Thursday, April 21, 2016

September 10, 1939: The Germans Break Out

Sunday 10 September 1939

Troops of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), under Lord Gort, marching to the ships taking them to France, 10 September 1939.
Battle of Poland: Polish troops quietly withdraw from Łomża after a vicious battle. The last Poles cross the river  a couple of hours before midnight on September 10, 1939.

The Germans break through at Wizna and take Nowogród, making the entire Narew River line untenable. It has been a dry summer, making standard defensive river lines less useful as opposing forces can ford the rivers. The Polish high command orders a general retreat to the southeast.

At the city of  Jarosław on the San River, General Stanisław Maczek and his Polish 10th Motorized Cavalry Brigade mount a defensive operation. The objective is to hold open an escape route for his forces further west. He holds out throughout the day, then skillfully withdraws and leaves only a skeleton force in the city.

Generalmajor der Ordnungspolizei and SS Brigadeführer Wilhelm Fritz von Roettig, 51, is ambushed in his staff car and shot in the head by Polish troops near Opoczno and becomes the first German General to die during the war.

Polish/French Diplomacy:  Polish Commander-in-Chief Marshal Rydz-Smigly urgently requests French troops to be sent to aid Poland. General Gamelin, engaged in his offensive in the Saar, replies that this is impossible because over half of his force is in contact with the enemy.

Polish Propaganda: The Luftwaffe mounts 15 raids on Warsaw which are hurting morale. Polish radio broadcasts that the Germans have withdrawn from the vicinity of the city, which is not the case.

German Propaganda: The German High Command broadcasts that the tempo of operations is being slowed to consolidate gains. In fact, just the opposite is happening as the Poles abandon the Narew River line.

In order to sow confusion, German radio technicians, using the same wavelength as Radio Warsaw, broadcast a spurious announcement that Warsaw has fallen.

Canadian Government: Prime Minister Mackenzie King and bearing the seal of Governor-General Lord Tweedsmuir publish a joint statement in the Canada Gazette declaring that a state of war exists between the Dominion of Canada and the German Reich "as and from the tenth day of September 1939."

Unlike some other British commonwealth nations, the declaration is not backdated to 3 September. This delay has a hidden purpose. Unlike the other commonwealth nations, Canada is close enough to the United States to furiously stock up supplies from there before the American neutrality laws bar their shipment.

Battle of the Atlantic: In a tragic case of friendly fire, the HMS Triton (Lieutenant Commander Steel) sights another submarine and, assuming that it is a U-boat after any response to attempts to communicate, lets loose two torpedoes. They strike HMS Oxley. There are only two survivors. Steel is later cleared by a Board of Enquiry. The matter is hushed up until the 1950s.

Future History: Cynthia Lennon is born in Blackpool, England. She later marries Beatle John Lennon. Cynthia passes away in 2015. Her son, Julian Lennon, also becomes a pop star after John's death in 1980.

Cynthia Lennon John Lennon Julian Lennon
Cynthia, Julian and John Lennon in the 1960s.

September 1939

September 1, 1939: Invasion of Poland
September 2, 1939: Danzig Annexed
September 3, 1939: France, Great Britain Declare War
September 4, 1939: First RAF Raid
September 5, 1939: The US Stays Out
September 6, 1939: Battle of Barking Creek
September 7, 1939: Polish HQ Bugs Out
September 8, 1939: War Crimes in Poland
September 9, 1939: The Empire Strikes Back
September 10, 1939: The Germans Break Out
September 11, 1939: Battle of Kałuszyn
September 12, 1939: The French Chicken Out
September 13, 1939: The Battle of Modlin
September 14, 1939: Germany Captures Gdynia
September 15, 1939: Warsaw Surrounded
September 16, 1939: Battle of Jaworów
September 17, 1939: Soviets Invade Poland
September 18, 1939: Lublin Falls
September 19, 1939: Germans, Soviets Hook Up
September 20, 1939: the Kraków Army Surrenders
September 21, 1939: Romania Convulses
September 22, 1939: Joint Soviet-German Military Parade
September 23, 1939: The Panama Conference
September 24, 1939: The Luftwaffe Bombs Warsaw
September 25, 1939: Black Monday for Warsaw
September 26, 1939: Warsaw on the Ropes
September 27, 1939: Hitler Decides to Invade France
September 28, 1939: Warsaw Capitulates
September 29, 1939: Modlin Fortress Falls
September 30, 1939: Graf Spee on the Loose


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