Sunday, April 24, 2016

October 9, 1939: "City of Flint" Incident

Monday 9 October 1939

October 9 1939 City of Flint
US City of Flint crew poses with a German flag put on their ship by the Deutschland.
Western Front: Hitler issues "Fuhrer Directive No. 6" on 9 October 1939 It calls for preparation of an offensive against France by way of Belgium and Holland, which will be conquered as well. The Directive does not contemplate the conquest of France, only the establishment of a defensive buffer zone.

As a political matter, this offends the German Generals. They were trained in the Imperial system where the Crown simply gives an objective and the Heer conducts all planning. Hitler, of course, does not care what the Generals think about this, he is determined to play warlord.

On more solid grounds, the Generals inform Hitler that the mechanized units of the Heer need time to re-fit and for losses to be made good.

There is German patrol activity south of Zweibrücken and elsewhere on the front.

Battle of the Atlantic: The  4,963 ton US freighter the City of Flint is captured by the Deutschland off Newfoundland. Upon inspecting her, they find lubricating oil in her hold and declare this contraband. They install a prize crew, disguise the vessel as Danish, and send it to Norway.

This is a key incident in the process of forcing the United States to re-flag ships in order to skirt neutrality laws and of generating support in the US for revision of the neutrality laws.

Light cruiser HMS Belfast captures the 13,615-ton German passenger vessel Cap Norte.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt sends a memorandum to the Secretary of the Navy (acting) expressing displeasure at the speed with which ocean patrols are being started. He asks for use of "plain English" when patrols find suspicious vessels.

European Air Operations: British reconnaissance planes fly the length of the Western Front to the North Sea. They return safely despite anti-aircraft fire between Coblenz and Sietburg.

German Propaganda: The Wehrmacht uses loudspeakers at the front directed at French troops.

Population Transfers: An ongoing phenomenon of World War II will be population transfers for political reasons. This is euphemistically called "repatriation." On or about 9 October 1939, these begin to be formulated. Some 50,000 Baltic Germans in Latvia are to the "returned" to the Reich. Estonia also will be "returning" Germans to the Reich.

Finland: The government agrees to Soviet demands to send a delegation to Moscow to discuss border disputes. Finnish Minister Dr Juho Paasikivi departs Helsinki for Moscow.

Polish Government: Polish ambassador to the USSR Count Wailaw-Grzybowski departs Moscow.

Czech Government-in-exile: A contingent of the re-formed Czechoslovakian army leaves Paris for the front.

Sweden: All scheduled servicemen departures from the army are canceled.

British Homefront: There are allegations of war-profiteering in the price of steaks and other basic goods.

October 9 1939
Joseph Stalin and Foreign Minister Ribbentrop on the cover of Newsweek, 9 October 1939. With articles like this, the US public is starting to appreciate the events that led to the invasion of Poland, but a lot remains hidden for years and even decades.

October 1939

October 1, 1939: Occupation of Warsaw
October 2, 1939: Hel Peninsula Falls
October 3, 1939: The Diamantis Incident
October 4, 1939: Otto Kretschmer Gets Rolling
October 5, 1939: Polish Resistance Ends
October 6, 1939: Hitler Peace Effort
October 7, 1939: The British Have Arrived
October 8, 1939: First RAF Kill from UK
October 9, 1939: "City of Flint" Incident
October 10, 1939: Lithuania Under Pressure
October 11, 1939: The Atomic Age Begins
October 12, 1939: England Rejects Hitler's Peace Offer
October 13, 1939: Charles Lindbergh Speaks Out
October 14 1939: Royal Oak Sunk
October 15, 1939: Cuban Rockets
October 16, 1939: First Aircraft Shot Down Over UK
October 17, 1939: Marshall Mannerheim Returns
October 18, 1939: Prien Receives His Award
October 19, 1939: Preliminary Plan for Fall Gelb
October 20, 1939: Hitler Grapples with the Jews
October 21, 1939: Hurricanes to the Rescue!
October 22, 1939: Goebbels Lies Through His Teeth
October 23, 1939: Norway the Center of Attention
October 24, 1939: German "Justice" Gets Rolling
October 25, 1939: Handley Page Halifax Bomber First Flies
October 26, 1939: Jozef Tiso Takes Slovakia
October 27, 1939: King Leopold Stands Firm
October 28, 1939 - First Luftwaffe Raid on Great Britain
October 29, 1939: Tinkering with Fall Gelb
October 30, 1939: Defective Torpedoes
October 31, 1939: Molotov Issues an Ultimatum


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