Friday, April 29, 2016

November 18, 1939: Magnetic Mines

Saturday 18 November 1939

18 November 1939 Simon Bolivar
Survivors of the Simon Bolivar.
Battle of the Atlantic: The magnetic mines just laid by the German destroyers do their work quickly. On 18 November 1939, ships are sunk by the mines, including the Dutch liner Simon Bolivar. It strikes two of them. Eighty-six of the 400 on the liner perish.

U-18 (Kapitänleutnant Max-Hermann Bauer) torpedoes and sinks 500-ton British coal freighter Parkhill. All nine crew perish.

U-22 (Kapitänleutnant Karl-Heinrich Jenisch) torpedoes and sinks 345-ton British fishing trawler Wigmore. All 16 crew perish.

Yugoslavian freighter Carica Milica, 6,371 tons, hits a mine and sinks in the English channel.

British freighter Blackhill hits a mine and sinks.

The Royal Navy merchant cruiser California captures German freighter Eilbeck and the German freighter Borkum in the Denmark Strait.

The Norwegians detain the German supply ship Westerwald whilst the vessel is using Norwegian waters to return to Germany from the North Atlantic.

The crew of the Africa Shell identifies the Admiral Graf Spee as having sunk their vessel near Madagascar.

More mine-laying activity by the Kriegsmarine near the Humber estuary.

Convoy OA 37 departs from Southend, and OB 37 departs from Liverpool. Convoy HX 9 departs from Halifax.

European Air Operations: There are Luftwaffe aircraft spotted along the east coast of England, including near the Firth of Forth. The Luftwaffe planes apparently violated Dutch airspace to get there, because Dutch fighters fire on them and chase them off.

Anglo/Polish Relations: Poland and Great Britain sign a naval agreement.

Anglo/Dutch/German Relations: The Dutch and British are outraged that the mining of a major traffic lane was not reported by the Germans as required by international law. The British say that the Germans of violating the 1907 Hague Conventions, specifically Article VIII. Holland lodges a formal diplomatic protest.

Ireland: The IRA explodes four small bombs in London's Piccadilly area.

Holocaust: General Johannes Blaskowitz, one of the most highly decorated officers in the Wehrmacht (Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords on 30 September 1939) submits a memorandum to Commander-in-chief Walther von Brauchitsch, who today forwards it on to Hitler. The memorandum complains about the SS and Einsatzgruppen operations in occupied Poland. Apart from everything else, the General complains about the effect that it is having on morale.

For varying reasons, the entire German command structure perceives the memorandum as inappropriate. Hitler himself calls the General's concerns "childish" and calls it a "Salvation Army attitude." Blaskowitz is informally blacklisted preparatory to being relieved entirely from his command in Poland.

Future History: Brenda Vaccaro is born in Brooklyn, New York. She becomes famous as an actress in the 1960s for films such as "Midnight Cowboy" (1969) and "Cactus Flower" (1965). Also, Margaret Atwood is born in Ottawa, Canada. She becomes a well-known novelist.

18 November 1939 Blaskowitz Rommel von Rundstedt
From left: Generaloberst Johannes Blaskowitz, General Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, and Gerd von General Field Marshal Rundstedt during a meeting in Paris in 1944; PK KBZ OB West (Jesse, Federal Archive).

November 1939

November 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


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