This Day in the War in Europe: The Beginning

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Njaco, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    As we all know, the previous daily thread began with America's entry into the war but didn't cover the beginning in September 1939. This thread will correct that. It will keep the same format as my BoB thread and the Day by Day Europe thread but I will be adding pics that were taken on the day in question. I ask that anybody wanting to contribute please PM me and I can add your information to that day.

    I will do my best to make this as accurate as possible without any personal opinion but some may sneak through. Understand that much of this information I am taking from a failed book venture I started 15 years ago on a Day by Day account of the Luftwaffe so if it seems very German oriented I apologize. But again, I will do my best to be objective.

    Again, I am listing my sources and will be adding as the days go on. Hopefully this will be enjoyable for all!

    The Sources:

    The Luftwaffe, 1933-45

    Tony Wood

    http://lesliesawyer.com/claims/tonywood.htm

    Friday, September 1, 1939

    1939 Timeline | World War II Database

    WWII Day-By-Day: June 1

    About Us | Imperial War Museums


    “Jagdwaffe: Attack in the West-May 1940 -Luftwaffe Colours Volume One” by Eric Mombeek 2001
    “Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain - Luftwaffe Colours” by Eric Mombeek 2001
    “Jagdwaffe Volume Three, Section 1: Strike in the Balkans April-May 1941 (Luftwaffe Colours)” by Eric Mombeek 2003
    “Jagdgeschwader 52: The Experten (Aviation Elite Units)” by John Weal 2004
    “Jagdgeschwader 51 'Mölders' (Aviation Elite Units)” by John Weal 2006
    “Pictorial History of the Luftwaffe” by Alfred Price ( 1992)
    "The Epic of Flight: The Luftwaffe" Time/Life Books 1982 ISBN 0-8094-3339-7
    "The Epic of Flight: The RAF At War" Time/Life Books 1982 ISBN 0-8094-3293-5
    "World War II: The Battle of Britain" by Leonard Mosley, Time/Life Books 1977 ISBN 76-45540
    "The Narrow Margin" by Derek Wood Derek Dempster, Hutchinson and Company 1961 ISBN 0-85052-915-8
    "The Battle of Britain" by Marcel Jullian, Grossman Publishers 1967 ISBN 67-12933
    "Jagdwaffe: The Battle of Britain" by David Wadman Eddie J. Creek, Classic Publications 2001 ISBN 1-903223-05-9
    "Defenders of the Reich: JG 1 1939-1942" by Eric Mombeek, Classic Publications 2001 ISBN 1-903223-01-6
    "Bf 109 D/E Aces 1939-41" by John Weal, Osprey Press 1996 ISBN 1-855324-87-3
    "The JG 26 War Diary: 1939-1942" by Donald Caldwell, Grub Street 1996 ISBN 1-898697-52-3
    "JG 53: 'Pik As'" by John Weal Osprey Press 2007 ISBN 13-978-1-84603-204-2
    "Luftwaffe Fighter Units: Europe 1939-41" by Jerry Scutts Osprey Press 1977 ISBN 0-89402-019-6
    "German Bombers Over England" by Bryan Philpott, Patrick Stephens Limited 1978 ISBN 0-85059-339-5
    "Hurricanes of the 40 Days" by Harold Calin, Belmont Productions 1968
    "Duel of Eagles" by Peter Townsend, Simon Schuster 1971 ISBN 79-116510
    "Eagle Day" by Richard Collier, Avon Books 1966 ISBN 66-19248
    "Strike From the Sky" by Alexander McKee, Lancer Books 1960
    "The Sky Suspended" by Drew Middleton, Pyramid Books 1960
    "The Luftwaffe War Diaries" by Cajus Bekker, Ballantine Books 1964 ISBN 0-345-28799-1
    "A History of the Luftwaffe" by John Killen, Berkley Medallion Books 1967 ISBN 425-01760-5
    "Hitler's Luftwaffe" by Tony Wood and Bill Gunston, Crescent Books ISBN 0-517-22477-1
    "Hitler's Stuka Squadrons" by John Ward, MBI Publishing 2004 ISBN 0-7603-1991-X
    "The Hardest Day" by Dr. Alfred Price, Rigel Publications 1979 ISBN 1-898-80012-X
    "The Luftwaffe Data Book" by Dr. Alfred Price, Greenhill Books 1977 ISBN 1-85367-293-9
    "Finest Hour" by Tim Clayton and Phil Craig, Simon and Schuster 1999 ISBN 0-684-86930-6
    "Spitfire vs Bf 109: Battle of Britain" by Tony Holmes, Osprey Press 2007 ISBN 978-1-84603-190-8
    “Barbarossa: The Russian-German Conflict, 1941-45” by Alan Clark (Jun 25, 1985)
    “The Illustrated History of WWII” by John Ray (2003)
    “The Hutchinson Atlas of World War II Battle Plans” by Stephen Badsey (Feb 1, 2000)
    “Hitler's Blitzkrieg Campaigns” by J.E. Kaufmann and H.W. Kaufmann (Sep 15, 2002)
    “German Army 1933-1945” by Matthew Cooper (Oct 1, 1990)
    “The Campaigns of World War II Day-by-Day” by Chris Bishop and Chris McNab (Jul 1, 2003)
     
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  2. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to this
     
  3. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Chris, looking forward to this as well. Should be moving up to the Polish border about now.
     
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  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  5. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    The Order of Battle on Aug 31, 1939.

    .
    Poland1939_GermanPlanMap-1024x779.jpg
     
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  6. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    #6 Njaco, Sep 1, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
    1 September 1939

    POLAND: The Luftwaffe begins the Second World War at 0426 hours when Junkers Ju.87 ‘Stuka’ dive bombers of 3./StG 1, led by Oblt. Bruno Dilley, bomb the railway bridge over the Vistula River at Dirscham. Dilley’s mission is to sever the detonation cables that the Poles have wired to blow the bridge in case of attack. If the bridge is blown up then the ground assault will be delayed. Although the Stukas are able to cut some of the wires it doesn’t prevent the Poles from blasting the bridge.

    At 0445 hours, Germany formally invades Poland on the pretext of Polish aggression on German soil (dead "Poles" are German prisoners dressed in Polish uniforms shot). The German battleship "Schleswig-Holstein" fires the first naval shots of WWII and shells the fortress guarding the port of Danzig. The heavily wooded Westerplatte peninsula had been a popular park but now contained an ammunition depot. The Polish garrison of only 182, armed mainly with machine guns and mortars, was to make a heroic stand, fighting against overwhelming odds for over a week.

    The Germans allot 52 divisions for the invasion (some 1.5 million men), including the 6 armored divisions and all their motorized units. The Wehrmacht cross the frontier at several points under the command of General Walther von Brauchitsch, divided into two Heeresgruppen, Heeesgruppe Nord commanded by General Fedor von Bock, and Heeesgruppe Sud commanded by General Karl Rudolf von Rundstedt. The individual armies are commanded by General's Günther von Kluge, 4.Armee; Georg von Küchler, 3.Armee; Wilhelm von List, 14. Armee; Walter von Reichenau, 10.Armee; and Johannes Blaskowitz, 8.Armee and the armoured formations are commanded by general Heinz Guderian, XIX Corps, Erich Hoepner, XVI Corps, and Paul von Kleist, XXII Corps. Simultaneously the Luftwaffe have two Luftflottes in service; Luftflotte 1 commanded by Albert Kesselring, and Luftflotte 4 command by Alexander Löhr, , which have around 1,600 aircraft. Heeresgruppe Sud, advancing from Silesia, is to provide the main German attacks. The 8.Armee on the left is to move toward Poznan, the principal thrust is to be delivered by 10.Armee which is to advance in the center to the Vistula River between Warsaw and Sandomierz, while 14.Armee on the right moves toward Krakow and the Carpathian flank. The 4.Armee from East Prussia is to move south toward Warsaw and the line to the Bug River to the east; 3.Armee is to cross the Polish Corridor and join 4.Armee in moving south.

    Classic blitzkrieg tactics of dive bombers, fast moving panzers and armored infantry divisions decimate the unsuspecting Polish forces on the borders. The Poles have 23 regular infantry divisions prepared with 7 more assembling, 1 weak armored division and an inadequate supply of artillery. They also have a considerable force of cavalry. The reserve units were only called up on August 30th and are not ready for combat. Heavy bombers damage major Polish cities (panicking the citizens) and destroy airfields, railways and bridges, plus railway stations full of mobilizing Polish soldiers. In the air, almost all the 500 Polish planes are obsolete and prove unable to blunt the impact of the German attack. The Polish Air Force is mostly destroyed on the ground. But at Mokra, near Częstochowa, the German 4.Panzerdivision attacked two regiments of the Wolynska Cavalry Brigade. The Polish defenders drew the Germans into a tank trap and destroyed over 50 tanks and armored cars.

    The Polish Commander in Chief, Marshal Rydz-Smigly, has deployed the stronger parts of his army in the northwestern half of the country, including large forces in the Poznan area and the Polish Corridor. He hopes to hold the Germans to only gradual gains.
    Sept0139.jpg
    Sept0139.jpg
     
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  7. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    #7 Njaco, Sep 1, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
    1 September 1939 continued.....

    The battle in the Polish Corridor was especially intense. It was here that the myth of the Polish cavalry charging German tanks was born. As Gen. Heinz Guderian’s panzer and motorized forces pressed the weaker Polish forces back, a unit of Pomorska Cavalry Brigade slipped through German lines late in the day on Sept. 1 in an effort to counterattack and slow the German advance. The unit happened on a German infantry battalion making camp. The Polish cavalry mounted a saber charge, sending the Germans fleeing. At that moment, a group of German armored cars arrived on the scene and opened fire on the cavalry, killing several troopers and forcing the rest to retreat. Nazi propagandists made this into "cavalry charging tanks" and even made a movie to embellish their claims. While historians remembered the propaganda, they forgot that on September 1, Gen. Guderian had to personally intervene to stop the German 20th Motorized Division from retreating under what it described as "intense cavalry pressure." This pressure was being applied by the Polish 18th Lancer Regiment, a unit one tenth its size.

    At 0445 hours, Lt. Frank Neubert of I./StG 2 “Immelmann”, scores the first aerial victory of the war when he shoots down a PZL 11 of the No. 121 Eskadra (Polish Fighter Squadron) over Balice. Lt. Neubert and his kette of Stukas were attacking the airfield at Krakow when the Polish fighter crossed in front of him and Capt. Medwecki, the Commanding Officer of the Cracow Army Fighter Wing was killed. 2nd Lt. Wladyslaw Gnys managed to evade the attack, and damage one of the Stukas. A few minutes later, having climbed, he attacked two Dornier 17E’s of KG 77 returning from a raid on Cracow, scoring several hits on each of them. After his second dive, he lost visual contact with them and returned to the airfield not knowing that he had just scored the first two victories over the Luftwaffe in World War 2. The two German bombers collided after his attack and fell to the ground near the village of Zurada.

    One hour later, bombers of III./KG 3 bomb the town of Dirschau. Fog delays the great offensive blow by the Luftwaffe so much that only six Gruppen of bombers from Luftflotte 1 make it off the ground all morning.

    Due to the fog, at 0550 hours Generalfeldmarschall Göring cancels “Operation SEASIDE”, a concentrated attack by every Geschwader on the Polish capital, Warsaw. One Gruppe of bombers from II./LG 1 do make the flight and raid the hangers and factories of the PZL aircraft works outside Warsaw.

    The Luftwaffe’s second Lehrgeschwader, Major Hanns Trübenbach’s I(J)./LG 2 flying Bf 109s begin the day several hours late because of the fog. At 1000 hours they fly the first of four escort missions for the day but encounter no Polish aircraft. Henschel Hs 123 biplanes of II./LG 2 take off at dawn from Altsiedel airfield to attack the village of Panki (Pryzstain) just ahead of the German 10.Armee. This is the first instance in World War II of direct support by the Luftwaffe of an attack by ground troops.

    Alarmed by the well-organized network of observation posts, the Pursuit Brigade in full force (52 aircraft) intercepted a large formation of He 111 bombers from KG 27 escorted by Bf 110s of I./LG 1. Gruppenkommandeur Hptm. Martin Mettig tries to contact the bombers by setting off a flare but the flare malfunctions, going off in his cockpit. Wounded in the hand and thigh and blinded by the smoke, he jettisons the canopy which takes off his aerial mast and antenna. Unable to contact the bombers he is forced to return to his base at Rostken. Several pilots follow their Gruppenkommandeur back to base. The rest of the fighter formation continues and make claims for four Polish PZL 11 fighters, including the first victory for Lt. Gustav Rödel. No Messerschmitts are lost from the Gruppe during the dogfight. As a result of the well-executed attack, six He 111s were shot down at the expense of one actual P.11c, which crashed during a forced landing. What was supposed to be Der Spaziergang uber Warshau – a ‘stroll over Warsaw’ – turned into a bitter escape for the Luftwaffe bomber crews. During the fighting, 2nd Lt. Borowski of 113 Eskadra shot down a stray Bf 109, which became the first aircraft of that type destroyed in World War 2.

    At 1100 hours Generalmajor Freiherr von Richthofen, the Commander-in –Chief of the air support forces, takes off in a Fiesler Storch to survey the action around Panki. Flying too low he is shot at by Polish ground forces and barely makes it back to friendly lines.

    The Luftwaffe concentrates on hitting Polish hangers and runways, aircraft dispersal areas and aviation factories. During the day bombers from KG 1 raid the Polish naval air base at Putzig-Rahmel, KG 152 bombs the flak defenses and petrol dumps at the airfield at Thorn, KG 26 destroys buildings and rail installations at Posen-Luwica, KG 53 attacks runways and hangers at Gnesen and II./KG 3 hit an ammunition dump south of Graudenz. Stukas of I./StG 76, led by Hptm. Walther Sigel, raid the airfield at Wielun and those of StG 77 attack the Lublinitz airfield.

    One unique unit operating on the Polish front, TrGr 186 (a unit of the naval Tragergruppe [carrier wing] for the unfinished aircraft carrier ‘Graf Zeppelin’) is unable to carry out a planned aerial cover of the German World War I battleship ‘Schleswig-Holstein’ sitting in Danzig’s Harbour Canal because of the mist and fog. The unit has a mix of two Staffeln of Bf 109s and one of Ju 87 Stukas. The Messerschmitt Staffeln instead fly escort missions for the Stuka Staffel.

    September0139b.jpg
     
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  8. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    #8 Njaco, Sep 1, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
    1 September 1939 continued.....


    The Ju 87 Stukas of 4(st.)/TrGr 186 and Bf 109s of IV./LG 1 attack the Polish Naval base at Hela. Two Bf 109s are lost to anti-aircraft fire. At 1400 hours more Stukas from I. and II./StG 2 and IV(Stuka)./LG 1 attack the harbour and succeed in sinking the torpedo boat ‘Mazur’ and setting fire to the Polish minelayer ‘Gryf’ which is caught in dry-dock.

    Heavy fighting over Warsaw resumed in the afternoon, when a second large German raid, escorted by both Bf 110 and Bf 109 fighters, was intercepted by the Pursuit Brigade. This time the escorts were able to engage Polish fighters before they reached the bombers, and soon the first German bombs fell on Warsaw. Before they were able to enter the fight, four P.7s of 123 Eskadra were shot down in a surprise attack by Bf 110s of I./LG 1. Capt. Olszewski, the C/O was killed and the other three pilots bailed out, two of them shot at and heavily wounded by the Germans after opening their parachutes. The fighting was fierce, and Germans lost two Bf 109s, one of them shot down by Lt. Col. Leopold Pamula, deputy C/O of the Brigade, who himself had to bail out soon afterwards. Polish losses amounted to three P.11s.

    In the afternoon ninety Stukas of I./StG 1 and I./StG 77 and bombers from I./KG 77 decimate a Polish cavalry brigade on the road outside of Wielun. Bombers of KG 2 raid Plozk, Lida, and Biala-Podlaska. I(Z)./LG 1, flying Bf 110 twin-engined fighters, down five PZL 11s and PZL 7s of the Polish Pursuit Brigade over Warsaw at night while covering a flight of He 111’s of II./KG 1 sent to bomb the Polish airfield at Okecie. The day ends when a formation of Heinkel He 111 medium bombers, returning from a raid on Poland, startle citizens of Berlin and cause them to run to bomb shelters in a false alarm.
    GERMANY: Walter Krupinski, a worker in the Reich Labor Service, is drafted as a Fahnenjunker (Cadet) in the Luftwaffe.

    Oblt. Müller is appointed Gruppenkommandeur of the night-fighting unit of IV(N)./JG 2 based at Straussberg and Oblt. Martin Fiebig is posted as Kommodore of KG 4. The bomber crews of KG 1 ‘Hindenburg’ get a new Kommodore when Obstlt. Ulrich Kessler is posted to the unit.

    September0139c.jpg
     
  9. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Great post Chris. Thanks for the time you're taking to put this together.
     
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  10. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Good luck Chris, another great effort.
     
  11. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #11 parsifal, Sep 2, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
    01 SEPTEMBER 1939

    UBOATS
    Arrivals
    Kiel: U-32, u-35

    Departures
    Wilhelmshaven: U-20

    At Sea 1 September 1939

    OPERATIONS
    Baltic

    The first shots of the war were fired by German battleship SCHLESWIG HOLSTEIN at the Polish Gdansk (Danzig) fortifications of Westerplatte. She had arrived six days earlier when Hitler seized the Polish port of Gdansk for Germany, renaming it Danzig.
    BB Schlesien.jpg
    Near sister SCHLESIEN

    German naval forces
    For the invasion of Poland were under the Command of Naval Group Command East (Adm Conrad Albrecht):

    Commander Reconnaissance Force (Vice Adm Hermann Densch) had under his command CLs KÖLN, LEIPZIG, NÜRNBERG.

    Officer Commanding Torpedo Boats (Konter Adm Gunther Lutjens) commanded DDs BERND VON ARNIM, BRUNO HEINEMANN, ERICH STEINBRINCK, FRIEDRICH ECKHOLDT, FRIEDRICH IHN, GEORG THIELE, LEBERECHT MAAS, RICHARD BEITZEN, WOLFGANG ZENKER and S-Boat flotilla 1 with S.10, S.11, S.12, S.13, S.18, S.19 and depot ship TSINGTAU.

    BRUNO HEINEMANN had a water feed pump break down and was forced to withdraw for repairs at Wilhelmshaven.

    Officer Commanding MSWs (KptzS Friedrich Ruge in old torpedo boat T.196) commanded escort ships F.7, F.8, F.9, F.10, MSWFlot 1 with MSWs M.1, M.3, M.4, M.5, M.7, M.111, M.132, the Experimental Barrage Command with old MSWs ARKONA, NAUTILUS, OTTO BRAUN, PELIKAN, SUNDEWALL and MSW Flot 3 with coastal MSWs R.33, R.34, R.35, R.36, R.38, R.39, R.40.

    Uboats committed to the attack included U.5, U.6, U.7, U.14, U.18, U.22, U.31, U.32, U.35, U.57.
    Under the control of U-boats East (FKpt Oskar Schomburg). U.5, U.6, and U.7 patrolled the Kattegat near Laeso. U.22 patrolled inside the Irben Strait.

    U.31, U.32, U.35 were off the Gulf of Danzig for minelaying and U.14 and U.18 on patrol off the Gulf of Danzig.

    U.57 patrolled off Libau.

    Polish naval operations
    The Polish Fleet (prefix ORP) sortied from Gdynia, but not before the loss of TB MAZUR (ORP 340 grt)sunk in German air attacks. DD WICHER, ML GRYF, and MSWs CZAJKA, CZAPLA, JASKOLKA, MEWA, RYBITWA, ZURAW were able to leave port to conduct the mining of Gdansk Bay, code named Exercise RURKA.
    TB MAZUR (ORP 340 grt).jpg

    In Puck Bay, near Gdynia, the Polish force was attacked by LW Ju-87s, and ML GRYF and MSW MEWA seriously damaged. GRYF was forced to jettison her mines to prevent the explosion of those still on deck and was unable to begin Exercise RURKA. MEWA was towed to Hela by RYBITWA.

    ORP Submarines ORZEL and WILK departed Gdynia for patrol in the Gulf of Gdansk and RYS, SEP, ZBIK also sailed from Gdynia for patrol in Puck Bay off Hela to attack German surface ships.

    WILK attacked Kriegsmarine (prefix DKM) DD ERICH STEINBRINCK unsuccessfully and was then damaged by DCes dropped by her and FRIEDRICH IHN, but was able to continue on patrol.

    Northern Waters
    BB RAMILLIESdeparted Scapa Flow for escort duties from Devonport.

    Channel
    CV COURAGEOUS with DD STURDY, after departing Portsmouth on 31 August, arrived at Portland at 1700. DDs ARROW arrived there at 1550, ACASTA, which had departed Portland at 0640 that morning, and ANTHONY arrived at 1615, and ACHATES at 1745.

    CVL HERMES, sailing from Plymouth, arrived at Portland at 2015, and DD ACHERON on the 2nd. Here they joined DD ANTELOPE which was already at Portland.

    Central Atlantic
    DDs DOUGLAS and WISHART departed Gibraltar for patrol. French DD BASQUE also left Gibraltar.

    CA EXETER arrived at Freetown from Devonport and later the same day, departed for Cape Verde Island.

    CA CUMBERLAND, which had departed Plymouth on 31 August after EXETER, was also en route for Freetown.

    Mediterranean -
    DD ICARUS was damaged in collision with Greek steamer MICHALIS off Alexandria, while they were alongside each other at sea. ICARUS's hull was stove in, and she and the Greek steamer were escorted to Alexandria by DD INTREPID. Following temporary repairs, ICARUS proceeded on the 10th for repairs at Malta completing on 8 October.

    2 SEPTEMBER 1939
    UBOATS

    Arrivals
    Memel U-57
    Wilhelmshaven: U-31

    Departures
    Wilhelmshaven : U-13, U-16, U-24

    At Sea 2 September 1939
    U-5, U-6, U-7, U-9, U-12, U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16, U-17, U-18, U-19, U-20, U-21, U-22, U-23, U-24,U-26, U-27 (+), U-28, U-29, U-30, U-33, U-34, U-37, U-38, U-39 , U-40, U-41, U-45, U-46, U-47, U-48, U-52, U-53, U-56, U-58, U-59.

    38 boats at sea

    KTB-BDU (Kriegstagebücher - War Diary)
    OPERATIONS
    Baltic

    On the 2nd, U.22 and U.57 were withdrawn to provide relief for the other patrols. Both boats proceeded to Memel.

    For a few days DKM retained subs in the Polish operations area. There was concern that remaining Polish forces in the Baltic might run amok in the vital Baltic sea trade routes

    For a few days DKM retained subs in the Polish operations area. There was concerns that remaining Polish forces in the Baltic might run amok in the vital Baltic sea trade routes

    U.31, U.32, and U.35 were in the Baltic near Hela to mine the approaches to the Gulf of Danzig. However, the escape of the Polish destroyers made (Operation “Peking” ) rendered these operations unnecessary and they were transferred from the Baltic to the Atlantic, first arriving at Wilhelmshaven. From there:

    U.32 set out on patrol on the 5th,

    U.31 and U.35 on the 9th,

    U.31 and U.35 were ordered to patrol areas west and south of England, respectively, and U.32 to lay mines off the Bristol Channel on the 17th.

    ML GYDNIA (ORP 538 grt) was attacked and sunk by stukas from IV / LG.1 in the Gulf of Gdansk . At approximately around 1130 hrs the ship was anchored in the Bay of Puck approx. 2-3 nautical miles from Jastarnia. With approximately 100 people on board were killed. 35-40, including the commander, who died in hospital The precise numbers of casualties is not known because of the lossof ship documentation regarding the number of persons aboard..
    ML GYDNIA (ORP 538 grt).jpg

    ML GDANSK (ORP 538 grt) was also sunk at the same time.
    ML GDANSK (ORP 538 grt).jpg


    ORP SS SEP unsuccessfully attacked German DD FRIEDRICH IHN at 1238 with one torpedo, north of Heisternest. SEP was damaged in the counterattack, but able to continue on patrol.

    DKM CO Recon Fces with CLs KÖLN, LEIPZIG, NÜRNBERG in the Baltic was ordered to the North Sea, as the German Admiralty began to shift forces to face the Allied naval threat. Allied naval Power however, was not going to be able to affect the outcome in Poland.

    Channel
    BC RENOWN escort DD SARDONYX dep Portsmouth for Scapa arriving on the 4th.

    CV COURAGEOUS escort DD STURDY dep Portland before dawn, and arrived at Plymouth later that day.

    DD ENCOUNTER dep Portland and arrived at Plymouth later the same day .

    Fr Force de Raid, Atlantic
    - the Brest-based Force of BCs DUNKERQUE, STRASBOURG, CLs GEORGES LEYGUES, GLOIRE, MONTCALM and Contre Torpilleur DDs L'AUDACIEUX, LE FANTASQUE, LE MALIN, LE TERRIBLE, LE TRIOMPHANT, L'INDOMPTABLE, MOGADOR, VOLTA was ordered to Casablanca at high speed to protect the North African ports from attack from the sea. DesDiv 2 (DDs FOUGUEUX, FRONDEUR, L'ADROIT) and Desdiv 5 (DDs BRESTOIS, BOULONNNAIS, FOUDROYANT) cleared Brest on the 2nd as local escort and to carry out an ASW sweeps in the local approaches. The local escort returned to Brest on the 3rd.

    ML LA TOUR D'AUVERGNE (former PLUTON), also at Brest, sailed with the Force de Raid to lay a defensive minefield off the Moroccan coast. She was detached on the 4th and arrived, unescorted, at Casablanca on the 5th, where she remained until her loss on the 13th.

    French movements to an extent were driven by a fear of LW attacks on their fleet bases. When intelligence revealed the threat did not exist, the operations were cancelled and the forces arrived back at Brest on the 6th. They received an additional escort from the DesDiv 4 with DDs BOURRASQUE, ORAGE, OURAGAN, which dep Brest on the 5th.

    Med/Biscay
    Fr Bat Sqn 2 with BBs PROVENCE, BRETAGNE, LORRAINE with nine DDs of DesFlot 1 dep Toulon 31 August, arrived at Oran on the 2nd. The Squadron carried on and arrived at Gibraltar on the 3rd. The French in the Med were concerned mostly with a possible Italian pre-emptive attack
    BB Bretagne class.jpg

    The three French dreadnoughts in the Med were of the Bretagne Class. Un-modernized, they were vulnerable to air attack and outclassed by the Italian modernized BBs they faced

    The French 3rd Squadron arrived back at Toulon on the 2nd after covering convoy R.3.

    Later that day, CAs, ALGÉRIE, COLBERT, DUPLEIX, FOCH, TOURVILLE with DesDiv 5 with Contre Torpilleur DDs CHEVALIER PAUL, TARTU, VAUQUELIN, DesFlot 7 with Contre torpilleur DDs GERFAUT and VAUTOUR, DesDiv 9 with Contre Torpilleur DDs CASSARD, KERSAINT,MAILLÉ BRÉZÉ dep Toulon and arrived at Oran on the 3rd.

    CL ARETHUSA and the DesFlot 3 (less IMOGEN and ICARUS) dep Alexandria to patrol between Cape Matapan and Crete.

    The DD diverted to Malta on the 4th, where they joined IMOGEN which earlier had been sent to Marseilles with dispatches, reaching Malta on the 3rd. All the DDs then carried on to Gib, arriving on the 5th to carry out ASW duties in the Atlantic.

    Central Atlantic
    CL DURBAN dep Gibraltar for Freetown where she arrived on the 8th with CVS ALBATROSS.
    Seaplane Carrier Albatross.jpg

    CVS Albatross was designed and built in Australia for the RAN but was sold back to the RN because of budget issues during the depression

    AB.1 of British tkrs BRITISH ARDOUR , BRITISH LOYALTY , BRITISH PRINCESS , BRITISH MOTORIST , BRITISH PROGRESS and steamers CITY OF HEREFORD , CITY OF SHANGHAI ROWANBANK dep Gibraltar for Capetown. BRITISH FAITH had broken down just after weighing anchor and did not proceed with the convoy. CL DAUNTLESS and DESPATCH (Cru Sqn 9) dep Gib and proceeded with the convoy. DesFlot 13 DDs DOUGLAS, WATCHMAN, WISHART, WRESTLER joined the convoy at 2200/2nd and carried out ASW, before leaving the convoy on the morning of the 3rd. CL DAUNTLESS was detached on the 11th and arrived at Freetown on the 13th operating independently. On the 13th DESPATCH turned the convoy over to DURBAN which had departed Freetown on the 12th.

    DESPATCH reached Freetown on the 14th. DURBAN reached Capetown on the 29th.

    Sth Atlantic
    RNZN CL ACHILLES en route to the West Indies from New Zealand received orders to patrol off the west coast of South America.

    Red Sea/Indian Ocean
    DDs DECOY, DEFENDER, DELIGHT, DUCHESS dep Hong Kong on 28 August, left Singapore on the 2nd en route to join the Med Flt.
     
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  12. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  13. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    #13 Njaco, Sep 2, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
    2 September Saturday
    POLAND: Troops of German Heeresgruppe Sud (Rundstedt) are already over the Warta River in many places after rapid but expensive victories in the frontier battles. Krakow is now near the front line. In the north, 4.Armee (Kluge) makes contact with the 3.Armee (Kuchler) from East Prussia. Two Polish divisions are destroyed while attempting to pull back through the Corridor. The Polish regular troops have been stationed too far forward so the German advance is soon in their rear areas, preventing movement of reserves and completely dislocating any communication left unscathed by the repeated German air strikes in support of the ground forces. There are 6 air raids on Warsaw.

    The Luftwaffe continues its mission from the day before – destroying the Polish air force on the ground. By the end of the day the OKW issues its report for the day with these words:
    And the legend of the Stuka dive-bomber is made. With remarkable precision forty Stukas of I./StG 2 and I./StG 76 destroy the railway station of Piotrkow at the very moment Polish troops are detraining. The Stukas of StG 77 launch attacks on enemy columns near Radomsko. The Gulf of Danzig is revisited by Stukas from IV./LG 1 and sink the Polish ships ‘Gdynie’ and ‘Gdansk’.

    Hptm. Hannes Gentzen, Gruppenkommandeur of Jagdgruppe (JGr) 102 and the highest scoring pilot of the Polish campaign, scores his first victory,
    JGr 102 led by Oblt. Waldemar von Roon, was a temporary fighter squadron, originally a Zerstörergruppen flying Bf 110’s but equipped with Bf 109’s for Polish action. On the return flight to their base at Gross-Stein, the Messerschmitts come upon four Polish bombers and shoot them down also. JGr 102’s tally for the day is sixteen aircraft destroyed - two fighters and five bombers shot from the sky and four fighters and five bombers destroyed on the ground.

    In the afternoon, about twenty Bf 110s of I./ZG 2 clash with six Polish PZL 11 fighters. Two Polish fighters are shot down, one by Lt. Helmut Lent - his first victory - and another by Lt. Nagel, but the Gruppe loses three of their own.

    The Messerschmitts and Stukas of the Staffeln of TrGr 186 fly two more missions for the day before the Bf 109s are withdrawn to Gutenfeld in East Prussia.

    GERMANY: A new heavy fighter-bomber, the Messerschmitt Me 210 – designed to replace the Bf 110 - makes its first flight. Chief test pilot, Dr. Hermann Wurster, after flying the Me 210 V-1, code D-AABF, states that the new aircraft possesses very poor flying characteristics.

    In an effort to bolster its Western front forces, the Luftwaffe moves Oberst Gerd von Massow’s Stab./JG 2 and Oblt. Carl Vieck’s I./JG 2 from Fürstenwalde to a new airfield at Döberitz.

    The Germans began the construction of Stutthof Concentration Camp with labor of 65,000 Polish Christians.

    Germany annexed the Free City of Danzig. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier issued a joint ultimatum to Germany, demanding the withdraw of troops from Poland within 12 hours. Adolf Hitler advised the United Kingdom and France that he would withdraw from Poland if allowed to keep Danzig and the Polish corridor. The German government announces that Norwegian neutrality will be respected, provided that Britain and France do the same. Hitler rejects an offer to mediate the German-Polish dispute, made by Mussolini on August 31st and the proposal for a peace conference.

    WESTERN FRONT: The British RAF Advanced Air Striking Force arrives in France. Some 10 bomber squadrons are involved in the deployment.

    .
    September0239a.jpg . September0239b.jpg
     
  14. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    #14 Njaco, Sep 3, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
    3 September Sunday
    POLAND: Britain and France declare war on Germany. At 0900 hours, British Ambassador in Germany Nevile Henderson delivered the British declaration of war to German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, effective at 1100 hours; British Commonwealth nations of New Zealand and Australia followed suit. France would also declare war later on this day, effective at 1700 hours. In the afternoon, Adolf Hitler issued an order to his generals; again stressing that German troops must not attack British and French positions. Finally, Hitler also sent a message to the Soviet Union, asking the Soviets to jointly invade Poland.

    The Polish Lodz Army is now in retreat after being beaten in the frontier battles with Heeresgruppe Sud. By 3 September, when Günther von Kluge in the north had reached the Vistula River (some 10 km (6.2 mi) from the German border at that time) and Georg von Küchler was approaching the Narew River, Walther von Reichenau's (10.Armee) armor was already beyond the Warta river. 14.Armee (General List) troops are converging on Krakow. The city of Czestochowa falls to German forces. Some Polish units penetrate into East Prussia but their position becomes untenable as German forces cut them off to the south. The Polish air force ceases to exist as an effective fighting element. In Warsaw, there are pro-British demonstrations.

    55 Polish peasants at Truskolasy, Poland were executed.

    Hptm. Gentzen scores two more victories - two Polish PZL 11 fighters - bringing his total to three kills. Two of Hptm. Gentzen’s fellow pilots at ZG 2 score their first victories against Polish aircraft. Oblt. Josef Kellner-Steinmetz of 3./ZG 2 destroys a PZL 23 2 km south east of Strzoikow while Lt. Reinhold Meßner, also of 3./ZG 2 downs a PZL 23 over Przysiela. On a Freie jagd over Tschenstochau, a half dozen Bf 109’s of I./JG 76 overtake three PZL 23 Karas light bombers over Petrikau. Diving to the attack, the Bf 109s overshoot the bombers and have to try a second time. With the Polish bombers dropping almost to ground level, the second attack also overshoots the Polish targets. On the third pass, the Messerschmitts lower their flaps and slow their speed. Lt. Rudolf Ziegler of the Stab I./JG 76 shoots one down from a height of only 30 meters from the ground. Uffz. Willi Lohrer of 3./JG 76 also downs one of the Polish bombers for his first score of the war. Dietrich Hrabak, Staffelkapitän of I./JG 76 is hit by return fire from the two remaining Polish bombers and crash lands but returns to friendly lines. The same problem faced Lt. Karl-Gottfried Nordmann of I./JG 77 who destroys a PZL 23 Karas bomber by lowering his under-carriage, but not his flaps, so as not to overshoot his target. The bomber goes down in flames near the Wielum–Prosna area.

    In an air battle over Warsaw, thirty PZL 11 Polish fighters engage fighters of I./LG 1 and lose five aircraft while the Gruppe loses only one warplane. But the Polish are not running from battle as several fighters from the Polish “Army of Lodz” are able to shoot down a number of German army observation planes.

    The Stukas of 4(st)./TrGr 186 fly missions over the harbour at Hela and continue their success against Polish shipping. The Stukas of Karl-Herrmann “Charly” Lion and Oblt. Rummel score hits on the destroyer ‘Wicher’ and the minesweeper ‘ Mewa’, sinking both ships. Later in the day the unit transfers to Gutenfeld in East Prussia.

    September0339a.jpg
     
  15. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    #15 Njaco, Sep 3, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
    September0339b.jpg September 3 Sunday continued.....

    GERMANY: The threat from Britain and France forces several Jagdgeschwader and Lehrgeschwader within Germany to move closer to the French border. On this date, Major Otto Heinrich von Houwald’s I./JG 3 moves from Brandis to the airfield at Schafstädt. The Heinkel He 111s of Oberst Dr. Robert Knauss’ Stab./LG 1 move from Neuhausen to the airfield at Greifswald along with Major Dr. Ernst Bormann’s III./LG 1. Major Kurt Dobratz’s II./LG 1 moves its He 111s from Powunden to an airfield near Hannover. The Stukas of IV(Stuka)./LG 1 led by Hptm. Peter Kögl transfer from the airfield at Stolp-Rietz to the airbases at Grieslienen and Lyck.

    German government issued orders that executions by members of the SS were to be carried out in concentration camps, effective 20 Sep 1939.

    The first RAF operation flight over Germany was a reconnaissance mission, but later in the night RAF bombers would conduct a leaflet raid. The British aircraft drop 6 million leaflets on cities in northern Germany and the Ruhr in the first of a series of propaganda raids.

    ATLANTIC OCEAN: German submarine U-30 torpedoed British passenger liner “Athenia” in the Atlantic Ocean. There are 112 dead including 28 American citizens, of some 1400 passengers including some 316 Americans. The German government is unaware of the action of the U-boat until later in the month. Britain believes that this is the start of unrestricted submarine warfare. At this time, 39 of the German fleet of 58 U-boats are at sea. Admiral Doenitz, the German Kreigsmarine Commander, had hoped for a fleet of 300 before contemplating war with Britain.

    UNITED KINGDOM: Chamberlain broadcasts to announce that the war has begun. Chamberlain forms a War Cabinet, which includes Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty (which is signaled to all Royal Navy ships and installations with the message "Winston is back") and Eden as Secretary for the Dominions. Churchill and Eden have been the most prominent opponents of an appeasement policy. A Ministry of Economic Warfare is established. The British government also announces the implementation of a blockade of Germany. At 1135 hours, as if to confirm the state of war, there is an air-raid warning in London but it is a false alarm.


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    September0339b.jpg
     
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  16. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    This is going to be great Chris!
     
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  17. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Really appreciate these posts Chris.
     
  18. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Yep, great stuff Chris. An addition; barely two hours after war is declared, the British suffer their first military casualty when Plt Off John Isaac of No.600 Sqn crashed his Blenheim IF near Hendon.
     
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  19. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Can you bacon a whole thread? :thumbup:
     
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  20. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    #20 Njaco, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
    4 September Monday
    POLAND: In the north, the Polish Modlin Army begins to retreat after putting up a stubborn defense around Mlawa. A German column of tanks led the attack supported by the Luftwaffe but could not push through Polish lines. The initial assault was repelled by Polish-made 37mm Armata ppanc.wz 36 anti-tank guns. The commander of the German army ordered his troops to attack the Polish units several times in a row but all attacks were repelled and by nightfall the Germans were forced to return to their original positions. The Germans opened fire on Rzehnow on the right flank for over two hours continuously until the Polish units started to waver. Polish counter-attacks were unsuccessful. The Commander of the Polish Modlin army ordered his Division to regroup further eastward to establish a defense of it's right flank between the villages of Debsk and Nosarzewo. Meanwhile the Germans were preparing for a counter-attack. The Manzovian Cavalry Brigade was also in the area and vulnerable to German attack. The Polish Commander ordered his Brigade to split into two forces and attack from different directions, but conflicting information about German positions disrupted the plan and led to chaos among his troops. By evening most of the Polish units were destroyed but the 21st Infantry Regiment of Colonel Stanislaw Sosabowski managed to withdraw from the battlegrounds towards Modlin Fortress. Despite being able to capture several bunkers on the left flank of the Polish forces, the Germans could not move farther. German attacks on the right flank proved more successful and by late evening the German units had broken through the lines of the Polish 79th Infantry Regiment. Rather than face the risk of being surrounded, General Emil Krukowicz-Przedrzymirski ordered his troops to withdraw towards Warsaw and Modlin abandoning their fortified positions. The Polish regiment retreated to the south of Mlawa but because the area is lightly forested their position was easily detected and they were bombed and strafed continuously by the Luftwaffe. Near Tschenstochau, the first mass surrender, that of the 7th Polish Division, takes place due to the constant Luftwaffe air attacks.

    In the south, the German 10.Armee (General Reichenau) forces have already advanced more than 50 miles.

    Germans executed 1000 Poles near Bydgoszcz, including a number of Boy Scouts. German troops occupied Czestochowa seizing all property and making mass arrests of Jewish Poles. They were led to public areas where hundreds were systematically executed in broad daylight in a massacre that has been referred to as "Bloody Monday."

    Over Lodz, German Bf 109 fighters reportedly destroy 11 Polish fighters and 3 bombers. Major Hanns Trübenbach’s I(J)./LG 2 shoot down three Polish PZL 11 fighters over the Poczalkowo area including the first victories for Lt. Klaus Quaet-Faslem, Fw. Hugo Frey and Ofw. Hermann Guh. Several Bf 109Ds of I./ZG 2 battle Polish fighters over Lodz. Eleven Polish fighters are shot down and three more destroyed on the ground. Victory claims go to Oblt. Waldemar von Roon (one PZL 37), Lt. Hans Nocher (one PZL 37), Uffz. Hans Katzmann (two PZL 37s) and Uffz. Karl Schuch (two PZL 37s). The Gruppe also destroy one of the modern Polish “Elk” bombers in the air.

    The Zerstörer fighters of LG 1 clash with Polish aircraft and come away victors. Oblt. Joachim Glienke of 1(Z)./LG 1 destroys a Polish aircraft as does Lt. Hans Busching of 3(Z)./LG 1.

    The 1st Staffel of JG 1 starts withdrawing as the entire Gruppe is removed from the Polish Front prepatory to moving to the Western Front.


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    September0439a.jpg . September0439b.jpg
     
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