December 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
31

Axis Dec-39 Allied Neutral
Germany TotalClass TotalGreat Britain France Canada Australia New ZealandPoland USA Japan Italy Soviet Union Argentina
5 5 Battleship 18 13 5 0 0 0 0 15 9 2 2 2
0 0 Fleet Carrier 3 3 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
2 2 Heavy Cruiser 21 12 7 0 2 0 0 19 17 7 2 2
5 5 Light Cruiser 55 38 11 0 4 2 0 17 19 14 3 1
34 34 Destroyer 245 162 68 7 5 0 3 157 115 96 47 16
50 50 Submarine 138 59 77 0 0 0 2 59 56 101 175 3
0 0 Escort Carrier 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
10 10 Escorts 74 43 29 0 2 0 0 0 7 36 18 0
4 4 Other 59 52 3 1 3 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 22 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 December 1939
Daily Report
 
Military

Winter War: Helsinki bombed by Soviet forces

Winter War: Finnish forces retreat to Mannerheim Line

Saturday 02 December 1939
Daily Report
Country Vessel Type Report description
Punjabi Destroyer Damaged Damaged in collision with British merchant ship SS Lairdcrest, S of Hoy Island, in the North Sea 02/12/1939  
 
Politics

US Govenrment imposes 'moral embargo' on the Soviet Union, urging American companies not to sell aircraft or components

 
Military

Winter War: Soviet Red Army captures Petsamo

 
News

Wartime Football International: England 2-1 Scotland, St James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

 
Sunday 03 December 1939
Daily Report
 
Military

First British air raid on German soil, when RAF Wellington bombers attack German shipping at Heligoland

Other

Football International: Germany 3-1 Slovakia, Stadion an der Planitzstra├če, Chemnitz

Annual American Army-Navy Game: Navy 10-0 Army, Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia

Monday 04 December 1939
Daily Report
Country Vessel Type Report description
Nelson Battleship Damaged Damaged by mine laid by German submarine U-31 in entrance to Scapa Flow, massive explosion under ship causing serious structural damage & shock damage to main armament, 73 injured 04/12/1939. Arrived for temporary repair Loch Ewe 07/12/1939
U-36 Submarine Lost Torpedoed by British submarine Salmon, in the North Sea SW of Kristiansand, Norway, 40 dead, 0 survivors, 57.00N 05.20E 04/12/1939. Though not known at the time by the British this U-boat was on a mission to scout Basis Nord a Soviet base offered to the German Navy west of Murmansk.
 
Tuesday 05 December 1939
Daily Report
 
Military

Winter War: Battles of the Kollaa River and Suomussalmi begin

 
Wednesday 06 December 1939
Daily Report
 
Military

Winter War: Start of the Battle of Taipalethe

 
Thursday 07 December 1939
Daily Report
 
Politics

Norway, Sweden and Denmark declares neurality in Winter War

German SS over see start of euthanization of mentally disabled patients at the Dziekanka Psychiatric Hospital, Gniezno in Reichsgau Wartheland. Until 12th January 1940 a total of 1,043 patients were loaded into vans and gassed with carbon monoxide

 
Friday 08 December 1939
Daily Report
 
Politics

American Government send a diplomatic note of protest to British Government over policy of seizing German goods in American and other neutral ships

Other

German Lightweight Boxing Title Karl Blaho (Germany) beat Albert Esser (Germany) Pts 12, Deutschlandhalle, Berlin.

Saturday 09 December 1939
Daily Report
 
Other

British Lightweight Boxing Title Eric Boon (GB) beat Dave Crowley (GB) Ko 7, Harringay Arena, London.

 
Sunday 10 December 1939
Daily Report
Naval

First troop convoy of Canadian troops departs Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

 
 
Politics

German authorities order the establishment of a Jewish Ghetto in the city of Lodz.

Monday 11 December 1939
Daily Report
 
Politics

The League of Nations sends telegram to Soviet Union calling them to cessation of hostilities with Finland

Other

World Middleweight Boxing Title Al Hostak (USA) beat Erich Seelig (Germany) Ko 1, Cleveland Arena, Cleveland.

Tuesday 12 December 1939
Daily Report
Country Vessel Type Report description
Duchess Destroyer Lost Lost in collision with British warship Barham in the North Channel 9 miles off Mull of Kintyre 55.19N 06.06W 12/12/1939  
 
Wednesday 13 December 1939
Daily Report
Naval

Battle of the River Plate

Country Vessel Type Report description
Admiral Graf Spee Pocket-Battleship Damaged Damaged by gunfire from British warships Exeter & Ajax and New Zealand warship Achilles during Battle of the River Plate. An 8" shell from Exeter knocked out one boiler room. Another 8" shell caused major internal damage & water contamination of diesel fuel tanks, 36 dead, 60 injured, 13/12/1939
Exeter Heavy Cruiser Damaged Damaged by gunfire from German warship Graf Spee during Battle of the River Plate, in the South Atlantic, ship was hit by seven 11" shells & damaged by many near misses, all of her main armament knocked out & her speed was limited to 18 knots, 61 dead, 23 injured, 13/12/1939. Temporary repair at Port Stanley before returning to UK 20/12/1940
Ajax Light Cruiser Damaged Damaged by gunfire from German warship Graf Spree, during the Battle of River Plate, in the South Atlantic, X & Y turrets disabled, 7 dead, 5 injured 13/12/1939. Withdrawn for repair of battle damage 31/01/1940
Leipzig Light Cruiser Damaged Damaged by torpedo from British submarine Salmon in the North Sea, 130 miles W of Jutland, ship hit in No: 2 engine room 56.47N 04.00E 13/12/1939. Laid up for weeks at Kiel & converted into a training ship at Danzig, lost No 2 engine room, repaired by 01/10/1940. Ship's speed limited to 24 knots after repair
Nurnberg Light Cruiser Damaged Damaged by torpedo from British submarine Salmon, in the North Sea, 130 miles W of Jutland 56.47N 04.00E 13/12/1939
Achilles Light Cruiser Damaged Damage by gunfire from German warship Graf Spree during the Battle of River Plate, in the South Atlantic, ship hit in the bridge area, 4 dead 13/12/1939. Ship remained operational
 
Thursday 14 December 1939
Daily Report
Country Vessel Type Report description
Kelly Destroyer Damaged Damaged by mine laid by German warships 13 miles NW of Tyne estuary in the North Sea 14/12/1939
Admiral Graf Spee Pocket-Battleship   Ship arrived in neutral Montevideo harbour, Uruguay after Battle of the River Plate 14/12/1939
F 09 Escort Lost Torpedoed by British submarine Ursula, SW of Heligoland, in the North Sea 54.08N 07.55E 14/12/1939
 
Politics

Soviet Union expelled from the League of Nations

 
Friday 15 December 1939
Daily Report
 
Military

Winter War: Soviet Red Army attack Taipale

 
Saturday 16 December 1939
Daily Report
Sunday 17 December 1939
Daily Report
Country Vessel Type Report description
Admiral Graf Spee Pocket-Battleship Lost Ship scuttled by explosives outside Montevideo harbour & crew interned in Buenos Aries, Argentina 17/12/1939
Birmingham Light Cruiser Damaged Damaged in collision with British tanker Francol, whilst refuelling in the South China Sea. Damaging her bow & starboard propeller 17/12/1939
 
Military

German government decides to occupy Denmark sometime in the future

First troop convoy of Canadian arrives in the UK

 
Monday 18 December 1939
Daily Report
Naval

Battle of Heligoland Bight: British RAF aircraft attack German shipping in Heliogoland

 
 
Politics

Adolf Hitler sends Jospeh Stalin a telegram on his sixtieth birthday wishing him "good health and a happy future for the peoples of the friendly Soviet Union."

 
Tuesday 19 December 1939
Daily Report
Wednesday 20 December 1939
Daily Report
Naval

Graf Spee captain Hans Langsdorff commits suicide in Buenos Aries

 
 
Thursday 21 December 1939
Daily Report
Friday 22 December 1939
Daily Report
 
Other

Two German express trains collied in Magdeburg, 132 killed

 
Saturday 23 December 1939
Daily Report
Sunday 24 December 1939
Daily Report
 
Politics

Pope Pius XII Christmas address in which he offers a five-point program as a basis for a negotiated peace, "a just and honourable peace".

 
Monday 25 December 1939
Daily Report
Tuesday 26 December 1939
Daily Report
 
Military

First Royal Australian Air Force squadron, No 10 Squadron RAAF, arrives in Britain

 
Wednesday 27 December 1939
Daily Report
 
Military

Winter War: End of the Battle of Taipalethe in Finnish victory

First British Indian troops arrive in France

 
Thursday 28 December 1939
Daily Report
Country Vessel Type Report description
Barham Battleship Damaged Damaged by torpedo from German submarine U-30, 66 miles W of the Butt of Lewis, in the North Atlantic, extensive damage to ship's A & B turret shell rooms, 4 dead 28/12/1939  
 
Politics

British Government announce that food rationing will start on 8th January 1940. Rationed items include butter, bacon, ham and sugar

 
Friday 29 December 1939
Daily Report
Saturday 30 December 1939
Daily Report
Politics

German Supreme Commander of the Luftwaffe Hermann Goering, writing in a article in V├Âlkischer Beobachter, the Nazi Party newspaper warning that as soon a Hitler orders it, the Luftwaffe will attack Britain, "it will make an assault such as world history never has experienced".

 
Sunday 31 December 1939
Daily Report
Politics

German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels in a radio address makes no predictions for 1940, only saying next year "will be a hard year, and we must be ready for it."

Military

 

Other

World Welterweight Boxing Title Henry Armstrong (USA) beat Jimmy Garrison (USA) Ko 7, Cleveland Arena, Cleveland.