Thursday, April 7, 2016

August 15, 1939: U-Boats Put to Sea

Tuesday 15 August 1939

Doenitz U-boats
Admiral Doenitz reviewing a submarine in June 1941 (Gunther, Federal archives).
German Military Preparations: On 15 August 1939, Karl Dönitz, Commodore (Kommodore) and Commander of Submarines (Führer der Unterseeboote) since 28 January 1939, receives a coded message. It instructs him to send the U-boat fleet to sea and to take up stations off the coast of Great Britain. This is a direct consequence of the Fuhrer meeting two days previously at Berchtesgaden.

German/Soviet Diplomacy: In one of the truly consequential meetings of the 20th Century, German ambassador to the USSR Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg has a meeting with the Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Molotov. Molotov is a long-time Stalin crony, so there is no question that what he says reflects overall Soviet thinking. Schulenburg submits to Molotov a 6-point memorandum from German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop. It requests "a speedy clarification of German-Russian relations." Molotov receives the memorandum "with the greatest interest" and promises a reply after discussing the matter with Stalin. He poses his own questions in response, which includes the one question that the Germans are hoping for: would the Germans like to make a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union.

North Africa: Indian troops arrive to bolster British troops in Egypt.

United States Homefront: "The Wizard of Oz" starring Judy Garland has its official premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

Doenitz U-boats
The premiere of "The Wizard of Oz" on 15 August 1939.


8-9 November 1923: Beer Hall Putsch

December 20, 1924: Hitler Leaves Prison

September 18, 1931: Geli Raubal Commits Suicide

November 8, 1932: Roosevelt is Elected

30 January 1933: Hitler Takes Office
February 27, 1933: Reichstag Fire
March 23, 1933: The Enabling Act

June 20, 1934: Hitler Plans the Night of the Long Knives
June 30, 1934: Night of the Long Knives

August 1, 1936: Opening of the Berlin Olympics

September 30, 1938: The Munich Agreement
November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht

August 1, 1939: Flight Tests of B-17 Flying Fortress
August 2, 1939: Einstein and the Atom Bomb
August 7, 1939: Goering Tries to Broker Peace
August 14, 1939: Hitler Decides To Attack Poland
August 15, 1939: U-Boats Put To Sea
August 16, 1939: Incident at Danzig
August 20, 1939: Battle of Khalkhin Gol
August 22, 1939: Hitler Tips His Hand
August 23, 1939: Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact
August 25, 1939: Hitler Postpones Invasion of Poland
August 27, 1939: First Jet Flight
August 31, 1939: The Gleiwitz Operation


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