This Day in the War in Europe: The Beginning

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7 January 1940
Known Losses
MV CEDRINGTON COURT(UK 5160 grt): Full load of steel embarked; The cargo ship struck a mine and sank in the Goodwin Sands, Kent 2 nautical miles (3.7 km) north east of the North Goodwin Lightship. All 34 crew were rescued.

MV DICIDO (SD 1475 grt): with a cargo of Pyrites, enroute from Thamshaven to Helsingborg, the cargo ship ran aground at Tjoroneset and was wrecked.
MV DICIDO (SD 1475 grt).jpg

Submarine SEAHORSE (RN 730 grt) of subflot 6 departed Blyth on 26 December. On the 7th January (but date uncertain), she is believed to have been sunk was sunk by DKM MSWs of the 1st Minesweeping Flotilla in a 24 hour long and bitter attack in the Heligoland Bight. Damage to the submarine early in the attack provided a considerable oil leak to guide the attacking vessels. The entire 36 man crew were lost . The German 1st Minesweeping Flotilla was composed at this time of minesweepers M.1, M.3, M.4, M.7, M.8 and M.14. Some recent sources indicate that SEAHORSE may have been lost by mining in 55‑26N, 07‑02E on 29 December, or perhaps 30 December. According to Seekrieg, she was sunk by M.122 and M.132. The currently accepted version of her loss is however, as described above
New photo Source: HMS Seahorse - Pencil Drawing
Submarine SEAHORSE (RN 730 grt).jpg

Pencil drawing of the HMS Swordfish leaving Portsmouth in 1933

MV TOWNELEY (UK 2475 grt) The cargo ship struck a mine and sank in the North Sea north of Margate, Kent. All crew were rescued by the Margate lifeboat.

Aux sloop BARSAC (Fr 1145 grt) was lost when she ran aground on the Isle of Onza near Vigo.

Submarine UNDINE (RN 630 grt) whilst on patrol in the Heligoland Bight, 15 miles from Heligoland, was attacked and badly damaged by DKM Aux MSWs M.1201, M.1204 and M.1207 after she had unsuccessfully attempted to attack two of the trawlers at 1100/7th. Early next morning, UNDINE was scuttled and the entire crew were taken prisoner. M.1204 took off the crew and M.1201 attempted to capturee the sinking hulk and take it in in tow. UNDINE sank, however, and several crew members of M.1201 that had boarded her were lost whilst on board.
Submarine UNDINE (RN 630 grt).jpg

DKM War diary
Selected Extracts
DKM 7 january report Part I.jpg
DKM 7 january report Part II.jpg

Kriegstagebücher (KTB) - War Diary
Nothing to report.

At Sea 7 January 1940
U-19, U-20, U-24, U-30, U-32, U-34, U-44, U-46, U-56, U-58.
10 boats at sea.


Northern Patrol
AMCs TRANSYLVANIA and AURANIA arrived in the Clyde after Northern Patrol. CL CERES escorted Steamer TROMA (Nor 5029 grt) brought in for contraband search off North Rona.

North Sea
FN.65 departed Southend, escort DD VIVIEN and sloop STORK, but was obliged to anchor in Knock Deep due to fog. The convoy left on the 8th, and arrived in the Tyne on the 9th. Submarine depot ship TITANIA departed Rosyth for the Tyne with two tugs and escorted by sloop AUCKLAND, and arrived with the tugs on the 8th. Sub TRIUMPH, after emergency repairs, departed Rosyth escort DD EXMOUTH for Chatham. Off the Humber, DD GRIFFIN relieved EXMOUTH which returned to Rosyth escorting convoy FN.67. DD ESKIMO departed Rosyth for refitting at Southampton

West Coast UK
DD NUBIAN, departing the Clyde, was damaged in a collision with another vessel two miles off Greenock. She required drydocking and was under repair unril the 24th January, after which she returned to duties with the Home Flt. DD AFRIDI departed the Clyde to join sister ship TARTAR escorting HN.7 from Scapa. U.32 laid mines off Ailsa Craig in the Firth of Clyde, but no shipping was sunk or damaged.

BB ROYAL SOVEREIGN departed Plymouth, escort DDs WITCH and WIVERN on work up.

Central Atlantic
Steamer CONSUL HORN (Ger 8384 grt) departed Aruba and evaded blockading Fr sub AGOSTA near St Martin. She was later sighted by an American PBY flying boat from San Juan (the US a/c provided a report to the Allied forces in the area), The vessel was then located by CL ENTERPRISE on the 27th in 46‑51N, 42‑50W, but CONSUL HORN, disguised as a Soviet steamer, was able to convince the British cruiser she was a neutral. CONSUL HORN arrived at Trondheim on 6 February and reached Hamburg on the 19th.

Med- Biscay
OB.68GF departed Liverpool escort DDs WANDERER and WARWICK, and on the same day OA.68GF, with DDs VETERAN and WHITSHED left Southend. The two groups merged on the 10th to form OG.14F of 29 ships, and on the same day, WANDERER and WARWICK detached to HG.14F. Sloop ENCHANTRESS was with OG.14F from the 10th to 13th, when she detached to convoy HG.15F. The OG convoy was joined by DDs VELOX and VORTIGERN from the 13th to 15th, and arrived that day at Gibraltar.

Far East/Pacific/Australia
Submarine RAINBOW departed Hong Kong on the 7th to patrol off Vladivostok from the 13th to 19th. At the time, SubFlot 1 had the following units in refit: depot ship MEDWAY at Singapore, submarines PARTHIAN, PHOENIX and PANDORA at Hong Kong, REGENT, ROVER, RORQUAL and GRAMPUS at Singapore, while PROTEUS was en route to Hong Kong to refit.

RAINBOW arrived back at Hong Kong from Vladivostok on the 25th and confirmed the results of submarine REGULUS's patrol in the same area that no German submarines were using the Soviet port. Due to RAINBOW's difficulties with heavy icing, there was no Vladivostok patrol in February, but PROTEUS did leave Hong Kong at the end of the month for a repeat patrol.
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7 January 1940 Sunday
: Chinese 5th War Area (31st Army Group) captures Huashan.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: The 'City Of Flint', now flying under the Finnish flag, departs from Narvik for Baltimore under its original captain, Joseph A. Gainard. He is awarded the Navy Cross for his actions during the ordeal.

Royal Navy submarine HMS 'Seahorse' is sunk by Kriegsmarine minesweepers in the Heligoland Bight. This is in addition to the minesweepers' sinking of the HMS 'Undine' the previous day.

German freighter 'Konsul Horn', interned in Aruba, escapes. It disguises itself as a Soviet merchant freighter to evade US neutrality patrols.

NORTHERN EUROPE: The Soviet 44th Rifle Division on the Ratte road collapses. The western end of the column disintegrates, with the Soviet survivors fleeing aimlessly into the frozen woods which are hip-deep in the snow. The day begins with heavy fighting and ends with a complete rout of Soviet 44th division. At 0300 hours, the mottis at the Western end (the head) of the Soviet column collapse completely. As the day progresses, Soviet 44th division gradually gives up the entire length of Raate Road with soldiers trying to RETREATback to safety in the USSR or scattering into the woods. Finns again hold their positions where Raate Road crosses the destroyed Purasjoki River bridge, limiting the Soviet retreat. Finnish troops at the village of Raate near the border block an attempt to relieve 44th division with fresh troop from USSR. Only a few pockets of Soviet troops remain to be mopped up by the Finns. The survivors are not greeted warmly on the Soviet side of the border. The 305th Rifle Regiment (Captain Chervyakov), the only relatively intact Soviet formation to make it back, is immediately ordered to man the border against the nearby Finns. Many the men no longer have rifles, and some 40% have no gloves or mittens. There is no food at the border for the troops of the 44th Rifle Division that escaped. They had abandoned their own field kitchens and supplies to the Finns. The Soviets behind the lines do not believe in helping losers.

On the same day, General Semyon Timoshenko took command of Soviet Army forces in Finland. In the fighting north of Lake Ladoga the Finnish pressure on the Soviet 18th and 168th Divisions continues. Finnish claims estimate 50,000 Soviet troops have perished in the last five weeks.

GERMANY: In separate incidents near Heligoland, German Minesweepers and A/S trawlers sink Royal Navy submarines. At 0940 hours, British submarine HMS "Undine" spotted three trawlers 20 miles west of Helgoland, Germany and moved in to attack. The trawlers, actually minesweepers, counterattacked, forcing "Undine" to dive. A depth charge attack caused damage to "Undine's" hydroplanes, leading to the scuttling. The crew of 27 was later rescued by the German minesweepers. Vessels of German First Minesweeper Flotilla sank British submarine HMS "Seahorse" southeast of Helgoland, Germany. Entire crew of 36 was lost.

WESTERN FRONT: First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill visits the BEF in France.

Paris reported patrol activity at different points of the front. Artillery action east of the Blies.

UNITED KINGDOM: The Forces program started broadcasting nationally - It will play dance music on Sundays, the BBC has banned this since starting in 1922.

SS 'Towneley' (2,888t) steamer, Tyne to Rouen was sunk by a mine near Margate.

SS 'Cedrington Court' (5,160t) cargo ship, Buenos Aries to Hull with a cargo of wheat, hit a mine and sank NE of the North Goodwin Lightship.

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8 January 1940
Known Reinforcements
DD WESTMINSTER completed her conversion to fast escort vessel. Following working up at Portland, she joined Convoy Cmd operating from Rosyth, arriving on the 30th.
Phot uplifted from wiki, but source is Oscar Parkes - This is photograph FL 21568 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums (collection no. 8308-29)
HMS Westminster after conversion.jpg

HMS WESTMINSTER underway (after WAIR refit). Reclassified as an Ocean escort (involving reductions in armament, increased bunkerage and reductions in top weight for open ocean work) this shot was taken in 1942.

Known Losses
MV ATLANTIC SCOUT(UK 4533 grt): No crew details, but no casualties listed; no cargo manifest available; The cargo ship ran aground 2 nautical miles (3.7 km) north east of Cap Gris Nez, Pas-de-Calais, France and was wrecked. She was refloated and beached at Boulogne, where the wreck was broken up in 1949.
MV ATLANTIC SCOUT(UK 4533 grt).jpg

MV MANX (Nor 1,343 grt):19 (13 dead and 6 survivors): West Hartlepool - Drammen, carrying coal. he unescorted and neutral Manx was hit by one torpedo from U-19 off Kinnaird Head and sank within two minutes. Eight survivors managed to grab hold of an upturned lifeboat, but were scantily clad and in the stormy weather four of them gave up. After 8 hours the remaining four survivors were picked up by the Norwegian steam merchant LEKA. Two other survivors were rescued from a raft by the Norwegian steam merchant ISIS.
MV MANX (Nor 1,343 grt).jpg

Steamer TYNEHOME (628grt) collided and then sank in fog with GITANO (3956grt). Ten survivors were picked up by GITANO.


DKM War diary
Selected Extracts
DKM 8 january report Part I.jpg

DKM 8 january report Part II.jpg

Kriegstagebücher (KTB) - War Diary
U 32 reports that she cannot carry out her minelaying operation off the Clyde. She has observed fixed listening stations and encountered strong patrols. She has not apparently succeeded in penetrating into the inner firth. She also reports traffic observed close inshore south of Ailsa Craig Island, at water depths at which mines could be laid. She suggested making this alternative position and has been given orders to carry out the operation there. Until I hear the Commanding Officer's verbal report I shall not be satisfied that the first operation was really impossible.

Kiel: U-58

Kiel: U-23

At Sea 8 January 1940
U-19, U-20, U-23, U-24, U-30, U-32, U-34, U-44, U-46, U-56.
10 boats at sea

Northern Patrol
CA SUFFOLK and AMC SCOTSTOUN departed the Clyde on Northern Patrol. CL COLOMBO departed Scapa for Northern Patrol, which she left on the 12th for Devonport and arrived on the 14th. With her departure from Scapa, CruSqn 11 ceased to exist. CLA CAIRO arrived at Chatham.

North Sea
Subs SEAWOLF and SEALION departed Rosyth on patrol. ORP su WILK arrived at Rosyth after patrol. Subs SEAL and NARWHAL departed Gosport, via the Downs where they spent the night of the 8th/9th, for Rosyth. They arrived on the 10th escorted by sloop FLAMINGO for duty as convoy escorts on the ON/HN convoy routes. NARWHAL departed Rosyth on the 15th with convoy ON.8. OA.69 departed Southend escort DD VANESSA from the 9th to 11th. DD WIVERN also joined until detached on the 11th.

FS.67 departed the Tyne, escort sloops AUCKLAND and STORK, and arrived at Southend on the 9th. U.56 laid mines off Cross Sands near Yarmouth on which one steamer was lost.

Northern Waters
CA NORFOLK departed the Clyde for Rosyth where she arrived on the 10th.

West Coast UK
OB.69 departed Liverpool escort DDs MACKAY and WITHERINGTON until the 12th. The convoy dispersed next day on the 13th.

Central Atlantic
BC RENOWN and DDs HERO and HASTY departed Freetown and joined CV ARK ROYAL off Sierra Leone. The DDs detached on the 10th for refuelling. CL NEPTUNE departed Dakar on patrol, and stopped and boarded Q-ship LAMBRIDGE (armed steamer BOTLEA (RN 5119 grt)) off Freetown without discovering her true identity. After her patrol, NEPTUNE arrived at Freetown on the 20th.

Sth Atlantic
Convoy SL.16 departed Freetown escort AMC ESPERANCE BAY until the 25th. Next day, sloop DEPTFORD joined the convoy as escort until its arrival on the 27th.

Steamer SAO PAULO (Ger 4977 grt) had departed Pernambuco on 16 November 1939 and arrived at Cabedelo the next day. Leaving there on 8 January, she safely arrived at Cuxhaven on 3 March.

Med- Biscay
HG.14 departed Gibraltar with 33 ships escort DD KEPPEL. The convoy was turned over to ocean escort Sloop ENCHANTRESS and Fr DDs VALMY and CHEVALIER PAUL outside the Gib approaches, and arrived on the 17th.

Fr CL ÉMILE BERTIN departed Toulon on the 8th and proceeded to Casablanca, joined by DD ÉPERVIER which departed Bizerte on the 9th. Both ships arrived at Casablanca on the 12th. They then relieved CAs DUPLEIX, FOCH and DD CASSARD, and conducted a surveillance patrol off the Canary Island en route and arrived at Dakar on the 19th. On the 20th, they set off for another patrol off the Canaries. Meanwhile, DUPLEIX and FOCH left for Halifax on escort duty with a convoy at the beginning of February, while CASSARD departed Dakar on the 21st and arrived at Casablanca on the 25th, where she was under repair until 14 February. She then departed Casablanca and arrived at Toulon on 17 February. DD MILAN remained on station

Far East/Pacific/Australia
CL DAUNTLESS departed Singapore on patrol duties as a unit of CruSqn 5, and arrived back on the 17th.
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9 January 1940
Known Losses
Liner DUNBAR CASTLE(UK 10002 GRT): The ocean liner struck a mine off North Foreland, Kent. Skipper Cpt Causton was fatally injured in the explosion, which disrupted the abandon ship procedures. The ship sank with the loss of 152 lives
Liner DUNBAR CASTLE(UK 10002 GRT).jpg

Collier MONTAUBAN (Fr 4,191 grt) was on a voyage from the Tyne to Marseilles with a cargo of coal, when she came ashore on the Saltscars near Redcar, there she was battered by heavy seas and broke up.


Submarine STARFISH (RN 730 grt) of the Subflot 6 arrived in the Helgoland Bight to relieve submarine SEAHORSE (sunk 7 January, but as yet unknown) which was due to return to Blyth. There she attacked DKM MSW M7 of the 1st MSW Flotilla. M.7 was undamaged, and in return badly damaged STARFISH. The sub was scuttled to avoid capture and the crew were taken prisoner.
Submarine STARFISH (RN 730 grt).jpg

Steamer TONIA CHANDRIS (Gk 3161 grt) was lost when she ran aground off Unst. Tug ST MELLONS was sent to assist her and the crew was rescued by the Lerwick lifeboat.


Coastal Steamer TRUIDA (Ne 350 GRT (EST)): The coaster struck a mine and sank in the North Sea west of Ramsgate, Kent, United Kingdom. All crew were rescued by Friso.
Steamer TRUIDA (Ne 350 GRT (EST)).jpg

German bombers of the FliegerKorps X attacked British shipping off Stonehaven and other locations along the coastal shipping routes. The attacks were mostly undertaken in cover of darkness, targets being illuminated with flares, and preventing countermeasures by the RAF. The RAF lacked any effective means of defence for night fighting at this time.

The Luftwaffe sank the following:

Coastal Steamer GOWRIE (UK 689 grt) four miles east of Stonehaven (Aberdeenshire). All 12 crew members were saved
New photo source: D/DUPELO05.jpg
Coastal Steamer GOWRIE (UK 689 grt).jpg

Note; This may be an image of a later GOWRIE, which was launched in 1942

MV OAKGROVE (UK 1985 grt) seven miles WNW of North Leman Buoy (Norfolk). One crewman was killed.

Steamer UPMINSTER (Ne 1013 grt) was badly damaged by German bombing nine miles east of Hammond Knoll Light Vessel, and sank on the 10th with the loss of three of her crew .
Steamer UPMINSTER (Ne 1013 grt).jpg

Model of the UPMINSTER

DKM War diary
Selected Extracts
DKM 9 january report Part III.jpg

DKM 9 january report Part I.jpg

DKM 9 january report Part II.jpg

Kriegstagebücher (KTB) - War Diary
C-in-C Navy visited headquarters. Made a report to him on the state of the U-boat war and future intentions.

Kiel: U-15, U-60

At Sea 9 January 1940
U-15, U-19, U-20, U-23, U-24, U-30, U-32, U-34, U-44, U-46, U-56, U-60.
12 boats at sea

Northern Patrol
CL DUNEDIN arrived at Scapa from Northern Patrol, and AMC ASTURIAS at the Clyde. AMC CORFU also arrived at the Clyde for duty with the Northern Patrol.

North Sea
AMC VOLTAIRE departed the Tyne for Portsmouth and transfer to the Med. Submarine SALMON arrived at Harwich after patrol. DD ENCOUNTER with TKR BRITISH PRUDENCE (8620 grt) departed Invergordon for the Tyne, and both arrived on the 10th. DDs ECLIPSE and ESCAPADE arrived at Invergordon with ML PRINCESS VICTORIA.

HN.7 of 2 British, 19 Norwegian, 5 Swedish, 8 Finnish and 4 Estonian ships departed Bergen escort DDs KASHMIR, KHARTOUM, KANDAHAR and TARTAR. DD FORESTER departed the Clyde on the 8th and joined the convoy at sea. DD AFRIDI departed the Clyde on the 7th to relieve TARTAR, but was reassigned en route and MAORI departed the Clyde on the 9th to relieve TARTAR instead. CLs GLASGOW and EDINBURGH, which departed Rosyth on the 7th provided distant cover for this convoy and also for ON.7, moving simultaneously. On the 9th, CLs EDINBURGH and GLASGOW(RN CLs could carry DCs) both dropped depth charges in separate incidents on suspected submarine contacts. All ships and escorts for HN.7 arrived safely at Methil on the 12th. KHARTOUM took the west coast section of five ships, and escorted Tkrs SCOTTISH AMERICAN (6999 grt) and ARNDALE (8296 grt) on to the Clyde.
FN.67 departed Southend, escort DDs VALOROUS, VEGA and sloop LONDONDERRY. DD EXMOUTH proceeded northward with the convoy until dark on the 10th, and arrived in the Tyne on the 10th. DD WOOLSTON and sloop GRIMSBY departed Methil for the Tyne for duty escorting FS.68.

FKX air attacks damaged Steamer IVAN KONDRUP (Den 2369 grt) east of Stonehaven
New Photo source: Ivan Kondrup - IMO 5537538 - - Ship Photos and Ship Tracker
Steamer IVAN KONDRUP (Den 2369 grt).jpg

van Kondrup passing the Nord-Ostsee Kanal. This photo was taken around 1960 near Rendsburg, before the opening of the tunnel which replaced the bridge visible behind the Ivan Kondrup.

Air attacks delivered on this day by FKX simultaneously sank or damaged a number of ships along the coast, including damage to steamer NORTHWOOD (1146grt) off Whitby,


Another airstrike by FKX simultaneously damaged steamer RECULVER (683grt) off Great Yarmouth, RECULVER was taken in tow by trawler TAMORA (275grt). With the crew of a recently relieved lightvessel on deck. 55 men are wounded, and Second Officer George Purvis is killed. She was repaired and sent out, but was attacked again by aircraft on 12 July in the Harwich area.
New image source: January | 2014 | Trinity House History | Page 2
steamer RECULVER (683grt).jpg

The air attack by FKX was an excellently co-ordinated and delivered series of attacks on other ships. One of the strikes damaged trawler CHRYSOLITE (251grt) eight miles NNW of Smith Knoll Light Vessel.


Northern Waters
German bombers of the FliegerKorps X damaged MV FEDDY (UK 955 grt) two and a quarter miles ESE of Aberdeen


West Coast UK
DDs SIKH and DUNCAN departed Sheerness for the Clyde after repairs. DD MAORI departed the Clyde to relieve sister ship TARTAR in HN.7.

DDs ESCORT and ELECTRA with defects docked at Falmouth for refit and repair.

UK - France
SA.24 with two steamers departed Southampton escort DD SHIKARI, and arrived at Brest on the 11th.

SHIKARI was ordered from Doxford Shipyard in April 1917 as part of the first batch of 24 S-class destroyers. The S class were intended as a fast 36 knot DDs for service that would be cheaper than the large V-class destroyers that preceded them and so able to be ordered in larger numbers

SW Approaches
Southwest of Eddystone, sloop SCARBOROUGH made a submarine contact. DD KELVIN, en route from Portland to Greenock joined the ASW sweep as did DD WINDSOR from Plymouth. DDs ACASTA and VISCOUNT also joined to hunt the contact, but all without success. DD VESPER attacked a separate contact south of Scilly Isle.

Med- Biscay
Sloop BIDEFORD, escorting HG.14F, attacked a submarine contact 175 miles west of Cape Finisterre. DD WATCHMAN was taken in hand at Gibraltar to repair defects.
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The 8-9th January 1940...

The Battle of Suomussalmi is over. Finnish 9th Division takes possession of Raate Road at dawn, as the last dug-in Soviet troops surrender around Lakes Kuivasjarvi and Kuomasjarvi. Col. Hjalmar Siilasvuo's soldiers destroyed two Russian divisions. 25 000 Soviet troops were killed in the Battle of Suomussalmi. Finns capture 2000 prisoners of war, more than 6000 rifles, 300 machine guns, 41 AT cannons, more than 90 field and AA guns, 400 vehicles. Finns did not manage to catch the Soviet generals. Andriej Zielencov commander of 163th Divion was never found, probably dressed in the uniform of private soldier was killed during the retreat of his division. Aleksjej Winogradov, commander od 44th Divion running away with the two officers to Russia. NKVD agents kill all three of them for treason. The Finnish forces suffered casualties: nearly 900 killed and 1770 wounded.

After the battle ...

Suomussalmi battle.jpg

Suomussalmi battle_1.jpg

Suomussalmi battle_2.jpg

Suomussalmi battle_3.jpg
After the battle ...

Suomussalmi battle_4.jpeg

A Soviet I-15 Bis fighter shot down during the battle ..

I-15Bis shot down Suomussalami.jpeg

The Russian SHCH-class serie X submarine Щ-324 ( SHCH-324 ). She was awarded with The Order of the Red Banner for participating in the Winter War.

The Щ-324 in 1939 ...


The Щ-324 in 1941 ...


The coning tower of the Щ-324 ...

Last edited:
10 January 1940
Known Reinforcements

Known Losses
ASW Trawler AXEL (DKM 373 grt): sunk as a result of a collision with TS GRILLE (DKm 2560 grt).
ASW Trawler AXEL (DKM 373 grt).jpg

Steamer BAHIA BLANCA (Ger 8558 grt) departed Hamburg pre-war, arrived at Rio de Janiero on 11 September 1939 disguised as a Greek ship, and then on 6 December attempted to run the British blockade back to Germany. On the 10th, evading the blockade, she ran onto the ice pack in the Denmark Strait, and began to sink as a result of damage suffered. Her crew was rescued by Icelandic trawler HAFSTEIN (313grt). CL NEWCASTLE, which departed Scapa on the 2nd, was diverted from Northern Patrol to assist and sank the German ship with gunfire because of the navigational hazard she posed. NEWCASTLE arrived back at Scapa Flow on the 14th. Fate of the German ships crew is not known
Steamer BAHIA BLANCA (Ger 8558 grt).jpg

MV HERTHA (Nor 1500 grt (est)): The cargo ship collided with a French vessel off the Welsh coast and was beached. She appears to have been taken back to Norway, as a ship by this name was recorded as captured and used by the Germans after Weserubung.
She is reported as damaged, by the RNoN MTBs MTB-620 and MTB-623 which in that action also damaged the German S/S Harvesthude in Nov.-1942. (R. Jordan says she was sunk north of Bergen Nov. 27-1942. Reported as raised and under repair in Aug.-1943. Reported at Bergen in Aug.-1944. Reported at Østfjorden, Bergen in March-1945). She should be classified as captured from April 1940 in my opinion
MV HERTHA (Nor 1500 grt (est)).jpg

DKM War diary
Selected Extracts
DKM 10 january report Part I.jpg

DKM 10 january report Part II.jpg

Kriegstagebücher (KTB) - War Diary
U 46 entered port. She only sank one 3,000 ton steamer, then fired several misses and failures and received numerous D/C's. In spite of the small result, the C.O. cannot be accused of slackness. He went to it, but his firing skill apparently requires perfecting. I have decided to give the boat a period of firing practice before her next patrol.

U 30 reported that she had completed her operation off Liverpool. This is very good work and will certainly lead to success.

U 32 reported that she had carried out her operation in the alternative position. She has been allocated an operations area off the east coast of England further remaining torpedoes.

Kiel: U-46

At Sea 10 January 1940
U-15, U-19, U-20, U-23, U-24, U-30, U-32, U-34, U-44, U-56, U-60.
11 boats at sea.

Northern Patrol
CAs BERWICK, NORFOLK, DEVONSHIRE arrived at Rosyth from Northern Patrol for de-magnetization

North Sea
DDs SIKH and DUNCAN arrived in the Clyde. Later that day, DDs IMPERIAL and DUNCAN with DDs ISIS and IMPULSIVE departed the Clyde for Rosyth. ISIS and IMPULSIVE were detached en route to assist AMC CANTON (see below). IMPERIAL, DUNCAN, ISIS and IMPULSIVE arrived at Rosyth on the 12th. Early on the 10th, DDs INTREPID and IVANHOE of DesFlot 20 laid a small numbers of mines in minefield IE‑1 in channels through the German minefields in the Heligoland Bight. Sub URSULA departed Blyth on patrol. FS.68 departed the Tyne, escort DD WOOLSTON and sloop GRIMSBY, and arrived at Southend on the 11th.


On the night of the 10th/11th, DKM DDs KARL GALSTER, ANTON SCHMIDT, RICHARD BEITZEN, FRIEDRICH IHN, escort DDs WILHELM HEIDKAMP and FRIEDRICH ECKHOLDT, laid a minefield off Newcastle. On the return, IHN broke down and was escorted back by BEITZEN. On the 11th, the minefield claimed its only victim, trawler LUCIDA (251grt) with the loss of one crewman.

On the night of 10/11 January, DKM DDs BRUNO HEINEMANN, WOLFGANG ZENKER, ERICH KOELLNER laid a minefield off Cromer. Three merchant ships for 11,155 tons were lost on this minefield.

Northern Waters
AMC CANTON ran aground off Barra Head, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides. AMC CALIFORNIA stood by until tugs ENGLISHMAN and BANDIT arrived from Campbeltown and Ardrossan respectively. However CANTON got off on the 12th without assistance and headed towards the Clyde escorted by DDs FAME, ISIS, FORESIGHT and IMPERIAL. DDs FORESTER, FORTUNE and FURY came out from the Clyde and met DDs FAULKNOR and FOXHOUND to screen CANTON's passage. On the 12th, FORESIGHT attacked a submarine contact NNW of Inishtrahull. On the 13th, CANTON and BANDIT arrived in Rothesay Bay en route for the Clyde. On the 17th, at the head of Holy Loch, CANTON was intentionally beached when her pumps failed to control the flooding. She was eventually docked, and repaired.

CANTON as she appeared in her mercantile configuration

CL DELHI departed Belfast for Scapa, where she arrived on the 11th.

DD MATABELE arrived at Plymouth for docking and refitting.

UK - France
BC.22 of steamers BARON CARNEGIE, BATNA, COXWOLD and DAVID LIVINGTONE (Commodore) departed Bristol Channel, escort DD WESSEX, and safely arrived in the Loire on the 12th. Convoy AXS 9 of one steamer arrived at Brest from Fowey, escort DD BROKE.

Med- Biscay
DD DIAMOND departed Gib for Freetown arriving on the 15th for patrol duties. CL GALATEA departed Malta and arrived at Alexandria on the 13th, left next day and arrived back at Malta on the 17th.
Last edited:
11 January 1940
Known Losses
Trawler DIETRICH HASSELDIECK (Ger 172 grt) was lost in the Baltic off Pakdiski on a minefield laid by Finnish submarine VESIKKO on 27 December, off Paldiski, Estonia.


Sub Vesikko Class profile.jpg

Submarine Vesikko
Tkr EL OSO (uk 7267 grt) of convoy HX.14B was sunk off Mersey Light, six miles 280° from Bar Light Vessel on a mine laid by U.30 on the 9th, with the loss of three of her 35 crew. Survivors were rescued by HMS WALKER. whilst WALKER undertook the SAR operation DD VIMY, later joined by DDs FAULKNOR and FOXHOUND moved to undertake guardship duties against possible uboat attacks. This activity was triggered when, shortly after midnight on the 12th, ASW trawler KING SOL (486grt) sighted a submarine on the surface near Bar Light Vessel. She chased the submarine for more than an hour, but lost it in the darkness. DDs VIMY, VERSATILE, sloop DEPTFORD, ASW yacht CUTTY SARK and two other ASW trawlers were also patrolling in the area. At 0345, VIMY attacked a submarine contact 12 miles 300° from the Light Vessel. An ML submarine was suspected and DDs FAME, ISIS, FORESIGHT and IMPERIAL patrolled across North Channel to try to intercept her.
Tkr EL OSO (uk 7267 grt).jpg

Steamer FREDVILLE (Nor 1150 grt) 16 crew (11 dead and 5 survivors), ship was travelling in ballast when lost. Drammen - Methil (enroute to obtain a cargo of coal for Oslo). The ship was torpedoed by U-23 about 100 miles east of the Orkney Islands and broke in two. The forepart remained afloat and five survivors left their lifeboats several times to go back on board and look for more surviviors. The survivors were picked up by a Swedish ship and taken to Kopervik.
(Source carries the following picture credit "Picture received from George Robinson, the webmaster of Riversea International")
D/S Fredville - Norwegian Merchant Fleet 1939-1945
Steamer FREDVILLE (Nor 1150 grt).jpg

Steamer LEONARD PEARCE (UK 1571 grt). Whilst travelling as part of HX14, the ship collided with BLAIRMORE (UK) and sank in the Bristol Channel off the Bull Point Lighthouse, Devon. All 17 crew were rescued.


MSW LOCOTENANT LEPRI REMUS ( Romanian Naval Forces 374 GRT): The Capitan Dumitrescu class minesweeper was sunk in the Danube Estuary off Sulina by a mine.
MSW LOCOTENANT LEPRI REMUS ( Romanian Naval Forces 374 GRT).jpg

Trawler LUCIDA (UK 251 GRT): The trawler struck a mine and sank off the mouth of the Tyne with the loss of one crew member.
Trawler LUCIDA (UK 251 GRT).jpg

ASW yacht PRINCESS (RN 730 grt) and steamer BLAIRMORE (4141grt) collided near Elswell Bay, Bristol Channel. PRINCESS sank, and her crew picked up by BLAIRMORE.
ASW yacht PRINCESS (RN 730 grt).jpg

MV TRAVIATA (Italy 5123 grt) The cargo ship struck a mine in the North Sea 8 nautical miles (15 km) south east of the Cromer Knoll and sank. All on board were rescued
MV TRAVIATA (Italy 5123 grt).jpg

German X Air Corps flew anti shipping sorties again in the night with He111's of KG26, Ju88's of KG30, and two reconnaissance squadrons flying He59's or Do17's. They succeeded as follows

Steamer KEYNES (UK 1706 grt) was attacked by German bombers early in the evening but escaped serious damage. However, later that same night, German bombers sank her in a further attack, the entire crew of 17 was rescued.
Steamer KEYNES (UK 1706 grt).jpg

Trawler CROXTON (195grt) was sunk but her entire crew rescued. Two other vessels were simultaneously attcked and damaged but were not sunk.

DKM War diary
Selected Extracts
DKM 11 january report Part I.jpg

Kriegstagebücher (KTB) - War Diary
U 34 sailed in accordance with Operations Order No. 19. Ice conditions are gradually becoming more difficult. Boats can no longer make trial runs in the Jade. These have to be carried out off Heligoland. Boats are piloted in and out by Sperrbrecher and 2 tugs.
Boats are also protecting their sensitive bow-caps by a wooden shoe which is brought out while proceeding through ice.

Kiel: U-56

At Sea 11 January 1940
U-15, U-19, U-20, U-23, U-24, U-30, U-32, U-34, U-44, U-60.
10 boats at sea

Northern Patrol
AMC MONTCLARE arrived at Belfast from Northern Patrol.

North Sea
OA.70G departed Southend escort DDs VESPER and VISCOUNT from the 12th to 13th, when they were detached off the Lizard. DDs KEITH and ARDENT escorted the convoy from the 13th to 14th. Meanwhile, OB.70G departed Liverpool escorted by DD VERSATILE and sloop DEPTFORD. The two convoys merged on the 14th as OG.14 with a total of 48 ships. VERSATILE and DEPTFORD escorted the convoy on the 14th, and then joined HG.14. Fr DDs TIGRE and PANTHERE escorted OG.14 from the 14th to 19th, and arrived at Gib on the 19th. FN.68 departed Southend, escort sloops AUCKLAND and STORK, and arrived in the Tyne on the 12th. FS.69 departed the Tyne, escort DD VIVIEN and sloop PELICAN, and arrived at Southend on the 12th.

Airstrikes by FKX that sank the CROXTON at the same time damaged two other vessels;
Trawler FLAVIA (UK 202 grt) was damaged 90 miles NE by E of Buchanness,

Steamer PITWINES (UK 932 grt) was damaged 25 miles SE by E of Flamborough Head. .

Steamer PITWINES (UK 932 grt).jpg

Other Airstrikes by FKX
Aux MSW trawler OLYMPIA and armed patrol trawler VENTURE were attacked by German bombers off Haisborough. OLYMPIA had one rating killed, and because of damage from near misses, both trawlers had to be towed in.

Northern Waters
Midshipman (A) J D W Barr and Leading Airman G E Uren died of injuries after their Skua of 803 Squadron force landed at Tor Ness Point, Stronsay in a training accident.

West Coast UK
DD FORTUNE departed Liverpool for Glasgow.

DD KIMBERLEY departed Portland after trials for Greenock, where she arrived on the 12th.

Central Atlantic
CL AJAX, returning to England, put into Rio de Janiero.

Far East/Pacific/Australia
Steamer SELENGA (SU 2492 grt), carrying a cargo of wolfram from Japan to Germany, was seized shortly after leaving Manila by CL LIVERPOOL, and taken to Hong Kong. She was held for about a month, released, and then recaptured by the RAN AMC KANIMBLA in March and sent back to Saigon under escort by Fr CL PRIMAGUET. After that fat is not known.
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On the 10th January 1940 , the Nazi Selbstschutz did the last mass execution in the "Barbarka" forest near Toruń. The massacre was a part of the Intelligenzaktion at the Pomerania region. The main goal of the action was to deprive the Polish nation of the intelligentsia. It is estimated that there were murdered 600-1200 Poles.


The Polish Navy submarine ORP Orzeł returning to her depot ship at Rosyth ... the pic taken between 1 January 1940 and 23 May 1940 ....

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8 January 1940 Monday
The Chinese Winter Offensive grinds on: Southern Honan Army of the 5th War Area launches a counterattack around the Pingchangkuan - Hsiaolintien - Kungchiafan sector. Japan claims to have killed 25,000 Chinese in battle north of Canton.

The Japanese cabinet establishes a puppet government over occupied China. It is headed by Ching-Wei, who previously had lost a power struggle with Chiang Kai-shek for control of the Nationalist government and now seeks to control China by another route.

NORTHERN EUROPE: The Soviet 44th Division ends all attacks on Finnish forces. Finnish 9th division takes possession of Raate Road at dawn, as the last dug-in Soviet troops surrender around Lakes Kuivasjarvi and Kuomasjarvi (near Captain Mäkinen's original roadblock). Mopping up stragglers in the woods will take several days. The Finns now have completely eliminated what had been considered the most dangerous advance into their country. Finns capture 43 tanks, 70 field guns, 278 trucks and other vehicles, 300 machine guns, 6,000 rifles 1,170 horses. Another entire Soviet division is gone, estimated at 10-15,000 dead (not even the Soviet know how many men went onto the Raate Road; the Finns do not bother to count the frozen bodies). Finns take only 1000 prisoners and another 700 make it back to USSR. Many of those retreating are shot by NKVD and when Finland returns the prisoners, they are also executed for 'treason'. Finnish casualties in the Battle of Raate Road are 2,700 dead, missing and wounded.

UNITED KINGDOM: Rationing begins, and at first the allowances were - 4oz. of butter, 4oz. of bacon or ham and 12oz. of sugar, per head, per week. Extra sugar will be allowed for marmalade making. Obtaining rationed food from Ireland is punishable by six months in prison, except for small gifts. Ration books that were prepared in 1938 and issued in September 1939 came into use on this day.

General Wavell departs for an inspection tour of British Somaliland and French Somaliland.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: A Wellington 1A bomber is converted into a magnetic mine killer with DWI (Directional Wireless Installation). It is powered by a Ford V8 engine driving an electrical generator. By flying over the mines, it makes the explode. The installation is an awkward aluminum coil inside a balsa wood ring with a diameter of 51 feet. Operating from Manston, Kent, England, the bomber must fly low (60 feet) and slow. If it flies lower than 35 feet, it risks damage from the exploding mines. It makes its first sortie over the North Sea. This is one solution to the magnetic mines, the other is degaussing of individual ships, but that will take longer to implement and is much more costly.

MEDITERRANEAN: Benito Mussolini sent a message to Adolf Hitler, cautioning against waging war with the United Kingdom.

WESTERN FRONT: New German Army HQ said to have been established at Recklinghamhausen, 10 miles from Dutch frontier.

Sir Edmund Ironside and Lord Gort decorated with Grand Cross of Legion of Honour by General Gamelin.

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9 January 1940 Tuesday
: The Japanese forces near Huangyan begin to receive reinforcements. They are opposite the Chinese 5th War Area. The reinforcements will bring the force to 3 full regiments. Japanese units withdraw from the Pingchangkuan - Hsiaolintien - Kungchiafan sector, pushed by the Southern Honan Army of the Chinese 5th War Area.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: German bombers sank three Allied merchantmen in the North Sea. British steamers, 'Oakgrove', and 'Upminister' sunk; steamer 'Northwood' attacked and trawler 'Crystalite' disabled. Danish ships 'Ivan Kondrup' and 'Feddy' also attacked but reached port. German aircraft attack a British convoy heading from Hull to Aberdeen and sink the cargo ship HMS "Gowrie" east of Stonehaven. British tanker 'British Liberty' sunk. British trawler 'River Earn' reported sunk by Nazi bomber in North Sea.

The British lose a third submarine in the Heligoland Bight in only a few days. British submarine "Starfish" attacked German minesweeper M-7 off Helgoland, but the torpedoes misfired. M-7 counterattacked with depth charges for hours, causing damage. "Starfish" escapes to bottom but with water pouring in, Lt. Thomas Turner orders "Starfish" to surface at 1820 hours. All hands escape and are taken as POWs. "Starfish" sinks. This loss led to the Royal Navy's decision to suspend submarine operations in Helgoland Bight.

At 0221 hours, Norwegian merchant "Manx" is torpedoed by U-19 off Northeast Scotland and sinks rapidly with 9 hands lost. 8 men escape on an upturned lifeboat but Norwegian steamer "Leka" rescues only 4 survivors 8 hours later. Norwegian merchant "Isis" rescues 2 men on a raft.

British liner SS "Dunbar Castle" hit a naval mine and sank off Ramsgate in southeastern England, United Kingdom. 9 were killed immediately, including the captain. Chief Officer Herbert Robinson of "Dunbar Castle" was later awarded the Order of the British Empire for evacuating 189 survivors.

German blockade runner 'Bahia Blanca' hits an iceberg and sinks northwest of Iceland, assisted by Royal Navy cruiser HMS 'Newcastle'.

WESTERN FRONT: The planes and crews of German AufklrGr 122 begin conducting night reconnaissance missions over the Western Front.

Repeated warning from Italian Foreign Minister to Belgian Princess of imminent German attack on Belgium.

First Colonial contingent from Cyprus land in France to join B.E.F.

Creation of a Royal Air Force Command in France announced, with Air-Marshal A.S. Barrat as Commander-in-Chief.

NORTHERN EUROPE: Finns destroy the remains of the Russian 44th Division at Lake Kianta, taking 1000 prisoners. The Finns once again stage a secret operation and cut the Leningrad-Murmansk railway. The Soviets issue a communiqué admitting that they had to retreat from Suomussalmi.

Soviet bombers raid six small towns in Finland.

There are unofficial peace talks in Stockholm between Hella Wuolijoki, an Estonian-born Finnish writer, and Alexandra Kollontai, the Soviet ambassador to Sweden. Both had been friends of Lenin. In addition, the Finnish Foreign Affairs Committee seeks US mediation.

UNITED KINGDOM: Admiralty announced that out of 5,911 ships – British Allied and neutral-convoyed by British Navy, only 12 were sunk while in convoy.

Prime Minister Chamberlain makes the first in a series of "morale-boosting" speeches by Cabinet Ministers. Meanwhile, there is public surprise that, after only 4 months of war, the British employment figure for January stands at 1.6 million (about 120,000 higher than the average for 1939). This increase is despite of the call-up of 1.5 million men for military duty.

SS 'Montauban' (4,191t) was on a voyage from the Tyne to Marseilles with a cargo of coal, when she came ashore on the Saltscars near Redcar, where she was battered by heavy seas and broke up. Her remains now lie in 6 metres of water with her bow pointing south.

MEDITERRANEAN: Italy made representations to Germany concerning detention in German ports of war supplies sent by Italy to Finland.

GERMANY: The West Prussian SS chief reports the successful elimination of 4000 incurable mental patients in Poland.

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10 January 1940 Wednesday
: Chinese 4th War Area captures Chingyuan. Chinese 9th War Area attacks to the rear of Japanese positions and cuts their communications. At the Battle of South Kwangsi, the Japanese 18th Infantry Division and Konoye Division move to assist the Japanese 5th Infantry Division near Nanning.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: The Luftwaffe sinks the British freighter 'Upminster'.

'FALL GELB' suffers a disastrous setback. Major Helmut Reinberger, carrying the invasion order of operations for Luftflotte 2, is given a lift by Major Erich Honmanns in a Bf 108 on a special mission to Cologne. Flying to Koln airfield, Major Honmanns becomes lost in the clouds and tries to locate the Rhine river. In his attempt to get back on course he cuts off the fuel to the small plane and it stalls and dives to the ground. The plane and its passengers crash at Mechelen in Belgium with both Majors surviving. As frontier guards rush to the crash sight, Major Reinberger tries to burn the documents of his briefcase. He fails. The two men are taken by Belgian border guards to a border guardhouse. Still somehow in possession of the papers, Reinberger tries to stuff them in a burning stove, but one of the border guards seizes them. The documents, including the plans of "Gkdos Chefsache" from 27 October, are captured and partly reveal the invasion plans to the Allies. Enough of the papers survive for the Belgians to see that they are copies of a secret plan to invade their country, along with Holland and France. The countries involved study the plan and adapt their defenses accordingly. When Hitler learns of this misfortune, he flies into a rage and dismisses Major Reinberger's commander General der Flieger Hellmuth Felmy, the commander of Luftflotte 2 and his chief of staff, Oberst Josef Kammhuber. 'FALL GELB', scheduled for 17 January, is again postponed.

Artillery action and air activity were reported from the Western Front.

At 0730 hours, six aircraft of Stab./KG 26 take off to attack a convoy reported by a spy leaving the harbour at Stadt-Landet. They fail to find any ships. Later planes from JG 1 patrol northwest of Heligoland but report no contact.

At 1215 hours, Oblt. Reinhard Seiler, Staffelkapitän of 1./JG 54 scores his first kill, a Potez 63 near the Swiss border.

At 1300 hours a formation of fighters from I./ZG 76 find a flight of nine RAF Blenheims flying at a height of 1500m. Descending from 2500m, the Zerstörers bounce the bomber formation and within twelve minutes shoot down three of the British planes. Hptm. Wolfgang Falck is given credit for one of the Blenheims, his fifth victory. The Messerschmitts suffer no casualties except some damage to the Staffelkapitän's aircraft.

In one of the last actions of the day, Lt. Walter Radlick of the Stab flight of III./JG 53 destroys a French Morane south of Perl around 1457 hours. It is his first victory.

NORTHERN EUROPE: Unofficial peace talks began between the Soviet Union and Finland, but the fighting continued. The Soviet command is consumed with recriminations about the defeats suffered to date. It is not a time for grand operations. Much of the rest of January is consumed with court-martials, command changes and replacement of lost troops.

Sweden passed emergency laws giving Government wide powers in case of war. The Swedish government rejects the Soviet claim that Sweden is pursuing an "unneutral" policy. (A claim made on January 5th.)

Some 350 Hungarian men begin military training. They are to be formed into the Hungarian Volunteer Detached Battalion. It will be commanded by Lieutenant Imre Kémeri Nagy and have 24 officers, 52 NCOs, 2 doctors, and 2 Padres.

UNITED KINGDOM: Widespread complaints about train delays are excused by the Railway Executive on the grounds of the blackout, which prolongs the loading of goods vans and makes for late starting. It also blames unexpected arrivals at ports of shipments of fresh foods, which have to be distributed hurriedly by commandeering trains. Troops movements are also a factor.

The German destroyers 'Schmitt', 'Galster', 'Beitzen' and 'Ihn' between them laid another 240 mines in the Tyne approaches. The operation went off smoothly, but once again the now familiar engine problems affected the 'Ihn' this time, she was escorted by the 'Beitzen', they made their own way home.

General Sir Alan Cunningham becomes commander of the 66 Infantry Division.

GERMANY: The RAF mounts a bombing raid on the German seaplane base at Sylt. There is a running battle with Bf 109s over the North Sea that costs each side one plane, with damage to two other German planes.

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12 January 1940
Known Reinforcements
Cruiser CARLISLE completed her conversion to a CLA at Devonport and later headed for the Med. Following work up at Malta from 10 February to 26 March, she arrived at Gib on 29 March to return to England, where she was assigned to CruSqn 20 working with the Humber Force.
CLA C Class.jpg

"C" Class profile after conversion to the AA role
Fr CH-5 Class SC CH-5 (estimated comm date)
SC CH-5 Class.jpg

Known Losses
Tkr DANMARK (Den 10,517 grt): 40 (0 dead and 40 survivors): Fully laden with a cargo of POLs: On passage from Aruba - Nyborg.
The ship was hit by one G7e torpedo from U-23 when lying at anchor in Inganess Bay, Kirkwall. The ship exploded, broke in two and drifted ashore. The after part sank on 21 January, but the forepart was later refloated, taken to Inverkeithing and used as a storage hulk for fuel oil.
Tkr DANMARK (Den 10,517 grt).jpg

MV GRANTA (UK 2719 grt): The cargo ship struck a mine in the North Sea 11 nautical miles (20 km) off the Cromer Knoll Lightship. with the loss of 12 crew. The survivors were rescued by HMS STORK and the fishing vessels FULHAM IV and ROBUR VIII
MV GRANTA (UK 2719 grt).jpg

MV KASTOR (Est 1000 grt (est)): The cargo ship ran aground off Lysekil, Sweden.

Vessels sunk By FKX
Patrol trawler VALDORA (RN 251 grt) was sunk by aircraft of FKX A/C off Cromer with the loss of her entire crew of one officer and nine ratings.

Trawler WILLIAM IVEY (UK 202 grt) was sunk 15 to 16 miles north, one half mile east, of Longstone Light House,

DKM War diary
Selected Extracts
DKM 12 january report Part I.jpg

DKM 12 january report Part II.jpg

Kriegstagebücher (KTB) - War Diary
Nothing to report.

Kiel: U-19, U-24

At Sea 12 January 1940
U-15, U-20, U-23, U-30, U-32, U-34, U-44, U-60.
8 boats at sea

Northern Patrol
CLs DUNEDIN and DELHI departed Scapa on Northern Patrol duties, with both arrived back on the 17th.
CL D Class Profiles.jpg

"D" Class profile in 1940

North Sea
Aux ML PRINCESS VICTORIA, escort DDs ESCAPADE and ECLIPSE, conducted operation PA 1. MSWs HARRIER and SKIPJACK accompanied this force, which arrived back at Rosyth on the 13th. DD EXMOUTH relieved DD ECHO on escort duty with cable ship ROYAL SCOT. Sub TRIDENT arrived at Rosyth after patrol. OA.71 departed Southend escort DDrs ACASTA and WINDSOR from the 12th to 14th. DDs VETERAN and VERITY escorted the convoy from 14th to 16th, when it dispersed to join SL.15. SL15 later merged with OB.71, which had departed Liverpool, escorted up till then by DDs VANOC and WINCHELSEA. The two convoys merged on the 16th.

FN.69 departed Southend, escort DD WOOLSTON and sloop GRIMSBY, and arrived in the Tyne on the 13th. FS.70 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops FLEETWOOD and BITTERN, and arrived at Southend on the 13th. DD ASHANTI made two attacks on a submarine contact NNW of Great Orme's Head, joined later by ASW yacht CUTTY SARK.

ASW yacht ANNA MARIE (344grt) sighted what was taken to be a periscope feather off Bull Point, and dropped depth charges on a presumed submarine contact. Steamer MELLO (Pt 4020 grt) also sighted a submerged object near this location about the same time. It was later determined that the contact was the wreck of steamer LEONARD PEARCE sunk in a collision on the 11th.

Ships damaged by FKX Attacks
Steamer BLYTHMOOR (UK 6582 grt) damaged in 54‑16N, 00‑10W,
Steamer BLYTHMOOR (UK 6582 grt).jpg

Trawler PERSIAN EMPIRE (UK 195 grt) damaged seven miles east by north of Filey.

Northern Waters
AMC CALIFORNIA arrived in the Clyde after standing by armed merchant cruiser CANTON.

West Coast UK
Sub L.23 departed Blyth on patrol.

CL EMERALD departed Portsmouth for Halifax where she arrived on the 18th.
CL E class profile.jpg

"E" Class standard recognition profile

Patrol yacht SHEMARA (RN 834 grt) and ASW yacht VALENA (RN 882 grt) were exercising with submarine H.50 off Portland Bill, and made attacks on a submarine contact. Harbour Defence Vessels (HDVs) Number 3 and 6 were also searching in the area. SHEMARA escorted H.50 back to harbour.

Nth Atlantic
HXF.16 departed Halifax local escort RCN DDs OTTAWA and SAGUENAY, which detached on the 13th. Ocean escort was provided by AMC AUSONIA, which detached on the 21st. The convoy was escorted in Home Waters by DDs MACKAY and WANDERER from convoy OB.74 and DDs ANTELOPE and VESPER, and arrived at Dover on the 21st.

Med- Biscay
CL CAPETOWN was refitting at Malta beginning on this date and completing on the 30th.

Far East/Pacific/Australia
CL DURBAN departed Singapore on escort duty, and arrived back on the 20th.
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11 January 1940 Thursday
Captain Tomozo Kikuchi was named the commanding officer of light carrier "Hosho".

The Chinese 4th War Area takes Tsunghua.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: German submarine U-23 torpedoed and sank Norwegian coal carrier "Fredville", which had just picked up coal from Methil, Scotland, about 100 miles east of the Orkney Islands at 1632 hours. 11 men were killed, 5 men were rescued by a Swedish ship.

The Fleet Landing Exercise No. 6 began in the Caribbean Sea, participated by US Navy and US Marine Corps personnel. The Marine participants were the 1st Marine Brigade and the 1st Marine Aircraft Group under the command of Brigadier General Holland M. Smith, taking part.

British oil tanker SS "El Oso" hit a naval mine and sank 6 miles west of the Bar Lightship, Liverpool, England, at about 1100 hours. 3 men were killed, 32 were rescued by destroyer HMS "Walker".

The British cargo ship HMS "Keynes" is sunk north of Spurn Point, England after two attacks by German aircraft. She had also been attacked earlier in the day by enemy aircraft.

The RAF coastal command attacks three Kriegsmarine destroyers off Jutland, and also protected three British cargo vessels in the same area from Luftwaffe attack.

NORTHERN EUROPE: Finnish IV Corps (12th Infantry Division and 13th Infantry Division) surrounds the 34th Tank Brigade, Soviet 168th Division and 18th Rifle Division of Soviet 8th Army in the "Great Motti of Kitilä", North of Lake Lagoda. This does not precipitate a battle of destruction as happened to Soviet 44th division on Raate Road, but 168th division is immobilized, rendered ineffective and gradually broken into smaller mottis by 4th Jaeger battalion led by Major Matti Aarnio of the 4th Jaeger battalion and becomes famous as "Motti-Matti". Finns beat off reinforcements attempting to break through to the encircled Soviet 168th Division (north of Lake Ladoga). The weather is good enough for the Soviets to supply the pocket by air, but the men inside are miserable and immobilized. There is a new Soviet attack in the area of Salla (in the "waist" of the front), toward the Kemijarvi-Tornio railway.

Meanwhile, the Swedish volunteer air group, Flygflottilj 19, begins operations from the frozen Lake Kemi, with 12 Gladiator fighters and 4 Hart light bombers. They are a good match for Soviet airplanes, however, which in general are also obsolete by current standards. The Flygflottilj 19(F19) destroyed 12 Soviet planes by the end of the war while losing 6 planes, 2 due to enemy action and 4 in accidents.

Training began for 350 Hungarian men to fight in Finland. Nearly 25,000 others waited for the approval for their volunteer service. They will ultimately become Hungarian Volunteer Detached Battalion commanded by Lieutenant Imre Kémeri Nagy with 24 officers, 52 NCOs, 2 doctors and 2 padres.

Kombrig Vinogradov, Commissar Parkhomenko, and Chief of Staff Volkov of the 44th Rifle Division each are found guilty by a court-martial and sentenced to death. The charges are irrelevant, the outcome was preordained by the military defeat, but they are accused among other things of leaving behind wounded to die. They are executed in Vazhenvaara by firing squad in front of what remains of their troops. The commissar of the Ninth Army, Furt, is appointed the acting commander of the 44th Rifle Division, which must be completely rebuilt.

GERMANY: In a fit of pique, Hitler fires General Helmuth Felmy, commander of the air fleet (2d Luftlotte) involved, and also his chief of staff Josef Kammhuber. For the moment, Fall Gelb remains on the docket for 17 January, because nobody knows yet how much the Belgians learned. The Belgians attempt to trick Reinberger into thinking they didn't learn anything from the papers so that he will tell that to the German ambassador. This does work for now. In fact, the Belgians had basically all the information. General Raoul van Overstraeten concludes that the documents are genuine. King Leopold informs the French, via General Gamelin, and the Belgians give them a copy. They also tell Lord Gort, in charge of the BEF. Everyone considers a German attack imminent. Several German senior officers burn their hands throwing papers into stoves and then retrieving them to see how much remains legible. Hitler issues Fundamental Order No. 1 about the handling of military secrets.

Karl von Le Suire was awarded the Sudetenland Medal.

UNITED KINGDOM: The Women's Section of the Air Transport Auxiliary delivers its first airplane from factory to depot. This is one more indication of women's increasing usefulness in the war effort, but not everybody likes it. There has been considerable public protest against the use of women pilots while men are kept idle on the waiting list for the RAF.

It was shortly after 1000 hours that South Shields felt the first impact of warfare by the Luftwaffe. The Air Ministry announced:
"Enemy aircraft crossed the coast near Newcastle today. No bombs were dropped. Fighter patrols were sent up and Anti-aircraft guns opened fire".
Shrapnel fell in the streets of South Shields. Large black smoke puffs were seen in the sky, concentrated on a plane travelling in a westerly direction. After apparently completing a wide circle, it appeared again and was fired on. Six British fighters went in pursuit.

WESTERN FRONT: In France the government announces that Friday will be a "meatless day" and that no beef, veal or mutton will be sold on Mondays or Tuesdays.

A Heinkel 111 crashlands in Holland after being shot up by RAF fighters.

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A Finnish ski patrol at the Mannerheim line in January 1940 ..

Finski patrol narciarski podczas walk na linii Mannerheima styczen1940.jpg

The expelling of Polish farmers at the Great Poland, the Poznań area in the Winter 1940 ...


Did the people that were forcibly expelled and which survived able to return to their land after the war, and/or,, after the collapse of the post war communist regime? And roughly how much of western Poland was affected by this injustice?
All the Western Poland , I mean the Great Poland , Pomerania and Silesia, was covered by the process of people displacement.. we can say all pre-war Polish territories that were incorporated into the Third Reich. But the Eastern Poland too. Generally, all Polish areas where Germans were going to be settled down.
The Nazi deportations of the Polish population were another method of population policy in order to eliminate the polish population on the ground. The deportation started after September 1939 and were at first carried out in a chaotic way, however very soon they were given organized forms. 620 000 Poles were deported from so-called Wartheland ( The Great Poland ) to the General Gouvernement. Before they were transported to the General Gouvernement they were placed in special assembly camps for a few weeks. The deportations occurs on a ruthless, and extremely violent. Transport to the General Gouvernement were in goods wagons, taking several days. By the end of February 1940 Nazi Germans deported about 138 000 Poles and 20 000 Jewish people. The total number of forcibly expelled Poles from incorporated areas into the IIIrd Reich is estimated to be more than 1 million people. The Great Poland and the District of Łódź were the most seriously affected areas where 630 000 people were displaced. The Pomerania - 124 000, the Silesia - over 81 000, the Bialystok area - over 28 000, the Mazovia - 25 000 and from Żywiec area - about 20 000 Poles.
I'm not sure if the number of returned , forcibly expelled Poles can be known. It seems that it isn't possible to find out because of losses of the Polish citizens during the WW2. But it can be said that many of these who survived got back their homes. For instance, most of deported Gdynia ( Gotenhafen ) Polish city dwellers returned homes as soon as the Red Army and the Polish People's Army liberated the city.

A pass issued by the Nazi Polizei ( Police ) in Gdynia ( Gotenhafen ) to a Polish expelled family, allowing to pass the borderline between the Third Reich and General Government ( Generalgouvernement ).

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12 January 1940 Friday
Japan notifies the Netherlands it is terminating their treaty in which each party agreed to settle disputes peacefully.

Chinese 4th War Area captures Pachiangkou and Yuantan.

WESTERN FRONT: South of Saarbrücken, Lt. Bernhard Malischewski of Stab flight of I./JG 76 destroys a Blenheim for his first victory of the war.

GERMANY: The capture of German invasion plans at Mechelen on Jan 10 has several consequences. France is alerted to the planned attack. The Belgians continue trying to convince the Germans that they learned nothing. General Gamelin holds a meeting with his military subordinates, and the consensus is that, regardless of the authenticity of the documents, this is a good excuse to pressure the Belgians to allow the stationing of French troops on their territory. The Dutch also are skeptical because they have not been told of the exact source - the Belgians are being very cagey with their allies. Hitler learns of the breach and has gone berserk, foaming at the mouth at Luftwaffe incompetence. Hitler believes that the Allies have the documents despite all assurances to the contrary. He blames Luftflotte 2 commander General Hellmuth Felmy and replaces him with General Albert Kesselring. The two men in the plane, Majors Reinberger and Hoenmanns are sentenced to death in absentia - which is the lawful punishment for what they did. Hoenmann is beyond the Gestapo's reach, but not his wife. Hoenmanns wife dies under interrogation by the Gestapo. The commanding General of Luftflotte 1, General der Flieger Albert Kesselring, is made commander of Luftflotte 2, taking over from General der Flieger Hellmuth Felmy, who was dismissed. In addition to these duties he is also made Commander-in-Chief North. Kesselring had done good work in support of army operations during the Battle of Poland but does not have a lot of knowledge about strategic air campaigns.

The RAF conducts night reconnaissance over Western Germany and flies missions over German seaplane bases on the Heligoland Bight. There also is a targeted raid on minelaying infrastructure at Rantum Bay.

ATLANTIC OCEAN: At 0650 hours, U-23 hits Danish oil tanker SS "Danmark" (anchored in Inganess Bay, Orkney Islands, Scotland) with one torpedo. "Danmark" breaks in two and drifts ashore; her crew of 40 escapes. She is carrying 14000 tons of fuel from Aruba in the Caribbean, depriving the Allies of valuable fuel supplies.

Convoy OA 71 departs from Southend, Convoy OB 71 departs from Liverpool, Convoy OB 71M departs from Liverpool, and Convoy HXF 16 departs from Halifax.

NORTHERN FRONT: The battle of Taipale begins. The Soviets of 7th Army, now under Kirill Meretskov, attempt to cross the River Taipale, which is ice-bound. They choose a 16 km area between Taipale and the Munasuo swamp. They use an armored wedge to force a breakthrough, followed by infantry and other forces. They have built up their tank force and drastically increased manpower. The ultimate aim is Viipuri.

There is a secret meeting between Finnish representatives and Madame Kollontai, the Soviet ambassador to Sweden, in Stockholm.

UNITED KINGDOM: Owing to the presence of enemy aircraft, AA guns were in action, some pieces of shrapnel fell in the streets of Southwick, a suburb of Sunderland. There were no casualties or damage.

SS 'Granta' (2,719t) steamer, London to Blyth was sunk by a mine off the Wash. Ten of her crew were lost.

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On the Friday, the 12th January 1940 Nazi Germans murdered 440 patients of a psychiatric hospital in Chełm, Poland. It wasn't an accident but it was a part of a large-scale operation started with the beginning of the WW2. On the 1st September 1939 , Hitler's Decree Law about the "euthanasia" triggered the E-Aktion or Aktion T4. This was the operation against the physically and mentally disabled people, not only in the invaded Poland but also in the Nazi Germany and other occupied teritories. The E-Aktion name means the "Euthanasia of Disabled People", the name T-4 is more known one and is an abbreviation of the address of the project office that was located at the Tiergartenstraße 4 street in Berlin.

Mentally disabled childern in the Schönbrunn insane asylum. The picture was taken by a SS officer in 1934.

Akcja T4.jpg

The image source : Wikipedia/cc/Bundesarchiv.

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