Thursday, April 28, 2016

November 3, 1939: Amending the Neutrality Act

Friday 3 November 1939

Troops of 51st Highland Division march over a drawbridge into Fort de Sainghain on the Maginot Line, 3 November 1939.
Western Front: Nothing much happening on a cold, dreary 3 November 1939 day. A fairly typical "Phoney War" day.

Battle of the Atlantic: The Admiralty announces that the US City of Flint has been spotted proceeding southward within Norwegian territorial waters. The wandering ship has been making headlines around the world as it seeks a place of refuge.

The City of Flint itself realizes that it is either being watched or about to be discovered by the British, so the German crew takes a gamble and puts it into the port of Haugesund. It anchors in the harbor despite Norwegian refusals to permit sanctuary. The Norwegians then board the ship and return it to the American crew who heretofore had been imprisoned. They sail off to Bergen. The Germans, meanwhile, are interned at Kongsvinger Fortress for entering a neutral port without permission.

Convoy HG 7 departs from Port Said bound for Liverpool, while Convoy OG 5 forms at Gibraltar.

US Government: The Senate passes the House bill amending the US neutrality laws to enable England and France to purchase US arms on a "cash-and-carry" basis. In addition, the Neutrality Acts of 1935 and 1937 are repealed, meaning US ships and citizens are forbidden to enter the European war zone; this is easily avoided by re-flagging US ships to flags of neutral nations, a process that has been ongoing already. The National Munitions Control Board is given jurisdiction over all arms imports and exports, and licenses are required to export arms and munitions.

"Cash-and-carry" is considered important because Britain and France borrowed so much to pay for war goods during World War I that they had difficulty repaying it.

South Africa: Prime Minister Smuts promises on behalf of his country to help defend British territories in Africa.

Finland: Talks about the borders renew for the third time. The Finns make some counter-proposals. A key stumbling block is that Finland refuses to allow a Soviet base in Finland (the Baltic States such as Estonia and Latvia already have been forced to do this). Pravda publishes a scathing attack on Finland which is picked up by other media.

British Government: Announces that over 500,000 tons of contraband have been seized from vessels. Some of that "contraband" would be disputed by the owners.

The blackout is reduced by an hour due to numerous complaints from businesses and trade unions. It commences half an hour after sunset and runs to half an hour before sunrise.

American Homefront: "Drums Along the Mohawk" starring Henry Fonda and directed by John Ford is released. "The Lion Has Wings" receives a wide release in Great Britain. "The Flying Deuces" starring Laurel & Hardy is released. "Popeye: Never Sock a Baby" also is released by Fleischer Studios for Paramount Pictures.

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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