Saturday 25 October 1939
|Bydgoszcz, 1939: Polish priests and civilians at the Old Market under arrest during Operation Tannenberg.|
Battle of the Atlantic: On 25 October 1939, U-16 (Kapitänleutnant Horst Wellner) runs aground and is lost on the Goodwin Sands, a well-known shipping hazard in the English Channel. This occurs whilst U-16 is maneuvering under depth charge attack. This incident forces Admiral Doenitz to order U-boats to sail to their stations the long way, around the north of Scotland. Some accounts state the attacking Royal Navy ships Puffin and Caton Wyke sank the U-16, and at the very least they contributed to its demise.
German vessel Rheingold is captured by the Royal Navy cruiser Delhi, and the Santa Fe is captured by French cruisers Le Fantasque and Le Terrible.
The British release from detention US freighters Sundance and West Hobomac.
US freighter Nashaba is released from detention by the French.
Admiral Doenitz orders three U-boats to transfer to the Mediterranean through the Straits of Gibraltar.
Convoy OA 25 departs from Southend. Convoy OB 24 departs from Liverpool. Convoy HX 6 departs from Halifax for Liverpool.
European Air Operations: The RAF conducts reconnaissance flights over Berlin, Hamburg and Magdeburg.
Holocaust: An ancient custom with terrible implications is revived when Włocławek, Poland becomes the first town in Europe to require Jews to wear yellow Star of David badges.
RAF: Maiden flight of the Handley Page Halifax heavy bomber from RAF Bicester. It is named after Halifax in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
Finland: Full mobilization is completed.
German Military: Hitler has a meeting with the army commander-in-chief Brachistsch and his chief of staff Halder. Hitler sets a date of 12 November for the invasion of France.
General List, one of the successful Generals in Poland, is appointed to command 12th Army.
Holocaust: Operation Tannenberg, a pre-war German extermination programme planned in May 1939 and first implemented in August, concludes its first stage. Under this operation, Secret Police (Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD) have been using carefully compiled lists of victims. The targets have been influential Poles from all walks of life, both in Germany and in Poland. It is estimated that there have been 20,000 deaths in 760 mass exterminations (the figures vary by source). Over 400 Polish villages have been "cleared of undesirables" during this operation.
While Jews have been included, the victims have included Catholics and members of other groups deemed expendable. The primary targets have been people deemed security risks who are Polish, not necessarily Jewish Poles. Ethnic Germans living in Poland have helped to compile the lists. Operation Tannenberg has been administered by the Reich Main Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt). This is but the first in a continuing series of such operations, and another stage of the operation follows immediately upon this one.
|A Handley Page Halifax bomber.|
October 1939October 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: German "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