Saturday, April 23, 2016

October 4, 1939: Otto Kretschmer Gets Rolling

Wednesday 4 October 1939

Battle of Kock
Troops in action between the Bug and Vistula rivers, October 1939.
Battle of Poland: General von Wietersheim of the XIV Motorised Corps finally accepts on 4 October 1939 that the trapped Polish forces between the Bug and Vistula rivers will have to be subdued by force. He adds the 29th Motorised Infantry Division to the 13th Motorised Infantry Division and tells General Otto to get the job done. On the other side, General Kleeberg decides that his best tactic is to eliminate the two divisions one by one. He picks the 13th ID as his first victim.

The 13th ID attacks in the morning and advances until halted around noontime. The Poles adjust their forces to meet the German thrusts, and after much back-and-forth, the Poles hold their line.

In Berlin, Hitler issues an order to blow up the Royal Castle in Warsaw.

Battle of the Atlantic: U-35 lands in Ireland the 28 Greek crewmen that it saved after torpedoing their ship and then returns to patrol.

U-21 (Kapitänleutnant Otto Kretschmer) sinks the British merchant ship Glen Farg northeast of Scotland. One crew member dies and 16 are picked up by the HMS Firedrake. It is Kretschmer's first victory in three patrols. He allows the crew to disembark before sinking it.

British authorities release the US freighter Black Hawk from detention.

The U.S. Naval Attaché in Berlin reports that Grand Admiral Erich Raeder had informed him of a brewing "false flag" situation. The U.S. passenger liner Iroquois, that had sailed from Cobh, Ireland, with 566 American passengers on October 3, would be sunk (by the British) as she neared the east coast of the United States under "Athenia circumstances" to arouse anti-German feeling.

Convoy KJ 3 departs from Kingston for the UK.

Western Front: The Germans are quietly evacuating cities directly behind the Siegfried Line and militarizing them. Karlsruhe is the latest. Perhaps as cover for this operation, the Germans launch some minor attacks.

European Air Operations: No. 219 Squadron, a World War I unit, is re-formed at Catterick with Blenheim fighters to protect shipping.

Soviet Propaganda: Nikita Kruschev, the Secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party, announces the "Communization" of Soviet-occupied Poland.

German/Soviet Diplomacy: There is back and forth between Ribbentrop and Molotov about the "Lithuania strip of territory." Ribbentrop is against the Soviet decision to cede this territory to Lithuania without his authorization.

German Government: Hitler issues a secret decree absolving all German military and police personnel of criminal liability for the period 1 September through 4 October. Any crimes committed, he explains, were compelled by "atrocities committed by the Poles."

Hitler orders the Reichstag to meet on that Friday, 6 October.

United States Government: The Department of the Interior issues a press release from the "Bureau of Biological Survey." It states that foreign supplies of furs are in grave danger of being cut off by the war and that this might cause certain American fur-producing animals to be "exterminated." It urges more effective "fur-animal conservation."

American Homefront: The NY Yankees beat the Cincinnati Reds, 2-1, at Yankee Stadium in Game 1 of the 1939 World Series.

Kapitänleutnant Otto Kretschmer
Kapitänleutnant Otto Kretschmer ('Silent Otto") and his U-boat.

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


No comments:

Post a Comment