Friday 29 November 1940
|"Shelterers read the paper and prepare for sleep in a dimly-lit tunnel of the London Underground network, probably at Aldwych in November 1940. More shelterers can be seen further down the tunnel, past a pile of ladders visible on the left." © IWM (D 1680). (Photo: official government photographer Bill Brandt).|
The Italians, realizing the danger to the southern ports, are now transferring stocks of supplies from Valona and Durazzo to San Giovanni di Medua (Shëngjin).
The RAF, supporting the Greeks, raids Tepelene.
Greek submarine Papanicolis attacks 6168-ton Italian freighter Chisone off Durazzo but causes no damage.
Italian submarine Delfino attacks two Greek destroyers twelve miles east of Kalojeri, but also cause no damage.
General Bernard Freyberg of New Zealand disposes the accumulated British and New Zealand troops on Crete to protect naval bases and strong points.
European Air Operations: The Luftwaffe does little during the day, with only scattered raids on the south coast by fighter-bombers. It focuses on London during the night. It is a heavy raid involving 300+ bombers. Among the areas damaged to one extent or another are:
- St. James' Church in Piccadilly;
- The Old Bailey and Tower of London;
RAF Bomber Command raids the ports of Bremen, Hamburg, Cologne, Boulogne, and Le Havre.
|Liverpool Street Underground Station Shelter: Masses of people lie huddled together on either side of an arched tunnel in the station. © IWM (D 1573). November 1940. (Photo: official government photographer Bill Brandt).|
- 290-ton Barge B.C.H. 10 (sunk, 5 survivors, 3 deaths);
- Dutch/British pilot boat Stroomloodsvartuig 4;
Royal Navy destroyers HMS Jupiter, Kashmir, Jersey and Jackal arrive shortly after the Javelin is hit. They save the Javelin, but the Kriegsmarine ships make good their escape, though with varying degrees of minor damage.
Elsewhere, 95-ton British drifter Young Fisherman runs aground at Oban, Scotland and is written off.
Royal Navy 214-ton minesweeping trawler HMT Calverton hits a mine and sinks at the mouth of the Humber. There are two deaths. This area has been heavily mined and this is the second ship claimed there recently (the other being HMT Manx Prince on the 28th).
In Convoy HX 88, 4872-ton British freighter Parthenia collides with another ship (the Robert F. Hand) in rough seas and sin about 13 km southwest of Sandra Lightship.
The German coastal guns at Cap Gris Nez (Hellfire Corner) score another minor success when they damage 759-ton British freighter Fermain at Dover.
Convoy FS 346 departs from Southend, Convoy HX 92 departs from Halifax, Convoy BHX 92 (from Bermuda) is canceled for lack of ships and the freighters directed to Halifax to join the next HX convoy.
Royal Navy corvette HMS Orchis (K 76, Lt. Arthur D. White) is commissioned.
USS Grenadier is launched.
|Liverpool Street Underground Station Shelter: A group of men occupies their time by playing a game of draughts on the station floor. © IWM (D 1581). November 1940. (Photo: official government photographer Bill Brandt).|
New Zealand cruiser HMNZS Leander attacks Banda Alulu, near Cape Guardafui, Italian Somaliland. It fires 98 6-inch rounds and damages a factory and radio station. The Italian Aero Aeronautica attacks the Leander without success.
Royal Navy submarine HMS Olympus departs from Malta after completing repairs incurred in part during an air raid on 6 July. Otherwise, the day is fairly quiet and routine at Malta.
|Rising young starlet Lucille Ball and touring Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz elope on 29 November 1940 (this photo is from much later).|
US/German/Anglo Relations: German freighters Idarwald (6031 tons) and Rhein (5181 tons), which made an abortive attempt to return to Occupied Europe a month earlier, make another try. They depart from Tampico, Mexico. US destroyers USS Simpson and Broome are on Neutrality Patrol outside the harbor, knowing that the German ships may try again. The US destroyers, as is usual in such cases, follow the two German freighters but do not stop them. However, they broadcast the German ships' position in the clear so that the British are sure to learn about the situation. The two German freighters once again return to port, but their captains remain determined to run the blockade.
Adolf Hitler, incidentally, mentions this series of incidents involving the United States Navy in his declaration of war on 11 December 1941. There is no question that the US ships are aiding the British war effort even if technically acting within the scope of international law.
|The Black Eye Peas are appearing at the Lexington Casino. Trenton Times, 29 November 1940.|
German Military: Having reviewed and discounted Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov's proposed agreements of 25 November, the German leadership continues its planning for Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. A draft completed today enlarges upon earlier attempts. It sets forth three more-or-less equal axes of attack, one through the Baltic States to Leningrad, the second on the high road to Moscow, and the third in the south aiming toward Kyiv. The front will be 1800 miles long - earlier drafts foresaw a much smaller front only in the north. This is not the plan's final form, but it is the first draft that closely resembles the framework of the actual invasion in June 1941.
|BRC-1007, the seventh Bantam BRC built, is delivered on November 29, 1940, along with 21 others. This Jeep was used until 1944 and has 15,941 miles showing. The BRC is displayed at Pittsburgh's Heinz Museum by way of the Smithsonian.|
Heavy cruiser USS Louisville makes port in Rio Grande du Sol, Brazil as part of its "Show the Flag" mission.
India: Subhas Chandra Bose, in prison for protesting against the British rule in India, begins a hunger strike. It will last until 5 December.
China: In Hubei, the Japanese Han River operation has been blunted by the Chinese 5th War Area. The Japanese 11th Army withdraws, and the Chinese recover some ground unopposed.
|A postcard sent by Bela Lugosi to his sister, 29 November 1940.|
It has now been proved beyond any shadow of doubt that though the sword of France has been shattered by unworthy leaders, the nation refuses to submit to disaster.He later adds:
Yes, the flame of French resistance, briefly smothered under the ashes of treason, is once again alight and burning. And we, the Free French, have the glorious duty and supreme dignity of being the soul of the nation's resistance.De Gaulle also goes out of his way to emphasize that he is not just talking through his hat, but commands serious forces:
Well, at this very moment we have 35,000 men under arms, twenty warships in commission, sixty merchantmen at sea, a thousand airmen, a number of technicians engaged on armament work, territories active on behalf of our cause in Africa, French India, and the Pacific, important centres in all parts of the world, growing financial resources, newspapers, wireless stations, and, above all, the certain knowledge that at every minute of the day we are present in the hearts and minds of all our fellow-countrymen in France.This is but one in a series of speeches by Charles de Gaulle. Recently, his appeals in-person to captured Vichy soldiers in Gabon have not produced many converts. As a national leader, de Gaulle remains a creation of the British government. However, he is a brilliant orator and is fine-tuning that skill with each speech.
American Homefront: Universal Pictures releases classic W.C. Fields comedy film "The Bank Dick" (aka "The Bank Detective" in England). Directed by Edward F. Cline and written by "Mahatma Kane Jeeves" (aka W.C. Fields himself), the film is full of edgy puns for the era and slapstick. It is considered by many to be WC Field's best work (alongside "My Little Chickadee" with Mae West). Shemp Howard of The Three Stooges makes a cameo appearance as a bartender. Also starring Una Merkel and Cora Witherspoon.
Also released today is the film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's "Little Men." It nominally stars Kay Francis, but everyone familiar with the film knows the real draw is the famous Elsie the Cow playing Buttercup.
November 1, 1940: Hitler Irate
November 2, 1940: U-31 Sunk - Again
November 3, 1940: Kretschmer's Master Class
November 4, 1940: Spain Absorbs Tangier
November 5, 1940: Jervis Bay Meets Admiral Scheer
November 6, 1940: San Demetrio Incident
November 7, 1940: Galloping Gertie
November 8, 1940: Italian Shakeup in Greece
November 9, 1940: Dutch Fascists March
November 10, 1940: Fala and Doc Strange
November 11, 1940: Taranto Raid
November 12, 1940: Molotov Takes Berlin
November 13, 1940: Molotov Foils Hitler
November 14, 1940: Moonlight Sonata
November 15, 1940: Warsaw Ghetto Sealed
November 16, 1940: France Keeps Battleships
November 17, 1940: Malta Hurricane Disaster
November 18, 1940: Hitler Berates Ciano
November 19, 1940: Birmingham Devastated
November 20, 1940: Hungary Joins Axis
November 21, 1940: Dies White Paper
November 22, 1940: Italians Take Korçë
November 23, 1940: U-Boat Bonanza!
November 24, 1940: Slovakia Joins In
November 25, 1940: Molotov's Demands
November 26, 1940: Bananas Be Gone
November 27, 1940: Cape Spartivento Battle
November 28, 1940: Wick Perishes
November 29, 1940: Trouble in Indochina
November 30, 1940: Lucy and Desi Marry