, with Australian destroyers STUART, VENDETTA and WATERHEN leaving at 0900/14th (local time) and all four proceeded in company. HOBART reached Darwin on the 21st, left the same day and proceeding via Lombok Strait, arrived at Singapore on the 26th. Meanwhile, the three destroyers reached Brisbane on the 15th to refuel and shelter from heavy weather, departed on the 16th, refuelled at Townsville on the 18th, arrived Darwin on the 22nd, departed on the 23rd and reached Singapore on the 29th.
 
Australian destroyers VOYAGER and VAMPIRE also left on the 14th, from Fremantle, and proceeded to Singapore via the Sunda Strait, arriving on the 21st. All six ships were initially assigned to convoy duty from Singapore. On 13 November, the destroyers left Singapore for Colombo.
 
German shipping losses – German steamer MARION TRUBER (2334grt) was lost by grounding near Oxelosund. («naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/15/2017 9:25:41 AM
October 15, 1939


Quote:
Germany and Estonia sign a treaty to relocate Estonians of German ancestry back to the Reich. (derniere-guerre.com)



Quote:
Exchange of diplomats between Germany and Great Britain. (la-guerre-au-jour-le-jour.over-blog.com)



Quote:
Finland commences conscription. (la-guerre-au-jour-le-jour.over-blog.com)



Quote:
Reports of cholera and dysentery epidemics in Warsaw. (la-guerre-au-jour-le-jour.over-blog.com)



Image: "Buy war bonds"

Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/15/2017 5:02:21 PM
Day 45. October 15 (continued)
Sunday.


Quote:
…Swiss train full of soldiers. The country has one tenth of its population under arms; more than any other country in the world. It’s not their war. But they’re ready to fight to defend their way of life. …
In the early evening, coming down the Rhine, the same unreal front. Soldiers on both sides looking but not shooting. …
[Next morning, after overnight on the train, a]t Anhalter station I both the morning papers. Big News. “GERMAN SUB SINKS BRITISH BATTLESHIP ‘ROYAL OAK’!” British Admiralty admits it. That’s a blow. Wonder how it was done. And where? (Berlin Diary, pp 235-6).


No activity in the air.

U-boats

One ship sunk:
Quote:
At 08.18 hours on 15 Oct 1939, U-37 tried to stop the unescorted Vermontby a shot across her bow, but another shot had to be fired before the ship stopped and the crew abandoned ship so hasty that one of the lifeboats capsized and several men fell into the water. At 09.37 hours, a boarding party went on the ship and placed explosive charges but when they failed to detonate a G7a torpedo had to be fired into the ship and some rounds from the deck gun were used to accelerate the sinking. («uboat.net»)
Vermont. a French steam merchant of 5,186 tons, was out of Le Havre in ballast bound for New Orleans. Complement unknown: 2 crew dead.

At sea

Quote:
Major activities in search of Deutschland – Admiral Forbes departed Loch Ewe with battleships NELSON, RODNEY, battlecruiser HOOD, aircraft carrier FURIOUS, light cruisers BELFAST,AURORA and destroyers BEDOUIN, FEARLESS, FOXHOUND and FURY.
 
After light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON and destroyer MATABELE finished escorting steamer ST CLAIR (1637grt) from Lerwick to Aberdeen, arriving at 0945/14th, MATABELE left on the 14th and called at Scapa Flow. Destroyers MASHONA, PUNJABI, FIREDRAKE left Loch Ewe, also on the 14th, arrived at Scapa Flow later the same day, and then with MATABELE, sailed from Scapa Flow on the 15th to join Forbes at sea.
 
Destroyer FORESTER departed Scapa Flow on the 16th and also joined Forbes, FAME was boiler cleaning until the 22nd, and TARTAR repairing defects until the 23rd, both at Scapa Flow.
 
The sortie took the Fleet north of Iceland, 150 miles into the Arctic Circle, to block a reported sortie into the Atlantic by pocket battleship DEUTSCHLAND and to support the Northern Patrol. The destroyers refuelled from the capital ships on the 17th.
 
Battlecruiser REPULSE with destroyers JERVIS, JERSEY, COSSACK and MAORI departed Rosyth on the 18th, with COSSACK and MAORI arriving back on the 19th and REPULSE, JERVIS and JERSEY joining Forbes at sea on the 20th. The two destroyers were detached for refuelling at Sullom Voe on the 21st and afterwards carried out an anti-submarine patrol off Muckle Flugga. [ Ed.COSSACK and MAORI] then left the patrol area to search off the Norwegian coast for American steamer CITY OF FLINT.
 
JERVIS and JERSEY arrived at Rosyth on the 25th without making contact.
 
Northern Patrol – Five cruisers were on Northern Patrol between the Orkneys and the Faroes, four AMCs between the Faroes and Iceland, and four AMCs in the Denmark Strait. …
 
Norwegian convoy – Convoy HN.0 of five Polish, one French and one Greek steamer had departed Bergen on the 14th, and was met in the North Sea on the 15th… . [Destroyers] JERVIS and MOHAWK … escorted the convoy into Methil arriving on the 16th… .

Light cruiser SHEFFIELD arrived at Loch Ewe.
 
Anti-submarine work – Destroyer BROKE and sloop FLEETWOOD were U-boat hunting off Blyth and on the 16th, attacked a contact.
 
Destroyers COSSACK and MAORI attacked a submarine contact 6 miles 83° from Coquet Island.
 
Destroyer MOHAWK attacked a submarine contact 4 miles 340° from Flamborough Head.
 
Sloop STORK attacked a submarine contact 6.5 miles 15° from Scarborough Rock.
 
Patrol sloops KINGFISHER and PC.74 were submarine hunting off Liverpool, and were relieved on the 16th by escort vessel/minesweeper GLEANER.
 
Gibraltar-bound convoy – Convoy OA.20G departed Southend escorted by destroyers KELLY and KINGSTON from the 15th to 17th, and by destroyers AMAZON and ANTELOPE from the 17th to 18th. Convoy OB.20G also left Liverpool escorted by destroyers WHIRLWIND and WALPOLE, the two convoys merging on the 17th as OG.3.
 
U.K.-France convoy – Convoy AXS.1 [Ed. note: I have not seen convoy code AXS before] of one steamer departed Fowey, escorted by destroyer WAKEFUL and arrived at Brest on the 17th.
 
Mediterranean – Battleship RAMILLIES departed Gibraltar escorted by destroyers GRAFTON and GALLANT for duty with the 1st Battle Squadron at Alexandria.
 
Africa-U.K. convoy – Convoy SL.5 departed Freetown [Sierra Leone] escorted by destroyers HASTY and HOSTILE, and joined by French cruiser PRIMAGUET, destroyers MAILLÉ BRÉZÉ and VAUQUELIN, which left Dakar on the 19th and arrived at Casablanca on the 25th. Destroyers TIGRE, TARTU and CHEVALIER PAUL departed Toulon, also on the 19th, and reached Casablanca on the 22nd ready to relieve the French destroyers already with SL.5. They left on the 25th and joined that day. British destroyer GRENADE sailed from Gibraltar on the 24th, also to join the convoy. PRIMAGUET, escorted by CHEVALIER PAUL detached and reached Lorient on the 28th, while TIGRE and TARTU after being relieved by British destroyers, reached Brest on the 30th. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 3 November.


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

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

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2549
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/15/2017 6:16:09 PM
In London' Smithfield Meat Market, where I spent thirty three years of my working life , there was a notorious character who - how shall I say this ? - liked to throw his weight around.

He gave me a lot of grief.

Rumour had it that he was a bare knuckle - or " cobblestone" - fighter, and he prided himself on his prowess as a hard man. To cut to the chase, he was a bully.

In subsequent trips to the market , I was surprised to see him still working, and he must be all of eighty years old now.

He and I had been enemies ; when I encountered him recently, there was a rapport between us and he displayed genuine delight at seeing me.

Somehow we got round to talking about the war, and he told me that his father had been killed , but that he could barely remember him.

I asked him where his dad had died - On the Royal Oak , he told me.

This thread works....it brings things to mind in surprising ways.

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
Posts: 6041
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/16/2017 4:22:15 AM

Quote:
Northern Patrol from October 1939 – Five cruisers were on Northern Patrol between the Orkneys and the Faroes, four AMCs between the Faroes and Iceland, and four AMCs in the Denmark Strait.


My father-am RNR seaman was in AMC NMS Chitral=sister ship to the Rawalpibdi On 20 Nov 1939: The German merchant Bertha Fisser (4110 BRT) is intercepted in Denmark Strait west of Iceland by the British armed merchant cruiser HMS Chitral. However before the German ship can be captured she is scuttled by her own crew. 65025'N 25040'W - Crew interned in Internment Camp in Iceland.

The Rwalpinfi was sunk by the sisdters,Scharnhorst and Gneissenau on te 23ed Movember.Thirty-seven men were rescued by the German ships, a further 11 were picked up by HMS Chitral. Captain Kennedy — the father of naval officer, broadcaster and author Ludovic Kennedy — was posthumously Mentioned in Dispatches.

Crew members on Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were eligible for the High Seas Fleet Badge for participating in the sinking of Rawalpindi.

NB.ANC =Armed Merchant Cruiser ie.converted passenger liners into so called warships,each armed with six old 6" guns two forward,two aft and one either side, they were cannon fodder for a real warship


Regards

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/16/2017 1:10:31 PM
October 16, 1939


Quote:
A German air attack on the RN base at Rosyth in the Firth of Forth damages three ships for a loss of two Junkers Ju-88 bombers. (chroniknet.de)



Quote:
In the Saar, a push by the First German Army of General von Witzleben forces French troops back into the forest of Warndt. German territory still occupied and the enclave of Forbach (site of one of the first battles of the Franco-Prussian War) are evacuated by French forces. (derniere-guerre.com)



Image: Junkers Ju-88

Cheers

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

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6041
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/16/2017 1:28:14 PM
Battle of the Forth Bridge

Although a fault in the radar system at Cockburnspath meant there was no warning, anti-aircraft guns blasted at the raiders from Dalmeny Estate and two Auxiliary Spitfire Squadrons were scrambled to defend the Forth: 602 Squadron (City of Glasgow) who were based at Drem in East Lothian; and 603 Squadron (City of Edinburgh) based at Turnhouse.

Flight Lieutenant Pat Gifford, from the 603 Squadron, shot down the first bomber which crashed just off the coast at Port Seton. A second was downed at Crail by Flight Lieutenant George Pinkerton from 602 Squadron.

A third crippled bomber limped back to Holland, where it crashed killing all on board. In all, eight German airmen died - the two bodies recovered received a full military funeral in Edinburgh.

The four German airmen captured included Pohle and Storp, who were picked up by HMS Jervis and local fishing boat the Dayspring and taken as prisoners of war to Edinburgh Castle.

Regards

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/16/2017 6:18:50 PM
Day 46. October 16 (continued)
Sunday. Waxing crescent moon.

Germany

Quote:
German warships received modified instructions for attacking: “All merchant ships definitely recognized as enemy ones (British or French) can be torpedoed without warning. Passenger steamers in convoy can be torpedoed a short while after notice has been given of the intention to do so.” (Goralski, p 98)


Air war

One more version of the Forth raid, because this was an event re-written by both British and German propaganda.
Quote:
German aircraft attacked anchored ships in the Firth of Forth. Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON was hit by a 1000 pounder that passed through three decks and came out of the bottom without exploding, but injuring three crew, one rating dying of wounds. Light cruiser EDINBURGH was slightly damaged by splinters from the near miss of three 500 pound bombs with eight crew wounded and Gunner G J Mitchell and one rating dying of wounds. SOUTHAMPTON's damage required only three days to repair while EDINBURGH remained in service. Destroyer MOHAWK, just arriving in the Firth from convoy duty, was bombed one and a half miles from May Island and sustained much topside damage. Commanding officer Cdr R F Jolly was fatally wounded (and awarded the Albert Medal), the ship's first officer Lt E J O'Shea and ten ratings killed and 33 crew, including her navigator, Lt A L Harper, wounded. MOHAWK berthed at Rosyth for temporary repairs and then repaired at Newcastle from 22 October to 9 December. BattlecruiserREPULSE was still at Rosyth on the 16th boiler cleaning, but German bombing restrictions forbidding bombing that endangered civilian lives were still in effect.



U-boats

Twenty-eight U-boats ordered. One ship sunk:
Quote:
At 03.50 hours on 16 Oct 1940 the Trevisa (Master Robert C. Stonehouse), a straggler from convoy SC-7, was hit aft by one torpedo from U-124 and sank by the stern 218 miles west of Rockall. The ship had been spotted at 16.00 hours the day before and missed with a torpedo at 18.29 hours. Seven crew members were lost. The master and 13 crew members were picked up by HMS Bluebell (K 80) (LtCdr R.E. Sherwood, RNR) and landed at Gourock. («uboat.net»)
Trevisa, a Canadian steam merchantman of 1,813 tons, was carrying (according to «uboat.net») “460 standards of lumber”.

Personal comments:
• Trevisa appears to be a Laker, and her owner was Canadian Lake Carriers Ltd, Montreal. If she were a traditional Laker, she would be proportionally longer for her breadth than an ocean-going vessel, and would have a shallower draft. She may not have taken to North Atlantic conditions well, which may explain why she was a convoy straggler.
Long ago, I worked in lumber mills, preparing lumber for overseas shipment. I never saw or heard of a “standard” of lumber. We talked about “board feet”. I can only assume «uboat.net» dropped a word or two. IIRC, a typical bundle of lumber was approx. 4’W x 6’H x variable L (depending on the longest board in the bundle). In addition, the square footage of the bundle would be calculated by a trained assessor, who would determine the board footage in each bundle and certify the data. But during the war, and given the supply of good timber from Canada for industrial purposes or military purposes, there may have been a different “standard” in place used in the arcane world of calculating shipping losses.

At sea

Quote:
Northern Patrol – Four light cruisers were on Northern Patrol between the Orkneys and the Faroes, four AMCs between the Faroes and Iceland, and three AMCs in the Denmark Strait.
 
U-boat attacks – Destroyer AFRIDI attacked a submarine contact in the Firth of Forth off Inchkeith Light, and was joined by destroyers WOOLSTON, VALOROUS and sloop HASTINGS.

Destroyers INGLEFIELD and IVANHOE attacked a submarine contact in the Western Approaches in 51‑00N, 18‑00W.
 
Destroyers INTREPID and ICARUS attacked a submarine contact in 49‑42N, 9‑59E.
 
Destroyer MOHAWK and sloop STORK attacked a submarine contact ESE of Scarborough.
 
Destroyer COSSACK attacked a submarine contact north of Blyth.
 
Destroyer BEAGLE attacked a submarine contact in 51‑20N, 01‑40E.
 
Destroyer BROKE and sloop FLEETWOOD attacked a submarine contact off Blyth.
 
Minesweeper/escort ship GLEANER attacked a submarine contact 17 miles 184° from Great Ormes Head.

Gibralter outbound convoy – Convoy OG.3, totalling 33 merchant ships, was formed from OA.20G which departed Southend on the 15th escorted by destroyers KELLY and KINGSTON, relieved by destroyers AMAZON and ANTELOPE, and OB.20G which departed Liverpool on the 16th escorted by destroyers WHIRLWIND and WALPOLE.
 
AMAZON was damaged in a collision on the 18th and the other destroyers remained with the convoy until the 19th. French destroyers FOUGUEUX and L'ADROIT, which departed Brest on the 17th, joined the convoy on the 19th which arrived at Gibraltar on the 23rd.
 
U.K.-France convoy – Convoy BC.11 of steamers ADJUTANT, BALTARA, BARON CARNEGIE, BARON KINNAIRD, BLACKHEATH, BOTHNIA, COXWOLD, HARMATTAN, JADE, KINGSBOROUGH, LOCHEE, LOTTIE R, MARSLEW, NIGERIAN (Commodore) and SODALITY departed Bristol Channel, escorted by destroyers EXMOUTH, ESK, WESSEX, and arrived safely in the Loire on the 18th.
 
Convoy SA.13 of two steamers departed Southampton, escorted by destroyers ACHATES and VENOMOUS, and arrived on the 17th. Ed. note: I have no record of convoy code SA.
 
Convoy FN.22 departed Southend and arrived at Methil on the 18th. There was no convoy FN.22, nor convoys FS.22 and FS.23.
 
U.23 laid mines off Cromarty near Invergordon.
 
Caribbean convoy – French destroyer CYCLONE with destroyer MISTRAL on escort duty in support of convoy KJ.2, attacked a U-boat in the Bay of Biscay, but without success
 
Ship movement –Light cruiser DAUNTLESS departed Suez for Colombo.
 
Mediterranean convoy – Convoy Green 5 departed Gibraltar escorted by destroyer DUCHESS and sloop FOWEY until the 17th, when convoying in the Mediterranean was abandoned and the escorts withdrawn. DUCHESS arrived at Malta on the 20th.
 
French naval action – French destroyers MILAN and ÉPERVIER departed Marseilles with three troopships for Beirut.
 
French light cruiser DUGUAY TROUIN encountered German steamer HALLE (5889grt) which had departed Bolama, Portuguese Guinea on the 12th and Bissao on the 14th for Las Palmas. HALLE scuttled herself to avoid capture SW of Dakar. Large destroyers LE FANTASQUE and LE TERRIBLE, operating from Dakar, had been searching for her from the 15th to 17th.
 
German naval activity –German steamer UHENFELS (7603grt) departed Lourenco Marques [ed.: SE Africa]on the 13th, shadowed from off the port by sloop EGRET which had to give up because of shortage of fuel. Light cruisers LIVERPOOL and DURBAN, also in the area were unable to find her, but because of the naval activity, UHENFELS returned to Lourenco Marques.
 
German steamer TIJUCA (5918grt) arrived off Kopervik, Norway, encountered Norwegian submarine B.3 but continued on, reaching Hamburg on the 25th.


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/17/2017 9:09:18 AM
October 17, 1939


Quote:
A decree of the Council of Ministers for the defense of the Reich determines that members of the SS and "police units on special missions", are subject to prosecution only by a special court of justice, and thus withdraws them from conviction by ordinary or military courts. (chroniknet.de)



Quote:
The Reich Main Security Office plans to eliminate all Poles who have occupied a position of responsibility or authority, or who could provide resistance leadership. 60,000 people will be eliminated. (la-guerre-au-jour-le-jour.over-blog.com)



Quote:
Negotiations between the USSR and Turkey fail without producing an accord. (la-guerre-au-jour-le-jour.over-blog.com)


Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/17/2017 6:10:11 PM
Mid-October notes that fit nowhere else. The following is recorded only as Mid-October, 1939", but shows the increasing spread of the sea war and the larger measures being made to counter-act German surface raiders.

Quote:
By mid October, the British and French Admiralties had organized the following Hunter Groups which were formed on the 5th in response to sinkings by German battleships:

Force F - heavy cruisers BERWICK and YORK stationed in the West Indies and North America. YORK was detached from the America and West Indies Station, but did not serve in Force F. She was maintained for Halifax convoy cover)

Force G - heavy cruisers CUMBERLAND and EXETER stationed off South America with New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES detailed on the 5th to join them.

Force H - heavy cruisers SUSSEX and SHROPSHIRE near the Cape of Good Hope.

Force I - aircraft carrier EAGLE, heavy cruisers CORNWALL and DORSETSHIRE off Ceylon.

Force J - aircraft carrier GLORIOUS and battleship MALAYA off Aden in the approaches to the Red Sea.

Force K - aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and battlecruiser RENOWN near Pernambuco.

Force L - French battlecruiser DUNKERQUE, aircraft carrier BÉARN, light cruisers GLOIRE, MONTCALM, GEORGES LEYGUES at Brest.

Force M - French heavy cruisers DUPLEIX and FOCH at Dakar.

Force N - French battlecruiser STRASBOURG, aircraft carrier HERMES, French heavy cruiser ALGÉRIE and light cruiser NEPTUNE to be based at Jamaica, but reassigned to Dakar.
STRASBOURG, DUPLEIX and ALGÉRIE travelled in company to Dakar.

Force N was never formed. FOCH did not arrive at Dakar until mid-November, then as Force X with DUPLEIX («naval-history.net».


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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/17/2017 7:48:10 PM
Day 47. October 17 (continued)
Tuesday.

In the air

Quote:
German planes bombed the British naval base as Scapa Flow. The training ship Iron Duke was damaged 9Goralski, p 98)


Quote:
Three German aircraft bombed Scapa Flow, one of which was shot down by destroyer ESKIMO. Two near misses damaged old battleship IRON DUKEwhich took a heavy list and bomb blast damaged her electrical installations. She was towed into shallow water, settled onto the sea bed and ESKIMO provided electric power. Destroyers SOMALI and ASHANTI were also at Scapa Flow at the time of the raid, and later in the day, four more aircraft attacked, near-missing ASHANTI, but causing no damage. («uboat.net»)



U-boat action

No U-boats ordered or laid down. Three ships sunk by U-boat.

Quote:

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

At 08.00 hours on 17 October 1939, U-46 attacked the Yorkshire in the unescorted convoy HG-3 with four rounds from her 8.8cm gun, no hits were scored and as the vessel fired back the U-boat dived.
At 16.30 hours, U-46 heard a detonation, this was the hit on the Yorkshire by U-37 (Hartmann). 20 minutes later U-46 fired a G7e torpedo at the City of Mandalay, observed a hit amidships in the engine room and saw the ship listing. A second torpedo fired at 17.00 hours detonated prematurely.
The City of Mandalay (Master Alexander Graham Melville) sank a short time later 360 miles west-northwest of Cape Finisterre. Seven crew members were lost. 78 crew members and passengers were picked up by the American steam merchant Independence Hall and landed at Bordeaux.

At 20.35 hours on 17 Oct 1939 the Clan Chisholm (Master Francis T. Stenson) in convoy HG-3 was hit aft by one torpedo from U-48 and sank about 150 miles northwest of Cape Finisterre. The ship had been hit by a dud torpedo at 20.32 hours. Four crew members were lost. The master and 41 survivors were picked up by the Swedish motor merchant Bardaland and landed at Kirkwall. 17 crew members were picked up by the Norwegian whaler Skudd and 15 others by the Warwick Castle. («uboat.net»)
All 3 ships are British, and are in convoy from Gibraltar to U.K.
Yorkshire, a steam passenger ship of 10,183 tons, sailed from Rangoon for Liverpool carrying general cargo, including paraffin wax. Of a total of 281 aboard, 58 were lost.
City of Mandalay, a steam merchant of 7,028 tons, was en route from Saigon to Glasgow carrying general cargo, including tea, rubber and sago. Of a ship’s complement of 85, 7 were lost.
Clan Chisholm, a steam merchant of 7,256 tons, left Calcutta for Glasgow carrying 3,300 tons of tea, 1,900 tons of jute, 1,750 tons of pig iron and 2,600 tons of general cargo. Of a complement of 78, 4 died.

At sea

Quote:
Northern Patrol – Light cruiser SHEFFIELD departed Loch Ewe for Northern Patrol in the Denmark Strait, arriving back on the 22nd after capturing German steamer GLORIA.
 
Four light cruisers were on Northern Patrol between the Orkneys and the Faroes, four AMCs between the Faroes and Iceland, and three AMCs in the Denmark Strait. The armed merchant cruisers were ASTURIAS, AURANIA, CALIFORNIA, CHITRAL, RAWALPINDI, SCOTSTOUN, and TRANSYLVANIA.
 
OUtbound convoys – Convoy OA.21 of 21 ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers VANSITTART and WIVERN, which remained with the convoy until it dispersed on the 22nd.
 
Convoy OB.21 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WINCHELSEA and WITHERINGTON.
 
U.K.-France convoy – Convoy BC.10S departed the Loire, escorted by destroyers MONTROSE and VIVACIOUS, and arrived safely in the Bristol Channel on the 19th.
 
Ship movement – Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA departed Grimsby and arrived back on the 18th.
 
U-boat attacks – Destroyer BEAGLE attacked a submarine contact in 51‑07.5N, 01‑23.5E.
 
French ship movement – French large destroyer LÉOPARD, which had been covering minelaying in the Pas de Calais area, returned to Brest on the 17th. Large destroyer JAGUAR sailed from Dunkirk on 1 November and with large destroyer PANTHÈRE, which had been at Cherbourg under repair, also arrived at Brest, but on the 2nd.
 
German naval activity – U.19 laid mines off Inner Dowsing near Yarmouth during the night of the 16th/17th, on which three merchant ships were sunk.

German destroyers HERMANN KÜNNE, FRIEDRICH ECKHOLDT, DIETHER VON ROEDER, KARL GALSTER and HANS LÜDEMAN, escorted by destroyer WILHELM HEIDKAMP sailed from Wilhelmshaven to lay mines in the North Sea off the Humber on the night of the 17th/18th. Seven merchant ships grossing 25,852 tons were sunk in the field, … [including]:
• Oct 22: Whitemantle, British
• Oct 23: Albania, Swedish
• Oct 29: Varangmaml, Norwegian
• Oct 30: Juno, Finnish
• Nov 3: Canada, Danish
• Nov 4: Sig, Norwegian
• Dec 31: Box Hill, British
Total recorded losses for the 7 ships: 46.
 
Destroyer JUNO fired on German aircraft shadowing her SW of Farne Island. British aircraft came to her assistance and shot down a Dornier flying boat.

In addition to the losses by mines, two steamers were lost and one badly damaged when they collided with the sunken wreck of CANADA.
 …
 German destroyers PAUL JACOBI, THEODOR RIEDEL, HERMANN SCHOEMANN and torpedo boats LEOPARD, ILTIS, WOLF conducted an anti-shipping patrol in the Skagerrak from the 17th to 19th.
 
North Atlantic convoy – Convoy HX.5 departed Halifax at 0900 escorted … [by various ships and aircraft until the] … 29th, when it arrived at Liverpool.
 
Mediterranean convoy curtailment – Convoying in the Mediterranean was discontinued: (1) destroyer DUCHESS and sloop FOWEY, awaiting convoy Green 5, were sent from Gibraltar to Malta, arriving on the 20th, (2) destroyer DIANA and sloop DEPTFORD, en route to Port Said from Blue 5, were sent to relieve destroyers GRENVILLE and GIPSY on contraband patrol, (3) destroyer DUNCAN from Blue 4 was sent to escort battleship RAMILLIES, relieving destroyers GRAFTON and GALLANT, (4) destroyers DAINTY and DEFENDER departed Malta on the 18th to escort RAMILLIES, which reached Alexandria on the 20th, (5) French destroyers CASSARD and KERSAINT returned to Bizerte, and (6) destroyers DECOY and DELIGHT were at Malta. After refitting, DELIGHT reached Gibraltar on the 31st for escort duty, and DECOY, her refit completed on 3 November, left Malta to escort steamer NEVASA to Marseilles.


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/18/2017 12:51:24 PM
October 18, 1939


Quote:
A circular of the Reich Main Security Office (Division V, Reichskriminalpolizeiamt) orders that all convicted persons apprehended for "loafing" in future, be transferred to concentration camps. (chroniknet.de)



Quote:
By Reich police regulations, a tavern ban of up to one year can be imposed on alcoholics. (chroniknet.de)


Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/18/2017 3:46:54 PM
Day 48. October 18 (continued)
Wednesday.

Europe

Quote:
The president of Finland met with the kings of the Scandinavian nations to consider the threat resulting from the Soviet military demands on the Finns. Hitler had assured the Swedes that Germany would remain neutral in a Rusian-Finnish war and strongly advised the Swedes to do the same. (Goralski, p 98)


In the air – No notable air activity.

U-boats – No U-boats ordered; no allied ships sunk by U-boats.
Quote:
Steamer IMPERIAL STAR (10,733grt) was attacked by a U-boat, 60 miles west of the Scillies in 49‑54N, 7‑52W. Destroyer INTREPID was sent to assist.
 
In submarine operations against convoy HG.3 [, steamers SAGAING (7968grt), GARBRATTAN (1811grt), CITY OF GUILDFORD (5157grt) and CLAN MCBEAN (5000grt) reported they were attacked on the 18th but undamaged. Destroyer ESCORT joined SAGAING and escorted her from the area. («naval-history.net»)


At sea

Quote:
Damaged – Destroyer AMAZON, which departed Plymouth on escort duty on the 17th, was damaged in collision with steamer ARACATACA (5378grt) at 1448 in convoy OG.3 (ed.: Outbound UK-Gibraltar] in 47-38N, 08-08W. AMAZON had closed to pass information and the steamer altered course without warning. She was under repair at Portsmouth from 20 October to 28 November.
 
Ship movement – Light cruiser CALEDON departed Kirkwall, and arrived at Sullom Voe on the 20th.

Light cruiser DANAE departed Lagos for St Helena, where she arrived on the 22nd.

Attacks on U-boats –Destroyer AFRIDI attacked a submarine contact 3.2 miles 61° off St Abb's Head. Destroyer WHITEHALL was ordered to stand by the location where AFRIDI had buoyed the "sunken submarine."

Mediterranean convoy –Convoy Blue 5 departed Port Said on the 18th, but was dispersed and travelled without escort.
 …
African convoy – Convoy SLF.5 departed Freetown, unescorted, and arrived at London on the 30th. («naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/19/2017 3:06:13 AM
October 19, 1939


Quote:
Anglo-French-Turkish Treaty of 1939

a mutual assistance pact concluded in Ankara on October 19; it elaborated the Anglo-Turkish and Franco-Turkish declarations signed on May 12 and June 23, 1939, respectively. The treaty provided for British and French assistance to Turkey in the event of aggression against the latter and also provided for Turkish aid in the event of “an act of aggression, committed by a European power and leading to war in the Mediterranean Sea involving France and the United Kingdom.” Turkey was also obligated to give assistance to Greece and Rumania in the event that Great Britain and France were drawn into war in compliance with the British and French guarantees given to these states by declarations of Apr. 13, 1939. The treaty was to be in effect for 15 years. Protocol No. 2 attached to the treaty declared that “the obligations undertaken by Turkey as a result of the aforementioned treaty cannot compel Turkey to take action the result or consequence of which would be to draw it into armed conflict with the USSR.” The treaty had no practical value. During World War II, 1939–45, the Turkish government not only failed to aid the allies, but on June 18, 1941, it signed a friendship treaty with Germany. Turkey supplied Germany with strategic raw materials until the beginning of 1944. (Great Soviet Encyclopedia)



Quote:
French troops have completely withdrawn from German territory. (chroniknet.de)



Quote:
The Polish government-in-exile protests to Lithuania regarding the Lithuanian treaty with the USSR that saw Polish land taken over by Lithuania. (la-guerre-au-jour-le-jour.over-blog.com)


Cheers

BW

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/19/2017 3:47:47 PM
Day 49. October 19 (continued)
Thursday.


Quote:
BERLIN, October 19.
Germans shut both NBC and us off the air this noon. … The Nazi censor maintained it ould rate a bad impression abroad. …I called on Dr. Boehmer and told him we would stop broadcasting altogether if today’s action meant we could only talk about matters which created a nice impression. … The High Command tonight issues a detailed report of what has been happening on that mysterious western front. Nothing much at all has happened, it says, and I’m inclined to believe it, though Paris has swamped America for weeks with wild tales of a great French offensive against the Westwall. High Command says German losses up to October 17 in the west have been 196 killed, 114 missing, 356 Wounded. …I’m almost convinced that the German army tells the truth in regard to its actions. The navy exaggerates, the air force simply lies. (Berlin Diary, pp 237-8)


In the air
Little reportable action.

U-boats
No ships sunk on this day; no U-boats lost. U-19 left Wilhelmshaven on patrol; U-18 returned to Kiel after a patrol of 18 days.

At sea
Quote:
Transfer of assets – While in dock at Devonport, destroyer KEMPENFELT was transferred to the Canadian Navy as HMCS ASSINIBOINE. She had been there since 29 September repairing collision damage from the day before. As ASSINIBOINE, she departed Plymouth for Halifax on 7 November.
 
Northern Patrol – Light cruisers CARDIFF, DIOMEDE, DRAGON departed Sullom Voe for Northern Patrol.

Two cruisers were on Northern Patrol between the Shetland and the Faroes, AMCs AURANIA, CALIFORNIA, CHITRAL between the Faroes and Iceland, and light cruiser SHEFFIELD and AMCs RAWALPINDI, SCOTSTOUN, TRANSYLVANIA in the Denmark Strait.
 
Ship movements – Destroyers INTREPID, ICARUS, IVANHOE arrived at Loch Ewe and sister ship IMPULSIVE at Scapa Flow on the 25th, all for duty with the Home Fleet. Destroyers ILEX, ISIS, IMPERIAL joined the 22nd Flotilla at Harwich on the 31st, were released from the Flotilla on 5 November and rejoined the 3rd Flotilla operating with the Home Fleet – IMOGEN, after completing repairs, and IMPERIAL on 8 November, ILEX and ISIS on the 14th, and INGLEFIELD, also after completing repairs, on the 16th.
 
Anti-U-boat activity – Destroyer WHITEHALL and sloop WESTON attacked a submarine contact three miles ENE of St Abb's Head.
 
Atlantic convoys – Convoy OA.22 of nine ships departed Southend escorted by destroyer VESPER, which stayed until the convoy dispersed on the 21st.
 
Convoy OB.22 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers MACKAY and VIMY, the destroyers detaching on the 22nd to escort SL.4.
 
Book-keeping –Prize regulations for U-boats were lifted for shipping as far west as 20°.
 
German ship losses – German tanker BISKAYA (6386grt) had departed Hamburg on 13 August for Port Arthur, Texas, but with the start of war, found refuge at Las Palmasuntil 7 October when she attempted to return to Germany. She was captured on the 19th by armed merchant cruiser SCOTSTOUN on Northern Patrol in the Denmark Strait in 66‑30N, 23‑00W, taken to Leith by a prize crew…, and renamed EMPIRE UNITY in British service.
 
German tanker GONZENHEIM (4574grt), which had departed Buenas Aires on 14 September, was intercepted by armed merchant cruiser RAWALPINDI on Northern Patrol in the Denmark Strait in 63‑25N, 12‑00W, and scuttled.
 
French convoys – French destroyer FOUDROYANT had arrived at Casablanca on 13 September with convoy 9.B of steamers STRASBOURGEOIS, MAROC, JUMIEGES and POITIERS after leaving Brest on the 7th October, as well as SAINT NAZAIRE, escorted by sloop CHEVREUIL after leaving Quiberon, also on the 7th.
 
Quite separately, destroyer BOURRASQUE reached Casablanca on the 17th with convoy 3.K of steamers MARRAKECH and KERGUELEN. They had left Le Verdon on the 13th. Both destroyers then departed Casablanca and arrived at Gibraltar on this date.
 
Far East – Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE departed Hong Kong for Singapore and duty with the 4th Cruiser Squadron in the East Indies Station. She left Singapore on the 22nd for Colombo.


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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/20/2017 5:07:57 PM
Day 50. October 20
Friday. First Quarter moon.

Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
Six U-boats ordered (U-507 to -512). U-47 enters patrol from Wilhelmshaven; U-19 returns to base at Kiel after a 2-day patrol.
Quote:
At 06.00 hours on 20 Oct 1939 the neutral Gustaf Adolf was stopped by U-34 about 50 miles northeast of Sullom Voe, Shetland Islands. The ship carried contraband and was sunk by gunfire at 07.32 hours, after the crew abandoned ship. The U-boat took the lifeboats in tow and stopped the Norwegian steam merchant Biscaya with two shots across her bow at 10.30 hours. The survivors were picked up by the ship and taken to Moss, Norway.

At 10.58 hours on 20 Oct 1939, U-34 tried to stop the unescorted Sea Venture (Master Charles Swanson Tate) with three shots across the bow about 50 miles northeast of the Shetland Islands, but the ship returned fire inaccurately and tried to escape so the U-boat shelled her until the crew abandoned ship at 11.23 hours. She was sunk by a coup de grâce at 13.40 hours. The master and 24 crew members were picked up by the Lerwick lifeboat and landed at Lerwick, Shetland Islands. («uboat.net»)

Swedish steam merchant Gustaf Adolf, 926 tons, was en route from Gothenburg to Bristol laden with wood pulp. Of an unknown number of crew, there were no losses.

British steam merchant Sea Venture, 2,327tons, was sailing from Tyne to Tromso carrying 3,000 tons of coal. Of a complement of 25, there were no losses.

At sea
Quote:
Northern Patrol – Light cruisers COLOMBO and DELHI departed Sullom Voe for Northern Patrol.
 
Light cruiser DRAGON departed Sullom Voe for Northern Patrol and arrived back on the 25th.
 
Two light cruisers were on Northern Patrol between the Shetlands and the Faroes, light cruiser COLOMBO and AMCs AURANIA, CALIFORNIA, CHITRAL between the Faroes and Iceland, and light cruiser SHEFFIELD and AMCs SCOTSTOUN, RAWALPINDI, TRANSYLVANIA in the Denmark Strait.
 
U.K.–France convoy – While escorting convoy BC.10S with destroyer VIVACIOUS from Quiberon Bay to Barry, destroyer MONTROSE attacked a submarine contact in 52‑16N, 4‑36W.
 
East Coast convoys – Convoy FN.24 departed Southend. Shortly after, escorting sloop PELICAN was damaged when she struck submerged wreckage. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 22nd.
 
Convoy FS.24 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer BROKE, sloops BITTERN and ENCHANTRESS, and arrived at Southend on the 22nd.

German ship losses – German auxiliary patrol boat Vp.701 (trawler ESTE, 426grt) was sunk on a mine between Moen and Falsterbo.
 
German steamer BIANCA (1375grt) had departed Rotterdam pre-war for Lisbon, called at El Ferrol and refuelled in an attempt to return to Germany before the start of the war. She reached Reykjavik on 7 September and remained there until 18 October when she made her attempt. At 1150/20th in the Denmark Strait, in 67‑29N, 22‑15W, she was captured by armed merchant cruiser TRANSYLVANIA, taken to Kirkwall by a prize crew commanded by Lt Cdr D M MacLean RNR, and renamed EMPIRE WARRIOR in British service.

Allied ship losses –Greek steamer OMONIA (3699grt) was seized in the Baltic by German warships, taken to Swinemünde and later renamed OLSA for German use.
 
Ship movements – Caribbean: Light cruiser CARADOC arrived at Bermuda, and left the same day for Kingston, Jamaica.
 
Caribbean: Light cruiser DESPATCH departed Bermuda and arrived at Kingston on the 26th.
 
Mediterranean: Light cruiser GALATEA departed Alexandria, reached Malta on the 27th, left again on the 28th and arrived back at Alexandria on the 30th.
 
Indian Ocean: Light cruiser DURBAN departed Mauritius for Colombo to examine the Cargados, Caarajos and Chagos groups for German activity.
 
Transfer of station –The Admiralty ordered destroyers HOTSPUR and HAVOCK from the South America Station to the West Indies.(«naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/21/2017 2:12:57 PM
October 21, 1939


Quote:
Count Ciano and Hans Georg von Mackensen, the German ambassador to Italy, meet in Rome to discuss the resettlement of German citizens and ethnic Germans in the south of Tirol (Südtirol). (Chroniknet.de)



Cartoon of 21 October 1939.

Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/21/2017 7:38:08 PM
Day 51. October 21 (continued)
Saturday.


Quote:
BERLIN, October 21
The Wilhelmstrasse furious at the Turks for signing a mutual-assistance pact with the British day before yesterday. Papen jerked back here hurriedly and was called before the master, my spies tell me, for a dressing-down. It’s the first diplomatic blow the Germans have taken in a long time. They don’t like blows. (Berlin Diary, p 238)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No U-boats ordered. U-53 begins patrol from Kiel, and U-31 from Wilhelmshaven. U-47 returns to base at Kiel after a 2-day patrol. Three ships lost to mines laid by U-boats.
Quote:
On 21 October 1939 the Orsa (Master Alexander Simpson) struck a mine laid on 5 September by U-15 and sank about 15 miles 150° from Flamborough Head.

At 02.00 hours on 21 Oct 1939 the Capitaine Edmond Laborie struck a mine laid on 16 October by U-19 two miles east of the Inner Dowsing Lightvessel and sank. The wreck was later dispersed.

On 21 Oct 1939 the neutral Deodata struck a mine laid by U-19 on 16 October 1.5 miles off the Inner Dowsing lightvessel and sank. The wreck was later dispersed. («uboat.net»)
British steam merchantman Orsa, was carrying 2,100 tons of coal from Tyne to Bordeaux. Of a ship’s complement of 20, 16 were lost.

French steam merchantman Capitaine Edmond Laborie was in ballast from Bordeaux to Tyne. No reported deaths from an unrecorded crew’s complement.

Norwegian Deodata, a motor tanker of 3,295 tons, was in ballast heading from Constanza to Grangemouth. Of the ship’s complement of 23 there were no losses.

At sea
Quote:
Intelligence – The crew of the Norwegian steamer LORENTZ W HANSEN arrived on Norwegian tanker KONGSDAL (9959grt) at Kirkwall and brought news proving that both German pocket battleships ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE and DEUTSCHLAND were at sea. It had been thought that all the sinkings to date had been due to a single battleship.
 
Probably in response, light cruisers GLASGOW and NEWCASTLE, at sea since the 12th, were sent to escort convoy KJ.3, then en route from the West Indies. They detached on the 24th and the convoy arrived at Land's End on the 25th. NEWCASTLE reached Portsmouth on the 26th and GLASGOW on the 27th.
 
Ship movements – Destroyer FORESIGHT was boiler cleaning at Scapa Flow until the 26th.
 
Anti-aircraft cruisers CAIRO and CALCUTTA departed Grimsby on escort duty and arrived back the same day.
 
Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY departed Immingham to support a convoy under air attack, and at sea, joined sister ships CAIRO and CALCUTTA with the convoy, which was escorted to Flamborough Head. COVENTRY experienced a steering gear defect and returned to Immingham, docking on the 26th for repairs completed on 14 November. …

Ship transfers – Four former British anti-submarine trawlers arrived at Brest for duty as the French 13th Patrol Squadron. They were CANCALAISE (ex-ST AMANDUS, LV R R L Birot), HAVRAISE (ex-ST ATTALUS, EV Harduin), LORIENTAISE (ex-ST ANDRONICUS, LV F Drogou) and NANTAISE (ex-ST ARCADIUS, LV L M A Jaume). They went into service on 17 January 1940.
 
German ship losses – German steamer GLORIA (5896grt), which had departed Buenos Aires on the 6th, was captured by light cruiser SHEFFIELD on Northern Patrol in the Denmark Strait, six to ten miles off the north coast of Iceland in 65‑30N, 22‑05W. As GLORIA was being taken to Kirkwall by a prize crew commanded by Sub Lt S Phillips, three of her crew escaped in a lifeboat, but were later picked up and landed at Methil on the 28th. GLORIA was renamed EMPIRE CONVEYOR in British service.
 
German steamer POSEIDON (5864grt) departed Rio de Janiero on 1 September to return to Germany, but was forced to put into Mar del Plata on the 5th to avoid contact with light cruiser AJAX. She was finally able to leave for Germany on 1 October, but was captured during the afternoon of the 21st by armed merchant cruiser SCOTSTOUN north of Iceland in the Denmark Strait in 67‑08N, 21‑18W. Heavy weather prevented a boarding party from being put aboard at that time, and it was not until the afternoon of the 22nd in 66‑27N, 22‑09W that Py/Lt C W Armstrong RNR and his men were able to go across. SCOTSTOUN then escorted POSEIDON for 29 hours before losing touch in thick snow. Armed merchant cruiser TRANSYLVANIA finally found the missing ship early on the 25th, but she was incapable of steaming, taken in tow and proceeded towards Reykjavik with cruiser SHEFFIELD in company. When Icelandic waters were reached, SHEFFIELD detached and returned to Sullom Voe, being relieved on Northern Patrol by light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON. However, before reaching Reykavik, TRANSYLVANIA’s tow line parted in a gale and she was forced to sink POSEIDON with gunfire on the 27th.
 
Ship movements – Light cruiser DIOMEDE departed Sullom Voe for Northern Patrol between Shetlands and Faroes, and arrived back on the 25th.
 
Destroyers KELLY and KINGSTON arrived at Loch Ewe for operations with the Home Fleet.
 
U-boat attacks – Destroyer VALOROUS attacked a submarine contact six to seven miles east of Scarborough.
 
Minesweeper/escort vessel JASON attacked a submarine contact 2 miles 105° from South Rock Light Vessel, Belfast.
 
Atlantic convoys – Convoy OA.23 of 15 ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers ACASTA and ARDENT from the 21st to 23rd, and the convoy dispersed on the 26th.
 
Convoy OB.23 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VOLUNTEER and VERSATILE, which detached to KJ.3 [Ed.:incoming from Kingston] on the 24th.
 
Light cruiser DAUNTLESS departed Aden en route to Colombo, and was ordered to examine the Cargados, Carajos, Chagos groups for German activity.
 
Ship reassignments –Hunter Force M with French heavy cruisers DUPLEIX and FOCH, and Force N with French battlecruiser STRASBOURG and British aircraft carrier HERMES, were reassigned to cover the Dakar to Pernambuco route[Ed.: South Atlantic route.]
 (1) Force X, which became effective in mid-November, consisted of HERMES, DUPLEIX and FOCH, while
 (2) Force Y had STRASBOURG, with French light cruiser DUGUAY TROUIN and the British NEPTUNE. («naval-history.net»)
.

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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/22/2017 2:04:12 PM
October 22, 1939


Quote:
In Soviet-occupied Poland, elections for national assemblies of "Western Belarussia" and "Western Ukraine" take place. (chroniknet.de)



Quote:
The Indian National Congress refuses to give its support to the British war effort and condemns British imperialism. This followed a September 3rd declaration by Lord Linlithgow, without consulting the people of India, that announced India was at war with Germany and which had appealed for sympathy and support. (seconde-guerre.com)



Quote:
Sporadic artillery duels on the Western Front between French and German forces. (seconde-guerre.com)



Image: Lord Linlithgow, Governor-General and Viceroy of India, 1936-1943.

Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/22/2017 3:59:09 PM
Day 52. October 22 (continued)
Sunday.

Quote:
BERLIN, October 22
Eintopf – one-pot – day – this Sunday. Which means all you can get for lunch is a cheap stew. But you pay the piece of a big meal for it, the difference going to the Winter Relief, or so they say. Actually it goes into the war chest. (Berlin Diary, p 238)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No U-boats ordered. U-21 and U-59 sailed from Kiel, and U-26 from Wilhelmshaven. No Allied ships sunk.

At sea
Quote:

Northern Patrol – Light cruisers DUNEDIN, DELHI and CALYPSO departed Sullom Voe for the Northern Patrol, CALYPSO proceeding to the Iceland-Faroes Channel. This brought the numbers of ships on patrol to two cruisers between the Shetlands and the Faroes, four cruisers between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and two AMCs in the Denmark Strait.
 
Ships under repair – Destroyer JAVELIN was badly damaged at 0200 in collision with steamer MOIDART (1262grt) off Whitby. Destroyer AFRIDI, escorting convoy FN.24 nearby, was sent to assist, and two tugs and two anti-submarine trawlers left the Tyne at 0400. JAVELIN was towed by destroyer JUPITER to Middlesbrough and repaired until 1 January.
 
East Coast convoys – Convoy FN.25 departed Southend and escorting destroyer GURKHA attacked a submarine at 2130 contact 13 miles 68° from Orfordness on the 22nd. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 24th.
 
Convoy FS.25 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers MAORI, WHITEHEAD and sloop WESTON and arrived at Southend on the 24th.

Norwegian convoy – Battleships NELSON, RODNEY, battlecruiser HOOD, and destroyers INTREPID, IVANHOE, ICARUS, KELLY and KINGSTON sortied from Loch Ewe at 1830/22nd to cover the movement of convoy NV.1 of twelve British iron ore ships from Narvik.[Ed.: ‘NV’ appears on my list of convoy codes as applying to the Naples-Augusta route]
 
Destroyers IMPULSIVE left Plymouth on the 23rd, reached Scapa Flow on the 25th, and left next day to join [Admiral] Forbes at sea, KINGSTON detached from the force to Scapa Flow with defects, and FIREDRAKE joined on the 29th.
 
Light cruisers EDINBURGH departed Rosyth on the 23rd and joined the escort off Muckle Flugga at noon on the 24th, and AURORA departed Loch Ewe, also on the 23rd, and joined off the Norwegian coast at 0130/26th. Destroyers SOMALI, ASHANTI, TARTAR and FAME also joined from Scapa Flow.
 
En route to the Firth of Forth, destroyer FAME and two merchant ships were detached to join an Atlantic convoy.
 
At 0630/30th, SOMALI depth charged a submarine contact near Kinnaird Head in 57‑45N, 1‑02W. TARTAR also joined in the attack before catching up with ASHANTI which by now was shepherding the convoy away from the area. FAME later rejoined, stood guard on the contact which remained stationary and dropped more depth charges at 0915/30th. NV.1 arrived safely on the 31st.
 
U.K.-France convoys – Convoy BC.12 of [15] steamers departed the Bristol Channel escorted by destroyer EXPRESS and WESSEX, and arrived safely in the Loire on the 24th.
 
Convoy AXS.2 of one steamer departed Fowey, escorted by destroyer WAKEFUL, and reached Brest on the 24th.
 
German naval activity – German destroyers MAX SCHULTZ, FRIEDRICH IHN, ERICH STEINBRINCK, HANS LODY, BERND VON ARNIM and ERICH GIESE carried out an anti-shipping sweep in the Skagerrak from the 22nd to 24th.
 
U.16 laid mines in the Straits of Dover, on which one auxiliary minesweeper was sunk.
 
Ship movement –Destroyers GRAFTON and GALLANT departed Gibraltar for Alexandria on the 15th and after calling there, returned to Gibraltar. Sister ships GREYHOUND and GLOWWORM, also sailing from Alexandria to Gibraltar, called at Toulon on the 18th, after which all four left Gibraltar on the 19th for the UK. En route they were ordered to search for a lifeboat from CLAN CHISHOLM (7256grt), lost on the 17th, and reached Plymouth on the 22nd. Assigned to duty at Harwich, they were due to be joined by Polish destroyers GROM, BURZA and BLYSKAWICA.
 
Atlantic Coast convoy – Convoy HG.4 of 41 ships left Gibraltar, escorted by destroyers GRENVILLE, GIPSY and minesweeper LEDA, and by French destroyers BOURRASQUE and FOUDROYANT from the 22nd until their arrival at Brest on the 29th. Destroyers WISHART and VIDETTE provided local escort, detached on the 23rd and patrolled off Cadiz. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 29th, with GRENVILLE, GIPSY and LEDA arriving on the 30th.
 
French naval activity – French battlecruiser DUNKERQUE, light cruisers GEORGES LEYGUES, GLOIRE, MONTCALM and large destroyers MOGADOR, VOLTA, L'INDOMPTABLE, LE MALIN and LA TRIOMPHANT left Brest, escorted in the local approaches by destroyers CYCLONE and MISTRAL, which arrived back on the 25th. The main force then patrolled the Antilles-English Channel route, to cover the movement of convoy KJ.4 until the 30th when they arrived back at Brest.

North Atlantic patrol – Heavy cruiser YORK departed Halifax to support convoy HX.5 which had left on the 17th, and to search for German battleship DEUTSCHLAND.
 
Light cruiser ENTERPRISE departed Halifax on patrol duties and arrived back on the 29th.
 
Ship movement – Heavy cruiser NORFOLK departed Alexandria and arrived at Malta on the 23rd.
 
Australian light cruiser PERTH departed Bermuda.
 
Caribbean, South AtlanticGerman pocket battleship ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE sank steamer TREVANION (5299grt) in the South Atlantic in 19‑40S, 04‑02E.
 
German steamer EMMY FRIEDRICH (4372grt) departed Tampico, Mexico, during the night of the 19th/20th to act as a supply ship for German pocket battleship ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE. Allied warships began a search for her in the Gulf of Mexico, and joined by US aircraft carrier RANGER (CV.4) as part of the Neutrality Patrol, in the Caribbean. Light cruiser ORION, which departed Kingston on the 21st and Canadian destroyer SAGUENAY sighted EMMY FRIEDRICH on the 22nd in the Yucatan Channel and she turned away, back into the Gulf of Mexico. The contact report from ORION enabled light cruiser CARADOC, which departed Bermuda on the 20th, to intercept her early on the 23rd. EMMY FRIEDRICH was scuttled and CARADOC picked up her crew of 33 and took them to Bermuda, arriving on the 27th. ORION got back to Kingston on the 26th. («naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/23/2017 12:18:23 PM
October 23, 1939


Quote:
The former senate president of Danzig, Arthur Greiser, is made the Gauleiter of Poznan, Poland. (chroniknet.de)


Editor's note: Arthur Karl Greiser (22 January 1897 – 21 July 1946) was a Nazi German politician, SS-Obergruppenführer and Reichsstatthalter (Reich Governor) of the German-occupied territory of Wartheland. He was one of the persons primarily responsible for organizing the Holocaust in occupied Poland and numerous other crimes against humanity. Arrested by the Americans in 1945, [the Polish communist government] decided that Greiser was guilty of all charges and sentenced him to death by hanging, civil death, and confiscation of all his property. In the early morning of 21 July 1946 he was transported from prison to the slope of Fort Winiary where he was hanged before a large crowd. It was the last public execution in Poland and Europe. (Wikipedia)


Quote:
Renewed meeting of Soviet and Finnish officials over Soviet demands regarding changes to the international frontier. (seconde-guerre.com)


Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/23/2017 2:17:26 PM
Day 53. October 23 (continued)
Monday.

Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No U-boats ordered. U-56 and U-58 sailed from Kiel, and U-4 from Wilhelmshaven. No Allied ships sunk; no U-boats lost.

At sea
Quote:
Ship movement – Aircraft carrier FURIOUS and battlecruiser REPULSE with destroyers BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, FORESTER, FIREDRAKE left Loch Ewe for the Clyde, arriving on the 25th.
 
Anti-aircraft cruiser CURLEW and destroyers FURY, FOXHOUND, FEARLESS and MASHONA departed Loch Ewe for Scapa Flow. The destroyers were assigned for convoy escort.
 
Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO departed Grimsby on escort duties, and arrived back on the 25th.
 
Northern Patrol – Light cruiser SHEFFIELD departed Loch Ewe for Northern Patrol and arrived back on the 26th.
 
Norwegian convoy – Light cruiser AURORA sailed from Loch Ewe and destroyers SOMALI, ASHANTI, TARTAR and FAME from Scapa Flow to escort an iron ore convoy from Narvik.
 
Light cruiser EDINBURGH departed Rosyth to rendezvous with Commodore D in light cruiser AURORA 20 miles north of Muckle Flugga.
 
U-boat attacks – Destroyer GALLANT attacked a submarine contact 90° off the Lizard, and was joined in the search by destroyers KANDAHAR, ACASTA, ARDENT, which made an attack 20 miles south of Portland. At 0828/23rd, ACASTA was missed by a torpedo in 49-48N, 5-22W, and on the 24th, she and ARDENT were searching for a reported submarine in 49-30N, 4-45W.
 
Gibraltar convoys – Convoy OA.24G departed Southend escorted by destroyers ESCORT and ELECTRA, while OB.24G departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VANOC and WARWICK. They merged on the 26th as OG.4. [Ed.: OA=Outbound from London; OB=OUtbound from Liverpool; OG=Outbound for Gibraltar (reverse=HG=Homebound from Gibraltar)]
 
U.K.-France convoy – Convoy SA.14 of two steamers left Southampton, escorted by destroyers VANSITTART and VENOMOUS, and arrived at Brest on the 24th
….
South Atlantic convoy – Convoy SL.6 departed Freetown escorted by destroyers HYPERION and HUNTER, which left the convoy at 0400/26th to take twelve ships into Dakar where they arrived at 0700/27th. Before then, on the 26th, French light cruiser DUGUAY TROUIN left Dakar to join SL.6 on the 27th, not arriving back until 2 November, while destroyer GRIFFIN left Gibraltar on the 30th and joined on 8 November in Home Waters, escorting the convoy to the UK. In the Western Approaches, the convoy split into SL.6, escorted by destroyers ELECTRA and ESCORT, and SL.6B, escorted by WALPOLE and VANOC, the latter transferring to SL.6 on 8 November. Dispersed ships of the main convoy arrived at Liverpool starting on the 10th.
 
German ship movement – German steamer CURITYBA (4969grt) sighted Norwegian destroyer DRAUG off Bergen where she arrived on the 24th. Setting out again, she arrived via Drogden, at Hamburg on the 30th.
 
U.37 conducted a reconnaissance of the Straits of Gibraltar during the night of the 23rd/24th.
 
Caribbean –Heavy cruiser BERWICK departed Bermuda, and arrived back on the 26th for docking where she underwent repairs until 3 November.
 
South Africa – Heavy cruiser SHROPSHIRE departed Capetown on escort duty, and arrived back on the 24th. («uboat.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/24/2017 1:46:18 PM
October 24, 1939


Quote:
Seventy tons of gold from the Polish state reserves arrive in Paris, having been transported by ship from Romania through the Mediterranean Sea. (chroniknet.de)



Quote:
In an accord with the Reich, the Soviet Union agrees to provide the Germans with a million tons of grain and forage. (seconde-guerre.com)



Quote:
The Finnish delegation returns home to discuss the Soviet Union's latest proposals regarding a revision to the frontier. (seconde-guerre.com)


Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/24/2017 5:33:24 PM
Day 54. October 24 (continued)
Tuesday. Waxing gibbous moon.

Quote:
BERLIN, October 24
The German people who have been hoping for peace until the bitter end were finally told tonight by Ribbentrop in a speech at Danzig the the war will now have to be fought to a finish. I suppose every government that has ever gone to war has tried to convince its people of three things: (1) that right is on its side; (2) that it is fighting purely in defence of the nation; (3) that it is sure to win. The Nazis are certainly trying to pound these three points into the skins of the people. Modern propaganda technique, especially the rkaidio, certainly helps them.
Three youths in Hanover who snatched a lady’s handbag in the black-out have been sentenced to death. (Berlin Diary, p 239)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
12 U-boats ordered. U-61 sailed from Kiel. 4 Allied ships sunk, 1 to mines. No U-boats were lost.
Quote:
At 09.00 hours on 24 October 1939 the Konstantinos Hadjipateras struck a mine laid on 16 October by U-19 and sank 18 miles from the Inner Dowsing Lightship [on England’s East coast]. The survivors were picked up by the Gorleston lifeboat Louise Stephens.

At 06.16 hours on 24 Oct 1939 the unescorted and unarmed Menin Ridge (Master David Emlyn Powell) was hit on the port side below the bridge by one torpedo from U-37 while steaming at 9 knots about 98 miles west of Gibraltar. …[O]nly five crewmen managed to rescue themselves by clinging to wreckage. …The U-boat remained submerged after the attack because a ship was seen to approach the sinking position.
The ship was Ledbury which picked up one of the survivors about three hours after the attack and then launched her starboard lifeboat to rescue the other four. However, before they could be taken aboard the ship was shelled and sunk by U-37. Subsequently the U-boat approached the lifeboat with the survivors of both ships to question them before leaving the area. … At about 11.30 hours, all survivors were picked up by the American motor merchant Crown City (Master W.E. Carley) and landed at Gibraltar later that day.

At 06.16 hours on 24 Oct 1939, U-37 torpedoed and sank Menin Ridge about 98 miles west of Gibraltar and shortly afterwards spotted the unescorted and unarmed Ledbury (Master Norman Rice) approaching the sinking position from the east. The ship had spotted wreckage with survivors clinging to it and changed course to rescue them. The U-boat then fired two torpedoes at her but missed because the ship was constantly changing courses during a careful approach at 7 knots. However, her lookouts failed to notice the attack, so the ship first picked up one survivor by means of a line and then launched her starboard lifeboat manned by the chief officer and four crewmen to search the wreckage. They picked up four more survivors and returned to the ship after half an hour, but before they could be taken aboard U-37 surfaced off the starboard quarter in a distance of a quarter of a mile and fired a shot across the bow of Ledbury at 09.18 hours. The master ordered the lifeboat alongside to cast off, turned the stern towards the U-boat and sent a distress signal that was received by Gibraltar and other stations. The use of the radio forced Hartmann to immediately open fire with the deck gun on the steamer. The steering gear was smashed by the first round, two others struck the bridge and set it on fire and two more hit the engine room, but the most of the 34 rounds fired during the attack were aimed at the waterline on the starboard side and caused the ship to sink after about 15 minutes.

At 09.20 hours on 24 Oct 1939 the unescorted Tafna (Master Royal Cecil Newlands) received a distress signal from Ledbury that she was gunned and spotted her stationary funnel and masts in a distance of about 10 miles, so Tafna headed five miles to the southeast before she continued on the previous westerly course. Doing so the ship directly crossed the path of U-37 which had headed southwest on the surface after the attack on Ledbury until they had to dive for aircraft arriving in the area. Hartmann decided to attack the ship without a warning after seeing two guns (the ship was armed with one 4in and one 12pdr guns), but it was not possible to get closer to the ship due to an aircraft circling over it and no spread could be fired as only one of the bow torpedo tubes was loaded, so a carefully aimed torpedo was fired from an estimated distance of 2500 meters at 11.19 hours. …The Tafna was struck on the starboard side just below the funnel while steaming at 9 knots about 100 miles west-southwest of Gibraltar. …The ship sank 18 minutes after being torpedoed.

The torpedo explosion was heard by the nearby American motor merchant Crown City, which hurriedly picked up the survivors of Menin Ridge and Ledbury… . HMS Douglas (D 90) (Cdr R.F.B. Swinley, RN), HMS Keppel (D 84) (Capt F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Vidette (D 48) (Cdr D.R. Brocklebank, RN) and HMS Watchman (D 26)(Cdr V. Hammersley-Heenan, RN) were sent to the area from Gibraltar after the distress signal of Ledbury had been received. At about 13.30 hours, HMS Keppel picked up the survivors of Tafna while HMS Douglas took the London flying boat in tow for Gibraltar as it was unable to take off again. Three of the destroyers then carried out an anti-submarine sweep of the area, attacking U-37 twice with depth charges during the afternoon without damaging her and then returned to Gibraltar the next day. («boat.net»)

Konstantinos Hadjipateras, a Greek steam merchantman of 5,962 tons, was sailing from Boston to Tyne carrying 8,412 tons of scrap iron. Of the ship’s complement of 31, 4 were killed.

Menin Ridge, a British steam merchantman of 2,474 tones, was carrying 4,200 tons of iron ore from Algeria via Gibraltar to Port Talbot. Of a ship’s complement of 25, only 5 survived.

British steam merchant Ledbury, 3,528 tons, was carrying 5,800 tons of bauxite from Toulon via Gibraltar to Burntisland. No crew were lost.

Tafna, a British steam merchantman of 4,413 tons, was carrying 6,900 tons of iron ore from Algeria via Gibraltar to London. Of a complement of 34, 2 were lost.

At sea
PLEASE NOTE: The following section has been completely revised on 2017.10.25 after initial posting on 2017.10.24.
Quote:
Minelaying – Minelaying cruiser ADVENTURE departed Sheerness for the Humber to lay mines in the North Sea in Operation AD, arriving on the 25th at Grimsby. From there, she laid mines, escorted by two destroyers and minesweeper SPHINX, off Flamborough Head in operations completed on the 29th.
 
Ship movement – Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON departed Sullom Voe for patrol SE of Norway, arrived at Scapa Flow on 6 November, then left for Rosyth, arriving on the 7th.
 
Submarine PORPOISE arrived at Chatham for refitting completed on 18 January.
 
Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol were light cruiser CALYPSO and one other cruiser between the Faroes and the Orkneys, two cruisers between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and two AMCs in the Denmark Strait. Light cruisers COLOMBO and DRAGON had departed Sullom Voe on the 20th, DIOMEDE on the 21st, and DUNEDIN, DELHI, CALYPSO on the 22nd. DIOMEDE, DRAGON, CALEDON, COLOMBO, CARDIFF called there to refuel and left on the 25th. The armed merchant cruisers at sea were CHITRAL, SCOTSTOUN and TRANSYLVANIA.
 
German U-boat deployments and losses – U-boats were deployed against the British Fleet west of the Orkneys from 21 October to 10 November - U.59 had left Wilhelmshaven on the 21st and returned on 9 November, U.56 and U.58 on the 22nd, returning on 10 November, and U.57 on the 24th, returning on 4 November.
 
U.16 departed Wilhelmshaven on the 17th, and after completing a minelay off Dover, was detected by the St Margaret's Bay indicator loop station. Attacked by patrol sloop PUFFIN and anti-submarine trawler CAYTON WYKE (373grt), she was damaged and as she evaded further attacks, struck a mine and was even more badly damaged forward of the conning tower, running aground on the Goodwin Sands in 51‑09N, 01‑28E. The body of an officer was picked up off Folkestone by minesweeping trawler ST MELANTE (358grt), and on the same day U.16 was discovered with only the conning tower above water and the crew all dead. The 28 bodies of the crew were removed and taken to Dover for interment.
 
Destroyer GURKHA, escorting FN.25, attacked a submarine contact 13 miles 68° from Orfordness.
 
East Coast convoys – Convoy FN.26 departed Southend, and arrived at Methil on the 26th.
 
Convoy FS.26 departed Methil,and reached Southend on the 26th.

German seizures in the Baltic – Finnish steamer RHEA (1424grt) was seized in the Baltic by German warships and taken to Kiel.
 
African Patrol – Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and battlecruiser RENOWN arrived at Freetown for refuelling, departing again on the 28th on patrol.

U.K.-Gibraltar convoy – Destroyers GRENADE and GRIFFIN departed Gibraltar to escort convoy SL.5, but GRIFFIN was ordered back to stand by for SL.6. She arrived there on the 26th and departed with the convoy on the 30th.
 
German ship loss – German trawler SATURN (194grt) was sunk in a collision near Kiel.
 
Ship movement – Australian light cruiser PERTH departed Kingston, and in 42‑25N, 43‑08W intercepted signals from a German warship. She altered course to intercept, but no contact was made. Halifax was reached on the 28th.
 
North Atlantic convoy – Convoy HXF.6 departed Halifax at 0800, escorted by Canadian destroyers FRASER and ST LAURENT, with battleship REVENGE as ocean escort. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 2 November.


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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/25/2017 3:51:22 PM
Day 55. October 25
Wednesday.

Poland
A sidebar in Goralski, p 99, titled “Life in Occupied Poland”:
Quote:
Under German occupation Poles were barred from:
• riding in taxis,
• carrying briefcases,
• wearing felt hats,
• participating in athletic events,
• walking in public parks,
• calling from phone booths,
• using rail station waiting rooms,
• having their teeth filled with gold.

SOURCE: Nicholas Bethell, The War Hitler Won.

Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No U-boats ordered. U-13. U-57 sailed from Kiel; U-48 returned to Kiel after a 22-day patrol.. No Allied ships sunk, 1 to mines. U-16 lost with 28 crew. No survivors.

At sea
Quote:
Northern waters – German steamer RHEINGOLD (5055grt), which had departed Bahia on 27 September, was captured in the Iceland-Faroes Channel by light cruiser DELHI, west of the Orkneys in 64‑00N, 11‑40W. RHEINGOLD arrived at Kirkwall with the prize crew, commanded by Lt Cdr FG Emley, on the 27th and later renamed EMPIRE MARINER for British service. DELHI arrived at Sullom Voe on the 28th.
 
Light cruisers COLOMBO, CARDIFF, CALEDON departed Sullom Voe, with CARDIFF and CALEDON arriving back on the 31st.
 
Two cruisers were on Northern Patrol between the Orkneys and the Faroes, four cruisers between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and two AMCs in the Denmark Strait. Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON was sailing to relieve sister ship SHEFFIELD in the Denmark Strait.
 
Ship movement – Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA departed Grimsby for Harwich, and arrived on the 26th.
 
Destroyer MASHONA was docked at Newcastle for repairs from 25 October to 10 November.
 
Destroyer PUNJABI brought Panamanian tanker PHOEBUS (8863grt) into the Clyde, but after examination, she was allowed to continue.
 
Destroyer FURY was damaged by heavy weather, and repaired in the Clyde, completing on 17 November.
 
North Atlantic convoys – Convoy OA.25 of 19 ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers ANTELOPE and VISCOUNT from the 25th to 28th.
 
Convoy OB.25 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WHIRLWIND and WALPOLE until the 28th.
 
U.K.-France convoy – Convoy BC.11 consisting of 20 steamers departed the Loire escorted by destroyer EXPRESS, and arrived safely in the Bristol Channel on the 28th.

Convoy from Freetown – Destroyer WIVERN had escorted convoy SL.4A into Dover with trawlers ARCTIC RANGER and KINGSTON CORNELIAN, before leaving Southend on the 27th in company with destroyer WITCH as escort to convoy OA.26. When a submarine was reported, WIVERN was detached to search for what was later determined to be TRIDENT.

Ship sweeps – French battlecruiser STRASBOURG, heavy cruisers ALGÉRIE, DUPLEIX, destroyers LE TERRIBLE and LE FANTASQUE and British aircraft carrier HERMES departed Dakar to carry out a sweep to the southwest. They arrived back on the 29th.

North Atlantic convoy – Convoy HX.6 departed Halifax at 0800 escorted by Canadian destroyers FRASER and ST LAURENT. They detached on the 27th and the convoy continued with battleship RESOLUTION as ocean escort. On 6 November, destroyers WHIRLWIND and WARWICK joined HX.6 from OB.29, and destroyers GRENVILLE, GRENADE, GIPSY and GLOWWORM from Plymouth. Next day, RESOLUTION, GRENVILLE and GRENADE detached to Devonport, and the convoy reached Liverpool on the 10th.

 Indian Ocean – Heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE departed Colombo on patrol duties, and arrived back on the 28th.
 
U-boat assignments – Three U-boats were assigned for operations in the Mediterranean between 25 October and 15 November… .
 
Caribbean – German steamer SANTA FE (4627grt), which had departed Rio de Janiero on the 13th, was captured in 5N, 34W by French large destroyers LE FANTASQUE and LE TERRIBLE, supported by Force M heavy cruiser DUPLEIX. Battlecruiser STRASBOURG, British aircraft carrier HERMES, heavy cruisers ALGÉRIE, DUPLEIX together with LE FANTASQUE and LE TERRIBLE put to sea from Dakar to search for SANTA FE from the 23rd to 29th. She was renamed SAINT ANDRE in French service, but returned to German service after the fall of France.
 
Atlantic Coast – German steamer TOGO (5042grt) departed Duala, and evading patrols by French submarines AJAX and CENTAURE in the vicinity, reached Hamburg on 23 November.
 
Far East – Destroyers THANET and THRACIAN laid mines off Hong Kong in the West Lamma and North Lantau Channels, and again on the 26th and 27th. THANET carried out a lay southwest of Papai Island on the 31st.


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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/26/2017 5:22:44 PM
Day 56. October 26
Thursday.

Poland
Quote:
Hans Frank took over as governor general of Poland. (Goralski, p 99)

Quote:
German-occupied Poland, apart from the areas which are shortly to be annexed to the Reich, are put under a German Governor-
General, with his capital at Krakow. Hans Frank, a high Nazi official and former Reich Minister of Justice, is appointed to the post.
…Monsignor Jozef Tiso becomes President of Slovakia. (2194 Days, p 32)

U.S.
Quote:
On the eve of a Senate vote on amending the Neutrality Act, Roosevelt delivered a fireside chat: “In and out of Congress we have heard orators and … others beating their breasts proclaiming against sending the boys of American mothers to fight on the battlefields of Europe. That I do not hesitate to label as one of the worst fakes in current history. It is a deliberate setup of an imaginary bogy.” (The Senate voted to amend the act and the House followed suit a week later.)(Goralski, 99)

Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
Four U-boats (U-355 to U-358) ordered. No U-boats leaving on or returning from patrol. No Allied ships sunk. No U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).

At sea
Quote:
Atlantic convoy protection – Battlecruiser REPULSE and aircraft carrier FURIOUS, escorted by destroyers FORESTER, FEARLESS, FOXHOUND, FORESIGHT, FIREDRAKE departed the Clyde at 0430 to cover the Atlantic convoy routes, including Halifax convoys already at sea. Following these convoys' safe passage, they were stationed to the south and the east of Newfoundland to continue covering the route, the destroyers arriving back in the Clyde on the 28th.
 
Northern Patrol – Two cruisers were on Northern Patrol between the Orkneys and the Faroes, three cruisers between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and AMC TRANSYLVANIA in the Denmark Strait. Meanwhile, light cruiser SHEFFIELD was returning to Sullom Voe. From the 13th to 26th, Northern Patrol sighted 56 eastbound ships, sent 53 into Kirkwall for inspection and dealt with six German merchant ships.
 
Ship movement – Light cruiser BELFAST arrived at Clyde for Refitting completed on 8 November.
 
Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA departed Harwich and arrived at Grimsby on the 27th.
 
Destroyer KASHMIR (Cdr H A King) completed, and after working up at Portland, joined the 5th Destroyer Flotilla operating with the Home Fleet on 12 November.

East Coast convoys – Convoy FN.27 departed Southend, and arrived at Methil on the 28th. There was no FN.28.
 
Convoy FS.27 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers JUNO, WALLACE, WHITLEY and sloop STORK, reaching Southend on the 28th.
 
German activity in the Baltic – Swedish steamer JUPITER (2152grt) was seized in the Baltic by German warships and taken to Kiel.

Greek steamer MARIETTA NOMIKOU (5241grt) was seized in the Baltic by German warships and taken to Pillau.
 
U.K.-Gibraltar convoys – Convoy OG.4, totalling 40 ships, was formed from OA.24G, escorted by destroyers ESCORT and ELECTRA, and OB.24G which departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WARWICK and VANOC. The convoy safely arrived at Gibraltar on 1 November, escorted by French destroyers CHACAL and MISTRAL, which departed Brest on the 26th and joined on the 27th.
 
Medierranean – Destroyer DUCHESS abandoned her Kithera patrol 24 hours early to take an injured man to Malta.
 
Convoy Blue 6 of 15 ships departed Port Said and proceeded without escort.
 
Eastern seas – MTB.11 was accidentally hit by a round from a 6-inch shore battery at Hong Kong, fired to warn her to keep clear of a newly mined area. She was towed into harbour between MTB.9 and MTB.10. («naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/27/2017 1:00:01 PM
October 27, 1939


Quote:
In the Neuen Reichskanzlei, Hitler awards the Knight's Cross to 14 generals and other officers. (chroniknet.de)



Quote:
A speech by the King of the Belgians, Leopold III, broadcast from the United States, declares Belgium's determination to defend her neutrality. (seconde-guerre.com)



Quote:
In Washington D.C., the Senate approves the amendments to the Neutrality Act, repealing the embargo on arms deliveries abroad. (seconde-guerre.com)


Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/27/2017 5:49:33 PM
Day 57. October 27 (continued)
Friday.

Europe
Quote:
Hitler again commanded his generals to preparer the western offensive. (Goralski, p 99)

Quote:
Belgium proclaims its neutrality. (2194 Days, p 32)
2194 Days is misleading, and the reference given by B. Wilson is better. Belgian neutrality was a known value in Europe from 1839’s Treaty of London forward. Its neutral status was violated only twice, both times by Germany. This was not a proclamation of neutrality, but a restatement.

Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activityNo U-boats ordered. No U-boats leaving on or returning from patrol. One Allied ship sunk. 12 U-boats at sea. No U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).
Quote:
At 19.30 hours on 27 Oct 1939, U-34 attacked convoy OB-25 180 miles west of Lands End and torpedoed the Bronte. At 21.01 hours, the U-boat attacked a second time and claimed one steamer with 4666 tons sunk, but this is not confirmed by Allied sources.
The Bronte (Master Samuel James Connolly) was taken in tow, but had to be sunk on 30 October by gunfire from HMS Walpole (D 41) (LtCdr A.F. Burnell-Nugent, RN) and HMS Whirlwind (D 30) (LtCdr M.B. Ewart-Wentworth, RN) in position 50°07N/10°36W. The master and 41 crew members were picked up by HMS Walpole (D 41) and landed at Liverpool on 31 October.
British steam merchantman Bronte, 5,317 tons, was laden with general cargo, including chemicals, and was sailing from Liverpool to Halifax, with plans for further routing to Rosario (on the River Parana in the River Plate area). All 42 of the crew survived.. («uboat.net»)

At sea
Quote:
Northern Patrol – Two cruisers were on Northern Patrol between the Orkneys and the Faroes, one cruiser between the Faroes and Iceland with three cruisers en route to the area, and one light cruiser and two AMCs in the Denmark Strait. Between 27 October to 9 November, 26 eastbound ships were sighted and 20 sent into Kirkwall for inspection. Light cruisers COLOMBO and DIOMEDE departed Sullom Voe for Northern Patrol duties, both arriving back on 3 November.
 
Light cruiser CERES departed Plymouth for duty with the Northern Patrol, and arrived at Kirkwall on the 31st.
 
Escort duties – Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO departed Grimsby on escort duties and arrived back later the same day.
 
Submarine TRIDENT departed Oban for patrol off the west coast, and arrived at Rosyth on 11 November.
 
North Atlantic convoys – Convoy OA.26 of nine ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers WITCH and WIVERN from 27 October to 2 November.
 
Convoy OB.26 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WINCHELSEA and WITHERINGTON until the 30 October.
 
German mining activities – U.24 laid mines in Hartlepool Bay, on which one steamer was sunk.

French escort duties – French large destroyer VAUQUELIN departed Casablanca escorting submarine CENTAURE, and arrived at Brest on the 30th.
 
South Atlantic activity – Heavy cruisers SUSSEX and SHROPSHIRE departed Simonstown and Capetown respectively, to sweep towards St Helena. They returned to Capetown on 7 November.
 
Mediterranean – Light cruiser CAPETOWN departed Malta on patrol, and arrived back on 3 November.
 
Ship movement – Destroyers HUNTER and HYPERION arrived at Dakar at 0700/27th, refuelled and sailed to Trinidad.(«naval-history.net»)


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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/28/2017 4:58:24 PM
Day 58. October 28
Saturday.Full moon.

Europe
No notable activity.


Quote:
BERLIN, October 28
I hear in business circles that severe rationing of clothing will begin next month. The truth is that, having no cotton and almost no oak, the German people must get along with what clothing they have until the end of the war. (Berlin Diary. p 239)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activityNo U-boats ordered on this date. No U-boats leaving on or returning from patrol. Two British ships sunk. 15 U-boats at sea. No U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).
Quote:
At 03.15 hours on 28 October 1939 U-59 stopped the illuminated St. Nidan with gunfire across her bow and ordered the crew to abandon ship. At 04.25 hours, the Lynx II (Skipper Arthur E. Cressy) appeared and the U-boat tried to stop her also by gunfire, but the crew abandoned vessel only after three shots were fired into the bridge. The second trawler was sunk by scuttling charges at 06.55 hours and the first at 08.30 hours. Both crews were rescued by the British steam trawler Lady Hogarth. («uboat.net»)

St. Nidan, a British fishing trawler of 565 tons, was returning from northern fishing grounds to Hull with a cargo of fish.
Lynx II, another trawler but of only 250 tons, and just arrived from Grimsby to fish. The exact number of crew members is unknown, but none were lost.

At sea
Quote:
Northern Patrol – Two British cruisers were on Northern Patrol between the Orkneys and the Faroes, three cruisers on patrol between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and two armed merchant cruisers in the Denmark Strait.
 
British submarine patrol –A British submarine anti-invasion patrol [Ed.: of nine boats] off the Dogger Bank was in effect from 29 October to 6 November. … UNDINE, which had left Rosyth on the 22nd, was ordered to reconnoiter north from Heligoland. Her patrol ended on 4 November.

[Ed.: Four other submarines were also patrolling North Sea waters. These replaced ships that had returned to port.]
 
Ship movement – Destroyer FORESTER arrived in the Clyde for repairs which were completed on 23 November.
 
East Coast convoy – Convoy FS.28 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers MAORI, WHITEHALL and sloops GRIMSBY and WESTON, and arrived at Southend on the 30th. There was no convoy FN.28.
 
U-boat minelaying – U.31 laid mines in Loch Ewe during the night of the 27th/28th, on which two auxiliary minesweepers were sunk and battleship NELSON badly damaged.
 
Attacks on U-boats – Destroyers ZULU and GURKHA attacked a submarine contact off St Abbs Head.
 
Polish destroyer BLYSKAWICA attacked a submarine contact off the Mull of Galloway in 54-45N, 5-12W.
 
Patrol sloop SHELDRAKE and aircraft were searching for a reported submarine off Oban, which was in fact British submarine TRIDENT.
 
Destroyers EXMOUTH and GREYHOUND were attempting to intercept a reported submarine in the Western Approaches.
 
German ship activity –German destroyers MAX SCHULTZ, FRIEDRICH IHN and ERICH STEINBRINCK of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla and BERND VON ARNIM, HANS LODY and KARL GALSTER of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla attempted a shipping sweep into the Skagerrak. However, they encountered heavy weather and were forced to abandon it. SCHULTZ was badly damaged by the weather and mechanical breakdown, lost power and IHN and STEINBRINCK unsuccessfully attempted to tow her. However, SCHULTZ was finally able to regain partial power and returned to Wilhelmshaven for repairs completed in late January 1940.
… 
 South Atlantic –Light cruiser DANAE arrived at Simonstown, escorting troopship ATHLONE CASTLE (25564grt) from St Helena where they departed on the 22nd.

[Far eastern seas – Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM departed Singapore for patrol in the Sunda Strait, was relieved by light cruiser DAUNTLESS on 4 November, and arrived back at Singapore on the 7th.

 
Light cruisers DAUNTLESS and DURBAN departed Colombo and arrived at Singapore on the 31st.
 
Australian light cruiser HOBART departed Singapore on patrol, and arrived back on 4 November. («naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/29/2017 1:07:23 PM
October 29, 1939


Quote:
Duce Benito Mussolini inaugurates the village of Pomezia in the drained Pontine Marshes. (chroniknet.de)



Quote:
Soviet troops begin occupying bases in Latvia per their accord with that nation. (seconde-guerre.com)



Quote:
The American military attaché in Tokyo reports about 100,000 Chinese are serving in the Huang Hsieh Chun, auxiliary troops of the Japanese Army. (seconde-guerre.com)



Image: Pomezia today.

Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/29/2017 5:28:25 PM
Day 59. October 29
Sunday.

Europe
No additional activity to note.

Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No U-boats ordered on this date. U-33 sailed from Wilhelmshaven; U-24 entered Wilhelmshaven after a 7-day patrol. One British ship sunk. 15 U-boats at sea. No U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).
Quote:
At 01.50 hours on 29 Oct 1939, U-34 fired two torpedoes at two steamers and one destroyer in convoy HX-5A about 180 miles west of Lands End and claimed two hits. In fact, only the ship of convoy commodore, the Malabar (Master Henry Herbert Armstrong), was hit and sunk. … The master, the commodore (Rear Admiral G.W. Taylor, RNR), two naval staff members and 66 crew members were picked up by HMS Grafton (H 89) (Cdr M.S. Thomas, RN) and landed at Plymouth. («uboat.net»)
Malabar, a steam merchantman of 7,976 tones, was carrying general cargo, including lumber and tobacco, from Philadelphia via Halifax (hence HX code) to London. She was sunk on her 12th day out of Halifax. Of a total complement of 75, five were lost.

At sea
Quote:
Destroyer sweep – Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, JUNO, JERSEY, JUPITER, JACKAL departed the Humber on operation AG. They swept off the Dutch coast, but made no contact with enemy shipping, although JERSEY was near missed by German bombing. The ships arrived back in the Humber on the 30th.
 
Ship movement – Light cruiser SHEFFIELD arrived at Rosyth for refit, and departed on 9 November.
 
Northern Patrol – Light cruisers CARDIFF and CALEDON were on Northern Patrol duties between the Orkneys and the Faroes, light cruisers DRAGON, DIOMEDE,COLOMBO between the Faroes and Iceland, and light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON and armed merchant cruisers CHITRAL and AURANIA in the Denmark Strait.
 …
East Coast flotillas – The 22nd Destroyer Flotilla was formed at Harwich for East Coast Defence… .[Editor’s note: This flotilla would change in size, complexity and leadership until early December.] 
 
Also, at Harwich, the 23rd Destroyer Flotilla was formed with CODRINGTON (Captain Simson, D.19) as leader, BOADICEA, ANTHONY, VANSITTART, VENOMOUS as the 45th Division, and BASILISK, BLANCHE, BEAGLE, BRAZEN as 46th Division.
 
In addition, destroyers BOREAS, which was repairing at Portsmouth until 13 November, and BRILLIANT were assigned to the 19th Destroyer Flotilla at Harwich.
 
Anti-submarine attacks – Polish destroyer BLYSKAWICA attacked a submarine contact in 54‑45N, 5‑12W.
 
North Atlantic convoys – Convoy OA.27 of thirteen ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers WANDERER and WAKEFUL from the 29th to 31st.
 
Convoy OB.28 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VIMY and MACKAY to 1 November.
 …
Neutral shipping – American steamer CRANFORD (6096grt) and Italian steamer MANZONI (3955grt) collided off Deal with light damage to CRANFORD and extensive damages to MANZONI .
 
Mediterranean – Battleship WARSPITE departed Alexandria escorted by destroyers DAINTY and DIANA, and arrived at Malta on the 31st. After a brief docking, she left on 4 November with the same escort , which was relieved by destroyers ISIS and ILEX east of Gibraltar on the 6th and WARSPITE arrived at Gibraltarlater that day.
 
Gibraltar-U.K. convoy – Convoy HG.5 of 40 ships departed Gibraltar escorted by French destroyers FOUGUEUX and L'ADROIT, from 29 October until their arrival at Brest on 6 November, and British destroyers DOUGLAS and VORTIGERN. The convoy arrived at various English ports on the 6th.
 
Caribbean –Light cruiser DESPATCH departed Kingston. («naval-history.net»)


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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/30/2017 5:12:33 PM
Day 60. October 30
Monday.

Europe
Quote:
The USSR formally annexes the ocupied Polish territories.

German-Latvian treaty for the evacuation of Germans from the Baltic regions. 92194 Days, p 32)

Quote:
BERLIN, October 31.
Bad news for the people today. Now that it has become cold and rainy, with snow due soon, the government has decreed that only five per sent of the population is entitled to buy new rubbers or overshoes this winter. Available stocks will be rationed first to postmen, newsboys and street-sweepers. (Berlin Diary, p 241)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
Eight new U-boats ordered on this date. U-24 sailed from Wilhelmshaven. Three ships (2 British, 1 Greek sunk. 15 U-boats at sea. No U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).
Quote:
At 22.50 hours on 30 Oct 1939 the Cairnmona (Master Fred Wilkinson Fairley), dispersed from convoy HX-5, was torpedoed and sunk by U-13 three miles east-northeast of Rattray Head.

At 11.30 hours on 30 Oct 1939 the neutral Thrasyvoulos was stopped by signals from U-37 and the inspection of the papers revealed that she was carrying contraband. The ship was sunk by a torpedo at 12.12 hours after the crew had abandoned ship in three lifeboats.

At 23.35 hours on 30 Oct 1939, HMS Northern Rover (4.58) (Lt M.H. Macpherson, RN) was hit by one torpedo from U-59 and sank about 100 miles west of Sumburgh Head, Shetland Islands. («uboat.net»)

Cairnmona, a British steam merchantman of 4,666 tons, was carrying general cargo (including wool, copper and grain) from Montreal via Halifax to Leith. Of a complement of 45, 3 were lost.

Thrasyvoulos, a Greek steam merchantman of 3,693 tons, was carrying 3,450 tons of french nuts and 2,158 tons of anthracite cobbles from Swansea to Halifax. Her ship’s complement is unknown, but 22 men were lost. «naval-history.net» mentions six survivors rescued by Norwegian steamer Havmoy.

HMS Northern Rover, an A/S trawler of 655 tons, was on patrol out of Kirkwall patrol. All 27 of her complement were lost.

At sea
Quote:
Northern Patrol – Two cruisers were on Northern Patrol between the Orkneys and the Faroes, three cruisers between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and three armed merchant cruisers in the Denmark Strait.
 …
Ship movement – Destroyers GRENVILLE and GIPSY of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla arrived at Plymouth after departing Alexandria on the 14th, reaching Malta on the 19th, and leaving Gibraltar on the 22nd with convoy HG.4.
 
Fleet – U-boat encounter – As Admiral Forbes was returning to Loch Ewe after escorting a group of iron ore ships from Narvik to the Firth of Forth, battleships NELSON andRODNEY, battlecruiser HOOD, and destroyers ICARUS, IMPULSIVE, IVANHOE, INTREPID and KELLY ran into a U-boat line west of the Orkneys. U.56 fired three torpedoes at NELSON and while all three struck the target, none exploded. U-boats U.57, U.58, U.59, also in the area, did not contact the Home Fleet units. Admiral Forbes arrived back at Loch Ewe on the 31st without further interference.
 
U.K.-France convoys – Convoy BC.13S of fifteen ships, including DELIUS (Commodore), GRETA FORCE, GWENTHILLS and SANDHILL departed Bristol Channel escorted by destroyers EXPRESS and VIVACIOUS, and safely arrived in Quiberon Bay on 1 November.
 
Convoy AXS 3 of one steamer departed Fowey, escorted by destroyer VESPER, and arrived at Brest on the 31st.
 
Convoy SA.15 of two steamers departed Southampton, escorted by destroyers SCIMITAR and SARDONYX, and arrived at Brest on the 31st.

East Coast convoys – Convoy FN.29 departed Southend, and arrived at Methil on 1 November.

Convoy FS.29 departed Methil escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloops BITTERN and FLEETWOOD, and arrived at Southend on 1 November.

South American station – Heavy cruiser EXETER arrived in the Falkland Island after leaving her patrol on the South American east coast on the 27th.
 
Caribbean – Light cruiser ORION departed Kingston, and arrived back on 8 November.
 
Indian Ocean – On the 30th, the 8th Submarine Flotilla was formed at Colombo with submarines OLYMPUS, OTUS and ODIN under the command of Commander S M Raw for operations against German raiders and supply ships thought to be operating in the Indian Ocean. The final submarine of the Flotilla, ORPHEUS, was under repair at Hong Kong, left there on 5 December and joined them at Colombo on the 14th. («naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/31/2017 2:18:44 PM
October 31, 1939


Quote:
Beginning of the final three discussions in Moscow regarding changes to the Soviet-Finnish border. The Soviets demanded part of the Karelia Isthmus, the naval base of Hangö and the port of Petsamo, in the Arctic, in exchange for land along the eastern border. The meeting does not lead to any agreement. (seconde-guerre.com)


Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 10/31/2017 5:34:52 PM
Day 61. October 31
Tuesday.

Europe
Quote:
Molotov – in a speech before the Supreme Soviet – asserted the Russians had a right and duty to adopt strong measures to insure their security and again demanded territorial concessions from Finland.
The death penalty was ordered for all Poles disobeying German authority, with the guilty to be tried in SS courts. (Goralski, p 99)
Editor’s note: I wonder whether Goralski’s statement is inadvertent. If the disobedient are already guilty and there is only one penalty, what are they being tried for in SS court?
Quote:
BERLIN, October 31.
The secret police announced that two men were shot for “resisting arrest” yesterday. One of them, it is stated, was trying to induce some German workers to lay down their tools in an important armament factory. Himmler now has power to shoot anyone he likes without trial. (Berlin Diary, p 241)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. U-24 returns to Wilhelmshaven. One French ship sunk. 14 U-boats at sea. No U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).
Quote:
At 05.25 hours on 31 Oct 1939, U-25 fired two G7e torpedoes at the first two ships in the French convoy 20-K about 45 miles west-northwest of La Corunna. Both torpedoes hit and sank the Baoulé. («uboat.net»)

Addendum: «naval-history.net» adds to the account:
Quote:
U.25 sustained damage to her torpedo hatch caused by the blast of her own gun, and was forced to return to Germany.

Baoulé, a steam merchantman of 5,874 tons, was carrying palm kernels, cotton, cocoa, coffee and rubber from Cameroon via Casablanca to Bordeaux. Of a complement of 46, 13 were killed.

At sea
Quote:
The Royal Navy’s hunt for the Admiral Graf Spee is prosecuted world-wide. Four battleships, 14 cruisers and 5 aircraft carriers are engaged. (2194 Days, p 32)

Quote:
Ship collision – Light cruisers CALYPSO, DELHI, DUNEDIN departed Sullom Voe. CALYPSO was in a minor collision with Admiralty drifter SEA BREEZE, but there no damage to her, and she arrived back at Sullom Voe on 6 November.
 
Northern Patrol – Three cruisers were on Northern Patrol duties between the Orkneys and the Faroes, three cruisers between the Faroes and Iceland, and cruiser SOUTHAMPTON and armed merchant cruisers CHITRAL and AURANIA in the Denmark Strait.
 
[Ship movement – Light cruiser EDINBURGH began repairs at Rosyth, which were completed on 3 November.
 
Light cruisers GLASGOW and NEWCASTLE, escorted by destroyers ANTHONY, BASILISK, BRAZEN departed Portsmouth for Rosyth, and arrived on 1 November.

Light cruiser CERES departed Kirkwall for Scapa Flow.
 
Anti-aircraft cruiser CURLEW departed Scapa Flow, and arrived at Rosyth on the 31st.
 
Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA departed Grimsby, and arrived back on 1 November.
 
Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO departed Grimsby, and arrived back later that same day.
 
U.K.-Gibraltar convoy – Convoy OA.28G of 14 ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers VENETIA and ACASTA from 31 October to 2 November. Destroyer ARDENT joined the escort on 1 November and remained until the 2nd. On the same day, OA.28G merged with OB.28G, escorted by destroyers VERSATILE and VOLUNTEER to the 3rd, to become OG.5.
 
Northern waters – Steamer STARCROSS (4662grt) in a Norwegian convoy off Rattray Head, reported she rammed what she thought was a U-boat. Destroyer BROKE was sent to investigate.
 
East Coast convoy – Coastal steamer KINDIESEL (339grt) reported she was being chased by a submarine in 53‑49N, 0‑11E, and destroyer JUPITER was detached from convoy FS.29 to assist.
 
North Atlantic convoy – Convoy HXF.7 departed Halifax at 0200 escorted by Canadian destroyers FRASER and ST LAURENT. Ocean escort was armed merchant cruiser ASTURIAS, which detached on 11 November. She was in collision with a merchant ship while leaving Halifax, but able to continue. The convoy was joined on 10 November by destroyers ANTELOPE and VISCOUNT from convoy OA.31 and WINCHELSEA and WITHERINGTON from OB.31. The latter remained with the convoy until it arrived at Liverpool on the 12th, the same day ASTURIAS reached the Clyde.
...
South Atlantic – Heavy cruiser SUSSEX on patrol in the South Atlantic lost her Walrus reconnaissance aircraft when it failed to return from patrol. A three and a half day search for the aircraft was set in motion, but the aircraft was never found. …
 
Mediterranean – Submarine depot ship MAIDSTONE, escorted by destroyer DEFENDER, departed Alexandria and arrived at Malta on 3 November.
 
Sierra Leone-U.K. convoy – Convoy SL.7 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser MONTCLARE. Destroyer WREN joined the convoy on 16 November and it arrived later that day with both escorts.
 
Far East waters – Heavy cruiser KENT departed Hong Kong on patrol, and arrived back on 8 November.
 
Ship movement – Heavy cruiser YORK and Australian light cruiser PERTH departed Halifax for Bermuda, and arrived on 5 November. YORK remained for the repair of boiler defects completed on 13 November. («naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/1/2017 6:07:42 AM
November 1, 1939


Quote:
Germany annexes several areas of occupied Poland, including the formerly Free City of Danzig. The USSR annexes western areas of Poland into the Soviet Union. (seconde-guerre.com)


Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/1/2017 1:47:01 PM
Day 62. November 1 (continued)
Wednesday. Waning gibbous moon.

Europe
No additional activity to note.

Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. U-23 sails from Kiel. No Allied ships sunk. 15 U-boats at sea. No U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).

At sea
Quote:
Hunt for City of Flint – Destroyers KELLY, ESKIMO, MATABELE, BEDOUIN, FEARLESS and FOXHOUND refuelled at Sullom Voe and departed on 29 October to search for American steamer CITY OF FLINT coming down the Norwegian coast. They fuelled again at Sullom Voe on the 1st to continue the search.

Light cruisers GLASGOW and NEWCASTLE, after convoy escort in the Atlantic, departed Portsmouth on 31 October, escorted by destroyers ANTHONY, BASILISK, BRAZEN, and arrived at Rosyth on the 1st. The cruisers departed Rosyth that day to provide cover for these destroyers.
 

Convoy to Norway – Battleships NELSON …, RODNEY, battlecruiser HOOD, and destroyers ICARUS, INTREPID, IVANHOE, IMPULSIVE, FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT, FORTUNE and PUNJABI departed Loch Ewe at 0930/2nd to provide heavy cover for the GLASGOW force and for convoy ON.1 which departed Methil on the 5th. FEARLESS and FOXHOUND of the CITY OF FLINT operation joined NELSON at sea.
 
Destroyers FEARLESS, FOXHOUND, IMPERIAL and KANDAHAR, after refuelling at Scapa Flow on the 4th, departed to rejoin Forbes on the 5th. Destroyer FAME also departed Scapa Flow on the 5th to join Forbes. ICARUS and IMPULSIVE were detached for refuelling at Kirkwall on the 7th.

Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO departed Grimsby on escort duties and arrived back the same day.
 
U.K.-France convoy – Convoy BC.12S of fourteen ships, including BALTRADER, BARON KINNAIRD, BARON NAIRN, CITY OF KEELUNG (Commodore), CLAN MONROE and TREVERBYN departed the Loire, escorted by destroyer EXPRESS, and safely arrived in the Bristol Channel on the 3rd.
 
East Coast convoys – Convoy FN.30 departed Southend, and arrived at Methil on the 3rd. There was no convoy FN.31.
 
Convoy FS.30 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers WALLACE and WHITLEY and sloop STORK, and arrived at Southend on the 3rd.
 
Attacks on U-boats – Destroyer JUPITER and sloop FLEETWOOD dropped depth charges on a submarine contact in 52‑28N, 1‑59E.
 
Destroyers VERSATILE and VOLUNTEER were submarine hunting in 53‑00N, 5‑00W after a merchant ship in convoy reported a submarine 10 miles west of Holyhead.
 
Destroyer BROKE searched for a submarine reported by D/F, 40 miles east of Buchan Ness in 57-20N, 0-30W.
 
Sloop GRIMSBY attacked a submarine contact four miles east of Whitby.
 
After a submarine was reported by British fishermen off Londonderry, patrol sloops WIDGEON and SHELDRAKE unsuccessfully searched for it.
 
Four destroyers from Harwich were on patrol off Smith's Knoll, NE of Yarmouth, searching for vessels reportedly cooperating with U-boats.
 
Neutral shipping losses – Norwegian steamer MIM (4996grt) sent to Kirkwall by light cruiser COLOMBO under guard, ran aground on Reef Dyke Skerry, and broke up the next day. Norwegian steamer HANSI (1028grt) which was going into Kirkwall voluntarily, also ran aground at the same location… .
 
Command movements – Admiral Cunningham transferred his flag ashore at Malta from battleship WARSPITE, which was preparing to leave his command for the Home Fleet.
 
Rear Admiral N A Wodehouse was relieved by Vice Admiral Sir Dudley North on the 1st as Vice Admiral North Atlantic Station, based at Gibraltar. North departed England on liner NARKUNDA (16,632grt) on the 10th and arrived at Gibraltar on the 17th.
 
Mediterranean – Destroyer DELIGHT departed Gibraltar for Marseilles escorting liner LANCASHIRE which had arrived at Gibraltar in convoy OG.4. The two ships later departed Marseilles on the 6th and arrived at Malta on the 8th.
 
French Atlantic convoys – French convoys 11.B of steamers ANDRE MOYRAND, SENNEVILLE, ONTARIOLITE, DJURJURA, DOUAISIEN, ANGE SCHAIFFINO and CAMBRADSIEN, which departed Brest on 26 October, and convoy 6.X of steamers PRESCAGEL, PIERRE CLAUDE, PALLAS, OPHELIE and ENSEIGNE MAURICE PRECHAC, escorted by sloop GAZELLE, from Le Verdon also on 26 October, merged on the 27th. They were joined by steamer AIN EL TURK, escorted by sloop COMMANDANT BORY. On 1 November, six steamers from 11.B were taken into Gibraltar by the two sloops, which returned to the convoy as it continued on to Casablanca. AIN EL TURK and 6.X arrived at Casablanca on the 2nd.
 
Caribbean – Light cruiser DESPATCH departed Panama on patrol.
 
Destroyers HYPERION, HUNTER, HOTSPUR and HAVOCK departed Pernambuco for Trinidad. HAVOCK stripped a turbine and was diverted at sea to Freetown, arriving on the 9th. Destroyer HEREWARD from Freetown was designated to replace her in the 4th Destroyer Division on the South America Station.

Ship movement – HAVOCK departed Freetown on the 16th with convoy SL.9 and arrived at Gibraltar on the 27th. She then departed Gibraltar on 12 December, arrived at Sheerness on the 16th, and was under repair at Chatham until mid-March, arriving in the Clyde for duty on 26 March.
 
French-British naval conflict – French submarine REDOUTABLE fired four warning shots at [British] steamer EGBA (4989grt) at 0736 in 32-40N, 13-23W thinking she was a German blockade runner. EGBA replied with gunfire forcing the submarine to submerge. The attack was broken off when REDOUTABLE received the steamer's distress signal revealing her identity.
 
Far Eastern waters – Destroyer SCOUT departed Singapore for duty at Hong Kong. («naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/2/2017 1:05:25 PM
November 2, 1939


Quote:
Soviet annexations of Poland are completed with the incorporation of NE Poland into the Belorussian SSR. (seconde-guerre.com)



Quote:
King George VI decorates five RAF pilots for their actions during an air raid on the Kiel Canal. (seconde-guerre.com)



Quote:
Achtung! The Reich gets tougher on deserters. Those absent from duty without permission for more than three days face imprisonment of ten years; deserters are to be punished with life imprisonment or the death penalty. (chroniknet.de)


Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/2/2017 4:16:59 PM
Day 63. November 2 (continued)
Thursday.

Europe
No additional activity to report.

Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. No U-boats entering or leaving patrol. No Allied ships sunk. 15 U-boats at sea. No U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).

At sea
Quote:
Norwegian waters – Light cruiser GLASGOW located American steamer CITY OF FLINT at 2356/2nd and her escort, Norwegian minelayer OLAV TRYGGVASON, NW of Stavanger inside Norwegian waters. The minelayer illuminated GLASGOW with searchlights and ordered her out of the territorial waters. CITY OF FLINT put into Haugesand almost immediately.
 
Anti-U-boat activities – A submarine was sighted east of Margate Buoy and destroyers KEITH, BLANCHE and GURKHA spent some time searching. After the search was abandoned, KEITH and BLANCHE patrolled between North Goodwins and Edinburgh Channel.
 
Destroyers GREYHOUND and GRENVILLE were searching for a U-boat 17 miles 213° from Start Point.
 
Belgian steamer BRUGES (4984grt) reported at 1500 that she was stopped in 45-06N, 8-04W by a U-boat with a skull and crossbones painted on the conning tower. At 0230/3rd, Greek steamer KORTHION (2116grt) was stopped in 44-32N, 8-12W and reported she had been stopped by the same submarine.
 
East Coast waters – For East Coast Defence, available ships of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla were ordered to Rosyth for escort duties. MAORI proceeded direct and ZULU and GURKHA departed Grimsby escorting convoy FN.30 en route. Destroyers JERVIS, JERSEY, JAGUAR, JACKAL and JUPITER were in the Humber. Of the 19th, 22nd and 23rd Destroyer Flotillas, eight British and one Polish destroyer were at Harwich, two were on patrol off Lowestoft, two on East Coast convoy duty, and BASILISK, BEAGLE, BLANCHE, BOADICEA, BRAZEN and VANSITTART were proceeding from Harwich to Dover to cover minelaying mission HW which took place at 1400/2nd.
 
Operation HW was carried out by auxiliary minelayers HAMPTON, SHEPPERTON and PLOVER laying 502 mines between Tail of the Falls and Sandettie Bank. The 5th Minesweeping Squadron swept ahead, screened by the D.19 destroyers.
 
Northern Patrol – Light cruisers CALEDON and CERES departed Sullom Voe on Northern Patrol duties, and arrived back on the 9th.
 
On Northern Patrol, light cruisers DELHI, DUNEDIN and CALYPSO were between the Orkneys and the Faroes, light cruisers COLOMBO, DRAGON,DIOMEDE and AMC SCOTSTOUN between the Faroes and Iceland, and light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON and AMCs CHITRAL, AURANIA andRAWALPINDI in the Denmark Strait.
 
East Coast escort duty – Anti-aircraft cruisers CALCUTTA and CAIRO departed Grimsby on escort duties and arrived back later the same day.
 
Redeployment of ships – Anti-aircraft cruiser CURLEW departed Rosyth after covering the Narvik iron ore convoy passage and arrived at Scapa Flow later the same day. She took over the duties of radar direction finding while the Netherbutton radar station was out of service for 24 hours for repair. The radar station resumed operation at 1505/8th.
 
North Atlantic convoys – Convoy OA.29 of 12 ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers WOLVERINE and VERITY from the 2nd to the 7th. Destroyer ARDENT was with the convoy on the 2nd only.
 
Convoy OB.29 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WREN and ESK on the 2nd, and destroyers WARWICK and WHIRLWIND to the 5th, when they detached to convoy HX.6.
 
Convoy HX.7 departed Halifax at 0700 escorted by Canadian destroyers FRASER and ST LAURENT, which detached on the 3rd. Ocean escort was cruiser ENTERPRISE which departed Halifax with the convoy. The convoy was joined on the 14th by destroyer GRAFTON and sloop ENCHANTRESS which remained until its arrival on the 17th. ENTERPRISE arrived at Portsmouth on the 15th and the convoy at Liverpool on the 16th.
 
Far East waters – Light cruiser DAUNTLESS, now attached to the 5th Cruiser Squadron, departed Singapore on patrol duties.
 
Light cruiser DURBAN departed Singapore for Hong Kong, arriving on the 6th for refit and docking, which was completed on the 24th.
 
Indian Ocean – Light cruiser DANAE departed Simonstown for Mauritius.
 
Gibraltar-U.K. convoys –Destroyers GRENADE and GRIFFIN departed Gibraltar on 25 October to escort convoy SL.5 to England. However, GRIFFIN returned to Gibraltar on the 26th to await convoy SL.6. GRENADE arrived at Plymouth on the 2nd for duties with the 1st Destroyer Flotilla at Harwich. («naval-history.net»)


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

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

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1944
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/3/2017 4:48:46 PM
Day 64. 3 Nov.

Germany General Franz Halder sends a message to General Ludwig Beck telling him to be ready to move against Adolf Hitler on or shortly after 5 Nov 1939, which is the date the plans for the invasion of France, are supposed to be made known to top German military leaders.

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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/3/2017 5:03:44 PM
Day 64. November 3 (continued)
Friday.

Europe
Quote:
Russia incorporated eastern Poland into the Soviet Union following rigged plebiscites in which the majority of the 12 million Poles living in the conquered territory reputedly favoured annexation by Moscow.
Finland again offered counterproposals to Russia, taking it recognized Soviet security needs but hand gone as far as its “independence, security, and neutrality permit.” Helsinki was adamantly opposed to granting the Soviets a military base on Finnish territory. ( Goralski, p 99)

U.S.A.
Quote:
The United States of America amends its law on neutrality. Despite a still strongly isolationist current of public opinion, the US government hesitantly begins to hold out a hand to the Western Allies. (2194 Days, p 32)

Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. U-13 entering Kiel after 10-day patrol patrol. No Allied ships sunk. 14 U-boats at sea. No U-boats lost; U-431 severely damaged by aircraft attack off the coast of Algiers. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).

At sea
Quote:
Norwegian blockade – American steamer CITY OF FLINT (4963grt) departed Murmansk during the night of 26/27 October, called at Tromso on the 30th and was ordered to leave, escorted by Norwegian destroyer SLEIPNER. On the 3rd, she was interned at Haugesand by Norwegian minelayer OLAV TRYGGVASON after entering the port without permission, arrived at Bergen on the 4th and was later set free after the German prize crew was removed. CITY OF FLINT departed Bergen on the 27th and arrived at Haugesand later that day to discharge her cargo, departed there on 20 December and Bergen on the 22nd, arriving at Narvik on the 28th.

German steamer NEW YORK (22,337grt) successfully ran the blockade while the Home Fleet was involved with CITY OF FLINT. She departed Murmansk on 31 October and successfully used the Indreled, arriving at Hamburg on the 12th escorted by three minesweepers and aircraft.
 
German steamer SCHWABEN (7773grt) had departed Santos on 26 September and passed through the Denmark Strait on 21 October. She entered Haugesand shortly after the CITY OF FLINT and was allowed to continue, arriving safely in the Weser on the 8th.
 
Light cruiser GLASGOW and destroyers KELLY, BEDOUIN, ESKIMO and MATABELE had been involved in trying to intercept CITY OF FLINT and NEW YORK as they came down the Norwegian coast. All four destroyers arrived back at Scapa Flow on the 5th after sustaining severe weather damage. GLASGOW arrived at Rosyth that day with her forecastle dropped by two inches from the effect of the weather.
 
Northern Patrol – Light cruiser NEWCASTLE arrived at Sullom Voe on the 3rd for refuelling, then went off on Northern Patrol.
 
On Northern Patrol were light cruisers CALEDON and CERES between the Orkneys and the Faroes, three cruisers and one AMC between the Faroes and Iceland, and three AMCs in the Denmark Strait. Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON was returning to Scapa Flow from Denmark Strait patrol.
 
Ship movement – KELLY, after emergency repairs at Kirkwall departed with destroyer ICARUS for temporary repairs from depot ship GREENWICH at Scapa Flow, before going on to Hebburn for permanent repairs. She was back in service on 14 December. ESKIMO departed Scapa Flow on the 6th and arrived at Newcastle on the 7th, repairing until the 24th. MATABELE and BEDOUIN departed Scapa Flow on the 7th, MATABELE arriving at Rosyth on the 8th and reaching Newcastle on the 10th, where she repaired until the 25th, while BEDOUIN arrived at Rosyth on the 8th for boiler cleaning and repairs.
 
Light cruisers DRAGON, COLOMBO, DIOMEDE arrived at Sullom Voe.
 
U.K.-Gibraltar convoy –Convoy OA.28G departed Southend on 31 October escorted by destroyers ACASTA and ARDENT, while OB.28G departed Liverpool on the 1 November escorted by destroyers VERSATILE and VOLUNTEER. On the 3rd, the convoys with 33 ships merged as OG.5, and were joined in the Western Approaches by French large destroyers VAUQUELIN and TARTU the same day. The British escorts were relieved and returned to England. The convoy and the French escorts arrived at Gibraltar on the 9th.
 
East Coast escort duty, convoy – Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA departed Grimsby on escort duties and arrived back later the same day.
 
Convoy FS.31 departed Methil escorted by destroyers VALOROUS, WOOLSTON and sloop HASTINGS, and arrived at Southend on the 5th. There was no convoy FN.31.
 
Anti-U-boat activities – French torpedo boat BRANLEBAS reported the track of a torpedo in 49-38N, 2-50W.

[Ship movement – Heavy cruisers DEVONSHIRE and SUFFOLK departed Alexandria and NORFOLK Malta on the 5th. All three cruisers called at Gibraltar on the 7th and 8th, and left on the 8th, escorted by destroyers DOUGLAS and KEPPEL. The destroyers were relieved in 44N by destroyers ISIS and ILEX which had escorted battleship WARSPITE from Gibraltar on the 6th. DEVONSHIRE and NORFOLK arrived at Plymouth on the 11th and SUFFOLK at Portsmouth on the 12th. NORFOLK reached the Clyde on the 18th and departed the same day on Northern Patrol duties. SUFFOLK arrived in the Clyde on the 19th and also departed later the same day for Northern Patrol. DEVONSHIRE repaired at Devonport until the 21st, and then arrived at the Clyde on the 22nd for duty with the Home Fleet.
 
Mediterranean – Destroyer DECOY departed Malta after refitting, and escorted steamer NEVASA to Marseilles. The destroyer returned, escorting ocean boarding vessel VAN DYCK and reached Malta on the 7th.
 
Destroyers ISIS and ILEX, which had departed Plymouth, arrived at Gibraltar for escort duties with battleship WARSPITE and later, with cruisers of the 1st Cruiser Squadron.
 
Submarine OSIRIS was damaged by a motor room fire at Alexandria. She departed Alexandria on the 8th escorted by anti-submarine trawler CORAL and arrived at Malta on the 13th, where she was under repair and refit until 30 December.
 
Search for Graf Spee – Light cruiser CARADOC departed Kingston for duty in the Pacific Ocean. (naval-history.net)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/4/2017 7:32:39 AM
November 4, 1939


Quote:
Admiral Hugh Sinclair, chief of British Secret Intelligence Service, passes away. He is replaced by Colonel Stewart Menzies.



Image: Sir Stewart Menzies.

Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/4/2017 4:53:05 PM
Day 65. November 4 (continued)
Saturday. Last Quarter.

Europe
Editor's comment: the following passage from Berlin Diary (p 242) has been added to the daily entry:
Quote:
The radio people here in great secrecy had kindly offered to take me up to a Baltic port and let me broadcast the arrival of the City of Flint, which was scheduled for tomorrow. But the Norwegians sered it day before yesterday and saved me the assignment. The Wilhelmstrasse furious and threatening the Norwegians with dire consequences if they don't turn the American ship over to Germany.


Western Front
No notable activity.

USA
Quote:
Congress repealed the U.S. neutrality law. American policy no permitted “cash and carry” purchases, a one clearly favourable to the British and French. Roosevelt issued new proclamations of neutrality and defined the zones of combat, including the Bay of Biscay, waters adjacent to Britain and Ireland, the English Channel, the North Sea, and the Baltic. All U.S. ships were barred from these waters. The main point was that U.W. manufacturers could now sell arms to belligerents if the belligerents if the material was shipped under the flag of a foreign nation. (Goralski, p 99)


In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
12 new U-boats ordered on this date. 15 U-boats at sea. U-60 sailed from Kiel. No Allied ships sunk; no U-boats lost. Two U-boats laid mines off Britain’s East Coast. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).

At sea
Quote:
Norwegian waters – Destroyers BEDOUIN, ESKIMO, MATABELE were to ordered to rendezvous with light cruiser GLASGOW off Stadtlandet in the search for German liner NEW YORK.
 
On Northern Patrol, two light cruisers were on patrol between the Orkneys and the Faroes, three light cruisers and one AMC between the Faroes and Iceland, and three AMCs in the Denmark Strait. When a London flying boat from depot ship MANELA was reported missing, the five Northern Patrol cruisers carried out a search.
 
Ship movement – Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO departed Grimsby and arrived at Rosyth on the 6th.
 
Norwegian convoys – The first of the Methil-Bergen ON convoy series departed Methil with five British merchant ships at 1710. Convoy ON.1 put to sea escorted by destroyers FAME, TARTAR, ASHANTI and SOMALI. At sea, FAME was relieved by destroyer PUNJABI, which had been refuelling at Scapa Flow. The convoy was given anti-aircraft support by anti-aircraft cruiser CURLEW, which departed Scapa Flow on the 5th, and close cover by light cruiser EDINBURGH, which departed Rosyth, later refuelled at Scapa Flow, departed on the 6th, joined the Home Fleet at sea. and arrived back at Rosyth on the 9th. En route to Bergen, ASHANTI was detached from the convoy for refuelling and to repair defects at Sullom Voe and did not rejoin until the start of the return convoy. ON.1 arrived at Bergen on the 7th without incident.
 
Outbound convoys – Convoy OA.30 of 12 ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers GREYHOUND and GALLANT from the 4th to 6th, and dispersed on the 7th.
 
Convoy OB.30 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VANOC and WHIRLWIND to the 7th.

Anti-U-boat attacks – Canadian destroyer ASSINIBOINE, working up prior to departing for Canada, attacked a submarine contact northwest of Guernsey at 0200.

Steamer BRANDON (6668grt) was attacked by a U-boat 120 miles W of the Hebrides. Submarines TRIUMPH and TRIDENT were sent to investigate and carry out a search.
 
Ship damages – Minesweepers HUSSAR and SPEEDWELL were involved in a minor collision. SPEEDWELL repaired in the Tyne, completing on 10 December.
… 
Friendly losses – Greek steamer NICOLAOS M EMBIRICOS (5295grt) was sunk on a British defensive minefield off the Goodwins, 15 miles east of Dover near the Sandettie Light Vessel. One crewman was lost and the survivors picked up by the North Goodwin Light Vessel and a Dutch boat. They were transferred to British lifeboats.
 
German naval activity – Finnish steamer OTAVA (1290grt) was seized in the Gulf of Bothnia by German warships and taken to Swinemünde.
 
Far Eastern waters – Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM was relieved by light cruiser DAUNTLESS in the Sunda Strait on the 4th and arrived at Singapore on the 6th. («naval-history.net»)


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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/5/2017 4:22:19 PM
November 5. Day 66.
Sunday.

Europe
Quote:
Hitler set Nov. 12 as the date for the attack on France and the Low Countries. (Goralski, p 99)


Western Front
No notable activity.

Britain
Quote:
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain wrote …[a] letter to his sister. Hitler simply had to go before there could be any possibility of peace. “He must either die or go to St Helena or become a real public works architect, preferably in a ‘home’”, Chamberlain wrote. “His entourage must also go, with the possible exception of Goering, who might have some ornamental position in a transitional government.” It was November 5, 1939. (Human Smoke, p 158)


In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
12 new U-boats ordered on this date. 14 U-boats at sea. U-57 entered Kiel (after a 12-day patrol). One Allied ship sunk (see below); no U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»). In addition (from «naval-history.net»), “U.33 laid mines off North Foreland, on which two ships were sunk and one damaged”.
Quote:
At 02.55 hours on 5 Nov 1940 the Scottish Maiden (Master John William Albert Gibson) in convoy HX-83 was torpedoed and sunk by U-99 about 225 miles west by south of Bloody Foreland. The U-boat fired its last torpedo at three overlapping ships from a distance of 3600 metres and observed a hit in the stern of a tanker. …[Survivors were] landed at Liverpool. («uboat.net»)

Scottish Maiden, a British motor tanker of 6,993 tons, was sailing from Curacao via Halifax to Avonmount with 3,000tons of diesel and 6,500 tons of marine fuel oil. Crew complement = 44; number dead = 16.

At sea
Quote:
Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol, two cruisers were between the Orkneys and the Faroes, two cruisers and an AMC between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and two AMCs in the Denmark Strait. Armed merchant cruisers TRANSYLVANIA departed the Clyde for Northern Patrol duties and AURANIA departed her patrol station for the Clyde to overhaul her guns. Armed boarding vessels NORTHERN ISLE, NORTHERN PRINCESS and NORTHERN FOAM relieved armed boarding vessels NORTHERN CHIEF and KINGSTON BERYL on patrol in the vicinity of Muckle Flugga.
 
East Convoys – Convoy FN.32 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WHITLEY, WALLACE and sloop STORK. Destroyers WOOLSTON, VALOROUS and sloop HASTINGS departed Harwich and relieved the original escort which proceeded to Rosyth. The convoy arrived on the 7th.
 
Convoy FS.32 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloops BITTERN and FLEETWOOD. Six merchant ships left at 1200, despite fog, and the rest departed later. Destroyers JUNO and JUPITER were at sea to act as a fighting force from daylight on the 6th. Destroyer JAGUAR remained at Methil Roads until ordered to proceed at 1540 and overtook the convoy. JUNO and JUPITER were detached at dark on the 6th to proceed to Rosyth. There they joined minelaying cruiser ADVENTURE and escorted her to the Humber. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 7th. There was no convoy FS.33.
 
Anti-U-boat activitiy – Danish steamer TEKLA (1469grt) reported sighting a U-boat four miles SE of Flamborough Head. Destroyer JUNO was sent to search.
 
After a D/F bearing on a suspected submarine 150 miles SW of Ushant, destroyers ACASTA, ESCAPADE, VERSATILE and GRENVILLE conducted searches in the area.
 
East Coast escort duty – Destroyer ANTHONY, which had departed the Clyde on the 4th, was escorting base ship MANCHESTER CITY to Rosyth, where they arrived early on the 6th. Later that day, ANTHONY left for Plymouth.
 
Destroyer VANSITTART was sent to the Tongue Light Vessel [Editor: Thames Estuary] to investigate a report of a fast motor boat, but the order was later cancelled and she returned to normal patrol.
 
Submarine L.26, on Dogger Bank patrol, reported sighting a suspicious merchant ship in 54-32N, 3-26E. The submarine was ordered by Rear Admiral Submarines to follow the ship.

African Coast – Force K, consisting of aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, battlecruiser RENOWN, light cruiser NEPTUNE, and destroyers HARDY, HASTY, HEREWARD, HERO and HOSTILE departed Freetown on 28 October. HERO was detached on escort duties shortly after the first of the month. In 6N, 17 W, 300 miles WSW of Freetown on the 5th, ARK ROYAL aircraft sighted German steamer UHENFELS (7603grt) which had departed Lourenco Marques, Portuguese Mozambique, on her third attempt to escape back to Germany and after evading sloop EGRET patrolling off the port. HEREWARD was detached from the screen to investigate and UHENFELS attempted to scuttle herself. However, she was captured, Force K and prize arrived at Freetown on the 6th, and UHENFELS was taken for British service and renamed EMPIRE ABILITY. She arrived in the Thames for duty on 5 April 1940.
 
[Caribbean – Australian light cruiser PERTH departed Bermuda and arrived at Kingston on the 9th.


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

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

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1944
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/5/2017 5:18:26 PM
5 Nov 1939 Germany

A plot to arrest Hitler, hatched by of his most senior military staff, collapses. Led by General Franz Halder, the architect of the invasion of Poland, many Generals are appalled by Hitler's plans to continue the conflict by invading Belgium and the Netherlands and fear that the adventure would founder in another Great War quagmire. General Walther von Brauchitsch, who meets with Hitler and is supposed to be the one to issue the order for his arrest, hesitates and misses the opportunity to prevent Hitler from plunging Europe into another World War. However one of the conspirators, Colonel Hans Oster of German Military Intelligence, tips off the Dutch and Belgians about Hitler's invasion intentions.

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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/5/2017 11:29:37 PM
Trevor, thanks for that post. Of interest, can you offer a link to verify your last sentence re Belgium and Holland? It's not that I don't trust you, but [Edit note from "tomorrow" to "Nov 7] I'll be noting that the Belgian and Dutch governments are offering to mediate between Germany, Britain and France in an attempt to end the war. This suggests a lot more leakage and sharing than might have been thought at diplomatic levels.

Lots of truly weird shit coming up over the next few days. Any stuff you have on the Nov 8 attempt on Hitler in Munich will be appreciated. I have at least one source suggesting it was a Nazi plot to boost Hitler's status, so there's room for lots of nuances.

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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/6/2017 2:42:43 PM
November 6. Day 67.
Monday.

Europe
No notable activity.

Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 15 U-boats at sea. U-15, -19 and -20 sailed from Kiel; U-43 sailed from Wilhelmshaven. No Allied ships sunk; no U-boats lost. U-21 attacked by RN submarine Sealion with six torpedoes, with no hits. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).

At sea
Quote:
Ship movements – Destroyer KHARTOUM (Cdr D T Dowler) was completed. Following working up at Portland, she joined the 5th Destroyer Flotilla operating with the Home Fleet on 1 December.
 
Destroyer AFRIDI, whose defects were repaired in the Tyne, departed the Tyne and arrived at Rosyth on the 7th for operations.
 
Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol, there were three cruisers on patrol between the Orkneys and the Faroes, two cruisers and one AMC between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and two AMCs in the Denmark Strait.
 
Light cruisers CARDIFF, COLOMBO and DRAGON departed Sullom Voe on Northern Patrol duties, and arrived back on the 12th.
 
Light cruisers DUNEDIN, DELHI, CALYPSO arrived at Sullom Voe from Northern Patrol.

Armed boarding vessel NORTHERN DUKE received instructions to take over a merchant ship from light cruiser CERES and escort her into Kirkwall.
 
East Coast waters – Anti-aircraft cruisers CAIRO and CALCUTTA arrived at Rosyth to strengthen the air defences at Rosyth while the Home Fleet was refuelling there.
 
Sloop FLAMINGO, en route from the Clyde to Rosyth, was ordered to attempt to locate an aircraft down in the sea 20 miles northeast of Fraserburgh. She was unable to locate it and arrived at Rosyth on the 8th.
 
Polish submarine ORZEL, escorted by destroyer WHITEHALL, departed Rosyth for Dundee for docking. After the escort duty, WHITEHALL arrived back the same day.
 
Ship reassignments – Destroyers INTREPID and IVANHOE arrived at Scapa Flow, and after refuelling, departed for Plymouth, arriving on the 11th. They departed later that day and anchored in the Medway on the 12th, before reaching Chatham on the 13th for conversion to minelaying destroyers. On 4 December, the conversions were completed and both destroyers departed Chatham for Sheerness. At this time, INTREPID and IVANHOE were detached from the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla and attached to the 20th Flotilla.

Outward convoys – Convoy OA.31 of 16 ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers ANTELOPE and VISCOUNT from the 6th to 10th. When the convoy was dispersed, the destroyers joined inbound HXF.7.
 
Convoy OB.31 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WINCHELSEA and WITHERINGTON to the 9th.
 
U.K.-France convoys – Convoy AXS.4 of one steamer departed Fowey, escorted by destroyer WAKEFUL, and arrived at Brest on the 7th. Of the next three convoys, AXS.5 through 7, no information or dates are available. Convoy AXS.8 arrived at Brest on 11 December.
 
Convoy SA.16 departed Southampton with one steamer, escorted by destroyers SALADIN and SARDONYX, and arrived at Brest on the 7th.
 
Ship movement – Battleship WARSPITE escorted by destroyers DAINTY and DIANA arrived at Gibraltar from Malta. WARSPITE departed Gibraltar the same day escorted by destroyers ISIS, ILEX, DAINTY and DIANA and crossed the Atlantic arriving at Halifax on the 14th. She remained there until the 18th when she left as heavy escort for convoy HX.9.
 
[B]North Atlantic convoy[/B] – Convoy HX.6 of 52 ships, escorted by battleship RESOLUTION was met in the Western Approaches by eight destroyers, including WARWICK and WHIRLWIND. The convoy split on the 7th. RESOLUTION with two destroyers proceeded directly to Plymouth, leaving the two convoy sections each escorted by three destroyers.
 
[B]Gibraltar-U.K. convoy[/B] – Convoy HG.6 departed Gibraltar with 34 ships, escorted by destroyers WATCHMAN, VORTIGERN and the French CHACAL and MISTRAL. The French ships were escorts from the 6th and patrolled in 43-30N, 12-30W on the 10th. On the 13th, they arrived at Brest. Destroyer ISIS, after joining with captured German steamer LEANDER, was with the convoy from the 12th to 14th. Submarine depot ship CYCLOPS travelled in convoy returning to England for duty in Home Waters. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 14th.
 
Mediterranean – Light cruiser GALATEA departed Port Said, arrived at Haifa on the 7th, and Alexandria on the 8th.
 
French large cruiser MILAN passed Gibraltar east to west.
 
Atlantic special shipment – Armed merchant cruiser ASCANIA carrying £2,000,000 in gold bullion arrived at Halifax, escorted into port by Canadian destroyers FRASER and ST LAURENT.
 
German naval activity – Finnish steamer JESSIE (1405grt) was seized in the Baltic by a German warship, and taken to Kiel. («naval.hostory.net»)


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

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

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1944
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/6/2017 5:41:14 PM

Quote:
Trevor, thanks for that post. Of interest, can you offer a link to verify your last sentence re Belgium and Holland? It's not that I don't trust you, but [Edit note from "tomorrow" to "Nov 7] I'll be noting that the Belgian and Dutch governments are offering to mediate between Germany, Britain and France in an attempt to end the war. This suggests a lot more leakage and sharing than might have been thought at diplomatic levels.

Lots of truly weird shit coming up over the next few days. Any stuff you have on the Nov 8 attempt on Hitler in Munich will be appreciated. I have at least one source suggesting it was a Nazi plot to boost Hitler's status, so there's room for lots of nuances.

Cheers
Brian G
--brian grafton


I don´t know about a link. I read it in-

Joachim Fest Plotting Hitler's Death: The German Resistance To Hitler, 1933–1945 (1994).

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.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 537
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/6/2017 7:34:00 PM
Trevor,

I know this isn't the exact title but try The German Resistance. Searching for Allies Abroad 1933-1945. I believe it was published in the early 90's and there was another from the late 60's I believe that was something like The German Generals Speak Out: The Military resistance to 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"


brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/7/2017 4:02:42 PM
November 7. Day 68 (continued)
Tuesday.

Europe
Quote:
Hitler delayed the start of the western offensive, the first of many such postponements.

Poland’s governor general, Hans Frank, established his headquarters in Krakow, which replaced Warsaw as the capital. (His diary entry read, “The Poles will be the slaves of the German Reich.”) (Goralski, p 99)

Quote:
Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and Leopold III of the Belgians issue an appeal for peace, offering themselves as editors between the two sides in conflict. (2194 Days, p 32)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 15 U-boats at sea. U-41 sailed from Wilhelmshaven; U-46 returned to Kiel after 46 days, and U-15, -19, and-20 returned to Wilhelmshaven, each after 2 days at sea. No Allied ships sunk; no U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).

At sea
Quote:
Damage to ships – (inbound Norwegian convoy) Destroyers COSSACK, MAORI and ZULU departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow at 1745 to escort the west coast section of convoy HN.1. COSSACK was damaged in collision with steamer BORTHWICK (1097grt) off May Island in the Firth of Forth at 2015, and five ratings killed. …She was towed stern first by two tugs to Leith where she repaired until 15 January. MAORI and ZULU left to escort the convoy, joined later by sloop FLAMINGO.
 (Southwest coast) Destroyers GRENVILLE and GRENADE collided at Devonport during the night of the 7th/8th. GRENVILLE's starboard side was damaged below the water line and number three boiler room flooded; she repaired at Devonport completing on 1 December. The stem of GRENADE was twisted and the fore peak flooded; her repairs at Falmouth were completed on 9 December.
 
Ship movement – Light cruiser EFFINGHAM departed Devonport after boiler cleaning, and arrived at Halifax on the 15th.
 
Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol, three cruisers were on patrol between the Orkneys and the Faroes, two cruisers and one AMC between the Faroes and Iceland, and light cruiser NEWCASTLE and two AMCs in the Denmark Strait.
 
Light cruiser SOUTHAMPTON arrived at Rosyth after Northern Patrol duties.

East Coast waters – Minelaying cruiser ADVENTURE departed Rosyth, was met by destroyers JUNO and JUPITER off Inchkeith, and safely escorted to Grimsby.
 
Destroyer STURDY departed Rosyth, via the Humber for Portsmouth to escort aircraft carrier ARGUS to Toulon.
 
Inbound Norwegian convoy – Convoy HN.1 of six British and one Polish steamer departed Bergen and was joined just outside Norwegian territorial waters by destroyers TARTAR, SOMALI and PUNJABI. …Four steamers were detached to their destinations on the west coast and the convoy arrived safely at Methil on the 10th.
 
East Coast convoy – Convoy FN.33 departed Southend escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloops BITTERN and FLEETWOOD. …[Seven other ships joined to] reinforce the convoy, which was being shadowed by German aircraft, and to counter an anticipated German surface attack. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 9th without incident. Convoy FS.33 was cancelled due to too few ships being ready.
 
Anti-U-boat attacks – Destroyers GRENADE, EXMOUTH and WREN were submarine hunting in 49‑37N, 5‑20W. GRENADE attacked a contact at this location.

U.K.-France Atlantic convoy – Convoy BC.14 of …[11 steamers] departed the Bristol Channel escorted by [3] destroyers… . The convoy safely arrived in the Loire on the 10th.
 
Inbound Gibraltar convoy – In bad weather, convoy HG.5A had difficulty making the Downs, and steamer CITY OF MELBOURNE (6630grt) ran aground on the South Goodwins.
 
Inbound North Atlantic fast convoy – Convoy HXF.7 was delayed due to bad weather, and during the afternoon of the 7th, only four ships out of the 13 in convoy were in company. Escorting armed merchant cruiser ASTURIAS sustained minor weather damage which required dockyard repair.
 
Air torpedo attack – On the 7th, Polish destroyers BLYSKAWICA and GROM on patrol 70 miles east of Lowestoft were attacked by German torpedo planes. No damage resulted in this first recorded aircraft torpedo attack of the war. Returning to Harwich, they fouled the buoy, GROM's port propeller was damaged, and she required docking. BLYSKAWICA was docked for examination after GROM completed her repairs.
 
Submarine issues – Submarine SEAL, returning from Dogger Bank patrol, was bombed by a German seaplane while waiting for submarines CACHALOT and L.26 off Orfordness.
 
Submarine H.28 reported defects, and was repairing until 11 November.
 
Ship movement – Heavy cruiser BERWICK departed Bermuda and arrived at Portsmouth for docking on the 14th, where she was under repair until 9 December. She departed Portsmouth the same day to join the 1st Cruiser Squadron.
 
Mediterranean; African coast – Depot ship MAIDSTONE departed Malta escorted by sloops ABERDEEN and DEPTFORD, and arrived at Gibraltar on the 10th. On the 12th, they departed Gibraltar, accompanied by light cruiser CAPETOWN. West of Gibraltar, the sloops were detached and proceeded to England for duty in Home Waters. CAPETOWN escorted MAIDSTONE halfway to Freetown where she was relieved by light cruiser NEPTUNE.
 
CAPETOWN returned to Gibraltar while MAIDSTONE and NEPTUNE proceeded to Freetown, arriving on the 16th.
 
Sloop FOWEY arrived at Malta en route to England from Alexandria. She was delayed by boiler defects and did not leave for Gibraltar until the 12th, arriving on the 15th. She departed on the 16th, escorting ammunition stores issuing ship (ASIS) PACHECO to Freetown.

 Light cruiser CAPETOWN departed Malta for Gibraltar where she arrived on the 9th.

 Far East waters – Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM departed Singapore for Hong Kong and en route, investigated a Japanese whaling convoy. She arrived at Hong Kong on the 10th._____
 
French heavy cruiser SUFFREN arrived at Singapore after departing Saigon on the 5th.
 
French naval movements – French heavy cruiser FOCH, light cruiser LA GALISSONNIÈRE and destroyer LION, passed Gibraltar. The heavy cruiser and destroyer had departed Oran on the 7th and the light cruiser, Toulon on the 6th. FOCH was en route to Dakar, and LA GALISSONNÈRE to Brest for repairs. All three arrived at Casablanca on the 8th. The light cruiser arrived at Brest on the 12th for repairs, completed 3 March, and arrived back at Oran on 7 March.
 
French submarine SIDI FERRUCH arrived at Trinidad, and departed on patrol on the 8th. («naval-history.net»)


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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/9/2017 6:05:43 PM
November 9. Day 70 (continued)
Thursday.

Europe
More on the attempt on Hitler’s life:
Quote:
BERLIN, November 9
Twelve minutes after Hitler and all the big party leaders left the Bürger Brau Keller in Munich last night, at nine minutes after nine o’clock, a bomb explosion wrecked the hall, killed seven, wounded sixty-three. …
No one yet knows who did it. The Nazi press screams that it was the English, the British secret service!It even blames Chamberlain for the deed. Most of us think it smells of another Reichstag fire. In other years Hitler and all the other bigwigs have remained after the speech to talk over old times with the comrades of the Putsch and guzzle beer. … Curious that the official Nazi paper, the Völkische Beobacher, was the only morning paper to carry the story. A friend called me with the news just as I had finished broadcasting at midnight last night, but all the German radio officials and the censors denied it. They said it was a silly rumour.(Berlin Diary, pp 246-7)

Other European news:
Quote:
Finland again stated it “cannot grant to a foreign power military bases on her territory and within the confines of her frontiers.”
Chamberlain hailed repeal of the US embargo law as a “momentous event,” which, he said, “reopens for the Allies the doors of the greatest storehouse of supplies in the world.” (Goralski, p 99)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 13 U-boats at sea. U-49 sailed from Kiel; U-23 and U-59 returned to Kiel after 9 and 19 days respectively. One Allied ship lost to mines, one captured; no U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).
Quote:
At 07.20 hours on 9 Nov 1939 the Carmarthen Coast (Master J.O. Rowlands) struck a mine, laid on 26 October by U-24 and sank by the stern after about ten minutes about 3 miles east of Seaham harbor. …

At 19.00 hours on 9 November 1939 the unescorted and neutral Snar was stopped by U-34 about 80 miles west of Stavanger, Norway, but high seas prevented an inspection and she was ordered to stand by until the weather improved. …
At 14.00 hours on 10 November, the Snar was searched and taken as prize because she was bound for France. … Apparently she was released shortly afterwards because the ship operated under Allied control for the rest of the war. («uboat.net»)

British steam merchant Carmarthen Coast, 961 tons, was en route to London from Kirkaldy with 1,000 tons of general cargo. Ship’s complement=17; dead=2.

Snar, a Norwegian steam merchantman of 3,176 tons, was carrying pulpwood from Norway to Rouen. Ship’s complement unrecorded, but no crew were lost.

At sea
Quote:
Ship movement – Battleships NELSON, RODNEY, anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO, and destroyers FAULKNOR, FAME, FORTUNE, FOXHOUND, FORESIGHT, FEARLESS, KINGSTON and IMPERIAL arrived at Rosyth at 0700 for refuelling. KINGSTON had developed a leak in her reserve fuel tank and required repair.
 
Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol were two cruisers between the Orkneys and the Faroes, four cruisers and one AMC between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and two AMCs in the Denmark Strait.
 
Light cruiser SHEFFIELD departed Rosyth on patrol, and arrived at Loch Ewe on the 21st.
_____
 
East Coast convoys – Convoy FN.34 departed Southend, escorted by sloops GRIMSBY, WESTON, FLAMINGO, which had arrived from Rosyth for this duty. Kites were flown from the sloops at 1000 feet to hinder air attack. The convoy arrived at Rosyth on the 11th.
 
Convoy FS.34 departed Rosyth, escorted by destroyers VALOROUS, WOOLSTON and sloop HASTINGS, and arrived at Southend on the 11th.
 
anti-U-boat activities – Steamer ASHANTIAN (4917grt) reported sighting a submarine in 48‑27N, 15‑40W, and destroyer ECLIPSE was detailed to search.
 
Destroyer KANDAHAR departed Scapa Flow to join destroyer KELLY submarine hunting in Yell Sound. They were later joined by destroyer ICARUS and also searched in Colla Firth.
 
A U-boat was reported 250 miles SW of Fastnet, and destroyers BROKE and ECLIPSE were sent to search.
 
Test patrol – Submarine H.43 and trawler COMET (formerly TAMURA, 301grt) departed Devonport and exercised off the west coast of Ireland to see if submarines and trawlers could effectively work together. The patrol ended on the 21st.
 
German naval activities – U.33 laid mines off North Foreland in Bristol Channel, but no shipping was sunk or damaged.

Norwegian steamers GEISHA (5113grt) and SUSANNA (810grt) were seized by German warships in the Baltic for contraband violations.
 
Mediterranean – Light cruiser GALATEA departed Alexandria on patrol and arrived back on the 19th.
 
Ship transfers after Africa-U.K. convoying – Destroyer GRIFFIN of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla had departed Malta on 20 October and arrived at Gibraltar on the 22nd. She left on the 25th with sister ship GRENADE to escort convoy SL.5, but returned to Gibraltar. She left again with convoy SL.6 on the 30th and arrived at Plymouth on the 9th November. This completed the transfer of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla, now based at Harwich with the three Polish destroyers. Convoy SL.6A was escorted by destroyers ELECTRA and ESCORT into the Downs.
 
Gibraltar-U.K. inbound convoy – French destroyers TARTU and VAUQUELIN arrived at Gibraltar to escort convoy HG.7.
 
Other German shipping – German steamer LEANDER (989grt) departed Vigo to return to Germany. At 0400, 100 miles west of Vigo in 42‑32N, 12‑46W, she was captured by destroyer ISIS, joined convoy HG.6 which ISIS was escorting, arrived at Falmouth on the 13th, and was renamed EMPIRE CRUSADER for British service.
 
German steamers LAHN (8498grt) and TACOMA (8268grt) departed Talcuhuana, Chile, and arrived at Montevideo on the 23rd. («naval-history.net»)


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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/10/2017 12:48:42 PM
November 10. Day 71
Friday.

Europe
No notable activity.

Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 12 U-boats at sea. U-49 sailed from Kiel; U-5 returned to Kiel after 19 days. No Allied ships sunk; no U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).

At sea
Quote:
Anti-U-boat activity – Destroyers GIPSY and GLOWWORM were searching 60 miles south of Milford Haven for a reported submarine.
 
Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol were two cruisers between the Orkneys and Faroes, three cruisers and one AMC between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and one AMC in the Denmark Strait.
… 
Armed merchant cruisers RAWALPINDI arrived in the Clyde after Northern Patrol duty, and CALFORNIA departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol.

Armed merchant cruiser SCOTSTOUN was damaged by an ice flow which buckled her frame and started plates, but she was able to continue patrol in the Iceland-Faroes Channel.
 
The Northern Patrol, from the 10th to 23rd, sighted 57 eastbound ships and sent 50 into Kirkwall for inspection. Nine German ships were sighted and dealt with.
 
Ship reassignment – Light cruisers GLASGOW, SOUTHAMPTON, AURORA and BELFAST and ten destroyers were formed as a Striking Force under the command of Captain E de F Renouf CVO as a Commodore at Rosyth.
 
Following a refit, light cruiser BELFAST departed the Clyde on the 8th and on the 10th transferred from the 18th Cruiser Squadron to the Humber Force.
 
Ship movement – Destroyer IMPULSIVE departed Scapa Flow for Aberdeen to escort steamer MARYLYN (4555grt), but when it was found the steamer would not be ready to sail until the 13th, she returned to Scapa Flow.
 
Destroyers JUNO, JANUS, JAGUAR and JERSEY departed Immingham.
 
North Atlantic outbound convoys – Convoy OA.33 of 12 ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers WREN and WITCH on the 11th and 12th. Submarines CACHALOT and SEAL departed Gosport and escorted the convoy from the 10th to 15th. The convoy was dispersed on the 15th and the submarines proceeded independently to Halifax where they arrived on the 25th for escort duty.
 
Convoy OB.33 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VERSATILE, VOLUNTEER and MONTROSE until the 13th.
 
French naval movement – French submarines ORPHÉE and ANTIOPE departed Brest escorted by auxiliary patrol vessel HEREUX.

French light cruiser LA GALISSONIÈRE departed Casablanca, escorted by large destroyer CHEVALIER PAUL and later arrived at Brest; her escort being detached at sea.

Caribbean – Heavy cruiser YORK, repairing boiler defects at Bermuda, began repairs to A-turret that were to be completed by the end of the month.
 
France-U.K. convoy – Convoy BC.13S of … 13 steamers … departed the Loire escorted by destroyers VIVACIOUS and VESPER. The convoy safely arrived in the Bristol Channel on the 12th.
… 
North Atlantic inbound convoy – Convoy HX.8 departed Halifax at 1200 escorted by Canadian destroyers FRASER and ST LAURENT, which detached on the 11th. Ocean escort for the convoy was battleship REVENGE, and the convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 25th.
 
Ship and senior officer transfers – Light cruiser MANCHESTER departed Bombay en route to the Home Fleet, calling at Aden on the 13th‑14th and arriving at Port Said on the 17th. Vice Admiral Geoffrey Layton, commanding the 1st Battle Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet, was ordered to the Home Fleet to command the 18th Cruiser Squadron and embarked on MANCHESTER which called at Malta on the 18th‑20th. She departed Gibraltar on the 22nd, with destroyer KEPPEL as local escort, and arrived at Portsmouth on the 25th to begin a refit lasting until 21 December. She departed Portsmouth on 22 December, arrived at Scapa Flow on the 24th, and left on the 26th on patrol.
 
South Atlantic StationHeavy cruiser CUMBERLAND departed Buenos Aires patrolling en route to Capetown, but was diverted on the 18th to Rio de Janeiro, leaving there on the 22nd for the Rio de la Plata area.
 
Heavy cruiser EXETER departed Mar del Plata to repair at Capetown, but was recalled for patrol in the Rio area.
 
New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES arrived at Rio de Janiero, then left on the 12th for local patrol. She was ordered on the 17th to patrol in the Rio de la Plata area.
 
Indian Ocean – Light cruiser DANAE departed Mauritius for Colombo, where she arrived on the 18th.
 
Heavy cruisers DORSETSHIRE and CORNWALL departed Colombo to join aircraft carrier EAGLE and Australian destroyers VENDETTA and WATERHEN on patrol at sea. The Force arrived back at Colombo on the 18th.
 
African Coast – Netlayer PROTECTOR arrived at Freetown on the 10th to lay indicator nets. The lay was completed in mid-February 1940 and she departed Freetown on the 17th to return to England. («naval-history.net»)


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
, Posts: 3454
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/10/2017 2:12:20 PM
 Interesting that even without the Japanese at war with the Allies, the war is already global in nature if one considers naval operations.

Cheers

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/10/2017 10:17:47 PM
Bill, the same thing happened during WW1, though not exactly on such a scale. My little corner of Empiah – Victoria, BC – is flanked to the west by Naval Base Esquimalt. In WW1, despite the fact that it was in rather an out-of-the-way place, it was perhaps the premier northern Pacific base for RN vessels. A good supply of high grade coal, a sound anchorage and a rather safe roads made all the difference.

Just blue-skying it a bit, but I believe the whole tradition of "Hearts of Oak", though based on British pre-eminence at sea for decades, also reflected a deep fear, and hinted at the underlying weakness of the British Empire despite the growing strength of her Commonwealth. We're talking WW2, of course, but the same applied in WW1. Great Britain was never a strong land force. Well, except during the European wars of the Plantagenets.

We're approaching the confrontation with Graf Spee, of course, one well-designed ship at large in a radar-free, largely recon-free oceanic world. But she was not the only ship of such power at sea, and either one had the power (literally, in terms of weaponry) to disrupt all pre-war shipping plans of the British. Once Germany was successful in Western Europe, the relative impact of surface raiders would decline as the U-boats could use the expanded coastline to stretch RN capabilities beyond their fail-safe. The numbers: on a typical day in 1939 there are 13-17 U-boats on patrol. And there were Graf Spee and Deutschland at sea. The Admiralty was, IMHO, dead frightened that, face-to-face, RN ships might not fare well: there were questions concerning the armour on HM's ships that were discovered at Jutland in 1916, and were to an astonishing degree unresolved by 1939. And not to far in the future from 1939, I think that issue will come to the fore again, but will be covered over by the most lop-sided victory against a single ship that occurred during WW2, when the Bismarck was eventually sunk. IMHO, Bismarck and her escort, Prinz Eugen, became the RN's worst nightmare. In tactics. In gunnery. In survivability.

Maybe that's why the Admiralty (and let's remember who was First Lord of the Admiralty in 1939) had its ships spreading across the seven seas.

Gotta go. Guest arriving soon.

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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/11/2017 4:15:28 PM
November 11. Day 72
Saturday. New Moon.

Britain
Armistice Day in Britain and most of her commonwealth and colonies. Since 1920, ceremonies of rembrance have centred on the Cenotaph in Whitehall, while scaled-down services are held at various memorials across the participating nations.

There was to be no public service in 1939; public gatherings of such a nature were forbidden in wartime. Yet some things cannot be stopped:
Quote:
Officially, there was no two minutes’ silence on Armistice Day 1939 but on the first stroke of 11 am, traffic came to a voluntary standstill and passers-by stood bareheaded until two minutes had elapsed. At the Cenotaph, wreaths were laid on behalf of the King and Queen, followed by the chiefs of staff … on behalf of he fighting forces. (The Day We Went to War, p 355)

Quote:
BERLIN, November 11
Armistice Day. An irony! Listened to the broadcast from Munich of the state funeral for the beer-house victims. Hitler present, did not speak. Hess spoke. (Berlin Diary, p 247)

Editor’s note: Armistice Day was not celebrated in Germany, Shirer’s reference is to the British celebration.

Europe
Quote:
BERLIN, November 11
Something’s in the wind. Learned today that Hitler’s headquarters train has steam up. Party gossip about a mass air attack on England. A drive through Holland and Belgium. Or one through Switzerland. (Berlin Diary, p 248)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 12 U-boats at sea. No sailings or returns to port. No Allied ships sunk; no U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).]

At sea
Quote:
Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol were two cruisers were between the Orkneys and the Faroes, three cruisers and one AMC between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and two AMCs in the Denmark Strait. …
 
Armed merchant cruisers AURANIA and CHITRAL arrived in the Clyde after Northern Patrol duties.
 
Ship movement – Destroyer MAORI departed Scapa Flow to rendezvous with submarines TRIUMPH and TRIDENT 10 miles due north of the Butt of Lewis for escort. They arrived at Rosyth on the 12th.
 
Anti-U-boat activity – Destroyer ZULU searched for a submarine reported NW of Holbourn Head in 58-37N, 3-32W.

Trawler SOUTHWARD HO (204grt) reported a submarine five miles SE of the Tyne. Anti-submarine trawlers OLVINA (425grt) and CAPE COMORIN (504grt) carried out a search and during the night of the 11th/12th, CAPE COMORIN ran aground near the Tyne. She was refloated and repaired.

Destroyers IMOGEN, ICARUS and IMPULSIVE departed Scapa Flow on anti-submarine patrol and returned the next day.
 
East Coast waters – Convoy FN.35 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloops PELICAN and HASTINGS. Destroyers JUNO and JUPITER were at sea as a fighting force for this convoy and for FS.35. Seven steamers became detached from FN.35 and Polish destroyers GROM and BURZA escorted them into the Humber. GROM afterwards returned to Harwich. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 13th, WOOLSTON and PELICAN at Rosyth mid-day, and HASTINGS which had lost touch, two hours later.
 
Convoy FS.35 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers WALLACE, WHITLEY and sloops STORK and STORK which attacked a submarine contact 9.9 miles off St Abbs Head. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 13th.

 
Destroyers KEITH and BOADICEA were on East Coast patrol. BOADICEA was detached to Harwich to refuel and KEITH was relieved by Polish destroyers BURZA and GROM on the 11th.

The Humber Force, consisting of 2nd Cruiser Squadron, the 7th Destroyer Flotilla, and destroyers MASHONA, BEDOUIN, TARTAR, GURKHA of the 4th Flotilla, were placed under direct Admiralty control to counter a possible sea invasion of Holland thought to be due. Light cruisers GLASGOW,SOUTHAMPTON, AURORA, BELFAST, with MASHONA, TARTAR and GURKHA departed Rosyth on the 11th to join the Humber Force at Immingham. BEDOUIN was delayed three hours and arrived later. On the 12th, MASHONA, BEDOUIN and TARTAR were relieved by destroyers AFRIDI, MAORI and ZULU, with MASHONA departing Rosyth on the 14th, escorting submarine H.34 and tanker WAR PINDARI to Scapa Flow and Loch Ewe, respectively. BEDOUIN proceeded to Scapa Flow, while TARTAR escorted steamer MARYLYN (4555grt), departing Aberdeen on the 14th for Scapa Flow. …
 
North Atlantic special shipment – Light cruiser EMERALD departed Portsmouth with another shipment of gold for Canada, called at Plymouth on the 12th, and arrived at Halifax on the 21st.

Miscellaneous ship movement – Aircraft carrier ARGUS and destroyer STURDY departed Devonport for Toulon where the carrier could conduct training exercises for new pilots. Destroyer GALLANT departed Portsmouth on the 13th and joined the ships. STURDY was to carry on and join the local defence destroyer flotilla on the China Station, but was retained in the Mediterranean as attendant destroyer for ARGUS. The three ships arrived at Gibraltar on the 17th with GALLANT leaving on the 17th and reaching Plymouth on the 21st.
 
Gibraltar outbound convoy – Convoys OA.32G, which had departed the Thames on the 8th, and OB.32G, which had departed Liverpool, merged on the 11th as OG.6 with 43 ships. They were escorted by destroyers MACKAY, VIMY, WHIRLWIND, WREN and WAKEFUL from the 8th to 11th, and French destroyers TIGRE and PANTHÈRE from the 11th to 16th, when the convoy arrived at Gibraltar. Anti-submarine trawlers SPANIARD (455grt), TURCOMAN (455grt) and KELT (455grt) were with the convoy from the 11th to 16th.
 
Southeast Atlantic – Heavy cruisers SUSSEX and SHROPSHIRE departed Simonstown and Capetown respectively, to sweep towards St Helena. … The cruisers arrived back on the 23rd.
 
Indian Ocean – Battleship RAMILLIES and destroyer DELIGHT departed Port Said to relieve battleship MALAYA and destroyer DARING off Aden.
 
Mediterranean – Light cruiser PENELOPE departed Alexandria on patrol, and arrived at Malta on the 25th.
 
Mediterranean-U.K. transfer – The 1st Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla left Malta on the 11th with base ship VULCAN (trawler, 623grt) for Bizerte and Ajaccio, en route to Portsmouth. The Flotilla consisted of the same units it had at the beginning of the war. Destroyer DAINTY followed the flotilla to escort.
 
MTB.3 and MTB.4 broke down and returned to Malta, were freighted in depot ship WOOLWICH, which departed Malta on the 21st, and later arrived at Portsmouth. DAINTY and seven MTBs reached Bizerte on the 15th and MTB.14, MTB.15, MTB.16, MTB.18 were sent on to Ajaccio.
 
On the 16th in heavy weather off Sardinia, MTB.6 broke down and was taken in tow by DAINTY. However, she was lost when the ring of the towing spar fractured and DAINTY rammed her. MTB.1 and MTB.19 remained with DAINTY and arrived at Ajaccio before noon on the 19th, after which DAINTY returned to Malta.
 
Ship movement – Liner FRANCONIA, carrying MTB.2, MTB.5, MTB.17, departed Malta on the 16th escorted by destroyer DUCHESS. The liner was damaged by heavy seas and forced to heave to, but was able to reach Marseilles on the 19th. On the 24th, the flotilla departed Marseilles, travelled up the Rhone River, and was then towed through the canals to the Seine. In the Seine, once again under their own power, they sailed through Paris and out to sea finally arriving at Portsmouth on 6 December. After refitting, the Flotilla was based at Felixstowe and became operational in January 1940.
 
Southeast Atlantic – Light cruiser NEPTUNE departed Freetown on patrol, met depot ship MAIDSTONE, and returned on the 16th to join aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL.
 
French naval activity – French submarine SIDI FERRUCH arrived at Port of Spain after patrol in the Caribbean.
 
German blockade runners – A group of 8 German steamers escaped from Vigo to attempt to return to Germany. …[Seven of the 8 evaded British blockade. Only] the last ship of the group, KONSUL HENDRICK FISSER (4458grt) was captured attempting to pass the Iceland-Faroes Passage on the 23rd. («naval-history.net»)

---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/11/2017 4:15:49 PM
November 11. Day 72
Saturday. New Moon.

Britain
Armistice Day in Britain and most of her commonwealth and colonies. Since 1920, ceremonies of rembrance have centred on the Cenotaph in Whitehall, while scaled-down services are held at various memorials across the participating nations.

There was to be no public service in 1939; public gatherings of such a nature were forbidden in wartime. Yet some things cannot be stopped:
Quote:
Officially, there was no two minutes’ silence on Armistice Day 1939 but on the first stroke of 11 am, traffic came to a voluntary standstill and passers-by stood bareheaded until two minutes had elapsed. At the Cenotaph, wreaths were laid on behalf of the King and Queen, followed by the chiefs of staff … on behalf of he fighting forces. (The Day We Went to War, p 355)

Quote:
BERLIN, November 11
Armistice Day. An irony! Listened to the broadcast from Munich of the state funeral for the beer-house victims. Hitler present, did not speak. Hess spoke. (Berlin Diary, p 247)

Editor’s note: Armistice Day was not celebrated in Germany, Shirer’s reference is to the British celebration.

Europe
Quote:
BERLIN, November 11
Something’s in the wind. Learned today that Hitler’s headquarters train has steam up. Party gossip about a mass air attack on England. A drive through Holland and Belgium. Or one through Switzerland. (Berlin Diary, p 248)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 12 U-boats at sea. No sailings or returns to port. No Allied ships sunk; no U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).

At sea
Quote:
Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol were two cruisers were between the Orkneys and the Faroes, three cruisers and one AMC between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and two AMCs in the Denmark Strait. …
 
Armed merchant cruisers AURANIA and CHITRAL arrived in the Clyde after Northern Patrol duties.
 
Ship movement – Destroyer MAORI departed Scapa Flow to rendezvous with submarines TRIUMPH and TRIDENT 10 miles due north of the Butt of Lewis for escort. They arrived at Rosyth on the 12th.
 
Anti-U-boat activity – Destroyer ZULU searched for a submarine reported NW of Holbourn Head in 58-37N, 3-32W.

Trawler SOUTHWARD HO (204grt) reported a submarine five miles SE of the Tyne. Anti-submarine trawlers OLVINA (425grt) and CAPE COMORIN (504grt) carried out a search and during the night of the 11th/12th, CAPE COMORIN ran aground near the Tyne. She was refloated and repaired.

Destroyers IMOGEN, ICARUS and IMPULSIVE departed Scapa Flow on anti-submarine patrol and returned the next day.
 
East Coast waters – Convoy FN.35 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloops PELICAN and HASTINGS. Destroyers JUNO and JUPITER were at sea as a fighting force for this convoy and for FS.35. Seven steamers became detached from FN.35 and Polish destroyers GROM and BURZA escorted them into the Humber. GROM afterwards returned to Harwich. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 13th, WOOLSTON and PELICAN at Rosyth mid-day, and HASTINGS which had lost touch, two hours later.
 
Convoy FS.35 departed Methil, escorted by destroyers WALLACE, WHITLEY and sloops STORK and STORK which attacked a submarine contact 9.9 miles off St Abbs Head. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 13th.

 
Destroyers KEITH and BOADICEA were on East Coast patrol. BOADICEA was detached to Harwich to refuel and KEITH was relieved by Polish destroyers BURZA and GROM on the 11th.

The Humber Force, consisting of 2nd Cruiser Squadron, the 7th Destroyer Flotilla, and destroyers MASHONA, BEDOUIN, TARTAR, GURKHA of the 4th Flotilla, were placed under direct Admiralty control to counter a possible sea invasion of Holland thought to be due. Light cruisers GLASGOW,SOUTHAMPTON, AURORA, BELFAST, with MASHONA, TARTAR and GURKHA departed Rosyth on the 11th to join the Humber Force at Immingham. BEDOUIN was delayed three hours and arrived later. On the 12th, MASHONA, BEDOUIN and TARTAR were relieved by destroyers AFRIDI, MAORI and ZULU, with MASHONA departing Rosyth on the 14th, escorting submarine H.34 and tanker WAR PINDARI to Scapa Flow and Loch Ewe, respectively. BEDOUIN proceeded to Scapa Flow, while TARTAR escorted steamer MARYLYN (4555grt), departing Aberdeen on the 14th for Scapa Flow. …
 
North Atlantic special shipment – Light cruiser EMERALD departed Portsmouth with another shipment of gold for Canada, called at Plymouth on the 12th, and arrived at Halifax on the 21st.

Miscellaneous ship movement – Aircraft carrier ARGUS and destroyer STURDY departed Devonport for Toulon where the carrier could conduct training exercises for new pilots. Destroyer GALLANT departed Portsmouth on the 13th and joined the ships. STURDY was to carry on and join the local defence destroyer flotilla on the China Station, but was retained in the Mediterranean as attendant destroyer for ARGUS. The three ships arrived at Gibraltar on the 17th with GALLANT leaving on the 17th and reaching Plymouth on the 21st.
 
Gibraltar outbound convoy – Convoys OA.32G, which had departed the Thames on the 8th, and OB.32G, which had departed Liverpool, merged on the 11th as OG.6 with 43 ships. They were escorted by destroyers MACKAY, VIMY, WHIRLWIND, WREN and WAKEFUL from the 8th to 11th, and French destroyers TIGRE and PANTHÈRE from the 11th to 16th, when the convoy arrived at Gibraltar. Anti-submarine trawlers SPANIARD (455grt), TURCOMAN (455grt) and KELT (455grt) were with the convoy from the 11th to 16th.
 
Southeast Atlantic – Heavy cruisers SUSSEX and SHROPSHIRE departed Simonstown and Capetown respectively, to sweep towards St Helena. … The cruisers arrived back on the 23rd.
 
Indian Ocean – Battleship RAMILLIES and destroyer DELIGHT departed Port Said to relieve battleship MALAYA and destroyer DARING off Aden.
 
Mediterranean – Light cruiser PENELOPE departed Alexandria on patrol, and arrived at Malta on the 25th.
 
Mediterranean-U.K. transfer – The 1st Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla left Malta on the 11th with base ship VULCAN (trawler, 623grt) for Bizerte and Ajaccio, en route to Portsmouth. The Flotilla consisted of the same units it had at the beginning of the war. Destroyer DAINTY followed the flotilla to escort.
 
MTB.3 and MTB.4 broke down and returned to Malta, were freighted in depot ship WOOLWICH, which departed Malta on the 21st, and later arrived at Portsmouth. DAINTY and seven MTBs reached Bizerte on the 15th and MTB.14, MTB.15, MTB.16, MTB.18 were sent on to Ajaccio.
 
On the 16th in heavy weather off Sardinia, MTB.6 broke down and was taken in tow by DAINTY. However, she was lost when the ring of the towing spar fractured and DAINTY rammed her. MTB.1 and MTB.19 remained with DAINTY and arrived at Ajaccio before noon on the 19th, after which DAINTY returned to Malta.
 
Ship movement – Liner FRANCONIA, carrying MTB.2, MTB.5, MTB.17, departed Malta on the 16th escorted by destroyer DUCHESS. The liner was damaged by heavy seas and forced to heave to, but was able to reach Marseilles on the 19th. On the 24th, the flotilla departed Marseilles, travelled up the Rhone River, and was then towed through the canals to the Seine. In the Seine, once again under their own power, they sailed through Paris and out to sea finally arriving at Portsmouth on 6 December. After refitting, the Flotilla was based at Felixstowe and became operational in January 1940.
 
Southeast Atlantic – Light cruiser NEPTUNE departed Freetown on patrol, met depot ship MAIDSTONE, and returned on the 16th to join aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL.
 
French naval activity – French submarine SIDI FERRUCH arrived at Port of Spain after patrol in the Caribbean.
 
German blockade runners – A group of 8 German steamers escaped from Vigo to attempt to return to Germany. …[Seven of the 8 evaded British blockade. Only] the last ship of the group, KONSUL HENDRICK FISSER (4458grt) was captured attempting to pass the Iceland-Faroes Passage on the 23rd. («naval-history.net»)

---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/12/2017 5:14:03 PM
November 12. Day 73
Sunday.

Britain
Quote:
Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, says in a broadcast the if the British get through the winder without any serious setback the first campaign of the war will have been won. (2194 Days, p 32)
Editorial comment: is it possible for Churchill to have forgotten about Poland? I don't think so either!

Europe
Quote:
Chamberlain and Daladier refuse the offer of mediation by the Netherlands and Belgium. (2194 Days, p 32)
Editor: see Nov 7 above.
Quote:
BERLIN, November 12
The Germans announce they’ve shot “by sentence of court martial” the Polish mayor of Bromberg. They say an investigation showed he was “implicated in the murder of Germans and the theft of city funds.” That, I suppose, is a German peace. … (Berlin Diary, p 248)
This may refer to an incident raised by John R. Price for Sept 3 above.

Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 12 U-boats at sea. U-57 sailed from Kiel; U-34 returned to Wilhelmsaven after 27 days. Two Allied ships sunk; no U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).
Quote:
At 07.00 hours on 12 November 1939 the unescorted and unarmed Cresswell was stopped by gunfire from U-41 while fishing 18 miles northwest by west of Flannan Isles, Outer Hebrides. The Germans ordered the crew to abandon ship and they then shelled and sunk the trawler. … Eight survivors were picked up by the U-boat, but one died of wounds and was buried at sea. Mugler planned to put them on another ship later on.
At 09.55 hours, they witnessed the sinking of the Arne Kjøde and were transferred to the British trawler Phyllisia at 16.42 hours. The survivors were landed at Fleetwood on 14 November.

At 09.55 hours on 12 November 1939 the unescorted and neutral Arne Kjøde (Master Bernt Ingebrektsen) was hit amidships by one G7a torpedo from U-41 and broke in two northwest of Butt of Lewis. The crew abandoned ship in two lifeboats which lost contact to each other in bad weather. …
The master and three crew members drowned when [their] boat capsized in heavy seas in the morning of 14 November, but twelve survivors were rescued from the overturned boat by HMS Isis (D 87) (Cdr J.C. Clouston, RN) the same day. … («uboat.net»)

Cresswell, a British trawler of 275 tons, was laden with fish when sunk. Complement=13; dead=6.

Arne Kjøde, a Norwegian tanker of 11,019 tons, was carrying gas oil from Aruba via Kirkwall to Nyborg, Denmark. Complement=39; dead=5.

At sea
Quote:
Norwegian convoys – Battleships NELSON, RODNEY, and [5] destroyers … departed Rosyth to carry out full calibre firings before proceeding on patrol between the Faroes and Norway to cover convoys ON.2/HN.2. The force was joined by destroyer FURY at sea. ON.2, consisting of just one British ship, departed Methil escorted by [3] destroyers… . Light cruiser AURORA left Immingham to provide near cover and anti-aircraft cruiser CURLEW was ordered to guard ON.2, but the order was changed and CAIRO was assigned. … ON.2 arrived without incident at Bergen on the 15th. The big ships arrived at Loch Ewe on the 17th, departed on the 20th after refuelling and reached the Clyde on the 21st.
 
East Coast waters – Light cruiser EDINBURGH and destroyers AFRIDI and MAORI departed Rosyth for the Humber, arriving that afternoon.
 
Destroyer KINGSTON departed Rosyth for repairs at Leith, completed on the 19th.
 
Destroyer IMPERIAL departed Rosyth for boiler cleaning.

 Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA departed Rosyth and arrived in the Humber on the 13th.
 …
North Sea – Submarine SEAHORSE departed Blyth for a patrol off Terschelling, arriving back on the 28th.
 
Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol were two cruisers between the Orkneys and Faroes, three cruisers and one AMC between the Faroes and Iceland, and light cruiser NEWCASTLE and two AMCs in the Denmark Strait.
 
Light cruisers CALYPSO, CALEDON and CERES departed Sullom Voe on Northern Patrol duty. CALEDON suffered damage to her upper deck in heavy weather on the 15th.
 
East Coast Patrol – On East Coast patrol, destroyer KEITH was off Orfordness and the Polish BURZA off the Sunk.
 
Destroyers GRIFFIN (D.1), GIPSY, GREYHOUND and GLOWWORM arrived at Harwich from Plymouth, when Captain Creasy's designation changed from D.1 to D.22. GIPSY and GREYHOUND were in a collision which caused minor damage to both ships. GIPSY repaired at Harwich and GREYHOUND at Sheerness. GLOWWORM escorted convoy HXF.7A to the Sunk.
 
Ship damage and grounding – Destroyer VIMY on patrol reported a split in her hull which contaminated her fuel, and was forced to return to port.
 
[Five] steamers … and [1] tanker … of convoy FN.35 all ran aground off Lowestoft, each following the next one on to the shore. Steamer FLIMSTONE (4674grt), managed to avoid this fate but only after colliding with SAINT MARGARET.
 
German blockade running – German steamer MECKLENBURG … was intercepted on the 12th in 62‑37N, 10‑36W by light cruiser DELHI and scuttled to avoid capture NW of the Faroes in 63‑09N, 11‑38W. DELHI arrived at Sullom Voe with her 56 man crew on the 15th.
 
Ship movement – Anti-aircraft cruiser CURLEW departed Rosyth and arrived at Grimsby on the 13th.
 
Destroyers ESK, EXPRESS, BLANCHE and BASILISK departing Rosyth for the Humber, were held up by fog near Outer Dowsing.
 
German air attack – In a German air attack on Sullom Voe and Lerwick, two Sunderland flying boats at Lerwick were destroyed.
 
Ship movement – Sloop FLAMINGO departed Rosyth with submarines SEALION, SHARK, SNAPPER and SUNFISH for passage to Harwich, arriving on the 14th.
 
Outbound convoys – Convoy OA.34 of 14 ships departed Southend escorted by destroyers ELECTRA and ESCORT from the 12th to 14th.
 
Convoy OB.34 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VANESSA until the 13th, and destroyers WARWICK and WHIRLWIND until the 15th.

German minelaying in Thames Estuary – German destroyers KARL GALSTER, HERMANN KÜNNE and HANS LÜDEMAN, escorted by destroyer WILHELM HEIDKAMP laid 288 magnetic mines in the Thames Estuary during the night of the 12th/13th. …Destroyer BLANCHE and thirteen merchant ships for 48,725grt were sunk in this field from 10 November to 15 December, with a loss of 87 crew.
 
On the 12th, cruiser minelayer ADVENTURE (Captain A R Halfhide) escorted by destroyers BLANCHE (Lt Cdr R M Aubrey) and BASILISK (Cdr M Richmond) departed Grimsby en route to Portsmouth. At 0518/13th, three miles 120° from the Tongue Light Vessel, ADVENTURE struck a mine laid by the German destroyers that morning and was badly damaged; Nine ratings were killed, fifteen missing and 67 wounded. She was able to proceed under her own power at five knots to Chatham assisted by tugs DORIA and SALVA from Ramsgate and LADY BRASSEY from Dover. Sixty two wounded were transferred to BASILISK, which led ADVENTURE in to Sheerness. She was taken to Chatham for temporary repairs, departed on 19 December for Plymouth and arrived there on the 21st for permanent repairs lasting until 18 September 1940.
 
At 0825, near the same spot at one mile 80° from North East Spit Buoy, BLANCHE towing one of the rescue tugs, struck another mine. … BLANCHE sank two hours after striking the mine.
 
Destroyer GLOWWORM was stationed east of the Tongue Light Vessel to redirect Thames-bound shipping, and trawler MYRTLE redirected shipping coming out of the river, but the following vessels – PONZANO, MATRA, WOODTOWN,  GRAZIA,  HOOKWOOD, SPAARNDAM, RUBISLAW, SHEAF CREST, DALRYAN, SAN CALISTO, PARALOS, MEREL, and URSUS were mined and sunk in the field.
 
German naval activities – [Four] German destroyers conducted an anti-shipping sweep in the Skagerrak from the 13th to 15th.
 
Mediterranean – Light cruiser CAPETOWN departed Gibraltar on escort duty and arrived back later the same day.
 
South American Station – Heavy cruiser EXETER was bumped and damaged while alongside a tanker near Montevideo.
 
Far East – Heavy cruiser KENT departed Hong Kong and arrived at Singapore on the 15th.

Light cruiser DAUNTLESS arrived at Singapore after patrol in the Sunda Strait. («naval-history.net»)

---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/13/2017 5:45:03 PM
November 13. Day 74
Monday.

Europe
Quote:
Negotiations between Finland and Russia were terminated. Stalin ordered plans for an immediate war against Finland. (Goralski, pp 99-100)

Quote:
King Carol of Rumania offers himself as a secret mediator between the two sides.
The Finns break off their talks with the Russians and mobilize their forces – not exactly large, about 200,000 men – having no illusions about the outcome of the dispute. (2194 Days, p 32)

Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
No notable activity.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 11 U-boats at sea. U-56 returned to Kiel after 22 days. One Allied ship sunk; no U-boats lost; U-49 attacked by air, with minor damage. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).
Quote:
At 03.40 hours on 13 Nov 1939 the unescorted Loire (Master René Decrop) was hit by one stern torpedo from U-26 and sank within 30 seconds about 40 miles south-southeast of Almeira, Spain. The U-boat had hit the ship with a dud at 03.34 hours. …

…U-26 was the first German U-boat that operated in the Mediterranean in World War 2, she left the Mediterranean again after a few days through the Strait of Gibraltar.(«uboat.net»)

Loire, a French steam merchantman of 4,285 tons, Loire was carrying 5,588 tons of pyrite, 416 tons of wine and general cargo from Oran to Dunkirk. Of her complement of 34 crew and 5 gunners, none survived.

At sea
Quote:
Ship movement – Anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO departed Rosyth.
 
Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol were three cruisers between Orkneys and the Faroes, two cruisers between the Faroes and Iceland, and two cruisers and two AMCs in the Denmark Strait.
 
German air and sea activity – Two German air raids on Sullom Voe and the Northern Patrol cruisers there did not cause any damage. The air raids and the U-boats reported off Sullom Voe resulted in the 7th and 11th Cruiser Squadron of the Northern Patrol being ordered to Loch Ewe.
 
U.K.-France convoy – Convoy SA.17 of two steamers departed Southampton, escorted by destroyers SKATE and SCIMITAR, and arrived at Brest on the 14th.
 
East Coast convoys – Convoy FN.36 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WHITLEY, WALLACE and sloop STORK which had arrived from Harwich. The convoy reached Methil on the 15th.
 
Convoy FS.36 departed Methil, escorted by sloops GRIMSBY and WESTON. Sloop FLAMINGO, which had been on other escort duty, joined off the Tyne, and the convoy arrived at Southend on the 15th.
… 
German shipping losses – German steamer PARANA (6038grt), which had departed Buenos Aires on 7 October, was intercepted on the 12th by light cruiser NEWCASTLE west of Iceland in 65‑48N, 25‑19W, and scuttled herself in 65‑14N, 25‑22W. The wreck was sunk by gunfire from NEWCASTLE and she left her Denmark Strait patrol station at 2000/13th with the German survivors.
 
German steamer HUGO OSTENDORFF (3986grt), which had departed San Juan del Puerto on 25 October, was not far astern of PARANA. Hearing her interception, she arrived at Hafnarfjoedr (Hvammasfjord) on the south coast of Iceland, set off again on the 24th and arrived at Stettin on 5 December.
 
Anti-U-boat activities – Sloop ENCHANTRESS attacked a submarine contact in 49-40N, 12-04W.
 
German naval activity – U.28 laid mines in Bristol Channel, on which one merchant ship was lost.
 
German minesweeper M.132 was badly damaged by depth charges from minesweeper M.61 in an anti-submarine hunt near List in the North Sea, and was beached, a total loss.
 
Indian Ocean – Australian destroyers STUART, VAMPIRE, VOYAGER, VENDETTA and WATERHEN departed Singapore for Colombo. On the 17th, VAMPIRE and VOYAGER detached to Trincomalee to join Force J (heavy cruiser KENT and the French SUFFREN) in the Nicobar Island area. STUART and WATERHEN arrived at Colombo on the 18th and VENDETTA on the 19th. WATERHEN was attached to Force I, while VENDETTA was employed in anti-submarine patrols off Colombo. On the 25th, STUART departed Colombo for Madagascar to join light cruiser GLOUCESTER and French sloop RIGAULT DE GENOUILLY.
 
French naval activity – French tanker SAN JOSE (6013grt) was chased by an unidentified submarine in 27‑34N, 57‑58W, seven miles from Willemstad. The submarine was later identified as one of the French submarines based at Martinique.

French naval acctivity – French sloop D'ENTRECASTEAUX reported sighting a submarine in 12-56N, 22-24W.
 
French large destroyer LION arrived at Gibraltar at 0800 and departed at 1025 eastward.
 
French submarine L'ESPOIR departed Colombo for Djibouti and Toulon.
 
French submarine SIDI FERRUCH departed Port of Spain on patrol.

Caribbean – Light cruiser ORION departed Kingston on patrol and arrived back at Kingston on the 25th.

Singapore – [British India passenger steamer] SIRDHANA (7745grt) was sunk on a British defensive minefield in Singapore Roads, 3½ miles 148° from Fort Canning Light; twenty crew were killed.
… 
Far East waters –Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM departed Hong Kong on patrol in Chinese waters. («naval-history.net»)

---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/14/2017 4:29:59 PM
November 14. Day 75
Tuesday.

Europe
Quote:
Hitler rejects mediation offered by Queen Wilhelmina and King Leopols. (2194 Days, p 32)
See Nov 6 for offer; Nov 12 for Daladier and Chamberlain’s rejection.

Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
Ongoing RAF BC sweeps of the North Sea.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 14 U-boats at sea. Four boats (U-15, -19, -29, -38) sailed from Wilhelmshaven; one boat (U-61) returned to Kiel after 22 days. No Allied ship sunk; no U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).

At sea
Quote:
French gold shipment – Carrying the first shipment of French gold to the United States, French Force Z of battleship LORRAINE, and light cruisers MARSEILLAISE and JEAN DE VIENNE departed Toulon escorted by destroyers AIGLE, FORTUNE and LA RAILLEUSE in Operation MACARONI. The escort was reinforced by destroyers LION, which departed Gibraltar on the 13th and SIMOUN from Oran. The French ships, less FORTUNE, LA RAILLEUSE and SIMOUN which were detached en route for Casablanca, arrived at Mers el Kebir on the evening of the 15th when U-boats were reported in the area. The Force, escorted by LION and AIGLE, departed on the 17th and on the 19th was joined by the three destroyers which had been detached to Casablanca. Later on the 19th these three destroyers returned to Casablanca, followed by LION and AIGLE on the 20th. Force Z reached Bermuda at 0900/27th, remained until 1230/29th and arrived at Halifax at 1400 on 1 December.
 
Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol were three cruisers between the Orkneys and the Faroes, three cruisers and one AMC between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and three AMCs in the Denmark Strait. 

Light cruisers DRAGON and COLOMBO departed Sullom Voe on Northern Patrol duties, and arrived at Loch Ewe on the 20th.
 
East Coast convoy – Anti-aircraft cruiser CURLEW departed Grimsby on FN.36 escort duties with destroyers JERVIS and JUPITER, and arrived back later the same day.
 
Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA with destroyers JERSEY and JAGUAR departed the Humber on FS.36 escort duties and arrived at Grimsby later the same day.
 
Shetlands – Anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY departed Grimsby on the 14th, and in heavy weather, in the Pentland Firth, her power steering failed and she arrived at Sullom Voe under hand control. From 16 November to 14 January 1940, COVENTRY was anti-aircraft guard ship for Sullom Voe and depot ship MANELA which maintained the flying boats operating over the Arctic Ocean. Light cruiser CARDIFF was held at Sullom Voe until COVENTRY's arrival to provide anti-aircraft protection for MANELA.
 
East Coast waters – Destroyer KEITH and the Polish BURZA replaced destroyer GLOWWORM and Polish GROM on East Coast patrol.

 
Destroyer TARTAR investigated a contact 59° off Rattray Head, later determined to be the wreck of CAIRNMONA, sunk by U-boat on 30 October.

Home waters – Destroyer GLOWWORM dropped depth charges on a submarine contact off North Foreland.
 
Anti-submarine trawler IMPERIALIST (520grt) attacked a submarine contact off Kentish Knock in 51-42N, 1-48E.
 
Orkneys – Anti-submarine trawler LOCH TULLA (423grt) attacked a submarine contact in Hoy Sound.

North Atlantic outgoing convoys – Convoy OA.35 of six ships departed Southend escorted by destroyer KEITH on the 14th and destroyers ESCAPADE and ENCOUNTER on the 14th and 15th. Submarine NARWHAL departed Gosport and escorted from the 14th to 19th, and destroyers ACASTA and ARDENT from the 15th to 19th, when the convoy dispersed and NARWHAL proceeded independently to Halifax for escort duties.
 
Convoy OB.35 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WINCHELSEA and WALPOLE until the 17th.
 
Ship damage – British steamer DOTTEREL (1385grt) and French steamer ALASKA (5399grt) collided seven miles east of St Catherine. DOTTEREL was able to proceed to Southampton, but ALASKA sank early on the 15th.
 
Belgian fishing vessel MAURICE MARGUERITE (28grt) was sunk on a mine off Dyck Light Vessel, outside Gravelines, with the loss of three crew.
_____
 
German naval activity – Finnish steamer VERNA H (983grt) was seized in the Baltic by German warships and taken to Swinemünde.
 
Gibraltar-U.K. convoy – Convoy HG.7 departed Port Said on the 3rd, Malta on the 5th, and left Gibraltar on the 14th with 31 ships, escorted by destroyers VELOX, VIDETTE and also French destroyers TARTU and VAUQUELIN from the 14th to 21st when they arrived at Brest. Destroyer WOLVERINE escorted convoy HG.7A – the east coast portion - from the 21st to 23rd, and on the 21st, 28 miles 200° off Start Point, steamers DUNBAR CASTLE (10002grt) and CLAN MACFARLANE (6193grt) were in collision. DUNBAR CASTLE proceeded to Southampton for repairs. HG.7 arrived at Liverpool on the 22nd, while HG.7A arrived in the Downs on the 23rd with WOLVERINE.

 French naval activity – Off the Azores, French armed merchant cruiser KOUTOUBIA captured German steamer TRIFELS (6198grt) which had departed Ponta Delgada on the 12th carrying 21,000 cases of gasoline. TRIFELS was taken to Casablanca and renamed SAINT LOUISE for French service, but later returned to German service after the fall of France.
 
French submarines CASABIANCA, SFAX, PASTEUR and ACHILLE of the 2nd Submarine Division departed Brest escorting French armed merchant cruiser QUERCY, and arrived at Halifax for escort duty on the 25th.
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

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

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1944
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/14/2017 4:40:52 PM
14 Nov 1939 Germany

Theodor Eicke is named the commander of all SS Death's Head units; Richard Glucks takes over Eicke's former position as the inspector of concentration camps.

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.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
Posts: 537
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/14/2017 5:59:07 PM
Trevor,

3rd SS Division "Totenkopf," German translation death head, then just forming in Germany which was armed with Czech weapons for the battle of France. About a third of the division came directly from the camp guard details.
---------------
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
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/15/2017 1:29:37 PM
November 15. Day 76
Wednesday.

Europe
No notable activity.

Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
Ongoing RAF BC sweeps of the North Sea.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 17 U-boats at sea. Three boats (U-13, -18, -22) sailed from Kiel. No Allied ship sunk; no U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).

At sea
Quote:
Norwegian inbound convoy – Convoy HN.2 of eight British and one Finnish steamer departed Bergen and was joined by destroyers ICARUS, IMOGEN and IMPULSIVE. The convoy was covered by battleships NELSON and RODNEY and accompanying forces which departed Rosyth on the 12th. ICARUS was relieved by destroyer IMPERIAL and then proceeded to Rosyth for boiler cleaning.

…[Editor: 10 destroyers joined in the escort at various times during the convoy.]
 
A submarine contact on the 17th did not hamper the convoy's progress and HN.2 arrived safely on the 18th with IMOGEN, IMPERIAL and IMPULSIVE. The battle force arrived at Loch Ewe on the 17th, departed on the 19th and arrived in the Clyde on the 21st.
 
Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol, three cruisers were between the Orkneys and the Faroes, two cruisers and one AMC between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and three AMCs in the Denmark Strait.
 
West Coast waters – The deep minefield in the Clyde was begun and completed on the 18th in Operation CP.

East Coast waters – Sloop PELICAN and submarine TRIAD departed Rosyth to exercise outside May Island with RAF personnel. Both ships arrived back at Rosyth later that day.
 
English Channel – Polish destroyer GROM rendezvoused off North Goodwin Light with destroyers EXPRESS and ESK, which had sailed from Harwich.
 
St. George’s Channel – Destroyers BROKE and ECLIPSE were submarine hunting in 53‑50N, 5‑25W.
 
East Coast convoys – Convoy FN.37 departed Southend for Methil, escorted by sloops GRIMSBY, FLAMINGO, WESTON. Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA, destroyers JUNO and JUPITER departed Grimsby in support.
 
Convoy FS.37 departed Methil escorted by escort ships VIVIEN, VALOROUS and sloop BITTERN. Minesweeper TEDWORTH sailed with the convoy for the passage south. VALOROUS developed condenser problems, was replaced by destroyer JAGUAR, and began repairs in the Tyne, which were completed on the 16th.
 
U.K.-
France convoy
– Convoy BC.15 of ten steamers, including BARON CARNEGIE, BLACKHEATH, DEVON COAST and NIGERIAN (Commodore) departed Bristol Channel, escorted by destroyers VIVACIOUS, VESPER and VANESSA, and safely arrived in the Loire on the 17th.
 
Ant-U-boat activity – U.20 was attacked nine miles 90° from Tongue Light Vessel by British aircraft which called up destroyers KEITH and GRIFFIN. Destroyer GREYHOUND later joined in the search, but U.20 escaped serious damage and was able to lay mines off Newarp Light Vessel on the 22nd.
 
French destroyer SIROCCO attacked a contact in 25‑50N, 7‑20W after a submarine was reported by an aircraft. Destroyers VELOX and VIDETTE, after leaving convoy HG.7, also searched the area.

 
Indian Ocean – Australian light cruiser HOBART departed Colombo and arrived at Bombay on the 18th.
 
Heavy cruiser SUSSEX arrived at Durban.
 
Major German naval activity – German pocket battleship DEUTSCHLAND arrived in German waters and was renamed LÜTZOW to prevent the possibility of a ship bearing the name of the Fatherland being sunk. She anchored at Gdynia on the 17th.
 
German pocket battleship ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE sank steamer AFRICA SHELL … 10½ miles SW by S of Cape Zavora Light in Mozambique Channel in 24-40-42S, 35-12E. Submarine OLYMPUS on patrol in the Indian Ocean set off in pursuit, but failed to make contact.
 
RN response to Graf Spee – Admiral Wells of Force K transferred his flag to battlecruiser RENOWN, and aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL departed Freetown for England to refit and receive new aircraft. When news of the sinking of AFRICA SHELL reached the Admiralty on the 17th, ARK ROYAL was ordered back to Freetown.
 
Far Eastern waters – Light cruiser LIVERPOOL departed Colombo on the 15th and arrived at Singapore on the 19th for patrol duties on the China Station. She proceeded to Saigon and arrived at Hong Kong on 10 December.
 
Canadian naval activities – Canadian destroyers OTTAWA and RESTIGOUCHE departed Esquimalt, Canada, for Halifax on the east coast after being relieved in the Pacific by British light cruiser CARADOC. They refuelled on the 25th off the Isla del Coco off the Costa Rican coast from Australian light cruiser PERTH, which had entered the Pacific through the Panama Canal, refuelled again at Kingston and reached Halifax on 7 December.
 
These movements were to allow Canadian destroyers FRASER and OTTAWA to join the America and West Indies Station, and Canadian destroyer SAGUENAY which had been operating in the Caribbean since late September to return to Canada. However, heavy demands for convoy escorts caused OTTAWA to be retained at Halifax and FRASER did not arrive in the Caribbean at Kingston until 31 March 1940.
 
Canadian destroyer ASSINIBOINE arrived at Halifax on the 17th from Plymouth, and departed Halifax on 5 December for Jamaica, arriving at Kingston on the 8th to relieve SAGUENAY.
 
SAGUENAY arrived back at Halifax in mid-December and resumed convoy duties from that port.
 
ASSINIBOINE remained in the Caribbean until 31 March 1940 when she arrived back at Halifax after being relieved by FRASER.
 
German losses – German trawler ELSE … was lost near Skargaard.
 
Other shipping losses – Lithuanian steamers PANEVEZYS … and NIDA … were sunk on mines near Tallinn. («naval-history.net»)

---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/16/2017 5:11:39 PM
November 16. Day 77
Thursday.

Europe
Quote:
An uprising in Prague was quelled. Martial law was imposed and many of the dissidents – including large numbers of students – were killed. (Goralski, p 100)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
Ongoing, ineffectual RAF BC sweeps of the North Sea.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 18 U-boats at sea. One boat (U-47) sailed from Kiel. One Allied ship sunk; no U-boats lost.

Arlington Court, a British steam merchant of 4,915 tons and a straggler from convoy SL-7A, was carrying 7,340 tons of maize from Rosario via Freetown to Hull. She was hit by two torpedo. Complement = 35; Dead = 7.(Data collated from «uboat.net»).

At sea
Quote:
Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol were three cruisers between the Orkneys and the Faroes, two cruisers and two AMCs between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and three AMCs in the Denmark Strait.

Ship repair – Light cruiser CARDIFF departed Sullom Voe and arrived at Loch Ewe on the 20th to repair weather damage.

Destroyer KASHMIR at Scapa Flow was ordered to join [Adm] Forbes at sea, but had mechanical defects and was unable to sail.
Anti-aircraft cruiser CURLEW departed Grimsby on patrol duties and arrived back later the same day.
 
Southeast coast – Destroyers KEITH and GIPSY were ordered to rendezvous with destroyer GRIFFIN off Kentish Knock Light Vessel.
 
Minelaying operation FE was completed on the 15th/16th and 16th/17th between the English end of the Folkestone-Cape Griz Nez field and the shore off Dover by auxiliary minelayer HAMPTON escorted by two destroyers. Survey ship FRANKLIN laid the navigational buoys.
 
U.K.-Gibraltar outgoing convoysConvoy OA.36G of 19 ships departed Southend on the 16th escorted by destroyers WAKEFUL and WHITEHALL on the 16th and 17th, and destroyers WOLVERINE and VERITY on the 18th and 19th.
 
Convoy OB.36G departed Liverpool on the 17th, escorted by destroyers WALKER and VANOC, which remained with the convoy until the 19th. Anti-submarine trawler NORTHERN SPRAY (655grt) was with the convoy on the 17th only. The Bristol section of OB.36G was escorted by destroyer MONTROSE which remained until the 20th.
 
Accompanying OA.36G were anti-submarine trawlers ARCTIC RANGER (493grt), KINGSTON CORNELIAN (449grt), LORD HOTHAM (464grt) and LEYLAND (452grt) on passage to Gibraltar for local anti-submarine duties, which were with the convoy from the 17th to 24th. OA.36G rendezvoused with OB.36G on the 19th and became convoy OG.7 with 43 ships. It was then escorted by French destroyers CHACAL and MISTRAL from the 19th and destroyer KEPPEL from the 20th. The convoy reached Gibraltar on the 24th.

U.28 sank Dutch tanker SLIEDRECHT (5133grt) 200 miles south of Rockall Bank; twenty six crewmen were missing but trawler MERISIA (291grt) rescued five survivors during the night of the 23rd/24th.[Editor’s comment: this sinking is listed in «uboat.net» as occurring on November 17.]
 
Sailing mishaps – Italian steamer VELOCE (5464grt) ran aground near Dungeness Light.
 
Anti-U-boat activities – When steamer HOPESTAR (5257grt) was attacked by a submarine in 48‑47N, 8‑28W, destroyers BROKE and ECLIPSE searched in the area.
 
Ship boarding – Destroyer WATCHMAN boarded Italian liner VULCANIA (24,469grt) outside Portuguese territorial waters. [No exact location indicated.]
 
Gibraltar – French destroyers TIGRE and PANTHÈRE arrived at Gibraltar for convoy escort duty.
 
U.K.-Africa inbound convoy – Convoy SL.9 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant cruiser SALOPIAN. Disabled destroyer HAVOCK travelled with them and detached to Gibraltar on the 25th, arriving on the 27th. At 0800/2 December, destroyers MACKAY, VIMY, ACASTA, and ARDENT met the convoy in Home Waters, which arrived later that day.
 
Caribbean – French submarine SIDI FERRUCH arrived at Port of Spain after patrol. («naval-history.net»)

---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/17/2017 5:18:38 PM
November 17. Day 78.
Friday.

Europe
Quote:
The Supreme Allied Council meets in Paris. In case of a German attack through Belgium it is decided to defend a line from the Meuse to Antwerp. In past years Marshal Pétain had opposed extension of the Maginot Line up to the Meuse on the grounds that the terrain in the Ardennes “would make any attempted invasion in that sector impossible”. (2194 Days, p 33)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
Ongoing, ineffectual RAF BC sweeps of the North Sea.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 18 U-boats at sea. No boats sailed from or returned to port. Two neutral ships sunk (6,699 tons total); no U-boats lost.

Sliederecht, a Dutch motor tanker, was carrying 6,741 tons of various fuels from Abadan to Trondheim and Svolvær, but was being redirected to Kirkwall by RN order. She was hit by 1 torpedo from U-28. Complement = 31; Dead = 26.

Kaunas, a Lithuanian steam merchantman in ballast from Ghent to Hartlepool, was sunk by 1 torpedo from U-57 off the Netherlands coast. She was not displaying national markings so was sunk without warning. Complement = 16; Dead = 1. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).

At sea
Quote:
North Atlantic damage – Battlecruiser REPULSE sustained damage to her breakwater and aircraft carrier FURIOUS had engine trouble which limited her speed to 23 knots while at sea from Halifax.

Northern waters – Light cruisers EDINBURGH, BELFAST, GLASGOW, SOUTHAMPTON and AURORA arrived at Rosyth.
 
Light cruiser NEWCASTLE departed Scapa Flow for Loch Ewe, leaving there on the 21st for Northern Patrol.
 
Light cruiser CARDIFF departed Loch Ewe after refuelling and repairing damage sustained in heavy weather, and arrived back on the 20th.
 
Northern Patrol – Light cruisers DIOMEDE and DUNEDIN departed Loch Ewe on Northern Patrol duties, with DIOMEDE arriving back on the 21st.
 
Armed merchant cruiser AURANIA departed the Clyde for Northern Patrol duties.
 
On Northern Patrol were two cruisers between the Orkneys and the Faroes, two cruisers and two AMCs between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and three AMCs in the Denmark Strait.
 
East Coast – Polish destroyers BLYSKAWICA, BURZA, GROM arrived at Rosyth for a visit by the Polish Prime Minister, and left on the 18th to return to Harwich.
 
RN minelaying – Destroyers ESK and EXPRESS arrived at Harwich for minelaying in the Thames approaches in operation RG. They departed Harwich at 0815, accompanied by minesweepers SKIPJACK and LEDA.
 
ESK and EXPRESS laid more mines in this field on the 29th assisted by minesweepers HARRIER and HUSSAR, followed on 1 December by auxiliary minelayer HAMPTON and four destroyers which laid another line of mines, assisted by minesweepers SKIPJACK and LEDA.
 
Ship movement – Destroyer FURY departed the Clyde with base ship MASHOBRA on the 16th. FURY was relieved by destroyer INGLEFIELD at 1735/17th which took MASHOBRA on to Rosyth, arriving on the 19th. FURY proceeded to Loch Ewe, and after refuelling, joined the Main Fleet at sea.
 
East Coast convoy – Convoy FN.38 departed Southend, escorted by [3] escort vessels/destroyers… . Destroyer JERVIS, which had been searching the Outer Dowsing area joined the convoy on the 18th from dawn to dark, and the convoy arrived at Methil on the 19th.
 
Convoy FS.38 departed Methil, escorted by [2] destroyers … and [1] sloop… . Seaplane carrier PEGASUS travelled in company. [2] destroyers … operated in the area of FS.38 from dawn to dark on the 18th, and the convoy arrived at Southend on the 19th.
 
RN prize ship – German steamer HENNING OLDENDORFF (3986grt), which had departed Huelva, Spain, on the 2nd disguised as a Russian ship, was captured by light cruiser COLOMBO near Iceland in 62‑59N, 10‑44W. The German ship, the Royal Navy's 19th prize of the war, was taken in to Kirkwall … [and] was later renamed EMPIRE INDUSTRY for British service.
 
German minelaying German destroyers HERMANN KÜNNE and WILHELM HEIDKAMP of the 5th Destroyer Division, escorted by destroyer BERND VON ARNIM, laid 180 magnetic mines in the Thames Estuary during the night of the 17th/18th. Returning to Wilhelmshaven, they were met off Terschelling by … [5 escort vessels]. Seven merchant ships grossing 27,565 tons were sunk and one more damaged in the field… . [108 lives lost.]
 
U.19 laid mines off Orfordness during the night of the 17th/18th. Destroyer GIPSY and one merchant ship was lost in the field. The merchantman was Yugoslav steamer CARICA MILICA (6371grt), sunk on the 18th, 3½ miles 005° from Shipwash; the entire crew was rescued.

U.15 laid mines off Lowestoft during the night of the 16th/17th, on which one merchant ship was sunk.
 
Anti-U-boat activity – Anti-submarine trawler DRANGEY (434grt) was damaged in a collision at Rosyth.

Destroyers BROKE and ECLIPSE were submarine hunting in 48‑05N, 6‑32W, and joined by destroyers VANESSA, VESPER and VIVACIOUS, released from the escort of convoy BC.15.
 
Minesweeping trawler CORENA (352grt) reported sighting a U-boat in 50N, 4-35W, and destroyers WOLVERINE and VERITY sailed to investigate.
 
Destroyer WALLACE attacked a submarine contact 10 miles NE of Blyth.
 
Anti-submarine trawler CAPE ARGONA (494grt) attacked a submarine contact 1½ miles 010° from Outer Dowsing.
 
Steamer COREA (751grt) sighted a submarine in 57‑44N, 5‑52W, and destroyers WOLVERINE and VERITY were ordered to carry out a search.

North Atlantic inbound convoy – Convoy HXF.9 departed Halifax at 1200 escorted by Canadian destroyer ST LAURENT until detached on the 18th. Ocean escort was armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA, and the convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 29th.
 
Ship movement – Aircraft carrier ARGUS, and destroyers STURDY and GALLANT arrived at Gibraltar. GALLANT left to return to Plymouth and was ordered en route to search for German merchant ships reported leaving Vigo.
 
U.K.-Africa inbound convoy – Convoy SLF.9 departed Freetown escorted by sloop AUCKLAND, and was joined on the 29th by destroyers ESCAPADE, GALLANT and GRAFTON. The convoy arrived later that day and AUCKLAND reached Portsmouth on the 30th.
 
Pacific waters – Light cruiser CARADOC arrived at San Diego, California, for refuelling, the first foreign warship to visit a US port since the start of the war.
 
Light cruiser DESPATCH (Captain Allen Poland DSC), which entered the Pacific through the Panama Canal on the 1st, arrived at Callao, Peru with steamer LOBOS (6479grt).

Indian Ocean – Light cruiser GLOUCESTER, attached to Force I from the 16th, departed Rangoon, and on the 18th sailed from Colombo to patrol north of Madagascar.
 
German naval activity – Swedish steamer VALAPARISO (3759grt) was seized by German warships for contraband violations in the Baltic.
 
French naval movements – French submarine SIDI FERRUCH departed Port of Spain for Martinique. («naval-history.net»)

---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/18/2017 4:43:46 PM
November 18. Day 79.
Saturday.

Europe
Quote:
BERLIN, November 18
Yesterday nine young Czech students at the University of Prague were lined up before a German firing squad and executed. A the press conference this noon we asked the authorities why and they replied the the students had staged anti-German demonstrations in Prague on October 23 and November. … Later in the day the Germans admitted that three more Czechs, two of them policemen, were shot for “attacking a German.” (Berlin Diary, p 249)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
Ongoing, ineffectual RAF BC sweeps of the North Sea.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 19 U-boats at sea. Two boats (U-20, -35) sailed from Wilhelmshaven; one boat (U-15) returned to Wilhelmshaven after 5 days.. Two British ships (845 tons total) sunk; one neutral (Yugoslavian) vessel (6371 tons) sunk by mines. No U-boats lost.

Parkhill, a British steam merchantman of 500 tons, was carrying 449 tons of coal from Blyth to Kirkwall. Hit by one torpedo from U-18, she sank immediately. Crew complement=9; dead=9.

Wigmore, a fishing trawler of 345 tons out of Grimsby, sank three minutes after being hit by U-22. Complement=16; dead=16.

Carica Milica, a Yugoslavian steam merchantman of 6,371 tons carrying coal from Newcastle to Dubrovnik, was sunk by a mine laid this day by U-19. Complement=undetermined; deaths=none reported. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).

At sea
Quote:
Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol were two cruisers between the Orkneys and the Faroes three cruisers and three AMCs between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and two AMCs in the Denmark Strait.
 
Light cruisers CALEDON, CERES, CALYPSO arrived at Loch Ewe from Northern Patrol.
 
Armed boarding vessels NORTHERN PRINCESS, NORTHERN FOAM, NORTHERN ISLE departed the Fair Isle Patrol [between Orkneys and Faroes].
 
East coast – Anti-aircraft cruiser CURLEW departed Grimsby on escort duties.
 
British blockade – German merchant ship BORKUM (3670grt), which had departed Montevideo on 9 October, was captured by armed merchant cruiser CALIFORNIA on 18 November in the Denmark Strait. … [H]eaded for Greenock via Kirkwall, but on the 23rd was attacked by U.33 and damaged by torpedo and gunfire near the Orkneys in 59‑33N, 03‑57W. Four German crew members were killed… .
 
German merchant ship EILBEK (2185grt), which had departed Ponta Delgada in the Azores on the 10th, was captured by armed merchant cruiser SCOTSTOUN in the Iceland Faroes-Channel in 58‑45N, 14‑10W. …
 
Anti-U-boat activities – Following a D/F report, destroyers ACASTA, ARDENT, WINCHELSEA and WALPOLE, on their way to meet a homecoming Halifax convoy, conducted a search 150 miles SW of Berehaven.
 
Destroyers ECHO and WANDERER were searching for a submarine in 49‑40N, 12‑00W.
 
Ship movement – Destroyers ILEX and ICARUS began boiler cleaning at Rosyth.
 
Destroyer ISIS departed Rosyth to collect tanker ATHELKING (9557grt) at Invergordon and escort her to Methil to join convoy FS.40. ISIS arrived on the morning of the 19th and departed that afternoon with the tanker and destroyer KELLY, en route to the Tyne for refit. Destroyer INGLEFIELD, after delivering MASHOBRA to Rosyth, relieved KELLY.
 
ISIS and the tanker arrived at Methil on the 20th, while KELLY reached the Tyne on the 21st.
 
Outbound convoy formation – Convoy OA.37 of 24 ships departed Southend escorted by destroyer GRAFTON and ENCHANTRESS from the 18th to 20th. The convoy was dispersed on the 21st.
 
Convoy OB.38 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers MACKAY and VIMY to the 21st.
 
German surface minelaying – German destroyers ERICH STEINBRINCK and FRIEDRICH ECKHOLDT of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla, escorted by destroyer HANDS LODY, laid mixed contact and more magnetic mines off the Humber during the night of the 18th/19th. Returning, they were met by light cruiser LEIPZIG and torpedo boats ILTIS, SEEADLER, LEOPARD and WOLF. The British were still not aware that the Germans were using magnetic mines, against which they had no defence or sweeping capability, and it was not until the 23rd that a magnetic mine was recovered at Shoeburyness. Seven merchant ships grossing 38,710 tons were sunk and one more damaged in the field. 38 lives were lost.

African convoy route – Force K of aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL, battlecruiser RENOWN, light cruiser NEPTUNE, and destroyers HARDY, HERO, HOSTILE and HASTY departed Freetown to operate south of Freetown along the convoy route.
 
Indian Ocean – Battleship RAMILLIES and destroyer DELIGHT joined Force J in the Indian Ocean. RAMILLIES was to relieve battleship MALAYA which was due to go to Malta for rearming. However, these plans were suspended after the sinking of steamer AFRICA SHELL in the Indian Ocean. DELIGHT was also to relieve destroyer DARING which was to return to the Mediterranean for refit, but her return too was suspended.
 
Mediterranean – Aircraft carrier ARGUS, and destroyers STURDY and DOUGLAS departed Gibraltar for Toulon. DOUGLAS arrived back on the 23rd.
 
Light cruiser CAPETOWN departed Gibraltar and arrived at Malta on the 20th.
 
French destroyer BORDELAIS and submarines CAIMAN, MORSE and SOUFFLEUR passed Gibraltar westbound.
 
North Atlantic inbound convoy – Convoy HX.9 departed Halifax at 1000 escorted by Canadian destroyers ASSINIBOINE and ST LAURENT until they detached on the 20th. Ocean escort was battleship WARSPITE, which detached on the 24th. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 2 December.
 
French naval activity – French large destroyer CHEVALIER PAUL and torpedo boats FLORE and BOUCLIER were on patrol in the area of 43N, 13.5W. («naval-history.net»)

---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/20/2017 1:09:40 AM
November 19. Day 80.
Sunday. Moon in First Quarter.

Europe
Quote:
Churchill proposes to mind the waters of the Rhine between Strassbourg and the river Later, using mine-laying aircraft. (2194 Days, p 33)

Editorial commentary:the following is rather longer than normal, but raises two points thinking people were concerned with. Given the date for the second item, I think it worth offering as fully as my copy provides:
Quote:
BERLIN, November 19
For almost two months now there as been no military action on land, sea or in the air. From talks with German military people, however, I’m convinced it would be a mistake to think that Germany will accept the Allied challenge to fight this war largely on the economic front. This is just the kind of war in which the Reich would be at a disadvantage. And that’s one of the reasons why most people here expect military action very soon now.
…An American friend back from Warsaw tonight tells me the Nazi policy is simply to exterminate the Polish Jews. They are being herded into eastern Poland and forced to live in unheated shacks and robbed of any opportunity of earning bread and butter. Several thousand Jews from the Reich have also been sent to eastern Poland to die, he says. (Berlin Diary, p 250)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
Ongoing, ineffectual RAF BC sweeps of the North Sea.
[Editorial comment: this is not an editorial judgment. Middleton’s BC War Diaries (p 24 ) offers the following summary for the period from Oct 8 to Dec 1939:]
Quote:
A total of 61 sorties were flown – 55 by Wellingtons and 6 by Hampdens. Nor German ships were seen; no bombs were dropped; no aircraft casualties were suffered.


U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 19 U-boats at sea. Two boats (U-15, -31) sailed from Wilhelmshaven; one boat (U-25) returned to Wilhelmshaven after 25 days.. Four British ships (7785 tons total) sunk. No U-boats lost.(Data collated from «uboat.net»).
Quote:
At 23.28 hours …, U-13 hit the foreship of a vessel with one G7a torpedo about 6 miles north-northeast of Longstone, Outer Farne Islands. There was a massive explosion that broke the ship in two and caused her to sink within 40 seconds. The target was reported as darkened tanker of about 2000 tons with a full cargo. This must have been the Bowling, which had her machinery aft.

The Bowling … left Leith and was reported missing thereafter.

At 17.06 hours on 18 Nov 1939, U-41 spotted the unescorted Darino … west of Cape Ortegal and fired a torpedo on the surface at 19.02 hours, but missed. The U-boat dived after the attack … before surfacing again and then chased the vessel for four hours. At 00.43 and 01.15 hours on 19 November, a second bow torpedo and a stern torpedo missed. At 01.50 hours, the ship was hit by the fourth torpedo and sank almost immediately.

At 12.19 hours … the unescorted Pensilva … was hit by one torpedo from U-49 northwest of Cape Ortegal and sank slowly by the stern. The ship had been sighted at 09.35 hours and missed with a bow torpedo at 11.15 hours and a stern torpedo at 11.24 hours. The master and the crew were picked up … and landed at Plymouth.

At 02.13 hours … the unescorted Stanbrook … was hit on the port side in the stern by one G7a torpedo from U-57, broke in two and sank quickly west-northwest of the North Hinder Lightship. … .(Data collated from «uboat.net»).

Bowling was en route to Antwere with general cargo. Complement=13; dead=13.

Darino was carrying general cargo from Lisbon to London. Complement=27; dead=15.

Pensilva was laden with maize, from Durban to Dunkirk. Complement unrecorded; no reported deaths.

Stanbrook was in ballast from Antwerp to Blyth. Complement=20; dead=20.

At sea
Quote:
Anti-U-boat activity – Destroyers FURY and MASHONA departed Loch Ewe to hunt for a U-boat, and were joined by destroyers PUNJABI and ASHANTI which also departed Loch Ewe later.
 
Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol were two cruisers between the Orkneys and the Faroes, three cruisers and three AMCs between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and one AMC in the Denmark Strait.

Gibraltar inbound convoy – Destroyer KEITH and one other destroyer from convoy HG.7A dropped depth charges on a submarine contact.
 
U.K.-France convoy – Convoy BC.14 of eleven steamers … departed the Loire, escorted by destroyer VESPER, and safely arrived in the Bristol Channel on the 21st.
 
East Coast convoys – Convoy FN.39 departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WALLACE, WHITLEY and sloop STORK. The convoy was met off Cromer Knoll by destroyer JERSEY on the 20th, and arrived at Methil on the 21st.
 
Convoy FS.39 departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloops HASTINGS and PELICAN, and was met off Flamborough by destroyer JUPITER on the 20th. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 21st.
 
East Coast waters – After a submarine was reported four miles north of St Abb's Head, destroyer VIVIEN was sent to search.
 
Southwest coast – A submarine was reported off Wicca Cove near St Ives. Destroyers ESCAPADE and ENCOUNTER were ordered to search the area, but ENCOUNTER suffered damage to her forecastle in heavy seas.

Gibraltar inbound convoy – Convoy HG.7 was escorted by French large destroyers TARTU and VAUQUELIN when a U-boat was reported shadowing the convoy.
 
Anti-U-boat activity – French large destroyers CHACAL and MISTRAL were investigating a contact 120 miles 315° from Cape Finisterre, and … [5 British] destroyers … were ordered to join them.
 
Steamer ROTHESAY CASTLE (7016grt) was attacked 300 miles WSW of Ushant. Destroyers ECHO and WANDERER were hunting in the area and were joined by destroyers WOLVERINE and VERITY detached from convoy OA.36G.
 
Ship movement – Light cruiser EFFINGHAM departed Halifax and arrived at Bermuda on the 21st.
 
Far East – Light cruiser DAUNTLESS departed Singapore on patrol, and arrived back on the 28th.

French Mediterranean activity – French destroyer BORDELAIS and submarines LA PSYCHÉ, MÉDUSE and LE GLORIEUX which had departed Casablanca, passed Gibraltar. They arrived at Oran on the 20th, where LE GLORIEUX started repairing. («naval-history.net»)

---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/20/2017 3:42:50 PM
November 20. Day 81.
Monday.

Europe
Quote:
Luftwaffe planes began parachuting magnetic mines into the Thames estuary.. (Goralski, p100)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
Ongoing, ineffectual RAF BC sweeps of the North Sea.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 19 U-boats at sea. One boat (U-48) sailed from Kiel; one boat (U-19) returned to Wilhelmshaven after 7 days.. Three British ships (855 tons total) sunk. No U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).
Quote:
… U-33 sank three trawlers with about five rounds from the deck gun each near Tory Island: At 10.30 hours the Thomas Hankins 14 miles northwest of Tory, at 16.00 hours the Delphine 18 miles north-northeast of Tory and at 17.05 hours the Sea Sweeper 25 miles west-northwest of Tory. («uboat.net»)

The three vessels were part of a fishing fleet. Total ships’ complement=37; dead=0.

At sea
Quote:
Norwegian waters – Light cruiser GLASGOW and destroyers ZULU and MAORI departed Rosyth in an attempt to intercept German liner BREMEN as she slipped down the Norwegian coast to Germany. …
 
Sea training – Light cruiser BELFAST with destroyers GURKHA and AFRIDI departed Rosyth for gunnery exercises, and arrived back later that day.
 
U.K.-France convoy – Convoy SA.18 of two steamers departed Southampton, escorted by destroyer WINDSOR, and arrived at Brest on the 21st.
 
[German ship loses – German merchant ship BERTHA FISSER (4110grt) was intercepted by armed merchant cruiser CHITRAL, SE of Iceland in 64‑10N, 15‑14W. She had departed Pernambuco on 24 October,… . [S]he scuttled herself and her 32 man crew was picked up by CHITRAL.
 
Ship movement – Destroyer BEDOUIN departed Rosyth for Scapa Flow.
 
Northern waters – Destroyer KASHMIR departed Scapa Flow to intercept a reported suspicious merchant ship near the Faroes.
 
Destroyer KANDAHAR departed Scapa Flow to patrol off Shapinsay.
 
Anti-U-boat activity – U.18 attacked destroyer INGLEFIELD off Rattray Head without success at 0010.
 
Destroyers IMOGEN, IMPERIAL and IMPULSIVE departed Rosyth and searched for U-boats in the Rattray Head area.
 
Destroyer EXMOUTH, ECHO and MONTROSE were hunting in the area of 46-20N, 6-00W for a reported damaged U-boat.
 
Steamer BENGUELA (534grt) reported sighting a submarine in 46-17N, 6-03W.
 
Anti-submarine trawler MAN O WAR (517grt) reported a U-boat and attacked it in 51‑55N, 1‑46E. Destroyers GRIFFIN and GIPSY joined her in the search.
 
Destroyer BOADICEA, carrying out a submarine sweep with destroyer KEITH in the North Sea, was near missed in a German bombing attack, but escaped damage.
 
Destroyers EXMOUTH, ECHO and MONTROSE were ordered to search for a reported submarine in 40N, 6W.
 
Minesweeper HUSSAR, sweeping near Humber Light Vessel, exploded a mine in her sweep, and sustained some damage.
 
German air minelaying – German aircraft laid parachute mines in the Thames Estuary.
 
Submarine STURGEON … fired four torpedoes at 1555 at two German anti-submarine trawlers in 54-32N, 5-10E. One of them sank Vp.209 (trawler GAULEITER TELSHOW, 428grt) northwest of Helgoland in the Heligoland Bight, the first sinking of an enemy vessel by a British submarine in World War 2.
 
Outbound convoys – Convoy OA.38 of 14 ships was escorted on the 20th by destroyers WREN and WITCH, and dispersed on the 23rd.
 
Convoy OB.39 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VERSATILE and WITHERINGTON until the 23rd, when they detached to join convoy SL.8.
 
East Coast convoy – Convoy FS.40 departed the Tyne escorted by escort ships VALOROUS and BITTERN. Included with the convoy were tanker ATHELKING and submarine STERLET, which was detached in the Tyne for refit, arriving on the 21st.
 
British naval minelaying – Minelayer PLOVER laid mines in North Inchkeith Channel on the 20th, and on 14 and 16 December, laid more mines in South Inchkeith Channel. Netlayer BAYONET was lost in one of the South Inchkeith Channel fields.
 
French naval losses – French auxiliary minesweeper SAINTE CLARE (57grt) was sunk on a mine laid by U.16, 10 miles SE of Folkestone on 22 October; eleven crewmen were lost.
 
East Coast waters – Sloops PELICAN and HASTINGS with convoy FN.40 attacked U.19 off Cromer Light. Destroyers KEITH and BOADICEA joined them, but U.19, which had laid mines in the Inner Dowsing area on the 17th, escaped.
 
German U-boat deployment – U.31, U.33, U.35, U.47, U.48 were deployed around the Orkneys to support German Fleet operations.
 [Editor’s note: for more details re this deployment over the coming weeks, see daily U-boat activites listings.]
 
French Atlantic Coast convoy – French convoy KS.27, en route from Oran and Casablanca to Brest and St Nazaire, and escorted by French destroyers SIROCCO, FRONDEUR and sloop CHEVREUIL, was attacked by U41, U.43 and U.49 off St Nazaire. The convoy had been sighted by U.53 on the 15th, but air support and the destroyers were able to hold off the submarines leading to the CO of U.53 being relieved of command after this patrol for not pressing home the attack. U.49 attempted an attack on the afternoon of the 16th November, but without success. French large destroyer CHEVALIER PAUL was sent out to reinforce the escort. None of the U-boats were able to do any damage to KS.27, but U.41 and U.43 were each able to sink four independents or stragglers while en route to the convoy. SIROCCO attacked U.49 on the 20th, and damaged her bow tubes in the depth charge attack. French destroyers INDOMPTABLE, MALIN and TRIOMPHANT were also searching the area.
 
Ship movement – Light cruiser DANAE departed Colombo for Singapore, arriving on the 26th.
 
Light cruiser CARADOC arrived at Esquimalt for refitting completed on 15 April 1940.
 
Australian naval activities – Australian light cruiser PERTH departed Kingston for Colon.
 
Australian heavy cruisers CANBERRA and AUSTRALIA arrived at Melbourne after patrol. («naval-history.net»)

---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/21/2017 6:14:08 PM
November 21. Day 82.
Tuesday.

Europe
Quote:
Slovakia was ceded 225 square miles of former Polish territory (which Poland had progressively annexed in 1920, 1924, and 1938) in a treaty signed with Germany.

All goods in Britain earmarked for shipment to Germany were confiscated. (Goralski, p100)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
Ongoing, ineffectual RAF BC sweeps of the North Sea.

U-boat activity
29 new U-boats ordered on this date. 18 U-boats at sea. One boat (U-60) returned to Kiel after 18 days. Three British ships (859 tons total) sunk, 1 French ship (57 tons) lost and HMS Belfast (11,5000) damaged. No U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).
Quote:
… Between 08.30 and 09.20 hours …, U-33 sank the Sulby and William Humphries about 75 miles northwest of Rathlin, each with about 5 rounds from the deck gun after firing a warning shot.

The crew of Sulby … abandoned ship in two lifeboats in gale force winds, but the boat containing the master and four crew members was never seen again. All crew members of William Humphries … abandoned ship in one lifeboat, which was last seen by a lifeboat from the other trawler.

At 12.50 hours … the Les Barges II was stopped by U-41 and sunk with 6 rounds of gunfire after the crew abandoned ship. The survivors were picked up by a Spanish trawler and taken to Pesajes.

That day, …[u-41] stopped 17 other trawlers within six hours in the Bay of Biscay, but they all were neutral Spanish vessels («uboat.net»)
.Total complement of 3 trawlers sunk=40; lost=18.
For information on the mining incidents, see “At sea” below.

Editorial comment: HMS Belfast is moored off London’s South Bank as part of the IWM permanent display.

At sea
Quote:
Ship movement – Battleships NELSON and RODNEY with destroyers FURY, FAME, FAULKNOR, FOXHOUND, FORTUNE and FORESIGHT arrived in the Clyde from Loch Ewe.
 
East Coast mine damage – Light cruisers SOUTHAMPTON and BELFAST with destroyer AFRIDI departed the Firth of Forth on gunnery exercises. At 1058 near May Island, BELFAST struck a mine laid by a U.21 on the 4th. Badly damaged and with a broken back, she was towed back to Rosyth by tug KROOMAN (230grt). …Twenty one crew … with one rating dying of wounds on the 30th. … Escort vessel VIVIEN remained in company with BELFAST after she passed through the gate. After temporary repairs, BELFAST left Rosyth on 28 June 1940 for Devonport, arrived there on 3 July and was repairing until 3 November 1942 – almost three years later.

Destroyer GIPSY (Lt Cdr N J Crossley) and the Polish BURZA departed Harwich to rescue a downed German aircrew, who were picked up and returned to Harwich. That evening at 2100, destroyers GRIFFIN (D.22, Captain G E Creasy), KEITH, GIPSY, BOADICEA and Polish GROM departed Harwich for a sweep in the North Sea in operation GT.1. Leaving Harwich Harbour, the destroyers ran into a minefield laid by U.19 on the 17th and GIPSY struck a mine and was badly damaged. She was run aground a total loss and KEITH and GRIFFIN picked up the survivors. … Consideration was given to salvaging and repairing GIPSY, but she had been too badly damaged.

Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol were two cruisers between the Orkneys and the Faroes, three cruisers and one AMC between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and three AMCs in the Denmark Strait. Armed merchant cruiser CALIFORNIA on reported she had a slightly damaged bow due to ice. Light cruisers DELHI, CALYPSO and CERES departed Loch Ewe on Northern Patrol duties.

Anti-U-boat activities – Destroyers SOMALI, ASHANTI and MASHONA departed Belfast to search for a submarine 70 miles NW of Rathlin. They were joined by sister ship PUNJABI.
 
Polish destroyer BLYSKAWICA investigated suspicious vessels southwest of Shipwash.

Destroyers IMOGEN, IMPERIAL and IMPULSIVE were searching for the U-boat responsible for sinking trawler WIGMORE on the 18th off Rattray Head.
 
Destroyers ESCORT and ELECTRA were searching for a submarine one mile 180° from Rame Head.
 
Destroyer WARWICK and patrol sloop GUILLEMOT were submarine hunting in 53‑49N, 3‑51W.
 
Minesweepers SKIPJACK and LEDA were searching for a submarine one mile south of Cross Sands.
 
Anti-submarine trawlers BEDFORDSHIRE (443grt), WARWICK DEEPING (445grt) and CAMBRIDGESHIRE (443grt) attacked a submarine contact three miles from Bull Point.

East Coast convoy – Convoy FN.40 departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON, and sloops PELICAN and HASTINGS. Destroyer JAGUAR provided support on the 22nd, while WOOLSTON detached when the convoy was abreast the Tyne to join the escort of FS.41. FN.40 arrived at Methil on the 23rd.
 
Convoy FS.40 departed the Tyne, escorted by escort ship VALOROUS and sloop BITTERN. Destroyer JANUS provided support on the 22nd, and the convoy arrived at Southend on the 23rd.
 
German ship loss – German merchant ship TENERIFE (2436grt), which had departed Vigo on the 9th, scuttled herself when intercepted by armed merchant cruiser TRANSYLVANIA west of Iceland …. The crew of 12 officers and 61 ratings were taken aboard the British ship.
...
Italian ship mine damage – Italian steamer FIANONA (6660grt) was damaged on a mine near South Brade Buoy off Deal late on the 21st and taken to Calais for drydocking and repair.
 
Major German naval movement – German battlecruisers SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU departed Wilhelmshaven at 1310 hours under the command of Vice Admiral Marschall to raid in the North Atlantic and relieve pressure on the ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE in the South Atlantic. They were accompanied by light cruisers KÖLN, LEIPZIG and destroyers ERICH GIESE, BERND VON ARNIM and KARL GALSTER until late on the 21st. The escorting ships then joined pocket battleship LÜTZOW (former DEUTSCHLAND) and torpedo boats LEOPARD, SEEADLER, ILTIS for operations in the Skagerrak during the night of the 21st/22nd. However, heavy weather forced a cancellation of the Skagerrak operation and these ships returned to Wilhelmshaven.
 
North Atlantic gold run – Escorted by Canadian destroyers ASSINIBOINE and ST LAURENT, light cruiser EMERALD arrived at Halifax with another shipment of gold bullion from England.
 
French ship movements – French battlecruiser STRASBOURG and heavy cruiser ALGÉRIE of Force Y departed Dakar, escorted by destroyers LE FANTASQUE and LE TERRIBLE. They were joined by destroyers GUÉPARD, VALMY and VERDUN of the 3rd Large Destroyer Division, which had departed Toulon on the 17th. The destroyers, large destroyer LION and destroyer LA RAILLEUSE, departing Casablanca on the 23rd, joined them on the 24th and later arrived at Brest on the 30th.
 
Later on the 24th, ALGÉRIE, LE FANTASQUE, LE TERRIBLE, LION and LA RAILLEUSE separated from the group and arrived at Toulonon the 26th. LE FANTASQUE and LE TERRIBLE reached Brest on the 30th.
 
West of Spain on the 25th, STRASBOURG was joined by destroyers LE MALIN and LE TRIOMPHANT of the 8th Large Destroyer Division which had departed Brest on the 23rd. Destroyer L’INDOMPTABLE departed with her two sister ships, but was delayed by a storm on the 24th, then reassigned. GUÉPARD, VERDUN, VALMY, LE MALIN, and LE TRIOMPHANT escorted the battlecruiser, and on the 27th, there was an aerial mining alert. Still escorted by the five destroyers, she arrived at Brest on the 29th for refitting.
 
Destroyer L’AUDACIEUX departed Dakar with turbine defects on the 22nd escorting a convoy of steamers JAMAIQUE, LIPARI, and BELLE ISLE for Casablanca, and arriving on the 27th. She left there on the 30th, arrived at Oran on 1 December and Toulon on the 4th for repairs.
 
To relieve Force Y, Force X was formed with heavy cruisers FOCH and DUPLEIX.
 
A number of ships joined heavy cruiser DUPLEIX at Casablanca. Large destroyer MILAN departed Bizerte on the 2nd and arrived on the 6th. Large destroyer CASSARD departed Toulon on the 3rd escorting submarines LE HÉROS, LE CONQUÉRANT, ACHÉRON and arrived on the 7th. Finally heavy cruiser FOCH and destroyer LION departed Oran on the 7th to reach Casablanca on the 8th.
 
Mediterranean – Destroyer depot ship WOOLWICH, carrying MTB.3 and MTB.4 aboard, departed Malta for Portsmouth, escorted by sloop ROCHESTER, which had only reached Malta on the 20th from the East Indies. After reaching Gibraltar on the 25th, ROCHESTER left on the 28th for Freetown. Now with local escort by destroyers VELOX and WISHART, WOOLWICH departed Gibraltar on the 25th. 9«naval-history.net»)

---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/22/2017 3:30:43 PM
November 22. Day 83.
Wednesday.

Europe
Quote:
The British destroyer Gipsy hit a German mine in the Thames estuary. (British experts the next day located one of the German mines in the mud flats near Shoeburyness and soon swept the estuary and began equipping ships with anti-magnetic devices.) (Goralski, p100)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
Ongoing, ineffectual RAF BC sweeps of the North Sea.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 18 U-boats at sea. No U-boats leave or return to part. One French ship (4,374 tons) sunk, 1 Greek ship (4,576 tons) lost to mines. No U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).
Quote:
At 16.05 hours … the Arijon in convoy 14-BS was hit forward of amidships by one torpedo from U-43 and sank within a few minutes in the Bay of Biscay… .

At 23.00 hours … the Elena R. struck a mine laid on 10 September by U-26 and sank two miles south of Shambles Light Vessel. The survivors reached the Light Vessel on their own. («uboat.net»)

Arijon was bound from Antwerp to Argentina laden with steel and paper. Complement=41; lost=14 crew, 2 gunners.
Elena r, a Greek ship carrying grain, was bound for Antwerp from Rosario. Complement=24; lost=0.

At sea
Quote:
Northern Patrol – On Northern Patrol were two cruisers between the Orkneys and the Faroes, three cruisers and three AMCs between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and three AMCs in the Denmark Strait. Light cruiser NEWCASTLE departed Loch Ewe for patrol in the Denmark Strait.
 
German merchant loss – Armed merchant cruiser LAURENTIC intercepted German merchant ship ANTIOCHIA (3106grt) which had departed Ponta Delgada on the 12th. First sighted south of Iceland…, LAURENTIC chased ANTIOCHIA to 62‑15N, 15‑08W where she scuttled herself.
 
Ship movement – Destroyers IMOGEN, IMPULSIVE and IMPERIAL arrived at Invergordon to refuel after their Rattray Head patrol.
 
Destroyers KASHMIR and KANDAHAR arrived at Scapa Flow.
 
German air attack – Two flights of German aircraft attacked Sullom Voe and seaplane depot ship MANELA, but were driven off by anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY. One London flying boat was destroyed but there was no other damage. Incendiary bombs were also dropped over Lerwick Harbour.
 
Straits of Dover – Minesweeping trawler ARAGONITE … was mined and sunk near South Brade Buoy off Deal, one mile 49° from the Deal Coast Guard Station; four men were wounded in the explosion.
 
Firth of Clyde – Destroyer FOXHOUND left Greenock at 2315 during a submarine alert and shortly after, at 0008/23 ran aground near Black Point Light, suffering minor hull damage. She was able to get off by herself at 0713, but was in dock at Greenock until 11 December.
 
Anti-mining activity – Destroyers WIVERN and Polish GROM and BLYSKAWICA departed the Nore for Kentish Knock to search for for moored mines.
 
Anti-U-boat activity – Destroyer MASHONA was searching for a submarine located by D/F.
 
Destroyer MONTROSE made anti-submarine attacks in 48‑46N, 06‑35W.
 
Sloop PC.74 and patrol sloop SHELDRAKE with two anti-submarine trawlers were searching for a submarine contact off northern Ireland in 56-39N, 7-31W.

Outgoing convoys – Convoy OA.39 of four ships departed Southend escorted by destroyer ARDENT from the 22nd to 24th.
 
Convoy OB.39 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VOLUNTEER and WARWICK until the 25th.
 
Ship losses – Greek steamer NICOLAOS PIANGOS (4499grt) was sunk in a collision with Norwegian steamer BRARENA (6996grt) in the North Sea.

German minelaying – U.20 laid mines during the night of the 21st/22nd near Newarp Light Ship, east of Yarmouth, on which two merchant ships were lost.

[Mediterranean – After being relieved by destroyer DELIGHT, sister ship DARING departed Aden on the 10th and arrived at Suez after operations in the East Indies which started on 13 October. DARING departed Port Said on the 23rd and proceeded to Malta where she arrived on the 25th for refitting.
 
Gibraltar-U.K. inbound convoy – Convoy HG.8, which departed Port Said on the 11th, left Gibraltar on the 22nd, escorted by destroyers KEPPEL, VIDETTE and the French TIGRE and PANTHÈRE from the 22nd. The French ships arrived at Brest on the 29th. Cable ship MIRROR departed with the convoy and escorted by VIDETTE carried out cable repairs in 36-16N, 7-24W. These ships arrived back at Gibraltar on the 26th. The convoy reached Liverpool on the 30th.
 
French naval activity – French destroyers L’INDOMPTABLE, LE MALIN and LE TRIOMPHANT were patrolling in 44‑30N, 9‑30W.
 
Caribbean – Destroyer HOTSPUR departed Kingston to intercept German steamer ARAUCA (4354grt), reported leaving Vera Cruz.
 
[German merchant loss – German liner ADOLPH WOERMANN (8577grt) departed Lobito on the 16th, and … reported sighting a suspicious merchant ship at 0842/21st and light cruiser NEPTUNE of Force K was detached to investigate. On her approach, ADOLPH WOERMANN scuttled herself off Ascension Island… .
 
Caribbean? – Light cruiser AJAX and New Zealand sister ship ACHILLES searched for German merchant ships off Cape San Antonio. Both refuelled from tanker OLYNTHUS at San Boroborn Bay on the 23rd and then set off northwards.
 
South American Station – Heavy cruiser EXETER departed Rio de Janiero for the Rio de la Plata, then left the area on the 26th for the Falklands, arriving on the 30th.
 
Far East waters – Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM departed Hong Kong on the 22nd after submarine RAINBOW reported a darkened ship leaving Kobe. No contact with the ship was made and BIRMINGHAM returned to Hong Kong. («naval-history.net»)

---------------
"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
Posts: 1400
Re: WW2: day-to-day
Posted on: 11/23/2017 5:24:20 PM
November 23. Day 84.
Thursday. Waxing gibbous moon.

Europe
Quote:
Star of David identification badges were made compulsory for all Jews in occupied Poland.(Goralski, p 100)

Quote:
The British armed merchant cruiser Rawalpindi, on patrol between Iceland and the Faroe Islands, is sunk by the battle-cruiser Scharnhorst which with her twin, the Gneisenau, had gone into the Atlantic to attack the British convoys. The loss of the Rawalpindi is not without compensation, for the two German vessels are forced to abandon their mission and return to base, finding a way through the great number of enemy units sent out to intercept them in the North Sea. British and France ships engaged in the hunt include 15 cruisers and the battleship Warspite, as well as aircraft.(2194 Days, p 34)
[quote[]BERLIN, November 23
Thanksgiving today. At the home of Chargé d’Affaires Alexander Kirk a hundred or so hungry Americans charged into several turkeys assembled on the buffet table. At dinner I had another turkey at the Oechsners’, dragging Dorothy [Oechsner] over to the studio at midnight with me for a little interview on the air as to how she did it in war-time rationed Germany. …
After December 1, horses, cows, and pigs not residing on regular farms are to get food cards [ed.: rationing cards] too.(Berlin Diary, p 252)

Britain
Quote:
Vera Britain sent out a peace newsletter describing Hitler’s bursts of fanatical rage. Psychiatrists had some experience with his variety of mental illness, Brittain observed. “Of the many methods of dealing with it which have been evolved,” she said, “reciprocal violence is usually regarded as the least successful.” (Human Smoke , p 159)


Western Front
No notable activity.

In the air
Ongoing, ineffectual RAF BC sweeps of the North Sea.

U-boat activity
No new U-boats ordered on this date. 16 U-boats at sea. Two U-boats (U-18, -57) return to Kiel after 9 and 12 days respectively. One German ship taken as prize by the RN is sunk. No U-boats lost. (Data collated from «uboat.net»).
Quote:
On 18 Nov 1939 the blockade runner Borkum was captured by HMS California (F 55) … in the Denmark Strait and a prize crew was ordered to bring the ship to Kirkwall.
At 15.30 hours on 23 November, U-33 ordered Borkum … to stop for contraband control near the Orkneys, assuming that she is a neutral vessel, but the ship did not stop after two shots across her bow so the next round was fired at the bridge. The ship turned hard and apparently tried to ram the U-boat which shelled the ship and then dived. The Borkum had caught fire … and only one of three torpedoes hit. U-33 surfaced and fired 4 rounds into the waterline but then … left the area when armed boarding vessels … appeared. Four German crew members had been killed, but the remaining Germans and the British prize crew abandoned ship and were picked up by the armed boarding vessels. … («uboat.net»)

Borkum was bound from Rosario laden with grain. Complement of mixed crew unverifiable; lost=4 German seamen.

The sortie of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau

Editorial comment: I have separated this sortie and its immediate aftermath for a number of reasons. Primarily, however, I wish it to stand alone as a tribute to the officers and men of Rawalpindi, who IMHO acted in the finest traditions of the RN.

To be honest, I dislike the tendency in «naval-history.net» to list the names of officers lost but only the numbers of matelots who died. But in this instance, the number of retired and temporary officers listed is a hidden roll-call of honour. I have let it stand for that reason. I wish there were space to list every name, but there isn’t. “Lest we forget”.

The extent of RN and Allied response is stupendous. The lack of success in locating or bringing to battle either Scharnhorst or Gneisenau is at best worrisome.

Because this story begins with one of the ships of the Northern Patrol, I have included the standard «naval-history.net» comment on Northern Patrol in this special section.
Quote:
Northern Patrol – During the afternoon of the 23rd, Northern Patrol was disposed as follows: (1) Denmark Strait - heavy cruisers NORFOLK, SUFFOLK and armed merchant cruisers CALIFORNIA, TRANSYLVANIA and AURANIA; (2) Iceland-Faroes Channel - light cruisers NEWCASTLE, DELHI, CERES, CALYPSO and armed merchant cruiser RAWALPINDI… . DELHI was pursuing German steamer LUDOLF OLDENDORFF … but was unable to stop her. She was stopped the next day by light cruiser SHEFFIELD, but disguised as a Danish steamer, was allowed to continue; and (3) south of the Faroes - light cruisers CALEDON, CARDIFF and COLOMBO.
 
The encounter with Rawalpindi – German battlecruiser SCHARNHORST came upon armed merchant cruiser RAWALPINDI … southeast of Iceland at 1507. She tried to outrun SCHARNHORST and at 1551 radioed that an enemy battlecruiser had been sighted, … [misidentifying her as] DEUTSCHLAND which was still believed to be at sea.
 
At 1603, SCHARNHORST came within range and opened fire, followed by GNEISENAU at 1611. RAWALPINDI was soon wrecked and set afire, but SCHARNHORST was hit in return by one of RAWALPINDI's six inch shells which exploded on the quarter deck causing some splinter casualties… . SCHARNHORST picked up six survivors from RAWALPINDI and GNEISENAU another twenty-one. …
 
Light cruiser NEWCASTLE on Northern Patrol next to RAWALPINDI picked up the SOS and steamed to her position. NEWCASTLE actually sighted GNEISENAU at six and a half miles, but both German ships escaped unharmed. RAWALPINDI was still afloat, although afire when NEWCASTLE and light cruiser DELHI located her. She finally sank around 2000.
 
Lost with her were Captain E C Kennedy Rtd, Lt Cdr G H E Molson Rtd, Lt Cdr K D Morgan RNR, Lt J A W French Rtd, Lt M F Shute RNR, Ty/Lt H J Cholerton RNR, Sub Lt O V Pickersgill RNR, Sub Lt R L Pallister RNR, Ty/Sub Lt F H J Orton RNR, Py/Sub Lt T B Quinn RNR, Act/Sub Lt H W Raymont RNR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt A D Seabrook RNR, Ty/Cdr (E) C C Sangster RNR, Ty/Lt Cdr (E) A J Burge RNR, Ty/Lt (E) T H C H Fee RNR, Ty/Lt (E) H Turner RNR, Ty/Lt (E) J Shields RNR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt (E) H J Arbin RNR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt (E) L E Bevington RNR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt (E) A W Briden RNR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt (E) W A Lambert RNR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt (E) J MacDonald RNR, Ty/ Act/Sub Lt (E) A MacKie RNR, Ty/ Act/Sub Lt (E) E G Meredith RNR, Ty/ Act/Sub Lt (E) R H Taylor RNR, Ty/Paymaster Lt Cdr J B Dickinson RNR, Ty/Paymaster Lt P E Sparks RNR, Py/Midshipman D W Bean RNR, Py/Midshipman J A Blackledge RNR, Py/Midshipman W Middleton RNR, Py/Commissioned Electrician G P Johnson RNR, Py/Commissioned Electrician R Main RNR, Py/Surgeon Lt F H J Weston RNVR and two hundred and forty six ratings[Editor’s emphasis].
 
Armed merchant cruiser CHITRAL, returning to the Clyde, picked up eleven more survivors from a lifeboat 36 hours later.
 
Response to learning Scharnhorst and Gneisenau are at sea – In response to RAWALPINDI's contact report, Admiral Forbes with battleships NELSON, RODNEY, heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE and [5] destroyers … of the 8th Destroyer Flotilla departed the Clyde for a position off the Norwegian coast to intercept the German ships, still believed to be DEUTSCHLAND, as they returned to Germany. …[Two more d]estroyers … joined the force at sea, off the Clyde.

Light cruisers SOUTHAMPTON, EDINBURGH and AURORA with … [5] destroyers departed Rosyth for Fair Island Channel.
 
South of the Faroes on Northern Patrol were light cruisers CALEDON of the 7th Cruiser Squadron, and CARDIFF and COLOMBO of the 11th. They were joined by light cruisers DIOMEDE of the 7th Squadron and DUNEDIN of the 11th from Loch Ewe and all took station off North Rona to patrol the approaches to the Fair Island Channel. However, DIOMEDE and DUNEDIN had just arrived in Loch Ewe from patrol and both soon had to detach for refuelling.
 
Light cruisers CALYPSO and CERES were stationed five miles due north of Kelso Light to act as a night attack striking force.

Light cruiser SHEFFIELD departed Loch Ewe and proceeded towards the reported position of the German battleships.
 
Heavy cruisers NORFOLK and SUFFOLK in the Denmark Strait were ordered to proceed towards Bill Bailey Bank.
 
Light cruiser GLASGOW … and [2] destroyers…, at sea since the 20th, looking for German liner BREMEN, were to the northeast of the Shetlands. Convoy ON.3 left the Firth of Forth at 1530, but was recalled, and its escorts, destroyers INGLEFIELD, IMPERIAL, IMPULSIVE and IMOGEN joined the GLASGOW force off Muckle Flugga.
 
Destroyer BEDOUIN of the SOUTHAMPTON force was detached to patrol Pentland Firth until relieved by destroyer FORTUNE.
 
Destroyers SOMALI, MASHONA, ASHANTI and PUNJABI, recently departed Belfast with Force W, the dummy battleships, were ordered to join [Admiral] Forbes at sea off the Mull of Kintyre. Force W returned to Belfast.
 
Destroyers TARTAR, KANDAHAR and KASHMIR sortied from Scapa Flow with orders to locate and shadow the German force.

Armed merchant cruisers TRANSYLVANIA, CALIFORNIA, AURANIA rendezvoused at the Butt of Lewis and returned to the Clyde. They arrived at Loch Ewe on the 24th. CALIFORNIA then reached the Clyde on the 27th and the other two on the 28th.
 
Battleship WARSPITE escorting convoy HX.9, which had departed Halifax on the 18th with Canadian destroyer ASSINIBOINE as local escort, was ordered to leave the convoy and take station in the Denmark Strait.
 
Aircraft carrier FURIOUS and battlecruiser REPULSE departed Halifax on the 24th to cover convoys HXF.10 and HX.10, but when REPULSE sustained damage to her Y turret in heavy weather, both ships returned to Halifax.
 
Battlecruiser HOOD with destroyers EXMOUTH, ECHO and ECLIPSE departed Plymouth on the 25th and rendezvoused with French battlecruiser DUNKERQUE, light cruisers MONTCALM, GEORGES LEYGUES and large destroyers MOGADOR and VOLTA which departed Brest on the 25th to relieve aircraft carrier FURIOUS and battlecruiser REPULSE on the Halifax station. This force swept for the German battleships through to the end of November. At sea, EXMOUTH, ECHO and ECLIPSE were detached and returned to the Clyde on the 29th, while MOGADOR and VOLTA arrived at Belfast for fuelling, also on the 29th.
 
After refuelling at Sullom Voe on the 28th, SOMALI, PUNJABI and MASHONA joined HOOD, and arrived at Loch Ewe late on 2 December.
 
Submarines in the North Sea failed to make contact with the German force. THISTLE was on patrol off the Skaw, TRIAD off Lindesnes, STURGEON off Horn Reef, and L.23 southwest of Lister Light. UNDINE and STARFISH departed Blyth, and TRIUMPH and TRIDENT from Rosyth, all on the 23rd to reinforce the Patrol Line.

Allied naval Forces

[Editorial comment: the Allied navies had established naval groups designated “Forces” at various global points. These shifted as threats changed. At this point, given the appearance of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, the continued impact of Graf Spee and the belief that Deutschland was still at sea, the arrangement of the various “forces” resolved as follows:]
Quote:
Status of Allied Hunter Groups searching for German raiders
 
Force F - Heavy cruiser YORK at Bermuda preparing to sail for Halifax. YORK had sustained damage to her A-turret in heavy weather and had been under repair at Bermuda since early November. (Heavy cruiser BERWICK had been detached on the 7th and arrived at Portsmouth for docking on the 14th prior to joining the Home Fleet.) Destroyers HUNTER, HYPERION, HOTSPUR and HEREWARD were attached to this force as convoy escorts. The four destroyers were respectively at Bermuda with defects to complete repair on the 29th, at Halifax, at Kingston, and at Trinidad on this date.
 
Force G - Heavy cruisers EXETER and CUMBERLAND were along the east coast of South America, with light cruiser AJAX off Montevideo and the New Zealand ACHILLES off Rio de Janiero.
 
Force H - Heavy cruisers SUSSEX and SHROPSHIRE were stationed along the west and south coast of Africa.
 
Force I - Aircraft carrier EAGLE and heavy cruiser CORNWALL were at Colombo, heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE was at sea in the Ceylon area, and Australian light cruiser HOBART was south of the Arabian Sea. Light cruiser GLOUCESTER and French sloop RIGAULT DE GENOUILLY, due to be joined by Australian destroyer STUART from Colombo on the 25th, were north of Madagascar sweeping towards the Seychelles Islands. In addition, Australian destroyers VENDETTA and WATERHEN were operating as convoy escorts, and submarine OLYMPUS was in the Maldives and Chagos Archipelago area.
 
Force J - Battleship MALAYA and aircraft carrier GLORIOUS with attendant destroyer BULLDOG departed Aden on the 10th and were at sea in the area. Battleship RAMILLIES and destroyer DELIGHT departed Aden on the 16th and were at sea off Aden near Socotra.
 
Force K - Aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and battlecruiser RENOWN were en route to Madagascar.
 
Force L - Aircraft carrier FURIOUS and battlecruiser REPULSE were refuelling at Halifax.
 
Force M - Heavy cruiser KENT, French heavy cruiser SUFFREN, and Australian destroyers VAMPIRE and VOYAGER were escorting convoys off Sumatra in the Nicobar Islands area.
 
Force X - Aircraft carrier HERMES and French heavy cruisers FOCH and DUPLEIX were patrolling between Pernambuco and Freetown.
 
Force Y - Relieved by Force X and en route to France. («naval-history.net»)


At sea
Quote:
German merchant loss – German merchant ship KONSUL HENDRIK FISSER…, which had departed Vigo on the 11th, was captured north of the Faroes… . She was taken to Leith by a prize crew … and renamed EMPIRE SOLDIER for British service.
 
In all the confusion searching for the German battleships, German steamer ENTRERIOS (5179grt), which had departed Natal on 24 October, was able to pass through the Denmark Strait unobserved, and arrived safely at Narvik on the 29th.[Editorial comment: should the concentration on finding ships not have made it more possible to challengeEntrerios?]
 
East Coast waters – Anti-aircraft cruiser CURLEW departed Grimsby on escort duties, and arrived back on the 24th.
 
UK.-France convoy – Convoy BC.16S of steamer BARON KINNAIRD departed Bristol Channel escorted by destroyers MONTROSE and VESPER, and arrived in the Loire on the 24th.
 
East Coast convoy – Convoy FS.41 departed Methil, escorted by sloops GRIMSBY and WESTON and was joined off the Tyne by destroyer WOOLSTON. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 25th. Convoy FN.41 was delayed and did not depart until the 25th.
 
Ship movement – Heavy cruiser KENT arrived at Nancowrie.
 
Australian light cruiser SYDNEY arrived at Geraldtown.

Sloop WELLINGTON arrived at Port Said from the Indian Ocean, en route to England, departing next day for Malta. Sloop LEITH arrived at Port Said on the 24th and left on the 25th for Malta. Both ships were on station in New Zealand at the start of the war. («naval-history.net»)

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

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