Thursday 21 September 1939
|Polish troops in Lvov surrender to the Germans, September 21, 1939.|
Romanian Politics: In an event with far-reaching consequences, on 21 September 1939 members of the Romanian fascist paramilitary Iron Guard assassinate Prime Minister Armand Calinescu, 46, in Bucharest. The assassins are all quickly gunned down after they seize a local radio station and broadcast that they have executed a "death sentence." He is succeeded by General George Angeseanu.
Battle of Poland: The Wehrmacht tightens its grip on Warsaw as it ramps up artillery bombardment.
Battle of the Atlantic: Admiral Doenitz orders his U-boat fleet to attack all ships, including neutrals, running without lights in the English Channel. [This is according to Doenitz's testimony at the Nuremberg trials after World War II.]
Holocaust: In Berlin, SS General Reinhard Heydrich issues an order to Einsatzgruppen Chiefs. It specifies that Poland's Jews and other groups looked down upon by the Germans "from the countryside" such as the Romani be loaded into boxcars and shipped to city ghettos in Poland. Smaller Jewish communities "fewer than 500 persons" are to be "dissolved and transferred to the nearest city of concentration." "Councils of Elders" are to be formed in the ghettos and made responsible "in the literal sense of the word" for any sabotage or disruptions their people cause. This becomes known as the "Heydrich Plan" and targets hundreds of thousands of people.
United States Government: President Roosevelt addresses Congress to request that it pass legislation amending the neutrality acts so that the country can sell arms to the British Empire and others fighting Germany on a "cash and carry" basis.
British Government: The government organizes its munitions procurement policies and releases the content of pre-war diplomatic exchanges in a government blue book.
French Homefront: Prime Minister Edouard Daladier delivers an emotional 18-minute address to the nation on Paris Radio. He expresses full support for the Allied cause and states that this is a fight for human dignity against a "regime of terror." He places war guilt squarely on Adolf Hitler personally and refers to the "certainty of Poland's destruction" somewhat carelessly while Poland was still resisting.
American Homefront: Radio station WJSV in Washington, D. C. records an entire broadcast day for posterity on September 21, 1939. It includes an early rendition of the national anthem and one of only four recordings of a baseball game play-by-play preserved from the 1930s.
|Prime Minister Armand Calinescu.|
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