Skip to comments.GERMANS BOMBING OPEN TOWNS, BRITAIN THREATENS TO RETALIATE (9/14/39)
Posted on 09/14/2009 4:46:15 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
A key to the map symbols is on my profile.
Poland’s only seaport captured by Germans
Thursday, September 14, 1939
In Poland... German troops enter Gdynia (the only Polish seaport), west of Danzig. German forces attacking from East Prussia reach open country when they cross the Narew River near Modlin and sweep around Warsaw to begin the encirclement of the Polish capital. Lwow is cut off by German attacks. The German 19th Panzer Corps (Guderian) reaches Brest-Litovsk. Ethnic Ukrainians begin an uprising in Lwow and Stanislawow, attacking small Polish army units in the vicinity.
In Budapest... The Hungarian government refrains from declaring its neutrality on the grounds that it is not threatened by Hitler.
In the North Atlantic... Northwest of Ireland, the carrier, HMS Ark Royal, has a lucky escape from a German submarine, U-39, attack while engaged in an anti-submarine patrol. The U-boat is sunk by 3 British destroyers accompanying the carrier and 43 German crewmen are captured.
In the Soviet Union... The Communist Party official newspaper, Pravda, launches an anti-Polish propaganda campaign with a front-page article deploring the treatment of minorities in Poland.
the saving of the 33 survivors with a then, newly developed bell that attached to a deck hatch is one of my favorite stories.
September 14, 1939.
Hon. Franklin D. Roosevelt,
The White House,
Washington, D. C.
Replying to your letter of September 12th, am
enclosing herewith a print, which you may retain, of the
map of the land you bought from Fred Wright.
I will try to go over this land tomorrow or Saturday
with William Plog to see if the stakes have been moved or
not, and will let you know what we find.
With kindest regards, I am
Yours very truly,
U-39 or Unterseeboot 39 was a German Type IX submarine of the Kriegsmarine.
Her keel was laid down June 2, 1937, by AG Weser of Bremen. She was commissioned December 10, 1938 with Kapitänleutnant Gerhard Glattes in command.
U-39 conducted one patrol, as part of the 6. Unterseebootsflottille. On September 14, 1939, U-39 was depth charged north-west of Scotland by HMS Faulknor, HMS Firedrake and HMS Foxhound. All 44 crew members survived the sinking, and were taken prisoner by the British.
U-39 was the first of many U-boats to be sunk in World War II, after it unsuccessfully attacked HMS Ark Royal.
My favorite article headline this morning is the one where Chamberlain says he’ll free the Czechs as well as the Poles. I’m sure the Czechs were thinking, “Oh sure NOW you jump in.”
Thanks for these posts Homer.
On 14 September, Ark Royal received a distress call from SS Fanad Head, which was 200 nautical miles (370 km) away under pursuit from the surfaced U-30. Ark Royal launched aircraft to aid the merchant ship, but was spotted by U-39, which launched two torpedoes. Lookouts spotted the torpedo tracks and Ark Royal turned towards the attack, reducing her cross-section and causing the torpedoes to miss and explode harmlessly astern. Three F class destroyers escorting the carrier began to depth charge U-39, and forced her to the surface. The German crew abandoned ship before U-39 sankthe first U-boat lost in World War II. Ark Royals aircraft reached Fanad Head, which was in the hands of a German boarding party. The Skuas unsuccessfully attacked U-30: two crashed when caught by the blast of their own bombs. The U-boat escaped after rescuing the boarding party and the pilots of the downed aircraft (both observers had drowned), and torpedoing the Fanad Head.
Reading the German Communique, now you know why I shed no tears over Dresden.
The Squalus incident was our lead story here three days running back in May. 5/24,25 and 26. Those stories are about 3 clicks away on my posting history.
Aircraft lost this day in the UK:
14-SEP-1939 Hawker Audax Mk.I K7479 RAF 13 FTS 2 killed Nr. East Linton, East Lothian
14-SEP-1939 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IA K9849 RAF 41 Sqn RAF Catterick, Yorkshire
NAVAL EVENTS- Thursday, 14 September
Destroyer KINGSTON commanded by Lt Cdr P Somerville was completed, and after working up at Portland, joined the 5th Flotilla on 19 October.
United States - 68 old destroyers were ordered to be recommissioned from mothball reserve status for Neutrality Patrol duties.
British northern waters - battleship RODNEY, battlecruiser HOOD, and destroyers TARTAR, ESKIMO, BEDOUIN, PUNJABI departed Scapa Flow on the evening of the 14th and arrived at Loch Ewe next morning. En route, three of the destroyers detached to join ARK ROYAL.
Destroyer MATABELE departed Scapa Flow and arrived at Loch Ewe later the same day.
ARK ROYAL group, NW approaches - TARTAR, BEDOUIN, PUNJABI joined the screen of aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL at daylight on the 14th.
U.30 attacked steamer FANAD HEAD (5200grt) 280 miles WNW of Malin Head. Her contact report was received and ARK ROYAL launched three Skuas of 803 Squadron at 1440 and dispatched TARTAR, BEDOUIN, PUNJABI to assist. FANAD HEAD was sunk before help arrived.
The Skuas attacked U.30, but two of them were lost from the explosion of their own bombs in the sea. Both gunners, PO Airman J Simpson (Griffiths’ aircraft) and PO Airman G V McKay (of Thurston’s) were killed, but both 803 Squadron pilots, Lt R P Thurston (aircraft L 2957) and Lt G B K Griffiths RM (L 2873), were picked up by U.30 and made prisoners.
U.30 was damaged, headed for Reykavik while making emergency repairs and arrived on the 19th, landing a wounded crewman. Next day, the 20th September, she departed for Germany.
TARTAR picked up the survivors from the steamer and ARK ROYAL launched six more Swordfish at 1655 - three each from Nos 818 and 821 Squadrons. One of 821s aircraft attacked a submarine contact. Destroyers FAME and FORESTER later arrived on the scene after the survivors of FANAD HEAD had already been rescued.
Steaming towards FANAD HEAD’s position, ARK ROYAL escorted by destroyers FAULKNOR, FOXHOUND, FORTUNE, FIREDRAKE was attacked by U.39 NW of Ireland at 1507, but the torpedoes exploded prematurely. FAULKNOR, FOXHOUND, FIREDRAKE counter-attacked and sank U.39 at 1546. FAULKNOR picked all the submarine’s 42 man crew.
At 1750, 60 miles SW of Rockall, seven aircraft bombed a submarine contact, and TARTAR, ESKIMO, BEDOUIN, and PUNJABI, which were hunting in the area, were dispatched to join this hunt. They arrived at Loch Ewe on the 15th.
British east coast - Convoy FS.5 departed Methil and arrived at Southend on the 16th.
North Sea - British trawler HAWARDEN CASTLE (210grt) was lost to the gunfire of U.17.
Norwegian waters - on patrol off Norway, submarine STURGEON sighted SWORDFISH, which like OXLEY on the 10th, was off station. Failing to identify SWORDFISH as friendly, STURGEON fired three torpedoes at 0043 which all missed. As a result of these potentially fatal problems, the distance between patrol stations was increased to 16 miles.
Baltic - German Stuka bombers attacked Jastarnia Harbour and sank Polish minesweeper JASKOLKA, damaged minesweepers CZAPLA and RYBITWA, and caused minor splinter damage to minesweepers CZAJKA and ZURAW.
Polish submarine ORZEL arrived at Tallinn, Estonia, escorted by Estonian torpedo boat SULEV, to land Lt Cdr Kloczkowski to hospital. The submarine was interned.
English Channel - light cruiser CARADOC departed Plymouth on patrol and arrived back on the 16th.
Destroyers KEMPENFELT and ECHO departed Plymouth on escort duties at 0703 on the 14th.
Destroyer SKATE arrived at Cherbourg.
Southwestern approaches - aircraft carrier HERMES departed Plymouth with destroyers IMOGEN and ISIS for anti-submarine duty in the Western Approaches west of 12-00W and south of 250° from Land’s End. They were joined on the 16th by destroyers IMPERIAL and ILEX. On the 17th, IMOGEN attacked a submarine contact. The group was designated to relieve ARK ROYALs, but they returned to Plymouth on the 18th when these operations were suspended.
U.28 sank steamer VANCOUVER CITY (4955grt) SW of Ireland, with three crew lost. American steamer PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT (13,869grt) headed for her to rescue survivors, but received a signal that a Dutch tanker had picked them up and continued on her way.
U.29 sank steamer BRITISH INFLUENCE (8431grt) SW of Ireland. Norwegian steamer IDA BAKKE (5455grt) rescued her crew.
Freetown, Sierra Leone-UK (SL) convoys - the first of the convoys, SL.1, departed Freetown, escorted by light cruiser DAUNTLESS. She was relieved on the 21st by light cruiser CAPETOWN, which had departed Gibraltar on the 17th. CAPETOWN continued as escort until the 24th when she returned to Gibraltar. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 1 October.
Central and South Atlantic - from 14 September to 12 October, French submarines PERSÉE and PONCELET, 6th Submarine Division and AGOSTA and OUESSANT, 8th Division from Admiral West patrolled the Azores area for German blockade runners. Following this operation, PERSÉE and PONCELET headed for Cherbourg for long overhauls lasting until mid-June 1940, while AGOSTA and OUESSANT proceeded to Martinique, arriving on the 29th.
Light cruiser DANAE departed Simonstown on patrol.
Indian Ocean - Destroyer DARING arrived at Singapore on the 3rd while sister ships DUNCAN and DAINTY, which had departed Hong Kong on the 10th, arrived on the 13th. All three departed Singapore on the 14th to join the Mediterranean Fleet.
I give up. Any idea what this refers to?
Neutrality Patrol - There's an inspired piece of marketing.
Guderian-Operations at Brzesc
On 14 September the 10th Panzer Division reported that its forward elements had reached Brzesc. The 3d Panzer Division, which had shifted to the left rear of the 10th Panzer Division, covered the corps’ left flank by pushing reconnaissance elements out in the direction of Kobryn.
The corps commander hurried to join the force that had reached the objective, and the 20th Motorized Infantry Division, its operations against the Polish 18th Infantry Division completed, was shifted eastward to give the Panzer units at Brzesc additional infantry support.