Sunday, May 1, 2016

November 29, 1939: The Soviets Prepare to Invade Finland

Wednesday 29 November 1939

Fritz Kuhn of the German-American Bund with Adolf Hitler.
Soviet/Finnish Relations: On 29 November 1939, the Soviet Union severs diplomatic relations with Finland without waiting for a formal reply to its diplomatic note of 28 November. A Finnish offer to renew discussions over the territorial issues, perhaps via arbitration, is spurned. US Secretary of State Cordell Hull announces that he is prepared to mediate.

At 24:00, Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov orders the invasion of Finland.

Battle of the Atlantic: HMS Diomede, a recently reactivated Great War cruiser, chases the German freighter Idarwald from Tampico, Mexico. The Germans scuttle the ship off Cabo Corrientes, Cuba before it can be captured. A US destroyer (either the USS Broome or USS Sturtevant) has been shadowing the freighter but does not intervene in its destruction.

U-35 (Kapitänleutnant Werner Lott) surfaces and surrenders after a depth-charge attack by British destroyers HMS Icarus, Kashmir and Kingston. The U-boat then sinks. All 43 crew survive, a rarity for U-boats, because Lord Mountbatten, in command on the Kashmir, sends boats over to rescue the Germans.

The U-35 was a moderately successful predator, sinking four vessels for a total of 7,850 tons. U-35 was the U-boat involved in the Diamantis incident. After disembarking the ship and sinking it, the U-35 brought all 28 Greek crewmen to safety at Ireland on 4 October 1939. It is an event still remembered fondly by people in Ballymore at Ventry Harbor. The rescued U-35 crew are temporarily imprisoned in the Tower of London before being sent to POW camps.

The 3,114-ton British freighter Ionian hits a mine and sinks near Newart Lightship in the English Channel. All 37 crew survive.

The Admiral Graf Spee transfers to the tanker Altmark all of its British prisoners from the six ships that it has sunk, where they remain imprisoned.

US freighter Nishmaha is detained by the French at Marseilles and the US freighter Extavia at Gibraltar.

German Government: Adolf Hitler issues Directive No. 9, "Instructions for Warfare against the Economy of the Enemy." It specifies tactics for starving Great Britain into submission.

European Air Operations: There is an air duel over the Northumbrian coast. Two British patrol aircraft and a Dornier seaplane are shot down over the North Sea.

Western Front: French troops perform reconnaissance in Vosges Forest areas held by German troops.

Spanish/German Relations: The Spanish government ratifies a friendship pact with Germany. It includes secret protocols permitting Germany the use of Spanish ports and cooperation regarding propaganda and policing.

Soviet Government: The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet issues a decree granting citizenship to all permanent residents of territory recently incorporated into the USSR (all of it has been). Such citizens are obligated to serve in the military.

British Government: The British government announces in the preceding week (ending 25 November) that it seized 21,500 tons of contraband allegedly destined for Germany.

Ireland: The Government of Eire commissions some motor torpedo boats and armed trawlers.

British Homefront: The Chancellor of the Exchequer reports that foreigners are sending in contributions, often in the form of family jewels, gold, and other tangible gifts, to help finance the war effort.

American Homefront: The leader of the German-American Bund, Fritz Julius Kuhn, recently arrested in New York, is convicted of five counts of larceny and forgery.

Salvador Dalí photographed by Carl Van Vechten on November 29, 1939.

November 1939

November 1, 1939: The Jet Flies Again
November 2, 1939: The Soviets Devour Poland
November 3, 1939: Amending the Neutrality Act
November 4, 1939: Roosevelt Signs Neutrality Laws
November 5, 1939: The Spirit of Zossen
November 6, 1939: First Dogfight
November 7, 1939: More Lies About SS Athenia
November 8, 1939: Hitler Almost Killed
November 9, 1939: The Venlo Incident
November 10, 1939: Dutch Panic
November 11, 1939: Poignant Armistice Day
November 12, 1939: Peace Efforts Made and Rejected
November 13, 1939: First Bombing of Great Britain
November 14, 1939: The Dyle Plan
November 15, 1939: Elser Confesses to the Bürgerbräukeller Bombing
November 16, 1939: Martial Law in Prague
November 17, 1939: International Students Day
November 18, 1939: Magnetic Mines
November 19, 1939: Walls Around the Warsaw Ghetto
November 20, 1939: First RN Submarine Victory
November 21, 1939: Salmon & Gluckstein on the Prowl
November 22, 1939: British Recover A Magnetic Mine
November 23, 1939: HMS Rawalpindi Sunk
November 24, 1939: Japanese Enter Nanning
November 25, 1939: The Olympics are a War Casualty
November 26, 1939: Soviets Stage an "Incident" at Mainila
November 27, 1939: German Marriage Becomes Perilous
November 28, 1939: Judenrats in Poland
November 29, 1939: The Soviets Prepare to Invade Finland
November 30, 1939: Winter War Begins


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