Saturday 16 September 1939
|Steel-helmeted, uniformed Polish women march through the streets of Warsaw to aid in defense of their capital on September 16, 1939. They are not, however, armed. (AP Photo).|
Battle of Poland: Polish forces break though German lines on 16 September 1939 in the forests north and west of the town of Janów. Six battalions get through to Janów despite determined defense by the German "Pemsel" combat group formed from the 1st Mountain Division. The Poles repel a counter-attack at Dobrostany. This concludes the Battle of Jaworów, which has been a tactical Polish victory.
The Luftwaffe bombs the Jewish quarter of Warsaw. The Poles in Warsaw are successfully repelling determined German ground attacks but is largely defenseless to air attack. General List's army is both investing Warsaw and heading north to link up with the rapidly approaching XIX of General Guderian.
European Air Operations: The Polish Air Force launches its final bombing raid.
Soviet Government: Moscow broadcasts that it will invade Poland the next day "to protect the Ukrainian and Belorussian minorities."
Western Front: French forces make some tentative movements in the Saar and are 12 miles east of Saarbrücken.
Battle of the Atlantic: U-27 (Kapitänleutnant Johannes Franz) torpedoes and sinks the trawler Rudyard Kipling. He stops to pick up the crew and keeps them for eight hours, giving them food and clothing, before releasing them in their lifeboats for the long row (9.3 km; 5.8 mi) to Ireland. U-27 so far has eluded destroyers HMS Fortune and HMS Faulknor, which know there is a U-boat in the vicinity and have been hunting it.
U-31 (Kptlt. Johannes Habekost) sinks an independent, the Aviemore, which is near convoy OB-4. Of the crew, 23 are lost and 11 are picked up by HMS Warwick. This marks the first successful attack on a ship within convoy's sphere of protection, though technically the Aviemore is not a member of the convoy.
Belgian steamer Alex van Opstal is sunk by Luftwaffe mine or torpedo off Weymouth.
Other Allied losses for the day are Fanad Head, Davara, and Cheyenne. Some vessels are accounted for on other days for various reasons.
A large escorted convoy leaves Halifax, the first of three over the next week.
British Government: The Duke of Windsor, newly returned from France, is appointed a liaison to the French government.
Japanese/Soviet Relations: Pursuant to the agreement of the previous day, the battle of Khalkhin Gol formally ends.
War Crimes: Mass executions commence in Przemysl on the eve of the Jewish New Year. The liquidations occur at several places in the city outskirts: Lipowica, Pralkowce, Pikulice, at Przekopana, near the Wiar river and near the Jewish cemetery at Slowackiego Street. According to some estimates as many as 600 Jews in total are killed over the next few days.
American Homefront: The NY Yankees clinch their fourth straight American League Pennant, beating the Detroit Tigers 8-5. Their opponent in the World Series is yet to be determined.
|On September 16, 1939, residents of London carrying gas mask containers (white boxes) walk along curbs widened and marked with stripes for civil defense purposes (AP Photo).|
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