This Day in the War in Europe: The Beginning

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28 September
Sperrbrecher  operating in its intended role in front of BC scharnhorst 1941.jpg

This is a shot of Sperrbrecher XII escorting BC Scharhorst near Brest, 1941. This was a primary function of these mine clearance vessels


Wilhelmshaven: U-33



At Sea 28 September

U-3, U-4, U-7, U-10, U-12 (+), U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16, U-19, U-21, U-22, U-24, U-28, U-31, U-32, U-35, U-36, U-53.

19 boats at sea.

U.18 and U.22 were ordered into the approaches to Scapa

Norwegian waters

U.32 sank Norwegian steamer JERN (875grt) 65 miles west of Skudesnes . No crew were lost and her 14 survivors rescued by the Swedish CALEDONIA.

U.16 sank Swedish steamer NYLAND (3378grt) off Kvitsoey, 45 miles SW of Stavanger. Her survivors were rescued by Norwegian minelayer OLAV TRYGGVASON.

U.7 sank Norwegian steamer SOLAAS (1368grt) 25 miles SW of Lister Light by mines she had laid some days earlier. ( The German "Seekrieg" states that SOLASS was sunk next day on the 29th by Luftwaffe I/ZG26 in the North Sea. According to "Axis Submaríne Successes" by Rohwer, U.36 stopped SOLASS on the 28th, released her, but she sank next day, possibly mined). Uboat net gives the kill to U7 and attributes the loss to mines).

North Sea .

Br East Coast

CC A/C report submarine off the coast, DDs FURY, FORESTER, FORESIGHT, ASHANTI commence ASW search and destroy operations 55 miles ENE of Rattray Head.

Convoy FS.12 dep Methil and arrived at Southend on the 30th. There was no FS.13.

CL SOUTHAMPTON and DDs JERVIS and JUPITER attacked a submarine contact outside May Island.

Convoy FN.12 dep Southend and arrived at Methil on the 30th. There was no FN.13.

Northern Patrol - .

CLs CARDIFF and DRAGON dep Scapa for Northern Patrol , return 5 October.

British northern waters

Northwest Approaches

English Channel

Heavy storms in the channel on this day, causing some accidents for RN ships

DD KEMPENFELT, escort convoy OA.11, but collided with steamer HESTER (1199grt) off Newhaven. She was taken to Devonport for repairs completing 7 Nov.

DD IMPULSIVE on patrol in the English Channel was damaged by heavy seas, and taken to Devonport for repairs completed 23 October.

UK-France convoys .

BC.6F of steamers FENELLA, ST JULIEN, TYNWALD, ULSTER PRINCE dep Barry Roads escort DDs KEITH and MONTROSE and arrived safely at Quiberon Bay on the 29th.



DDs GRENVILLE, GRENADE, GIPSY, GRIFFIN dep Gib to providen escort for convoy Green 3, consisting of 15 ships. DDrs GREYHOUND and GLOWWORM were also at Gibraltar on this date, but remained in harbour. The four escorting DDs were relieved on 3 October by DDs GRAFTON, GALLANT and sloop DEPTFORD which continued with the convoy to Alex, arriving on the 7th.

Central and South Atlantic

French SS PONCELET (along with CL Duguai Trouin sent to intercept, see 25th September) sighted German merchant ship CHEMNITZ (5522grt) at 0830, shortly after she dep Las Palmas, Canary Islands to return to Germany. She was stopped at 1305 and escorted to Casablanca, arriving 3 October. CHEMNITZ was renamed SAINT BERTRAND in French service and served in the French Merchant Marine until the fall of France when she returned to German hands. Between the 25th and 1 October, CL DUGUAY TROUIN had been searching for CHEMNITZ as well as steamer AMASIS, both of which had been reported departing Las Palmas early on the 24th

Redoubtable class Submarine.jpg

Fr SS poncelet was launched 10.4.29, and displaced 1384 tons SD. main armament was 9x 21.7" TT

dUGUAY tROUIN  Profiles.jpg


Convoy SL.3 dep Freetown on the 28th September, escort by CL DAUNTLESS, both arriving at Gib on 9 October. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 15th.

DDs of DesDiv4 were ordered home from the Sth Atlantic. However, the order was cancelled on 1 October because of German raider activity in the Sth Atlantic.

CL DANAE dep Simonstown on escort duties and arrived back on 2 October.

Indian Ocean

CL BIRMINGHAM arrived at Singapore.


HMNZS CL ACHILLES arrived at Buenaventura, Colombia and departed on the 30th, escorting steamer ORDUNA (15,507grt) to Callao, where they both arrived safely on 4 October.

Other 6th Aus Div (AIF) is raised with Gen Thomas Blamey in command. It will ransfer to palestine in Februay 1940, and was intended to join the BEF in France, but did not go into action until January 1941.
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29 September 1939 Friday

ATLANTIC OCEAN: Off Bergen, Norway, Norwegian freighter "Takstaas" is stopped by a German submarine and sunk. Off Norway, Norwegian steamship "Solaas" strikes a mine and sinks. Norwegian cargo ship "Jern", en route to Great Britain, is stopped by a German submarine and blown up with dynamite.

GERMANY: Eleven Hampdens of RAF No. 144 Squadron fly a recon mission of the German Bight and attack several German destroyers. The raid was in two waves. In the first, 6 Hampdens attacked two German destroyers but did no damage. The second wave fall victim to fighters of I./ ZG 26, including two claimed by Oblt. Günther Specht. Two German Bf 109 planes are shot down.

The Ju 87B Stukas of IV(Stuka)./LG 1 led by Hptm. Peter Kögl leave the airfield at Grieslienen and transfer to the airbase at Barth as do the Stukas of I./SKG 1 led by Major Werner Rentsch who transfer to Insterburg.

Generalmajor Robert Fuchs is posted as Kommodore of KG 26 'Löwen' in place of Generalmajor Hans Siburg.

POLAND: Germany and Russia conclude the Treaty of Frontier Regulation and Friendship, to regulate the partition of Poland. The agreement is signed in Leningrad by German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vyadieslav Molotov. Russia gains control of Lithuania, in exchange for extension of the German area of Poland; the frontier moves from the Vistula River to the Bug. Germany receives nearly 73,000 square miles of Polish territory, the USSR, 78,000 square miles. While Soviet Union gets slightly more land, the Germans now control the majority of the population (some 22,000,000) and fifty percent of all Polish industry as well as substantial mining centers. All of Lithuania is transferred to the Soviet sphere of influence. An economic agreement is also signed which includes a Soviet promise to provide Germany with the entire oil output of the Dohowicz fields. This marks the 4th time in history that the nation of Poland has been partitioned by its neighboring enemies, Germany and Russia. After the third partition on October 24, 1795, Poland ceased to exist as a nation for 123 years. It was not until after World War I, at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919, that Poland regained it's nationhood and independence. Since the Soviet invasion began almost two weeks ago, hundreds of thousands of Polish men, women and children have been rounded up and deported to Siberia. Those who survive the long treacherous journey will be subjected to hard forced labour.

Fearing USSR aggression, the Baltic States begin caving in to Soviet demands. The Estonian Foreign Minister, in Moscow to discuss commercial cooperation, is bullied by Stalin into a military "alliance' which allows the Soviets to occupy Estonian naval bases. Latvia and Lithuania will soon follow but Finland resists, leading to the "Winter war" with USSR.

Russian Premier and Foreign Commissar Vyacheslaff Molotoff and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop issue a joint statement that there is no need to continue hostilities. If Britain and France continue, Germany and Russia would consult about necessary steps to take.

Adolf Hitler issued a repatriation order for the 86,000 ethnic Germans living in Estonia and Latvia, knowing that the Soviet Union would soon demand the Baltic States.

Romania strengthens its defense forces on the Bessarabian border facing the Soviet Union.

NORTH AMERICA: In New York city, Fritz Kuhn, the leader of the pro-Nazi German-American Bund, is imprisoned. Kuhn served Germany during World War I as Infantry Lieutenant and was decorated with an Iron Cross. He moved to the United States in 1928 and in 1934 became a naturalized citizen. On March 19, 1936 Hitler personally selected Kuhn to be the leader of the newly formed German-American Bund.

SOUTH ATLANTIC: Captain Hans Langsdorff of the pocket-battleship "Admiral Graf Spee" receives orders to attack Allied merchant shipping.

WESTERN FRONT: Future Experte Fw. Heinz Bär of 1./JG 51 scores another kill, a French Hawk 75.

UNITED KINGDOM: In the House of Commons, Neville Chamberlain says that Britain and France went to war to stop Nazi aggression and nothing has changed that position. Chamberlain is believed to be referring to recent private contacts between German and British representatives that have suggested formal peace negotiations may begin. Two days ago Chamberlain in an address to the House of Commons said;
"How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks because of a quarrel in a far away country between people of who we know nothing. It seems still more impossible that a quarrel which has already been settled in principle should be the subject of war."
Meanwhile, a national census was conducted in Britain to assess rationing and mobilization efforts.
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29 September



Kiel: U-4, U-14, U-24
Wilhelmshaven: U-28


Kiel: U-20, U-23

At Sea 29 September

U-3, U-7, U-10, U-12, U-13, U-15, U-16, U-19, U-20, U-21, U-22, U-31, U-32, U-35, U-36, U-53.

16 boats at sea

Norwegian waters

U.7 torpedoed Norwegian steamer TAKSTAAS (1830grt) 16 miles off Bergen and a Norwegian TB rescued the crew. The abandoned TAKSTAAS remained afloat, taken in tow by Norwegian salvage tug HERKULES (124grt), but broke in half. The aft part half was taken into port and later scrapped.

North Sea .

Br East Coast

CLA CALCUTTA departed Scapa escort duty and arrived at Grimsby 29th.

Training ship CALEDONIA (ex-White Star liner MAJESTIC, 56,551grt) was gutted by fire and sank at Rosyth. There were no casualties. The hulk was broken up in situ beginning in October 1942.

DDs JERVIS, JUPITER, JAGUAR attacked a submarine contact in the Firth of Forth, three miles from Fidra. At 1544, JUPITER and JERVIS attacked a contact five miles from Inchkeith Light. This search continued on the 30th.

CLA CAIRO dep Grimsby on escort duties and ret back on 2 October.

HMS Cairo 1939.jpg

profile Of HM ship CAIRO as she appeared in 1939

Western Atlantic

CA YORK returned to Halifax after convoy HX.2 escort duty.

UK-France convoys .

DB.9 dep Southampton with two personnel ships, escort DDs VANSITTART and VENOMOUS and arrived at Brest on the 30th.

BC.5 of 15 steamers, incl BEAVERDALE (Cdre), BULLFINCH, CITY OF DERBY, DELIUS, LOWICK, TREHATA, TREWORLAS, VOLO dep the Loire escort DDs EXMOUTH, ECHO, ESCAPADE, ENCOUNTER, and ECLIPSE. The convoy arrived safely in Bristol Channel on 1 October.

MB.9 dep Southampton with six cargo ships, escort DDs ACHERON and ACHATES, also arriving at Brest on the 30th.

UK-outbound convoys

OA.12G dep Southend with 21 ships, escort DDs IMPERIAL and ISIS to 3 October and CL CERES to the 8th. OB.12G dep Liverpool escort DDs ILEX and IMOGEN to 2 October, when both convoys became OG 1.

SO.19 dep Portsmouth, from Spithead, with steamers ALCANTARA (22,209grt), ATHLONE CASTLE (25,564grt), EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA (21,833grt), FRANCONIA (20,175grt), escort DDs INGLEFIELD and IVANHOE. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 3 October without the escorts, which had been separated by heavy weather, and arrived separately the same day. The convoy headed into the Med as Convoy Red 2.

Indian Ocean

CL LIVERPOOL dep Bombay and arrived at Colombo on 3 October.

CVL EAGLE dep Colombo on raider hunting duties.
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On the 29th September because of the depletion of ammo, food and water, the Modlin fortress capitulated. The Polish forces defending the fortress included the armoured train 'Śmierć' (Death), and the Modlin anti-aircraft battery was credited with shooting down more Luftwaffe planes than any other in the entire September campaign. During the battle about 1300 Polish soldiers were killed and 4000 wounded.

The Modlin fortress from bird's eye...



The Modlin fortress - random pics..




Smoke over the fortress...

modlin smoke2.jpg

modlin smoke1.jpg

The capitulation...



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Ships lost to other causes September 1939
1 Sep 1939
Gunnery Training Vessel MAZUR (ORP 340 grt) (ORP = Polish Navy): The gunnery training vessel was bombed and sunk at Oksywie by Luftwaffe aircraft with the loss of about 40 crew
ORP Mazur.jpg


2 Sep 1939
Aux GDYNIA (Pol 6852 grt): The auxiliary ship was bombed and sunk in the Baltic Sea off Gdansk by Luftwaffe aircraft

ORP Gydnia.jpg

3 Sep 1939
Gunboat GENERAL HALLER (ORP 342 grt): The gunboat was bombed and sunk at Hel by Luftwaffe He-59s at Hela
[url=] ? View topic - "Great days of the small fleet" Polish Navy 1918 - 1945


ML GRYF (ORP 2227 grt): The ML was bombed and sunk at Hel by Luftwaffe aircraft after enganging the destroyers Z1 Leberech Maassand Z9 Wolfgang Zenker (both Kriegsmarine). Raised by the Germans and later sunk as a target ? View topic - "Great days of the small fleet" Polish Navy 1918 - 1945
ORP Gryf.jpg

MSW MEWA (ORP 1831 grt): The MSW was bombed and sunk at Hel by Luftwaffe aircraft

ORP Mewa.jpg

DD WICHER (ORP 1540 grt): The DD was bombed and sunk at Hel by Luftwaffe aircraft with the loss of one crew member
ORP Wicher.jpg

Trawler NORDSTRAND (Den 350 grt(est): The trawler struck a mine and sank in the North Sea 70 nautical miles (130 km) west of the Horn Reef Lighthouse

MV OLINDA (Ger 2875 grt): the cargo ship was intercepted by HMS Ajax in the South Atlantic off the River Plate, Argentina and sunk by Ajax as no prize crew was available
MV OLINDA (Ger 2875 grt).jpg

4 Sep 1939
MV GERRIT FRITZEN (Ger 4065 grt) The cargo ship was intercepted in the Sth Atlantic off Montevideo, Uruguay by CL AJAX and scuttled because no prize crew was available.

Carl fritzen.jpg

MV IMANTA (Lat 1233 grt): The cargo ship struck a mine and sank in the Baltic Sea off Malmö, Sweden with the loss of all 22 crew. Russian sources say this ship was sunk 22.07.41. Likley the ship was raised then sunk again.
see Soviet Merchant Marine Losses in WW2 - SN Guides

MV JOHANNES MOLKENBUHR (Ger 4022 grt) The cargo ship was intercepted in the Norwegian Sea 17 nautical miles off Stadlandet, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway by CL SOUTHAMPTON who attempted to board but the ship was scuttled before this could happen . The ships crew were rescued by DD JERVIS.
D2976 JOHANNES MOLKENBUHR : der Reederei Hugo Stinnestrifft Eisberg auf dem\r Nordatlantic -
Johannes Molkenbuhr.jpg

MV KOSTI (GK 3826 grt): The cargo ship struck a mine in the Øresund, Sweden and sank. All 29 crew were rescued by Poseidon ( Finland).
MV KOSTI (GK 3826 grt).jpg

5 September
MV INN (Ger 3500 grt):The cargo ship was captured in the Atlantic Ocean 400 nautical miles (740 km) south west of the Canary Islands, Spain by the HMS Neptune ( Royal Navy) and was scuttled.

7 September 1939
MV LIANNE (Ger 1200 grt(est): The coaster struck a mine and sank in the North Sea off Norway.

MV VEGESACK (Ger 4061 grt): The cargo ship ran aground at Midtfjora, Tananger, Rogaland, Norway and was a total loss.
SS vegesack.jpg

8 September

Blockship CAPE ORTEGAL (UK 4896 grt) The requisitioned cargo ship was scuttled in Skerry Sound, Scapa Flow as a Block Ship.
SS Cape Ortegal.jpg

MV HELFRID BISMARK (Ger 721 grt) The coaster struck a mine and sank in the Skagerrak.
SS helfrid Bismark.jpg

MV HELGA SCHRODER (Ger 850 grt (est)) The coaster struck a mine and sank in the Baltic Sea.
(no image found)

Sailing Barque OLIVEBANK (FN 2824 grt) The barque struck a mine and sank in the North Sea at 55°53′N 5°07′E with the loss of 14 of her 21 crew. The survivors were rescued by Tallona ( Estonia).

9 September 1939

MV MARK (NL 3500 grt (est)) The cargo ship struck a mine and sank in the Nth Sea 120 nautical miles sw of the Danish Coast
SS Mark.jpg

10 September 1939

Sub HMS OXLEY (RN 1350 grt) The Odin-class submarine was torpedoed and sunk in the North Sea off Stavanger, Rogaland, Norway by Triton ( Royal Navy) with the loss of 52 of her 55 crew.
HMS Oxley.jpg

11 September 1939

MV BRENDONIA (UK 313 grt) The coaster collided with another ship in The Downs, Kent and sank.
SS Brendonia.jpg

13 September 1939

Aux MSW CHARCOTM (Fr 35 grt (est)) , Aux MSW ETOILE DU MARTIN (Fr 35 grt (est)), Aux MSW MARIE MARVEILLEUSEUM SULTAN ((Fr 35 grt (est)) The aux MSWs were all damaged beyond repair by the explosion of Pluton ( French Navy)

ML PLUTON (Fr 5300 grt) The ML cruiser was sunk by an explosion whilst unloading mines at Casablanca. Approx 200 casualties.
ML Pluton.jpg

MV KANTICO HADAITATERA (Gk 2500 grt) The cargo ship struck a mine and was grounded off Falsterbo, Sweden. Refloated later that day and proceeded to Copenhagen, Denmark under escort from a Royal Swedish Navy minesweeper.

Cargo Liner RONDA (Nor 5136 grt) Cargo liner struck a mine and sank in the North Sea off Terschelling, with the loss of 17 of the 37 people aboard. The survivors were rescued by It Provvidenza
Cargo Liner RONDA (Nor 5136 grt).jpg

Trawler STOLP (Ger 550 grt (est)) The trawler collided with Luchs ( Kriegsmarine) in the North Sea and sank.

14 September 1939
MSW JASKOLKA (ORP 183 grt) The Mewa class MSW was bombed and sunk at Jastamia by Junkers Ju 87s
ORP MSW Jaskolka.jpg

Type IXA U-39 (DKM 1140 grt) was depth charged and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean off Rockall, Inverness-shire by DDs FAULKNOR, FIREDRAKE and FOXHOUND. She was the first U-boat lost to enemy action during the war. All 42 crew were rescued by FAULKNOR.

U37 an identical boat to U39 at Lorient 1940

15 September1939
MV ALEX VAN OPSTAL (Be 5965 grt) The cargo ship struck a mine and sank in the English Channel 5 nautical miles off the Shambles Lightship ( UK) . All 57 people on board were rescued by ATLANTICO (Gk).
Alex Van Opstal.jpg

MSW CZAPLA (ORP 183 grt) The Jaskółka-class MSW bombed and sunk at Jastarnia by LW a/c.
(see above for image of jaskolka)

Tug LECH (ORP 25 grt (est)) The tug was bombed and sunk at Jastarnia by the LW.

MSW POMORZANIN (ORP 2281 grt) The MSW was bombed and sunk at Jastarnia by the LW.
ORP MSW Pomorzanin.jpg

16 September 1939

MV BRAMDEN (UK 1594 grt) The cargo ship struck a mine and sank in the North Sea off Dunkerque with the loss of three crew.

18 September1939

Monitor WARSZAWA (ORP 110 grt) The river monitor was scuttled on the Pripyat River to avoid capture. Raised, repaired and put in Soviet service as Vitebsk ( Soviet Navy
(Source:ORP Warszawa (1920)" autorstwa Topory - Praca własna. Licencja CC BY 3.0 na podstawie Wikimedia Commons -
Monitor WARSZAWA (ORP 110 grt).jpg

21 September 1939
SC UJ-171 (DKM 550 grt): was wrecked in the Baltic Sea

24 September 1939
MV MINDEN (Ger 5500 grt(est) The cargo ship was intercepted in the Atlantic Ocean sth of Iceland by CL CALYPSO and was scuttled by her crew.

30 September
MV CLEMENT (UK 5050 grt) The cargo ship was captured and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean 75 nautical miles se of Pernambuco, Brazil by DKM GRAF SPEE. All crew survived.
MV CLEMENT (UK 5050 grt).jpg

MV HARTBRIDGE (UK 350 grt (est)) The cargo ship ran aground on Seal Island, Nova Scotia and was wrecked.

Gd Ship KOMENDANT PILSUDSKI (ORP 550 grt) The Filin-class guard ship was sunk by enemy action. Subsequently salvagd by the Germans and entered Kriegsmarine service as Heisternest.
ORP Piludski.jpg
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September 1939..

Destroyed German Sd.Kfz. 231....

damaged Sdkfz231.jpg

Damaged German Sd.Kfz. 232....

damaged SdKfz 232.jpg

Destroyed PZL.23 Karaś "White5" of an unknown squadron...

PZL 23 Karas White5.jpg

Captured PZL P-7 of the 151st Fighter Squadron...

PZL P-7 151 Sqdn 6653.jpg
30 September 1939 Saturday

GERMANY: Because of his success in Poland, the commander of Luftflotte 1, General der Flieger Albert Kesselring is awarded the Ritterkreuz.

Adolf Hitler issues Directive No. 5. The Demarcation Line through former Polish territory is to be constantly strengthened and built up. There are to be no limitations on the war at sea against French warships. Germany notifies Britain that armed merchant ships will be sunk without warning. The decision is claimed to be based on incidents of British merchant ships attacking German submarines.

Oblt. Carl Vieck's Stab./JG 3 with their Bf 109Es leave the airfield at Brandis and move to new quarters at Münster-Handorf.

SOUTH ATLANTIC: Off Pernambuco, Brazil, the German pocket battleship "Graf Spee" sinks its first merchant ship, the British steamship "Clement" (commanded by Captain F. Harris). The "Clement" (bearing 20000 cases of kerosene from New York to Salvador, Brazil) is fired on by an Arado seaplane from "Graf Spee" and radioed to stop. After taking to the lifeboats, "Clement's" Captain is rescued by "Graf Spee" while the crew is given bearings for Brazil. Although torpedoes are embarrassingly ineffective, fire from "Graf Spee's" 6 and 11 inch guns sinks "Clement". Later in the day, "Clement's" Captain is transferred to the neutral Greek steamer "Papalemos". As a final gentlemanly gesture, the "Graf Spee" radios a message to Pernambuco " save the lifeboats of the 'Clement'." and their location. "Graf Spee" is quickly repainted and sails East to seek further quarry, disguised under a French flag. Before the battle of the River Plate, in December, "Graf Spee" will only sink 9 ships of 50,000 tons altogether.

POLAND: The evacuation began in Warsaw today of Polish forces to German POW camps. Polish President Ignance Moscicki presently interned in Romania has resigned his post.

WESTERN FRONT: A new Polish government in exile has been formed on French soil. Wladyslaw Raczkiewicz has taken a constitutional oath at the Polish Embassy and has become the new President of the Republic of Poland. He has appointed Wladyslaw Sikorski to be Prime Minister and Edward Rydz-Smigly the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Armed Forces. Despite the German-Soviet occupation of Poland, Britain and France recognize the legitimacy of the newly formed Polish government. There are presently over 80,000 Polish armed forces stationed in France consisting of army and navy personnel. Many more are arriving every day having escaped Romanian custody. They are not refugees but combatants with the military objective of regrouping their forces to continue fighting for Poland`s freedom. Most arrived by ship, train or car. Many more have made the dangerous passage on foot or skied across the Carpathian mountains.

French forces on the French-German border fell back to the Maginot Line in anticipation of a German invasion.

Fighters of 2./JG 53 shoot down five Fairey Battles of RAF No. 150 Squadron while fighters from I./JG 53 shoot down two Moranes and a Curtiss Hawk for the loss of six Bf 109s. Victors on this day are the Gruppenkommandeur of II Gruppe, Hptm. Günther von Maltzahn, and future Experte Wolfgang Lippert and Josef Wurmheller.

UNITED KINGDOM: Deaths in automobile accidents in Britain at night in the month of Sep 1939 increased from 617 in the previous month to 1,130; night time blackout was blamed.

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...Germany notifies Britain that armed merchant ships will be sunk without warning. The decision is claimed to be based on incidents of British merchant ships attacking German submarines.

Counter this with parifal's post on the number of ships sunk during September.......... :rolleyes:
The cape of the Hel peninsula from bird's eye. The naval port Hel of the Polish Navy can be seen.

Hel cypel.jpg

ORP Mazur sunk at the Oksywie harbour.

ORP Mazur.jpg



S.S. Gdynia, after the mobilization - ORP Gdynia...

SS Gdynia.jpg

ORP General Haller...

ORP Gen Haller.jpg
wurger, those are some fantastic shots of Polish naval vessels. I didnt know just how intense the fighting, on sea and land, and of course in the air, the fighting at Hel actually was.

EDIT: Summary Of losses at Sea


Naval: 23850grt (RN), 5480 grt (Fr Navy), 9612 grt (Pol)


136400 grt (UK), 2660 grt (Fra), 6852 (Pol)

Total Allied losses 30942 (naval) + 145912 (mercantile) = 176854 grt


No Naval tonnage lost

41035 grt

Allied + Neutral tonnage lost
217889 grt


Naval: 1650 grt
Mercantile: 27344 grt

Total 28994 grt
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Counter this with parifal's post on the number of ships sunk during September.......... :rolleyes:

German official policy was to observe the rules of war at sea until the latter part of the month, but in reality, from the beginning of the war, many Uboat skippers chose to ignore the board and search rules. it infuriated the germans that British ships in particualar would not observe radio silence when ordered to do so, and this led as a precursor to unrestricted attacks (as policy) initially to sink without warning any ship stopped for search that used their radios. in my opinion, the Germans had a bit of a point....transmitting your position and who was attacking you was just a bit cheeky...then again the germans were stomping around the ocean shooting at just about everything......neither side was playing maquis of queensbury rules.....
That's true Micheal. The defence of the Hel Fortified Area lasted from the 1st September to the the 2nd October 1939. Polish losses - 200 killed and 150 wounded. About 2000, other sources 3500 , Poles became the POW. German losses - 35 planes, the minesweepr M-85.
The main strong point at the Hel Fortified Area was the Battery no.31 consisted of four Bofors 152,4mm, wz.30 cannons. Also there was a couple of other batteries equipped with cannons of smaller, different calibers including 75mm AA guns. The Battery no.31 fought a duel twice against Schleswig-Holstein and Schlesien battle ships on the 25th and 27th September, hitting the Schleswig-Holstein.

Hel bateria 152mm_1.jpg

Hel bateria 152mm_2.jpg

The main entry to the shelter of the Battery No.31.


The Schleswig-Holstein strafing the Polish coast in September 1939. Below the battle ship hit by the Polish battery.


30 September



Kiel: U-36 , U-53
Wilhelmshaven: U-22 , U-23 , U-32



At Sea 30 September

U-3, U-7, U-10, U-12, U-13, U-15, U-16, U-19, U-20, U-21, U-31, U-35.

12 boats at sea

DDs PAUL JACOBI and BRUNO HEINEMANN, which had recently completed refitting and repairs at Wilhelmshaven, were attacked by British bombers in the German Bight, but neither was damaged. DDs of DesFlot 1 in the Jade prepared to sail in support, but the attack ended before they sailed.

DD Paul jacobi Z 5.jpg

These Zerstorers were both from the Z5 1934A class of Destroyers
German supply ships - merchant ships CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN (7747grt) and CORRIENTES (4565grt) at Las Palmas at the outbreak of the war were assigned to replenish U-boats for operations off Gibraltar.

Danish waters
U.3 sank Danish steamer VENDIA (1150grt) 35 miles NW of Hanstolm and Danish steamer GUN (1198grt) 30 miles NW of Hanstolm, in rapid succession. VENDIA lost 11 crew, while U.3 picked up six survivors and Danish steamer SVAVA (1193grt) rescued the rest. The crew of GUN was picked up by Danish steamer DAGMAR (844grt).

Dutch waters

Dutch MSW JAN VAN GELDER was badly damaged by a mine off Terschelling, with 3 of her crew seriously injured
(image from Wiki)
MSW JAN VAN Gelder.jpg

North Sea .

Change to German U-Boat policy for North Sea Operations

officially, prize regulations were lifted for German U-boats operating in the North Sea. unrestricted attacks on all ships located were from this date authorised. in reality, not a lot was changed

Br East Coast

SS THISTLE dep Scapa for patrol in the North Sea and still on the 30th, unsuccessfully attacked a German submarine.

SS H.34, on patrol with MSW trawler EURYALUS (242grt), fired torpedoes at U.3 at 0220, 15 miles north of Kinnaird Head, all torps failed to contact.

DD JERVIS damaged by DD JUPITER berthing alongside at Rosyth. JERVIS was repaired in three days at Rosyth.

FS.14 departed Methil, and arrived at Southend on 2 October.

Convoy FN.14 departed Southend, and arrived at Methil on 2 October.

DD ESKIMO arrived in the Tyne for repairs at North Shields. These were completed on 6 October, ESKIMO left on the 7th and arrived at Scapa the same day.

CLA CALCUTTA, now assigned to the Humber Force, dep Grimsby dock on escort duties, arriving back on 1 October.

Western Atlantic

HX.3 dep Halifax at 0800 escort RCN DDs FRASER and ST LAURENT, and was joined at sea by four unescorted steamers which had dep Halifax as HX.3S on the 29th. CA BERWICK provided heavy close cover five miles ahead of the convoy. The DDs were detached on 1 October and BERWICK on the 2nd. The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 14th October, no losses.

Steamer HARTBRIDGE (5080grt) sailing independantly was lost after grounding on Seal Island near Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.


KJ.(B)1 dep Kingston, unescorted most of the way, but was joined by DD WINCHELSEA from 12 to 14 October, when the convoy arrived in England. There was one other KJ.(B) convoy, KJ.(B)2 which dep Kingston on 8 October and arrived on the 22nd, also unescorted at the start. Both convoys consisted of three banana boats each.

Australian CL PERTH dep Kingston on patrol duties entering the Panama canal some time later.

Northern Patrol - .

CLs DIOMEDE and DUNEDIN dep Scapa for Northern Patrol duties, with DUNEDIN returning 7 October

English Channel

CL CERES dep Plymouth on escort duties and arrived back later the same day.

DD MONTROSE attacked a submarine contact 31 miles south of Plymouth, and was joined in the search by DDs ACHATES, ACHERON, ARROW, INTREPID, KINGSTON

UK-France convoys .

BC.7S of 17 steamers, including BARON MACLAY and NEW TEXAS (Cdre) departed Bristol Channel, escort DDs VIVACIOUS, VISCOUNT, ESCORT, ELECTRA and arrived in the Loire on 2 October.

BC.7F of steamers BEN MY CHREE, LADY OF MANN, ST PATRICK departed Bristol Channel escort DDs WAKEFUL and VENETIA. The convoy arrived in the Loire on 1 October and was also escorted on that day by Fr Contre Torpileur DDs LE FANTASQUE, LE TERRIBLE, and L'AUDACIEUX.


Blue 3 dep Port Said with 24 ships. Escort by DDs DUCHESS, DEFENDER and sloops GRIMSBY and FOWEY from the 30th to 5 October, when off Malta DUCHESS and DEFENDER were relieved by DDs GRENADE and GRIFFIN. GRENADE and GRIFFIN detached off Algiers on the 8th to ret to Malta and the convoy continued without escort from Algiers to Gibraltar.

DDs DUNCAN, DAINTY, DARING, transferred to Suez via Colombo on the 17‑19 Sep and Aden on the 26‑27 Sep trf to the Med Flt.

Central and South Atlantic

German CS ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE sank steamer CLEMENT (5051grt) off Pernambuco . The crew was put into boats until GRAF SPEE stopped Greek steamer PAPALEMOS (3748grt) and put on board CLEMENT's Master and Chief Engineer. They were put ashore at Cape Verde Island on 9 October. One boat with 13 crew was picked up by Brazilian steamer ITATINGA (2114grt) on 1 October and taken to Bahia, arriving on the 3rd. The other three boats with the rest of the crew reached Maceio on the 4th

Graf Spee

At the end of September, the following DD were under repair - AMAZON at Plymouth with defects, BLANCHE at Chatham repairing, BOADICEA at Chatham repairing, BRILLIANT at Chatham repairing, DIAMOND at Singapore repairing, ESKIMO at Newcastle with defects, GARLAND at Alexandria repairing, GRAFTON at Malta repairing, ORP GROM at Plymouth with defects, ICARUS at Malta repairing, IMPULSIVE at Plymouth with defects, JAVELIN at Newcastle repairing, JERSEY at Leith repairing, JERVIS at Rosyth repairing, JUNO at Devonport with defects, KEMPENFELT at Plymouth with defects, PUNJABI at Scapa Flow boiler-cleaning, VANQUISHER at Plymouth repairing, VETERAN at Chatham repairing, WALKER at Plymouth repairing, WALLACE at Hull repairing, WINDSOR at Portsmouth repairing, ORP BURZA at Plymouth with defects.
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I have found a couple of interesting pictures at the FOTO - wojna - Gdynia Oksywie - Forum - .

The Oksywie naval base.... please notice the shipwreck protruding from the water right of the central quay . It is the wreck of the ORP Mazur.


Here the shipwreck of the ORP Mazur, probably in the Winter of 1939/40.


Hitler visiting the Oksywie area and watching one of two 100 mm naval cannons Canet wz.1891 used for defense of the Gdynia harbour and Oksywie.


Wreckage of a Ju-87 shot down over the Oksywie ....



And Hitler inspecting the same location ...

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