Saturday, April 16, 2016

September 29, 1939: Modlin Fortress Falls


The Polish armoured train "Śmierć."

Battle of Poland: The Germans capture Modlin Fortress on 29 September 1939. General Wiktor Thommée has 24,000 troops, but the capitulation of Warsaw the previous day makes further defense untenable. The Modlin Army itself had long since retreated eastward. An armoured train, appropriately named No. 15 Śmierć ("death"), has been prominent in the defense. The aerial defenses over Modlin have been the most effective in all of Poland, so its capture is good news indeed for the Luftwaffe.

The Soviet invasion from the east is in full swing. The Soviet forces allow the Polesie Group of about 18,000 Poles to break through southward at the village of Jabłoń towards Parczew and Milanów. The incident is minor - the Soviets take only about 100 casualties - but it shows the power of desperate men trying to break out, a common occurrence over the next six years. It also may reinforce the (erroneous) German notion that the Soviet military is weak. In this case, the Soviets know there are German forces more than willing to handle matters and probably don't want to take too many casualties.

The Battle of Poland continues. At this point, though, it is becoming less a defensive struggle and more a controlled flight for the borders by the remaining Polish formations.

German/Soviet Diplomacy: Germany and the USSR sign a boundary and friendship treaty that partitions Poland. Germany receives 73,000 square miles, the Soviets get 78,000. The Germans get the majority of the population and the major cities.

The Soviets agree to send Germany the entire oil output of the Dohowicz fields.

In addition, Lithuania formally is transferred to the Soviet sphere (Lithuania itself, of course, knows nothing of this).

Soviet Diplomacy: After the Orzel incident of 18 September 1939, the Soviets have been pressing for military access to Estonia. Estonia signs an agreement permitting Soviet naval and air bases on its territory. Estonia, of course, is on Stalin's list pursuant to the secret protocols of the Ribbentrop/Molotov agreement.

American Homefront: Fritz Kuhn, the leader of the pro-Hitler German-American Bund, is imprisoned.

Future History: Larry Linville is born in Ojai, California. He becomes famous in the 1970s for playing a US officer in the television series "MASH." He passes away in 2000.


Larry Linville

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




2016

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