Wednesday, April 27, 2016

October 31, 1939: Molotov Issues an Ultimatum

Tuesday 31 October 1939

31 October 1939 Italian fascist youth
Members of the Gioventù Italiana del Littorio (GIL) (Italian Youth of the Lictor), the consolidated youth movement of the National Fascist Party of Italy, during a practice drill. 1939.
Battle of the Atlantic: Total Allied shipping losses for October 1939, and German U-boat losses:
  • 46 Allied ships
  • 193,355 tons
  • 5 U-boats sunk
The British break their own losses for October out as:
  • 19 ships
  • 83,000 tons.
This has been a significant drop since the 37 ships of 155,000 tons in the previous month.

The British send four battleships, 14 cruisers and 5 aircraft carriers to hunt down the Admiral Graf Spee in the South Atlantic on 31 October 1939. This weakens convoy protection, one of the hidden benefits to the Germans of the pocket battleship's mission.

U-25 (Kapitänleutnant Viktor Schütze) sinks French freighter Baoulé off the Spanish coast. Thirteen men perish and 33 survive. The freighter was carrying badly needed supplies such as rubber, cotton, cocoa, and coffee.

The British detain the US freighter Black Osprey at the Downs and release the freighter Gateway City. The latter's cargo was seized as contraband.

Theodore Krancke takes command of the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer.

Convoy OA 28G departs from Southend. Convoy SL 7 departs from Freetown for Liverpool. Convoy HXF departs from Halifax for Liverpool.

German/Soviet Relations: Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov gives a speech to the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. He summarizes the status of the negotiations with Finland, attacks Great Britain for waging war on the Germans, and professes belief in neutrality. Most importantly, he emphasizes friendship with Germany, supports German peace efforts and wishes continued economic collaboration.

Finland: Negotiations resume about the border. Molotov, now assured of the backing of the Supreme Soviet, issues his first ultimatum to Helsinki. It includes his demands about Hanko, Petsamo and the other items on his wish list.

Italy: Mussolini makes some changes in the Italian (Grand Fascist) cabinet. The new members (six ministries and several secretariats) tend to support continued neutrality. Dismissed are three military chiefs (Alberto Pariani, Giuseppe Valle and Luigi Russo) and two cabinet ministers (Achille Starace and Dino Alfieri). Count Ciano (Mussolini's son-in-law) remains Foreign Minister. Count Grandi remains head of Justice and is known to be an Anglophile.

The British appoint a Consul General to Tirana, Albania, effectively recognizing the occupation Italian government there subsequent to the invasion of April 1939.

Australia: In a sign of slight easing of tensions about the conflict, the government scales back its plan to send an entire expeditionary air force to Great Britain, and instead will send just a reconnaissance squadron.

Poland: The SS establishes the death penalty for all Poles who become a problem, with violators to be tried in SS courts.

31 October 1939 Father Nowalski
Father Nowakowski.
Holocaust: Liquidations continue throughout Poland. For instance, and just as an example because to recount sterile numbers alone is just not sufficient to emphasize what is happening, Polish Diocesan Priest Leon Nowakowski is shot in the town of Piotrków Kujawski in Poland.

Future History: Walt Disney uses October 31, 1939, as the date of record for its Tower of Terror ride at Disney Studios in Orlando, Florida. According to studio lore, the Hollywood Hotel, which opened in 1919, is mysteriously struck by lightning on this Halloween day in 1939. An elevator car full of people is then transported to the Twilight Zone. The hotel remains empty until the theme park opens the attraction in 1994 and life within the hotel resume as ... somewhat... normal.

31 October 1939 Tower of Terror
October 31, 1939, is the date for the fictional Tower of Terror hotel at Orlando.

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: 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

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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