September 1939

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Axis Sep-39 Allied Neutral
Germany Total Class Total Great Britain France Canada Australia New Zealand Poland USA Japan Italy Soviet Union Argentina
5 5 Battleship 17 12 5 0 0 0 0 15 9 2 2 2
0 0 Fleet Carrier 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 5 4 0 0 0
0 0 Light Carrier 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
1 1 Heavy Cruiser 21 12 7 2 0 0 0 19 12 7 2 2
5 5 Light Cruiser 57 39 12 4 0 2 0 17 19 14 3 1
32 32 Destroyer 242 158 68 5 6 0 5 119 113 96 41 16
55 55 Submarine 139 57 77 0 0 0 5 56 56 97 167 3
0 0 Escort Carrier 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
10 10 Escorts 70 39 29 2 0 0 0 0 7 36 18 0
2 2 Other 25 24 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6

 

Neutral
Class Brazil Chile Columbia Peru Netherlands Norway Denmark Sweden Portugal Spain Yugoslavia Greece Turkey Romania Thailand
Battleship 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Fleet Carrier 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Light Carrier 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Heavy Cruiser 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Light Cruiser 2 0 0 0 4 2 0 1 0 5 0 0 0 0 0
Destroyer 7 8 2 2 8 10 6 15 5 16 9 19 4 7 10
Submarine 4 9 0 4 21 9 8 15 3 4 4 6 7 1 4
Escort Carrier 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Escorts 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4 0
Other 0 3 0 0 0 4 2 7 0 0 0 4 2 0 4

 

Friday 01 September 1939
Daily Report
Naval

Battle of Westerplatte: German warship opens fire on Polish fort at the Westerplatte guarding Danzig

Country Vessel Type Report description
Icarus Destroyer Damaged Damaged in collision with Greek merchant ship Michalis off Alexandria, in the Mediterranean Sea 01/09/1939. Arrived for temporary repair Alexandria 03/09/1939. Arrived Malta for repair 11/09/1939  
Maser Destroyer Lost Bombed by German Ju 87 Stuka dive-bomber aircraft in Oksywie Harbour, ship attacked whilst preparing to leave port, 40 dead 01/09/1939  
Politics

Germany declares war on Poland and attacks at 04.44

The Slovak Republic declares war on Poland and attacks at 04.44

 
Saturday 02 September 1939
Politics

The United Kingdom enacts conscription for men between the ages of 18 to 41

 
Sunday 03 September 1939
Daily Report
Naval

British liner Athenia torpedoed 250 nm NW of Ireland hours after the declaration of war, by German submarine U-30, 112 dead

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Wicher Destroyer Lost Bombed by German Ju 87 Stuka dive-bomber aircraft in Hela harbour, 1 dead, 22 injured 03/09/1939
Politics

United Kingdon, France, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany

Military

Adolf Hitler issues Fuhrer Directive No 2: The Conduct of the War. This directive outlined that operations against Poland would continue until victory. It also stated that in response to the declaration of war from the United Kingdom and France offensive action will be carried out against the navies of these nations with the only exception being attacked on the British homeland and France. The German navy was to mine the entrances to the Baltic Sea.

News

The British Government ban closes all cinemas/theatres/football grounds and all other places of mass entertainment.

Monday 04 September 1939
Daily Report
Naval

First British offensive of the war when RAF aircraft attack German warships anchored off Wilhelmshaven

Britain announces naval blockade on Germany

The United States of America starts Neutrality Patrols of American coasts

Politics

Newfoundland and Nepal declares war on Germany

Tuesday 05 September 1939
Politics

The United States of America officially declared neutrality in the European war.

 
News

First day of the New York Stock Exchange since the start of the war. Stocks surge 10% on speculation of European war demand.

 
Wednesday 06 September 1939
Politics

South Africa declares war on Germany

 
Thursday 07 September 1939
Politics

British Government passes the National Registration Act 1939, taking a census of the population so that identity cards can be issued and complete control of the workforce

Military

French launch the Saar Offensive, a limited advance into German territory near Saarbrucken.

Friday 08 September 1939
Daily Report
Naval

Battle of Westerplatte: German forces capture the Polish fort at the Westerplatte guarding Danzig

British re-introducing convoy system for merchant ships

 
Saturday 09 September 1939
Military

German forces occupied Lodz

Adolf Hitler issues Fuhrer Directive No 3: The Conduct of the War. Operations against Polish forces will continue. As Polish resistance weakens, German forces will be switched from the east to the west. It also stated that no operations against the United Kingdom or France will be carried out without explicit orders. The only exception will be attacked on the high seas on merchant-ships in accordance with the International Prize Rules.

Sunday 10 September 1939
Daily Report
Country Vessel Type Report description
Oxley Submarine Lost Torpedoed in error by British submarine Triton, off Obrestad, S of Stavanger 58.30N 05.30E 10/09/1939. Triton had signalled Oxley a number of times before firing on it, no blame was attached to Triton  
Politics

Canada, Bahrain & Oman declares war on Germany

 
Monday 11 September 1939
Politics

Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic relations with Germany

 
Tuesday 12 September 1939
Daily Report
Country Vessel Type Report description
Brilliant Destroyer Damaged Damaged in collision with Dover harbour wall 12/09/1939
Politics

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor return to the United Kingdom from self-imposed exile in France.

Military

The Anglo-French Supreme War Council met for the first time in Abbeville, France.

News

German Government prohibits private automobile use after 20 September. Special permits would be required to buy petrol (gasoline) and every rubber tire in the country is declared state property.

Wednesday 13 September 1939
Daily Report
Country Vessel Type Report description
Pluton Light Cruiser Lost An accidental explosion of mines as they were being unloaded from the ship at Casablanca 73 crew dead, 113 other dead, 47 injured 13/09/1939
News

The British Government lifts its ban on Cinemas/theatres/football grounds and all other places of mass entertainment as long as the local police authority agrees. 

Thursday 14 September 1939
Daily Report
Country Vessel Type Report description
U-39 Submarine Lost Damaged by depth charge attack & forced to the surface by British warships Faulknor, Firedrake & Foxhound NW of Ireland, submarine sunk by gunfire 58.32N 11.49E 44 survivors 14/09/1939. The crew later held in Tower of London for some time 2 of which were shot attempting escape.
Military

German forces capture Polish cities of Gdynia and Przemysi.

Friday 15 September 1939
Daily Report
Naval

Orzel Incident: Polish submarine Orsel, at sea at the time of German attack and unable to return to a Polish base enters the Estonian port of Tallinn. Estonian authorities at the insistence of Germany intern the submarine and prevent it from putting to sea again.

Military

Polish Army ordered to hold out at the Polish-Romanian border and wait for the arrival of Allies

News

American aviator, military officer, author, inventor, explorer, and environmental activist Charles Lindbergh makes a nationwide radio broadcast in favour of American isolationism in the current war. "It is madness to send our soldiers to be killed as we did in the last war if we turn the course of peace over to the greed, the fear and the intrigue of European nations. We must either keep out of European wars entirely or stay in European affairs permanently", Lindbergh went on to say, "We must not permit our sentiment, our pity, or our personal feelings of sympathy, to obscure the issue, to affect our children's lives ... America has little to gain by taking part in another European war".

Saturday 16 September 1939
Military

Warsaw encircled by German forces

French retreat from German territory occupied during the Saar Offensive.

Soviet forces under the command of General Georgy Zhukov defeat Japanese forces at the Battle of Khalkhin Gol in Mongolia

 
Sunday 17 September 1939
Daily Report
Country Vessel Type Report description
Courageous Fleet Carrier Lost

Torpedoed by German submarine U-29 W of the Fastnet Rock, in the North Atlantic, 518 dead 17/09/1939

Rys Submarine Interned Interned at Stavnas, Sweden 17/09/1939  
Sep Submarine Interned Interned at Stavnas, Sweden 17/09/1939  
Politics

The Soviet Union invades Poland. Polish leadership leave Poland for Romania.

 
Monday 18 September 1939
Daily Report
Naval

Orzel Incident: Polish submarine Orzel escapes internment in Tallinn Estonia. The British Embassy in Tallinn provided the Polish submarine with navigational charts replacing the ones confiscated by the Estonian authorities.

Military

Germans capture Lublin.

Remains of Polish Army leave Poland for Romania.

News

First English language broadcast from German radio Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk, Hamburg to the United Kingdom of William Joyce, nicknamed Lord Haw-Haw.

Tuesday 19 September 1939
Politics

Adolf Hitler enters former Free City of Danzig in triumph and then gave a speech denouncing the Polish Government and England.

Military

Soviet forces capture Wilno.

Soviet forces join the Battle of Lwow between Polish and German forces.

Wednesday 20 September 1939
Daily Report
Country Vessel Type Report description
U-27 Submarine Lost Depth charged by British warships Fortune & Forester W of Scotland 58.35N 09.02W 38 dead, 0 survivors 20/09/1939  
Kittiwake Patrol ship Damaged Damaged by torpedo from German submarine U-26 nr Shambles Light vessel 50.N 02.19W 19.00 20/09/1939.  
Other

World Heavyweight Boxing Title Joe Louis (USA) beat Bob Pastor (USA) Ko 11, Briggs Stadium, Detroit.

Thursday 21 September 1939
Politics

Romanian PM Armand Calinescu is assassinated by ultra-nationalistic Iron Guard

American President Roosevelt makes a speech to Congress in which he says that the USA should amend its Neutrality Acts to allow countries fighting Germany to purchase American arms.

News

Director of Gestapo Reinhard Heydrich meets with German police and security officials in Berlin. He orders them to transport all German Jews and Romani to German-occupied Poland using fright cars.

Friday 22 September 1939
Daily Report
Country Vessel Type Report description
Javelin Destroyer Damaged Damaged in collision with British warship Jersey in the Skagerrak, causing serious structural damage, the ship had to be taken in tow 22/09/1939  
Jersey Destroyer Damaged Damaged in collision with British warship Javelin in the Skagerrak, causing serious structural damage 22/09/1939  
Military

The Polish city of Lwow is handed over to Soviet forces.

The Germans and Soviets hold a joint military parade in Brest-Litovsk, Poland. After the parade German forces retreat across the Bug River as pre-arranged in the secret protocols in the Nazi-Soviet Pact.

The Anglo-French Supreme War Council met in Hove, England.

Saturday 23 September 1939
News

All radios owned by Jews in Germany are to be confiscated.

 
Sunday 24 September 1939
Daily Report
Country Vessel Type Report description
Spearfish Submarine Damaged Damaged by depth charges from German warships off the Horns Reef, in the North Sea, the boat was unable to dive, but she managed to escape her pursuers, 24/09/1939
Military

The German airforce bomb Warsaw for the first time. The British government consider this a breach of a pledge by Germany made at the start of the was not to bomb indiscriminately.

Monday 25 September 1939
Daily Report
Naval

British Navy begins to lay anti-submarine mines in the Strait of Dover.

Military

Adolf Hitler issues Fuhrer Directive No 4: Finishing the war in Poland. This directive also set a demarcation line for German forces not to cross along the San, Vistula and Narew rivers. Attacks on the high seas on merchant-ships in accordance with the International Prize Rules were modified to allow U-boats to attack merchantmen without warning if they are armed. Attacks on troopships are also permitted with a warning. Any attacks on ocean liners are forbidden.

Tuesday 26 September 1939
Daily Report
Naval

British Blackburn Skua aircraft of the Naval Air Squadron, shoots down the first German aircraft, a Dornier Do 18 flying boat, north of the Fisher Bank.

Politics

The French Government bans the French Communist Party in response to the Soviet Union's invasion of Poland.

Wednesday 27 September 1939
Daily Report
Country Vessel Type Report description
Zbik Submarine Interned Interned at Stavnas, Sweden 27/09/1939
Military

The Polish underground movement is created on the order of Polish general Juliusz Rómmel, known as the Służba Zwycięstwu Polski (SZP) the Service for Poland's Victory.

News

The Reich Main Security Office is set up replacing the Chief of German Police and Chief of the SS (Schutzstaffel). Reinhard Heydrich is made it's chief.

Thursday 28 September 1939
Military

Molotov and Ribbentrop sign German-Soviet Frontier Treaty partitioning Poland

Germans capture Warsaw

Friday 29 September 1939
News

Reinhard Heydrich is made Deputy Protector of Bohemia and Moravia with the absolute power of life or death over the Czech population in the region.

 
Saturday 30 September 1939
Politics

Polish Government-in-exile is established in Paris.

Military

Adolf Hitler issues Fuhrer Directive No 5: Partition of Poland. This directive confirmed the San, Vistula and Narew rivers as we new border between the Soviet forces and German forces. This directive also outlined the form the occupation of Poland will take. Attacks on merchant-ships would be done in accordance with the International Prize Rules as previous directives except if the merchant-ship was not showing lights or attempted to radio for help. In these circumstances, merchant-ships could be attacked without warning. Any attacks on civilian ocean liners are still forbidden.

Other

Vacant British Flyweight Boxing Title Jackie Paterson (GB) beat Paddy Ryan (GB) Ko 13, Cartyne Greyhound Track, Glasgow.