Saturday, March 5, 2016

October 28, 1939 - First Luftwaffe Raid on Great Britain

Saturday 28 October 1939

Humbie Heinkel
The "Humbie Heinkel."
European Air Operations: On 28 October 1939, Germany launches an air attack on Great Britain. The Luftwaffe raid is against Royal Navy ships anchored in the Firth of Forth. A Heinkel He 111 from Luftflotte 2 (northern Germany) is shot down near the Firth of Forth after a dramatic chase by the RAF in which the Luftwaffe plane landed and took off, was brought down and again tried to take off. The Heinkel finally winds up on the Lammermoor Hills near Humbie where it cannot taxi and try to take off any more. The two surviving crew are taken to Edinburgh. It becomes known as the "Humbie Heinkel" and is known as the first Luftwaffe aircraft brought down on British soil (there had been some shoot-downs during the First World War).

Spitfires from 602 and 603 squadrons, auxiliaries, and reservists, had met the Heinkels over the fields of East Lothian in Scotland. 25-year-old Flight lieutenant Archie McKellar was credited with the kill. He died at age 28 during the war and is known as "the Forgotten Ace."

Night reconnaissance by the RAF over southern Germany despite bad weather.

Humbie Heinkel
Another view of the Humbie Heinkel.
Western Front: Reports of massive German troop concentrations along the border are increasing.

The BEF reports that it has sufficient rations to feed its 200,000 troops for 46 days.

Battle of the Atlantic: U-59, following traditional international rules of warfare, stops the British fishing trawlers Lynx and St. Nidian and, after disembarking the crew, sinks them. Everybody is later picked by up another British trawler.

The Admiral Graf Spee refuels from the Altmark in the South Atlantic and transfers captured British sailors to her.

The British release from detainment US freighter Black Tern.

Finland: Soviet negotiators make their demands plain. Molotov makes a public speech in Moscow asserting that the USSR needs to take action to protect itself. The Soviets want:
  • Territory north of Leningrad in the Karelian Isthmus;
  • A base at the Finnish port of Hango for the Soviet Navy;
  • Petsamo in the north of Finland, near Murmansk;
The Soviets offer to exchange some land along the wilderness of northern Finland for these strategic spots. The Finns immediately decide to reject the demand.

Czechoslovakia: Protesters celebrating the country's independence day (21st anniversary) are fired upon by police in Prague, with 16 casualties and one death, with 3500 arrests. Ethnic Germans fight the protesters in the streets. Many of the protesters are students, and universities are shut down.

SS: Heinrich Himmler issues a directive (the "Lebensborn Decret") encouraging his men to procreate with women of "good blood," stating that the SS would support the children. Women are encouraged to dispense with the "bourgeois custom" of marriage.

United States Government: The US lodges a protest with the Soviet government over the handling of the City of Flint, which already has left port.

China: Japanese attacks against Lanchow are continuing.

Future History: Actress Jane Alexander is born in Boston, Massachusetts. She becomes a Broadway actress in the 1960s and, later, the director of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Czech protesters, 28 October 1939.

October 1939

October 1, 1939: Occupation of Warsaw
October 2, 1939: Hel Peninsula Falls
October 3, 1939: The Diamantis Incident
October 4, 1939: Otto Kretschmer Gets Rolling
October 5, 1939: Polish Resistance Ends
October 6, 1939: Hitler Peace Effort
October 7, 1939: The British Have Arrived
October 8, 1939: First RAF Kill from UK
October 9, 1939: "City of Flint" Incident
October 10, 1939: Lithuania Under Pressure
October 11, 1939: The Atomic Age Begins
October 12, 1939: England Rejects Hitler's Peace Offer
October 13, 1939: Charles Lindbergh Speaks Out
October 14 1939: Royal Oak Sunk
October 15, 1939: Cuban Rockets
October 16, 1939: First Aircraft Shot Down Over UK
October 17, 1939: Marshall Mannerheim Returns
October 18, 1939: Prien Receives His Award
October 19, 1939: Preliminary Plan for Fall Gelb
October 20, 1939: Hitler Grapples with the Jews
October 21, 1939: Hurricanes to the Rescue!
October 22, 1939: Goebbels Lies Through His Teeth
October 23, 1939: Norway the Center of Attention
October 24, 1939: Third Reich "Justice" Gets Rolling
October 25, 1939: Handley Page Halifax Bomber First Flies
October 26, 1939: Jozef Tiso Takes Slovakia
October 27, 1939: King Leopold Stands Firm
October 28, 1939 - First Luftwaffe Raid on Great Britain
October 29, 1939: Tinkering with Fall Gelb
October 30, 1939: Defective Torpedoes
October 31, 1939: Molotov Issues an Ultimatum


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