Thursday, April 21, 2016

September 12, 1939: The French Chicken Out

Tuesday 12 September 1939

September 12 1939 Hitler
Hitler continues his tour of the front, 12 September 1939.
Battle of Poland: The German 1st Mountain Division under Colonel Ferdinand Schörner arrives near Lwów on 12 September 1939, capturing Sambor. He orders an immediate assault on the fly. His advance troops bypass the Polish defenders but are pushed back by garrison troops when they try to take the city.

After the heroic Polish counterattack at Kałuszyn near Mińsk Mazowiecki, the Germans retake the town.

The Polish Army of Poznan advances to the rear and takes the German 8th Army in its flank. Thus begins the Battle of the Bzura River.

Polish troops recapture Lowicz. They evacuate Gdynia.

The Luftwaffe inexplicably bombs Krzemieniec (Kremenets), which has been declared an open village for the temporary housing of evacuated Warsaw diplomats.

German radio announces that German troops have wiped out Polish troop concentrations west of the Vistula and captured their equipment. The German forces are consolidating at Modlin on the north bank of the Vistula, 15 miles from Warsaw.

Western Front: Operation Saar reaches its maximum penetration into German territory, occupying roughly 45 square miles. The French continue to maintain that the operation has drawn off six German divisions from Poland. The French never make contact with the Siegfried Line and contact with the Wehrmacht is minimal despite their overwhelming firepower. General Gamelin declares victory and ends the operation, content to occupy useless territory pursuant to the wishes of the Supreme War Council (see below).

Battle of the Atlantic: Four British cargo vessels - Inverliffey, Firby, Blairlogie, and Gartavon - are reported sunk. The Finnish merchant ship Olivebank sinks after hitting a mine.

In a very touchy maneuver, a German U-boat stops and searches the American freighter Wacosta near Ireland.

Anglo-French War Council: The Council has its first meeting at Abbeville, France. British Prime Minister Chamberlain and Lord Chatfield meet with their French counterparts. They agree to postpone military operations for the time being as they beef up their forces.

British Government: The Duke and Duchess of Windsor return to England after an extended stay in France.

Germany: The government confiscates all rubber tires in the country and restricts the sale of gasoline to those holding special permits.

Foreign Minister Ribbentrop issues an ultimatum to the Romanian Government not to offer asylum to Poles crossing the border: if they do, Germany will consider it an act of war.

Canada:  Minister of National Revenue James Lorimer Ilsley announced a new 20% surtax on personal income, including tax increases on alcohol, tea, coffee, and cigarettes.

Czech Exile Government: The Czechs form an army-in-exile.

British Homefront: Due to reports of numerous violations of the blackout rules, the home office opens an inquiry.

US Navy: Neutrality patrols begin along the Eastern seaboard of the United States and in the Caribbean.

War Crimes: Wehrmacht soldiers massacred the Jewish population of the Polish town of Konskie on September 12, 1939.

September 12 1939 Leni Riefenstahl
Filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl with the 14th Army Corps in Poland. Her crew was known as "Special Film Troop Riefenstahl" [Sonderfilmtrupp Riefenstahl]. Her stay on the Polish front only became publicly known at the end of the 1940s, with the discovery of photographs that showed her standing by as Wehrmacht soldiers massacred the Jewish population of the Polish town of Konskie on September 12, 1939.

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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