Saturday, April 30, 2016

November 24, 1939: Japanese Enter Nanning


Friday November 24 1939


24 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com Finland soldier dog
A Finnish solder and his dog (colorized), February 1941.

Battle of the Atlantic: Drifting magnetic mines are washing up by the scores on the Yorkshire Coast on 24 November 1939.

British vessel Mangalore sunk by mine.

The British release the US freighter Nishimaha after the master signs an agreement to proceed to Marseilles to unload its "contraband." The US government, though, remains opposed to this.

Convoy OA 40G departs from Southend, Convoy OB 40 departs from Liverpool, and Convoy SL 10 departs from Freetown.

Peace Talks: The two British officers captured at Venlo, Major Stevens and Captain Best, are still very much on the minds of the top Nazi hierarchy. While they are the subject of Nazi propaganda about the Munich bombing, they also get feelers from the Germans about the sincerity of the desire for peace among the Allies. It is believed, but has not been corroborated, that the two may have betrayed various classified information while in captivity.

German Homefront: The assets of iron/steel magnate Fritz Thyssen, who has fled to Switzerland, are seized. Thyssen was an early supporter of Hitler's, funding his rise to power, but became increasingly disillusioned.

British Homefront: British Airways Ltd. and Imperial Airways merge to form British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).

24 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com Aimo Cajander


Finland: Finnish Prime Minister Aimo Cajander addresses the nation. He states that Soviet demands are impossible to meet while protecting Finnish security. Since war with the USSR now is imminent (despite the Soviet-Finnish non-aggression pact of 21 January 1932), he tells every Finn to man "his own guard post" and "learn to plow carrying a rifle." Marshall Mannerheim begins situating his forces, some 200,000 men, to meet a likely attack of up to a million Soviet troops.

USSR: Stalin in fact has roughly 800,000 troops deployed from Leningrad to the Petsamo region above the Arctic Circle. The Red Army is not yet mobilized, so they literally kidnap men off the street in the manner of historic British press gangs, give them rifles, and send them to the front.

Romania: King Carol II names Gheorghe Tatarescu Prime Minister.

China: The Japanese 21st Infantry Division and Taiwan Brigade capture the main objective, Nanning, during the Battle of South Kwangsi. The campaign has cut China completely off from ocean communication, and its supplies now primarily must cross the Himalayas (the "Hump") via air or the Burma Road. Both that and the other source of supplies, Indochina, are on the Japanese list of priorities.

24 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com Finnish soldier
A Finnish solder in 1939 (colorized).

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

2016

November 23, 1939: HMS Rawalpindi Sunk


Thursday November 23 1939

23 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com magnetic mine
The famous mine defused and examined by the British.

Battle of the Atlantic: The British maintain constant patrols over the two entry points west of Iceland to the shipping lanes to the south. This enables them to seize German blockade runners. However, sometimes it turns out differently.

On 23 November 1939, The German pocket battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau blast through the Iceland-Faroes passage with guns blazing to make it into the North Atlantic. They come upon the British armed merchant cruiser Rawalpindi on patrol there - it is one of only two good routes that German vessels have to break out into the shipping lanes - and Scharnhorst blows it up.

Captain EC Kennedy.

60-year-old Edward Coverley "Bulldog" Kennedy of Rawalpindi:
"We’ll fight them both, they’ll sink us, and that will be that. Good-bye."
Captain Coverley Kennedy RN RIP manages to get his position off to the Admiralty in the 40 minutes remaining to him. On the Rawalpindi, 230-283 men perish (estimates vary). The Captain is remembered on a wooden panel in Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace and on an altar rail at All Saints Church, Farringdon. This is the type of man that protected England.

The Germans rescue 37 British sailors, and another British ship that comes along later, the HMS Chitral, another 11. The only positive outcome of the event from the Admiralty's point of view is that Captain Kennedy had time to report their position.

U-33 (Kapitänleutnant Hans-Wilhelm von Dresky) torpedoes 3,670 German freighter Borkum. The torpedo kills four of the original German sailors. It had been captured by the armed merchant cruiser HMS California in the Denmark Strait and a prize crew installed. The ship is abandoned and presumed unseaworthy, but the wreck stays afloat until it drifts ashore.

British vessel Hookwood hits a mine and sinks.

The German freighter Antiochia is scuttled by its crew to avoid being captured by Royal Navy armed merchant cruiser Laurentic off Iceland.

German liner Watussi leaves Mozambique. It is believed to be a supply ship for German raiders.

The British release freighter Express from detention at Malta.

William E. Chapman, the US Consul at Gibraltar, refuses to agree to fulfill an agreement regarding the US freighter Nishmaha, whereby it would proceed to Marseilles to unload cargo deemed contraband.

British Lieutenant Commander Ouvry and CPO Charles Baldwin defuse the 7-foot long German magnetic mine recovered intact using specially designed non-magnetic brass tools. Everyone involved will receive medals from King George VI, the first such decorations awarded to the Royal Navy during the conflict.

23 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com HMS Rawalpindi
HMS Rawalpindi


British Homefront: Bacon and butter are rationed.

Anglo/Dutch Relations: The Dutch government lodges a protest against the British and French blockade.

German Government: His megalomania mounting, Hitler addresses his Generals and states in essence that the German people are unworthy of his greatness. "I shall attack France and England at the earliest moment. My decision is unchangeable."

23 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com Johann Georg Elser
Johann Georg Elser

German Opposition: Rumors continue to escalate about the number of dead killed by the SS to stop the student uprising in the Reich's Bohemia and Moravia province. Some say as many as 1700 have been killed.

Johann Georg Elser, the assumed bomber of the Bürgerbräukeller in Munich, has been subjected to five days of torture in Berlin. His family also has been detained there. While the confession does not survive, the interrogation report prepared on this date does. In it, Elser is said to have stated that he acted alone. Investigator Arthur Nebe, who led the investigation by Hitler's express order, later states that Elser's motives were that Hitler's rule meant only war, and without Hitler, there would be peace.

Holocaust: Dr. Hans Frank, Gauleiter of occupied Poland, expands upon decisions already taken by individual municipalities such as Lodz and orders that all Jews over the age of 10 are to wear armbands identifying them as Jews. For the moment, this requirement is confined to the Gouvernment General of Poland only, and not those areas annexed to the Reich or anywhere else.

German Homefront: Food rationing for pets.

China: As part of the Battle of South Kwansi, the 5th Infantry Division and the Taiwan Brigade cross the Yung River and capture Szetang.

American Homefront: President Roosevelt has moved the date of Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday in November - today - rather than the last Friday. This usually is the same thing, but not this year - there being five Thursdays in November 1939. This does not sit well with everyone, and roughly half the country celebrates Thanksgiving today and other half in a week, on November 30. The decision has nothing to do with the war situation, but is strictly economic in nature - retailers claim that holiday sales will increase with a longer period of time before Christmas.

Bowing to the President's wishes, the six-mile-long Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade proceeds today and is televised locally by NBC for the first time. Other firsts in this parade are a balloon of Superman - then only a year old - and the Tin Man from "The Wizard of Oz," which was still playing in theaters.


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

2016

November 22, 1939: British Recover A Magnetic Mine



Wednesday 22 November 1939

22 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com German magnetic mine
One of the German magnetic mines dropped by parachute on the Shoeburyness mud flats on 22 November 1939.

Battle of the Atlantic: The French announce on 22 November 1939 that they, too, will retaliate for the illegal placement of mines by the Germans.

Around 20:00-21:00, observers spot a low-flying Heinkel He 111 dropping mines on the Shoeburyness mud flats, which are uncovered at low tide. Lieutenant Commanders John Ouvry and Roger Lewis of the Render Mines Safe group (HMS Vernon) very carefully recover one of the mines. It quickly is given to scientists to figure out a counter-measure. First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill himself personally arranges the whole affair and carefully supervises it.

U-43 (Kapitänleutnant Wilhelm Ambrosius) torpedoes and sinks 4,374 ton French freighter Arijon in the Bay of Biscay. Everyone survives.

Italian freighter Fianona, 4,576 tons, strikes a  mine off the Thames estuary but makes it to port. Greek freighter Elena R. strikes a mine and sinks near the Shambles Light Vessel. The entire crew survives by reaching the Light Vessel. British vessels Lowland and Aragonite strike mines and sink.

The German freighter Bertha Fisser aka Konsul Hendrik Fisser, which had left Africa days before and has been masquerading as other ships, is intercepted near Iceland by RN cruiser Calypso. Her crew tries to scuttle her, but she winds up on the rocks near shore.

German freighter Adolf Woermann is scuttled off Ascension Island in the South Atlantic to avoid capture by Royal Navy cruiser Neptune.

US freighter Exmouth is detained by the British at Gibraltar.

German supply vessel Westerwald returns to Germany.

Convoy OA 39 departs from Southend, and OB 39 from Liverpool.

European Air Operations: Six Luftwaffe planes raid the Shetland Islands. They destroy a Royal Air Force seaplane that is lying at its mooring. Other raiders appear over the Thames estuary and elsewhere along the coast. A Luftwaffe plane is shot down by anti-aircraft fire near the southeast coast.

There are air battles over France. Three Bf 109s are shot down by Allied fighters, and one Bf 109 is brought down by anti-aircraft fire. A crashed Bf 109 is recovered by the French for evaluation.

RAF reconnaissance planes make sweeps over Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Bremen.

22 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com crashed Fokker D.XXI
A Dutch Fokker D.XXI makes a bad landing in dense fog at brand new Auxiliary airfield Amsterdam Sloterdijk, Amsterdam, province of Noord-Holland on 22 November 1939. 

Romania: The cabinet resigns.

Poland: The government-in-exile moves from Paris to Angers.

British Government: A national savings scheme with the slogan "Lend to Defend the Right to be Free" is launched by Sir John Simon.

Nazi Propaganda: Joseph Goebbels has the Reich's state media full of stories about British involvement in the Bürgerbräukeller bombing of 8 November 1939. This is Hitler's personal view, and Goebbels is just carrying out what Hitler wants. According to this narrative, Johann Georg Elser was controlled by the two British officers arrested at Venlo, Best and Stevens, along with Otto Strasser in Switzerland. Even Walter Schellenberg, who knew intimately the scope of Best and Stevens' operations found this theory "quite ridiculous."

American Homefront: The US Supreme Court issues its ruling in Schneider v. New Jersey (308 U.S. 147) (1939). This holds that people may hand out literature to people willing to receive it on public streets, and local municipalities may not unduly restrict that right on such grounds as keeping the streets clean. It is a key development in the law of public fora and the right to free speech under the 1st Amendment.

In addition, Admiral Byrd departs from Boston on his Antarctic expedition with his massive snow cruiser.

22 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com crashed Bf 109 France
Bf-109.E3 Messerschmi of I / JG-76 (later, l / JG-54) forced to land in the French lines near Sarreguemines, November 22, 1939. The aircraft was repaired by the CEV for evaluation.

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

2016

November 21, 1939: Salmon & Gluckstein on the Prowl



Tuesday 21 November 1939


21 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com German magnetic mine
A German magnetic mine laid in the Thames Estuary near Shoeburyness around 21 November 1939.

Battle of the Atlantic: Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain on 21 November 1939 goes before the House of Commons and announces that he has decided to retaliate for recent illegal sinkings of Allied and neutral vessels, most recently by magnetic mines. He declares a blockade on German exports. This means that any exports of German origin will be seized regardless of a vessel's flag country. All goods in Great Britain that had been destined for Germany are seized.

Elsewhere, it is a very busy day at sea indeed.

U-33 (Kapitänleutnant Hans-Wilhelm von Dresky) continues its attacks on fishing trawlers. Today, it sinks 287 British trawler Sulby and 276 tone William Humphreys. Five perish in the first, while seven survive. All thirteen crew perish in the latter. Dresky gives the Sulby a warning shot to allow the crew to leave. Nobody knows what happened with the Humphreys since nobody lived to give a statement. The seas in the North Atlantic are rough and lifeboats are easily swamped.

U-41 (Kapitänleutnant Gustav-Adolf Mugler) also sinks a French fishing trawler, the Les Barges II. Everyone survives because Mugler stops and disembarks his victims before sinking them with gunfire. Mugler also stops a total of 17 trawlers during the day, but lets them go because they are Spanish.

British destroyer HMS Gipsy strikes a mine and sinks (30 perish) near Harwich. HMS Belfast, a brand new cruiser strikes a mine but makes it back to harbor. Belfast is severely damaged and 21 injured despite the hole made being small because there is extensive internal damage. British vessel Geraldus also strikes a mine and sinks.

Japanese liner Terukuni Maru strikes a mine off the Thames estuary and sinks. French minesweeping trawler Ste. Claire somewhat ironically strikes a mine and sinks off Folkestone. All eleven crew members perish.

Kriegsmarine patrol vessel V-701 strikes a mine and sinks.

The German crew of German freighter Teneriffe scuttles the ship to avoid capture by Royal Navy cruiser Transylvania.

German naval forces seize and detain a Finnish freighter, the Asta, off the Åland Islands. So far, the Kriegsmarine has seized 17 Finnish vessels.

German freighter Rheingold has been seized by the Royal Navy and brought to a Scottish port.

The Admiral Graf Spee rounds the Cape of Good Hope and returns to the Atlantic after its unproductive sortie into the Indian Ocean. There is a fleet of Allied ships looking for it there.

German pocket battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst (code-named "Salmon and Gluckstein" by the British after a venerable tobacconist), having just completed their sea trials, leave Germany and head north. They are headed for the Iceland-Faroes passage. They are accompanied by the light cruisers SMS Köln and SMS Leipzig.

French battleship Strasbourg departs Dakar for Brest.

US freighters Express and Scanmail are released by the British.

U-55 is commissioned.

US Government: The US authorities require US merchant ships to obtain certificates of non-enemy origin for their cargoes before departure. This is known as the "Navicert" system and was first implemented in 1915, but discontinued after the First World War.

21 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com Dornier Do 17
Dornier Do 17s, the "flying pencils."

European Air Operations: RAF fighters shoot down a Dornier DO 17 reconnaissance plane off Deal. Other Luftwaffe planes are spotted over Sunderland (a Heinkel He 111) and over the Orkneys.

Slovakia: German grants Slovakia, a German satellite under Monsignor Tiso, 225 square miles of former Polish territory (which had been part of Czechoslovakia in the not-too-distant past).

Lithuania: Antanas Merkys becomes Prime Minister.

China: The Japanese 5th Infantry Division and Taiwan Brigade continue advancing from the coast toward their objective, Nanning, and reach the Yung River.

21 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com HMS Belfast
HMS Belfast.

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

2016

November 20, 1939: First RN Submarine Victory



Monday November 20 1939


20 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com He 115 Heinkel
A Heinkel He 115, used to drop magnetic mines.

Western Front: Adolf Hitler issues another order for Fall Gelb on 20 November 1939, Directive No. 8, "Further Preparations for Attack in the West." The important thing is that it does not specify an attack date anytime soon. It details the occupation of Holland and Belgium. Otherwise, the Front is quiet.

Battle of the Atlantic: The London agents of the Royal Netherlands Steamship Co. report that the number of fatalities in the mined Simon Bolivar was 83.

British submarine HMS Sturgeon sinks Kriegsmarine patrol vessel V-209 in the Heligoland Bight. It is the first success for a British submarine in the war. The crews later report that the U-boat opened fire without warning.

U-33 (Kapitänleutnant Hans-Wilhelm von Dresky) happens upon a group of small fishing trawlers near Tory Island, north of Ireland. Fortunately for the crews, there area is a popular fishing spot and other trawlers later happen along to pick most of them up some hours later. In order:

U-33 also sinks 276 ton British fishing trawler Thomas Hankins in the morning. Everyone survives.

U-33 sinks 250 ton British fishing trawler Delphine with gunfire in the afternoon. All 13 crew survive.

U-33 also sinks 329 British fishing trawler Sea Sweeper with gunfire just before sunset. Everyone survives after the lifeboat makes land. The chief engineer exercises his extensive technical knowledge about engines and mechanics to block a hole in the lifeboat with his foot for 22 hours.

German liner Windhuk leaves Lobito, Portuguese East Africa, armed as a raider.

German He 115 seaplanes drop more magnetic mines in the English Channel shipping lanes and near the Thames estuary.

Kriegsmarine destroyers Z-21 Wilhelm Heidkamp, Z-19 Hermann Künne and Z-11 Bernd von Arnim deposit more magnetic mines off the Thames estuary during the (preceding) night. The mines are moored, but have a tendency to break free and drift.

British armed trawler HMS Mastiff T-10 blows up near the Thames estuary while trying to recover a German magnetic mine in a fishing net for further study. Six crew perish.

The German crew scuttles freighter Bertha Fisser rather than have it captured by Royal Navy armed merchant cruiser Chitral.

Swedish torpedo boat Munin intervenes in an inspection of a neutral vessel by Kriegsmarine minesweeper Hansestadt.

The British detain US freighter Exambion at Gibraltar.

Convoy OZ 38 departs from Southend and Convoy OB 38 from Liverpool.

20 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com Z-21 Kriegsmarine
Z-21.

European Air Operations: There are numerous Luftwaffe reconnaissance flights, both over France (Rhone Valley, Normandy) and Great Britain (Kent, Essex, Thames estuary, the Orkneys). The Luftwaffe loses one Heinkel He 111 over England and another over Holland, shot down by Dutch fighters. It is the first Dutch kill of the war. The Luftwaffe makes an abortive raid on a British destroyer in the southern part of the North Sea.

Soviet Military: There is a planning conference for the anticipated campaign against Finland.

German Opposition: The local Prague authorities have called in the Waffen SS, the militarized formations of the Nazi Party's Schutzstaffel (SS, "Protective Squadron"). While some proto-Waffen SS formations participated in the Battle of Poland, they did not play a major role in the fighting. However, since then, the piecemeal SS regiments used there (Deutschland, Germania, and Der Führer regiments) have been combined into one unit, the SS-Verfügungs-Division. It gets useful practical experience suppressing the unarmed students and teachers in Prague and quickly gain control of the city.

Anglo/Polish Relations: Colin Gubbins heads to Paris to be the UK's military liaison with the Polish Government-in-Exile.

Holocaust: All assets in banks within the Polish General Gouvernment are blocked.

American Homefront: Today marks the first appearance of two classic comic book heroes, Flash and Hawkman, in DC Comics Flash Comics #1 (the cover date is January 1940).

20 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com Dutch fighter pilots
Focke-Wulf Fw 58 (a trainer) Weihe with passengers (Dutch fighter pilots) before leaving for Soesterberg on 20 November 1939. From left to right: Mr Aarts, Ottes, Lub, Nijhuis and Kuhn. The pilot was adjutant DH Lambermont (Royal Netherlands Air Force).

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


2016

November 19, 1939: Walls Around the Warsaw Ghetto



Tuesday November 19 1939


19 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com He 177 V1
Heinkel He 177 V1.

Western Front: The Germans launch some scattered attacks on the French lines on 19 November 1939, throwing grenades.

Battle of the Atlantic: More ships are sunk by the magnetic mines dropped by Kriegsmarine destroyers, but the U-boats have a big day.

U-35 (Kptl. Heinz Scheringer) torpedoes and sinks 793 ton British merchant Bowling near the Outer Farne Islands in the North Sea. All thirteen crew perish.

U-41 (Kapitänleutnant Gustav-Adolf Mugler) torpedoes and sinks the 1,351 ton British freighter Darino near Spain. Eleven survive, picked up by the U-boat and transferred to an Italian steamer, and sixteen perish. It was an extremely long and tedious stalking, as the U-boat fired three torpedoes over eight hours that all missed or malfunctioned. Finally, at 01:50, a fourth hits the mark.

U-49 (Kapitänleutnant Kurt von Gossler) torpedoes and sinks 4,258 ton British freighter Pensilva near Spain. U-49 has been stalking convoy HG 7 out of Durban for three hours before it gets the right opening. Again, two torpedoes miss, but the third hits the ship.

U-57 (Kapitänleutnant Claus Korth) torpedoes and sinks 1,383 ton British freighter Stanbrook in the North Sea. All 20 crew perish.

British ship Torchbearer hits a magnetic mine and sinks.

Kriegsmarine minesweeper M-132 is accidentally damaged by depth charges and, after being beached, is a total loss.

Convoy HG 9 leaves Port Said for Liverpool.

European Air Operations: Flights of Luftwaffe planes are spotted both in the southeast and near the Firth of Forth.

German Opposition: Rumors are running wild about the actions taken against the students in Prague. Up to 120 Czech students and teachers are claimed to be killed, with another 50,000 people arrested. It is all just rumor and conjecture, there are no hard facts being reported by any media sources.

British Government: First Lord of the Admiralty Churchill, wishing to retaliate for the success of the German magnetic mines, proposes using aircraft to drop mines in the Rhine between Strasbourg and the Lauter River and around the Ruhr stretch of the river. He wishes to make the former mines time-activated so they will float downstream and then blow up in the busiest section of the Rhine.

Luftwaffe: The prototype Heinkel He 177 V1, the Luftwaffe's only four-engine bomber (in two nacelles feeding only two propellers), makes its maiden flight. The flight must be cut short because of overheating engines.

Dutch/Belgian/German Relations: The Dutch and Belgians protest at incursions of their airspace by the Luftwaffe.

Japanese/Soviet Relations: Molotov signs an agreement with the Japanese ambassador to establish a commission to fix the border of Manchukuo, where the two nations recently clashed at Khalkin Gol.

China: Chiang Kai-Shek renews his quest for a Winter Offensive against the Japanese despite recent setbacks along the coast.

19 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com Warsaw Ghetto fencing
Warsaw Ghetto Fencing.


Holocaust: The Germans announce that they have erected walls around the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw in order to better control the inhabitants.

American Homefront: American League MVP Joe Dimaggio marries Dorothy Arnold in San Francisco.

The cornerstone ceremony is held for the FDR library in Hyde Park, New York. It is the first Presidential Library. He places a "time capsule" inside. Despite his physical condition, FDR stands for the ceremony.

19 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com FDR Presidential Library

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

2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

November 18, 1939: Magnetic Mines



Saturday November 18 1939

18 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com Simon Bolivar
Survivors of the Simon Bolivar.

Battle of the Atlantic: The magnetic mines just laid by the German destroyers do their work quickly. On 18 November 1939, ships are sunk by the mines, including the Dutch liner Simon Bolivar. It strikes two of them. Eighty-six of the 400 on the liner perish.

U-18 (Kapitänleutnant Max-Hermann Bauer) torpedoes and sinks 500 ton British coal freighter Parkhill. All nine crew perish.

U-22 (Kapitänleutnant Karl-Heinrich Jenisch) torpedoes and sinks 345 ton British fishing trawler Wigmore. All 16 crew perish.

Yugoslavian freighter Carica Milica, 6,371 tons, hits a mine and sinks in the English channel.

British freighter Blackhill hits a mine and sinks.

The Royal Navy merchant cruiser California captures German freighter Eilbeck and the German freighter Borkum in the Denmark Strait.

The Norwegians detain the German supply ship Westerwald whilst the vessels is using Norwegian waters to return to Germany from the North Atlantic.

The crew of the Africa Shell identify the Admiral Graf Spee as having sunk their vessel near Madagascar.

More mine-laying activity by the Kriegsmarine off the Humber estuary.

Convoy OA 37 departs from Southend, and OB 37 departs from Liverpool. Convoy HX 9 departs from Halifax.

European Air Operations: There are Luftwaffe aircraft spotted along the east coast of England, including near the Firth of Forth. The Luftwaffe planes apparently violated Dutch airspace to get there, because Dutch fighters fire on them and chase them off.

Anglo/Polish Relations: Poland and Great Britain sign a naval agreement.

Anglo/Dutch/German Relations: The Dutch and British are outraged that the mining of a major traffic lane was not reported by the Germans as required by international law. The British accuse the Germans of violating the 1907 Hague Conventions, specifically Article VIII. Holland lodges a formal diplomatic protest.

Ireland: The IRA explodes four small bombs in London's Piccadilly area.

Holocaust: General Johannes Blaskowitz, one of the most highly decorated officers in the Wehrmacht (Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords on 30 September 1939) submits a memorandum to Commander-in-chief Walther von Brauchitsch, who today forwards it on to Hitler. The memorandum complains about the SS and Einsatzgruppen operations in occupied Poland. Apart from everything else, the General complains about the effect that it is having on morale.

For varying reasons, the entire Nazi command structure perceives the memorandum as inappropriate. Hitler himself calls the the General's concerns "childish" and calls it a "Salvation Army attitude." Blaskowitz is informally blacklisted preparatory to being relieved entirely from his command in Poland.

Future History: Brenda Vaccaro is born in Brooklyn, New York. She becomes famous as an actress in the 1960s for films such as "Midnight Cowboy" (1969) and "Cactus Flower" (1965). Also Margaret Atwood is born in Ottawa, Canada. She becomes a well-known novelist.

18 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com Blaskowitz Rommel von Rundstedt
From left: Generaloberst Johannes Blaskowitz, General Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, and Gerd von General Field Marshal Rundstedt during a meeting in Paris in 1944; PK KBZ OB West (Jesse, Federal Archive).

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

2016

November 17, 1939: International Students Day


Friday November 17 1939

17 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com Prague International Students Day
Prague during the student riots.

Western Front: Military leaders having come up with Plan D aka the Dyle Plan a few days ago, the Supreme Allied Council meets on 17 November 1939 for the third time in Paris and formally endorses the plan. A proposal is made to bomb German factories in the industrial Ruhr, but the French object on the grounds that it will lead to Luftwaffe retaliation against Paris and other major cities.

Battle of the Atlantic: The Deutschland/ Lützow arrives back in Gdynia.

U-28 (Kapitänleutnant Günter Kuhnke) disembarks 5,133 ton Dutch tanker Sliedrecht and then torpedoes and sinks it. There are only five survivors, while 26 perish.

U-57 (Kapitänleutnant Claus Korth) torpedoes and sinks 1,566 ton Lithuanian freighter Kaunas. One crew member perishes.

German vessel Henning Oldendorff is captured by the Royal Navy.

US freighter Black Gull is detained by the British. The US freighter Nishmaha, previously detained, is directed to proceed Marseilles to unload items seized by the British. The British also detain US freighter Examiner, removing 11 bags of first class mail. The freighter Black Condor is released after the British seize 126 bags of mail.

Kriegsmarine destroyers Z11 Berndt von Arnim, Z19 Herman Künne and Z21 Wilhelm Heidkamp lay more magnetic mines off the Thames estuary. International law requires that such mines be reported, but the Germans make no notifications as usual.

Convoy SL 9F departs from Freetown, while Convoy OG 7 forms at Gibraltar. Convoy HXF 9 departs from Halifax.

European Air Operations: The Luftwaffe drops leaflets over central and southeast France. It also performs reconnaissance over northwest England, specifically one plane over South West Lancs, Cheshire, and North Wales, while another flew over the Shetlands.

The RAF flies over Wilhelmshaven and gets some good photos.

German/Soviet Relations: Pursuant to the terms of the Ribbentrop/Molotov Pact, the Soviets offer the Germans a base at Zapadnaya Litsa on the Kola Peninsula, 25 miles from Murmansk. This will be known as "Basis Nord." The Kriegsmarine sends U-38 to take a look.

German Opposition: Following Hitler's orders of the previous day to be utterly ruthless in stamping out the Prague student protests, the SS occupies student dormitories. Thousands are arrested, 1200 are sent to concentration camps and 9 student leaders are shot without trial. Czech universities are closed for three years. Professor Josef Matoušek is among those shot. The others:

• Jaroslav Klíma
• Jan Weinert
• Josef Adamec
• Jan Černý
• Marek Frauwirt
• Bedřich Koukala
• Václav Šafránek
• František Skorkovský

 This event leads eventually to November 17th becoming known as "International Students Day."

Italian Propaganda: Italian state radio broadcasts in Russian warning the Soviets to leave the Balkans alone.

Czechoslovakia: Former President Benes forms a National Committee in Paris.

Manhattan Project: Ernest O. Lawrence wins the Nobel Prize in Physics. He invented the cyclotron, necessary for research into the Atomic Bomb.

American Homefront: "Tower of London" starring Vincent Price and Boris Karloff is released.

China: The Japanese forces advancing on Nanning, including the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) 21st Infantry Division, cover 30 miles in three days and capture Yamhshien.

17 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com Ernest Lawrence
Ernest Lawrence celebrates winning the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics with a cyclotron-shaped cake on 17 November 1939. Here he (left) is with Harold Walke and Paul Aebersold (holding the cake),

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

2016

November 16, 1939: Martial Law in Prague





Thursday 16 November 1939


16 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com TBD-1 Devastator
TBD-1 Devastator 5-T-7 of VT-5 in flight over Southern California November 16, 1939.

Battle of the Atlantic: A pack of Allied warships is searching for the Admiral Graf Spee in the South Atlantic on 16 November 1939, but it has disappeared into the Indian Ocean for the time being.

While sailing south from Madagascar, the Admiral Graf Spee stops the Dutch vessel SS Mapia. Captain Langsdorff allows it proceed unmolested due to its neutral status. He knows that the Mapia will report his position, but Langsdorff has decided to return to the South Atlantic anyway due to lack of targets. He figures that the information the ship gives to the authorities about his position will be misleading.

U-43 (Kapitänleutnant Wilhelm Ambrosius) sinks the 4,915 ton British freighter Arlington Court. Seven perish and there are 28 survivors.

US freighter Lafcomo is detained by British authorities at Weymouth, while the freighter West Harshaw is detained at Ramsgate.

The French report that they have seized 203,297 tons of contraband through 10 November 1939.

Convoy OA 36 G departs from Southend, and Convoy OB 36 departs from Liverpool.

German Resistance: The authorities in Prague declare martial law in Prague following days of unrest. The authorities are said to be using every sort of remedy to quell the demonstrators' violence. Hitler says to end the protests or shoot the protesters and burn the city to the ground.

Peace Talks: The offer of Romanian King Carol to mediate in the European conflict is rejected by both sides just as the offer of the Dutch and Belgian crowns was previously.

Great Britain homefront: Inflation is beginning to bite, with prices up 2.5% in October, a 30% annual rate.

American Homefront: Gangster Al Capone is released from Alcatraz having served seven years, six months and 15 days, and having paid all of the back taxes for which he was convicted. He is showing signs of mental illness (paresis) deriving from syphilis.

China: Having taken the last Chinese-held port, the Japanese 21st Infantry Division and Taiwan Brigade now are advancing north toward Nanning. This is known as the Battle of South Kwangsi.

16 November 1939 worldwartwo.filminspector.com Al Capone mugshot
Al Capone mug shot.

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

2016