Wednesday 15 November 1939
|Admiral Graf Spee's launch takes the crew of the African Star off before sinking it.|
Battle of the Atlantic: The Admiral Graf Spee sinks British tanker Africa Shell 6 miles off Madagascar on 15 November 1939. The crew is disembarked and sunk by shellfire. The kill ends an unexpectedly lean two weeks because Australian freighters have been held up due to a late wool-clipping season. Once again, no lives are lost on the ships preyed upon by Admiral Graf Spee, a very unusual record.
British freighter Woodtown sunk by a mine.
Italy launches the battleship Impero.
Germany renames the convoy raider Deutschland to Lützow. The reason is that the Kriegsmarine believes it would be damaging to national morale if a ship with the name of the country were to be sunk. Deutchsland/Lützow so far has had an extremely successful career.
German Opposition: Johann Georg Elser signs a full confession of his planting of the 8 November 1939 bomb at the Bürgerbräukeller. He does this after days of beatings and other forms of "interrogation." The confession does not survive the war, though related documents do.
Further turmoil in the Reich provinces of Bohemia and Moravia (the former Czechoslovakia) continues. It is related to the funeral of Jan Opletal, a medical student mortally wounded in Prague at the Independence day demonstrations of October 28. Reports of injuries and other casualties varies. There may be summary executions. The Nazis do not tolerate very much dissent.
Finland: Dr. Paasikivi is back in Helsinki and blames the Soviets for the failure of negotiations. The Soviet media engages in a strong denunciation of Finland. Stalin orders a huge buildup along the Finnish border.
Poland: The formal incorporation of eastern portions of Poland into Ukrainian SSR is completed.
Peace Talks: German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop formally rejects the proposed peace mediation proposed by the Dutch and Belgian crowns. He claims this is because the other side already has made a "blunt rejection" of the proposal.
French Homefront: The workweek is expanded from 40 hours a week to 43 hours.
Australia: The government participates in the Empire Air Training Scheme.
China: A Japanese landing force arrives at the coast of Guangxi at the mouth of the Yuhung River. The Japanese move quickly and complete their conquest of the Chinese coast, taking the port of Pakhoi (just north of Vietnam). Japanese ships also steam up the Yuhung River and land troops which begin the march to Nanning.
Despite some recent setbacks in the interior, along the coast the Imperial Japanese Army remains supreme and have captured the entire length since beginning in 1937. This success was accomplished by the Japanese 21st Infantry Division and Taiwan Brigade, which landed in southern Kwangsi province on Chinchow Bay. This collectively is known as the Battle of Shouth Guangxi.
Future History: Yaphet Kotto is born in New York City. He becomes famous in the 1970s for films such as "Live and Let Die" (1973) and "Alien" (1979).
|The Impero prior to launching at Genoa (Sestri Ponente) on 15 November 1939.|
November 1939November 1, 1939: The Jet Flies Again
November 2, 1939: The Soviets Devour Poland
November 3, 1939: Amending the Neutrality Act
November 4, 1939: Roosevelt Signs Neutrality Laws
November 5, 1939: The Spirit of Zossen
November 6, 1939: First Dogfight
November 7, 1939: More Lies About SS Athenia
November 8, 1939: Hitler Almost Killed
November 9, 1939: The Venlo Incident
November 10, 1939: Dutch Panic
November 11, 1939: Poignant Armistice Day
November 12, 1939: Peace Efforts Made and Rejected
November 13, 1939: First Bombing of Great Britain
November 14, 1939: The Dyle Plan
November 15, 1939: Elser Confesses to the Bürgerbräukeller Bombing
November 16, 1939: Martial Law in Prague
November 17, 1939: International Students Day
November 18, 1939: Magnetic Mines
November 19, 1939: Walls Around the Warsaw Ghetto
November 20, 1939: First RN Submarine Victory
November 21, 1939: Salmon & Gluckstein on the Prowl
November 22, 1939: British Recover A Magnetic Mine
November 23, 1939: HMS Rawalpindi Sunk
November 24, 1939: Japanese Enter Nanning
November 25, 1939: The Olympics are a War Casualty
November 26, 1939: Soviets Stage an "Incident" at Mainila
November 27, 1939: German Marriage Becomes Perilous
November 28, 1939: Judenrats in Poland
November 29, 1939: The Soviets Prepare to Invade Finland
November 30, 1939: Winter War Begins