5 September 1939
|Günther Prien and U-47.|
International Relations: The United States officially declares neutrality in Europe on 5 September 1939. Jan Smuts replaces J.B.M. Hertzog as Prime Minister of South Africa, as Hertzog wishes to declare neutrality. Yugoslavia, Argentina and Chile also announce neutrality. British soldiers remove two German nationals from a US-flagged ship at Port Said, Egypt, and the US lodges a diplomatic protest.
Battle of the Atlantic: Günther Prien gets his first victory when U-47 sinks the British Steamer Bosnia.
The British authorities at Port Said, Egypt remove five German engineers from Panamanian ship Don Juan. The US lodges a diplomatic protest.
Battle of Poland: German forces moving eastward from Germany toward East Prussia and Danzig annihilate Polish forces of the Pomeranian Army at Tuchola Forest defending the Polish Corridor. Heinz Guderian leads the charge with the XIX Panzer Corps as part of the 4th German Army led by General Günther von Kluge. The way to the south-east and east is now open to the 4th Army.
Further south, the XVI Panzer Corps (1st and 4th Panzer Divisions) is headed toward Piotrkow when the Polish 19th Infantry Division hits it. Later, the Polish 2nd Tank Battalion helps to defend the city. The Germans suffer heavy tank casualties 17 panzers, 14 armoured cars, 2 self-propelled guns, while the Polish forces only lose two tanks. However, the Germans shrug off the losses and continue driving forward. They drive a wedge between Army Lodz and Army Kraków. Marshal Rydz-Smigly orders a retreat to behind the Vistula.
The Germans have forced the line of the Vistula and are preparing to cross the Narew and the Western Bug Rivers.
|Adolf Hitler, 5 September 1939. Things are pretty rosy at the moment.|
European Air Operations: The RAF drops 3 million leaflets over the Ruhr industrial region.
British Government: The Crown approves of the National Registration Act.
US Homefront: Stocks surge 10% higher on the first trading day since the outbreak of war. Demand for war materials and other goods by Europe is seen as likely to increase.
Future History: George Lazenby is born in Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia. He moves to London in the 1960s and becomes famous when he is cast to replace Sean Connery as James Bond in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969). He remains active in Hollywood to this day.
|The US newspapers are full of glorious news about fanciful air raids against the evil Germans. News about actual German land advances is a little more difficult to spot.|
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