Skip to comments.CHAMBERLAIN UPHELD IN COMMONS 281-200; LONDON THINKS CABINET SHIFTS ARE NEAR (5/9/40)
Posted on 05/09/2010 6:06:24 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Belgians prepare for war
Thursday, May 9, 1940 www.onwar.com
In Belgium... The Belgian army is placed on alert because of recent tension and signs of German troop movements. The Luftwaffe has been successful in keeping Allied reconnaissance flights away from the German preparations.
In France... Reynaud has been growing more and more unhappy with the leadership of Gamelin, the Supreme Commander. He has been unable to dismiss him because he is supported in Cabinet by Daladier, who remains influential although he is no longer prime minister. These quarrels now come to a head but no announcement is made pending the formation of a new government. The German attack on May 10th will cause the changes to be deferred.
In Germany... Hitler issues orders for the Western offensive.
May 9th, 1940
Westminster: Chamberlain asks the Labour Party to join him in a coalition government.
Hugh Dalton’s diary records that Labour leader, Clement Attlee, prefers Lord Halifax as a successor to Chamberlain over Winston Churchill. (148 p.90)
RAF Bomber Command: 4 Group. 77 Sqn. Five aircraft sent to Norway, all recalled.
The Air Ministry makes the following announcement:
Shortly before midday to-day (Thursday) fighter aircraft of the Royal Air Force intercepted an enemy aircraft off the North-East Coast of Scotland and shot it down into the sea...
It was later learned how the RAF Fighter Command pilots tried to save one of the crew of the German machine who had jumped by parachute. The enemy airman fell into the sea about 14 miles from land. The British pilots, circling above him in their Hurricanes, saw him remove his parachute and begin to swim. They reported the position by radio-telephone and a launch was immediately dispatched. Flying to and fro between the launch and the swimming German, they directed the rescue, but when the launch reached the enemy airman he was dead
NORTH SEA: At 0014, submarine FS Doris was torpedoed and sunk NW of the Dutch Coast by the German submarine U-9. (Dave Shirlaw)
The Prime Minister, Paul Reynaud, threatens to resign in order to secure the removal of Maurice Gamelin, the forces Supreme Commander, who is backed by Daladier.
Le Figaro reported from Paris:
The role of the German Luftwaffe in reinforcing and supplying their combat forces in Norway, has surpassed the boldest expectations.
Thus it has proved possible to supply large units with daily arms and provisions by air. These operations were greatly facilitated by the use of Danish departure bases, and the previous occupation of Norwegian landing fields. So we are justified in fearing, like the Dutch, that small groups of daring parachutists will try to seize landing fields during the night, and to sow disarray behind the lines, in the countryside or small isolated towns, acting in consort with troops subsequently dropped by transport plane.
To obviate this danger, one cannot stress too strongly that every parachutist and every transport plane that lands at night in isolated spots, should be considered suspect, regardless of what uniform or costume is worn by the occupants.
In such cases the first duty of a citizen is to immediately inform the nearest military authority (the local army post, or gendarmerie). Moreover, the unknown persons must be prevented from leaving the landing place despite any protests that may make, and one must not hesitate to use force if they offer resistance. If they are genuine French or Allied aviators, they will be the first to understand such security measures.
The government declares a state of emergency and puts the army on alert following increasing tension and German troop movements.
Jodl notes in his diary: “Fuhrer decides on attack for May 10 for sure. Departure with Fuhrer train at 17.00 from Finkenkrug. After report that weather situation will be favourable on the 10th, the code word Danzig is given at 21.00 hours.”
At 21:30, a half hour after the ultimate time the order for Fall Gelb could be recalled, Colonel Hans Oster , the right hand of Admiral Canaris of the Abwehr, has a dinner with his friend, the Dutch military attache Bert Sas and informs him, that Fall Gelb would take place the next morning. Oster said goodbye with the words: “My dear friend, let’s hope we will see eachother after the war.” and pressed his friend to have the Maas bridges blown up as soon as possible.
Sas then informed first the Belgian attaché and then the officer on duty in the Netherlands with the warning: “Tomorrow at dawn, be firm, you know what I mean.” The officer confirmed the message.
Sas was called 90 minutes later by the head of the Dutch foreign intelligence department, who asked him in simple code if it was true. Sas confirmed the message, but was not believed, because the intelligence officer didn’t think that before such an operation the Germans wouldn’t block all international calls, especially to embassy personnel.
Informed by Oster, Sas had already given the right dates for the German attacks on Poland and Norway, but the many recalls for Fall Gelb since November 1939 didn’t do his credibility any good. (Herman Kouters)
NORWEGIAN CAMPAIGN: (Mark Horan) Greenock: The 18 Hurricane Is of 46 Squadron, RAF, begin their transit flight to the Clyde. After landing, the aircraft are trucked to the docks, placed on barges, and throughout the day are loaded onto HMS Glorious, which is taking on provisions, ordnance, stores and supplies, for transfer to Norway.
Although she is still completing her repairs, HMS Furious embarks six Sea Gladiators of the main detachment of 804 Squadron from RNAS Cambeltown for defence of the ship. Three Gladiators are left behind. The 18 Hurricane Is of 46 Squadron, RAF, begin their transit flight to the Clyde.
HMS Sparrowhawk (RNAS Hatston): With 806 Squadron newly operational, the base commander, Acting Captain C. L. Howe re-institutes the attacks on shipping at Bergen. Lt. C. P. Campbell-Horsfall, RN leads 8 Skuas depart RNAS Hatston, each armed with a single 500 lb SAP bomb. They are joined by 6 Blenheim fighters of Coastal Commands 254 Squadron, each armed with 8 x 20 lb Cooper bombs. Even at this late date, the Germans have been unable to get a substantial amount of AA to Bergen, and the attack meets little opposition. One hit is obtained on a docked merchant vessel, an oil tank is hit, and several small warships are strafed in the harbour. One Blenheim (L9482:B Flight Lieutenant Alick Charles Heath, RAF 37173 (P), Lt.(A) Robin Baillie Nuthall, RN (O), Sgt. Stanley Arthur Nicholls, RAFVR 749976 ) and crew is lost to fire from 6.Batterie/Flakregiment 33, and Skua L3014, damaged by Flak as well, was wrecked on landing though the crew, Petty Officer Airman A. Jopling, RN D/Jx.135989 (P) and Naval Airman first class K. L. Jones, RN Jx.152768 (AG) were okay.
At sea off Narvik:
Besides maintaining standing fighter patrols over the Harstad area, per the request of Flag Officer Narvik, HMS Ark Royal is planning a strike on German positions at Nordalsbroen, Hundalien and Sildvik.
At 0805, Capt. N. R. M. Skene, RM led off nine Swordfish of 810 Squadron, each armed with 4 x 250 lb and 8 x 20 lb bombs. Almost immediately things started going wrong; three aircraft had to abort, one of which, 2B, could not make it back to the ship and force-landed, the crew, Lieutenant. A. W. Stewart, RN (P), Midshipman(A) G. T. Shaddick, RN (O), and Leading Airman H. W. V. Burt, RN (AG), being rescued by an escorting destroyer. The force was escorted by a section of three Skuas of 800 Squadron (Lt. K. V. V. Spurway, RN). The fighters were to see the Swordfish through, then patrol of the area.
Weather conditions were less than spectacular, though the other Swordfish were able to push on and bomb the targets assigned. The Skuas, meeting no aerial opposition, began the patrol in failing weather. When they departed for home, 6H:L3055 became separated and was forced to find alternate arrangements, force-landing at Spionkop. The crew Midshipman(A) C. Treen, RN (P) and Naval Airman A. E. T. Goble, RN (AG), having already survived one landing in Norway again) destroyed the aircraft, then trekked overland to HMS Bedouin.
At 0905 the fleet reported a shadower, and the ready section of two Skuas from 800 Squadron were immediately dispatched, but no contact was made The strike planes (less 6M) were safely aboard at 1145, at which point weather conditions caused the suspension of further air operations.
Destroyer HMS Bulldog during the night of 9/10 May, the destroyer was searching in the Skagerrak for German minelayers with other destroyers from Scapa Flow. During an attack by German MTBs at another task force with the same task, the HMS Kelly was badly damaged by a torpedo and towed to Newcastle by HMS Bulldog.
The minelaying destroyers HMS Express, Esk and Intrepid lay 180 mines in known German swept channels in operation XMG. (Dave Shirlaw)
CANADA: Corvette HMCS Quesnel laid down Victoria, British Columbia. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.A.: Move of Pacific Fleet from San Diego to Pearl Harbor made permanent. (Marc Small)
Day 252 May 9, 1940
British Prime Minister Chamberlain awakens determined to stay in power. He suggests an alliance with the opposition Labour party to form a National Government but he is rebuffed. In the afternoon, he meets with Churchill and Halifax to determine a successor. Churchill silently refuses to support Halifax, who bows out. Churchill is the heir apparent.
While Chamberlain ponders his future, Germany prepares to advance on a broad front along its Western border from Luxembourg to the North Sea. The plan is to draw the French Army and British Expeditionary Force Northeast into Belgium and then encircle them with a fast armoured sweep across Northern France to the Channel. This requires moving huge armoured columns secretly through the Ardennes forest which the French have deemed impassable and left undefended.
At Narvik, Polish Podhale Brigade (4 battalions) arrives. Poles and French Chasseurs Alpins move to positions 5 miles West of Narvik, to reinforce South Wales Borderers. Allied artillery in the Narvik area totals 24 guns (French 75’s & British 25-pounders) and 10 small French tanks.
At 0.14, U-9 torpedoes French submarine Doris (Q135) on the surface 40 miles off the Dutch coast. Doris sinks immediately (45 French & 3 British sailors killed). http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/317.html
British destroyer HMS Kelly (captained by Lord Louis Mountbatten) is on patrol in the Skagerrak between Sweden and Germany with cruiser HMS Birmingham and destroyers HMS Kandahar, Bulldog, Kimberley, Kelly and Hasty, searching for German warships and troop transports. In the evening, they are attacked by 5 torpedo boats (Schnellboot). Kelly is hit amidships with one torpedo by S-31 and badly damaged (27 lives lost). Kelly will be towed back to Newcastle for repairs by HMS Bulldog, arriving May 13 after further Schnellboot attacks. She will be out of commission until December. http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-10DD-38K-Kelly.htm
Answers to the name: Lucky
Thankfully Chamberlain was gone the next day, I think the outcome of the war would have been disastrous without Churchill.
218-200 with a 100 likely Government supporters absent and 30 in service overseas doesn’t actually sound like a loss to me.
But I’m weird that way.
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