War Diary 18th September to 24th September 1939

Monday September 18th

  • Soviet and German troops met near Brest-Litovsk.  In a joint communique the two Governments announced their intention of restoring order in Poland.
  • Soviet troops also reached Vilna in the north and occupied the Rumano-Polish frontier in the south.
  • The attack on Warsaw is resumed.
  • Polish Government having crossed the frontier into Rumania, together with countless refugees, the Rumanian frontier is closed.
  • Japanese Press reports from Rome were to the effect that Hitler was bringing pressure on Russia to abandon her support of China.
  • French troops advance within three miles of Saarbrucken and Zweibrucken.
  • British Aircraft Carrier ‘Courageous’ was sunk by an enemy submarine on the night of September 17th with the loss of 518 members of her crew. The submarine was believed to have been sunk later by destroyers.
  • Two RAF flying boats rescue the crew of the British Steamer, ‘Kensington Court’ sunk by a U-boat in the Atlantic.
  • The Duke of Windsor assumed the rank of Major-General on taking up a staff appointment abroad.
  • Lord Camrose appointed chief assistance to Lord Macmillan, Minister of information.

Tuesday September 17th

  • Soviet troops occupied Vilna, advanced beyond Brest-Litovsk and, in the SOuth, reached the Hungarian frontier.
  • Hitler entered Danzig at noon, and later broadcasts a speech defending his action in Poland and his policy towards Russia.
  • On the Western Front, German attacks between the district east of the Moselle and the region of Bitsch were repulsed.

Wednesday September 20th

  • Fierce fighting west of Warsaw on what the Germans termed a battle of extermination. They claimed to have taken 105,000 prisoners and also to have captured Gdynia.
  • The Soviet Army reached Lwow, said to have been conceded to them by Germany.
  • A revolt in Czechoslovakia, which first broke out on Sunday, continued to spread in spite of ruthless repressive measures, Mass executions were reported.
  • The French Council of Ministers met and approved the “military economic and financial measures for pursuing the conduct of the war until final victory.”
  • On the Western front a period of comparative calm was reported.
  • HMS ‘Kittiwake’ struck a mine in the English Channel.  Five members of the crew were missing, believed killed, and two injured.
  • In the House of Commons Mr Chamberlain made the third of his weekly reviews of the War situation.
  • The Canadian Cabinet decided to raise immediately an expeditionary force of 20,000 for service overseas.
  • Australia has offered Britain the complete personnel of four bomber squadrons and two squadrons of two-seater fighter planes.
  • Contraband goods to the value of £500,000 were reported to have been intercepted on their way to Germany during the week ending September 16th.
  • Details of private fortunes, totalling over £3,000,000 accumulated abroad by seven Nazi leaders, were published by leading New York papers.

Thursday September 21st

  • M Calinescu, Rumanian Prime Minister, was assassinated in Bucharest by members of the Iron Guard. General George Angeseanu appointed to succeed him.
  • President Roosevelt addressed Congress on the Neutrality Statutes, urging the repeals of the arms embargo.
  • The Poles continued to resist in Warsaw, Modin and other areas, despite ruthless bombing attacks.
  • Germany claimed that the southern Polish army had surrendered.
  • On the Western Front there was  an increase of air activity by both the French and British
  • The British Government set up a council of ten members to organise the supply of munitions.
  • Diplomatic exchanges preceding the outbreak of war were recorded and issued in a Government Blue Book.

Friday September 22nd

  • Warsaw still holding out.
  • General von Fritsch, former Commander-in-chief of the German Army, has been killed in action outside Warsaw.
  • The German army has now lost 150,000 men was maintained by M Giradoux, French Commissioner-General for Information, in a broadcast from Paris.
  • Reports from the Western Front stated that French detachments have reached the outskirts of Zweibruecken, in the Siegfried Line.
  • The Steamer ‘Arkleside’ is reported to have been sunk by a German U-boat.
  • A Grimsby trawler is reported to have sunk by accident a submarine for which two British warships were searching.
  • The assassins of the Rumanian Primeminister, and many other members of the Iron Guard were executed in Bucharest.
  • The Allied Supreme War council met “somewhere in Sussex.”

Saturday September 23rd

  • Polish Troops still resisting desperately near Modin, north-west of Warsaw, and in the capital itself.  In South east Poland the Germans claimed to have captured Lwow.
  • German High Command announced that 450,000 Polish west of Warsaw, and 800 aeroplanes destroyed or captured.
  • Mussolini, in a speech to fascist leaders at Rome, declared that the moment had come to cease hostilities, since Poland was now liquidated and Europe not yet effectively at war.
  • Two Finnish steamers, ‘Martti-Ragnar’ and ‘Walma’ have been sunk by U-boats.

Sunday September 24th

  • Bombardment of Warsaw continued incessantly. German troops claimed to have crossed the Vistula between Modlin and Warsaw, thus cutting off the latter.
  • On the Western front local attacks by the enemy were repulsed.  Several successful air actions were fought.
  • It was stated that the British Expeditionary Force in France was still moving up to its positions in preparation to take action.
  • Swedish Steamer ‘Gertrud Blatt’ has been sunk by a German U-boat.
  • British cargo boat ‘Hazelside’ has also been sunk without warning during the night by an enemy submarine.  Twenty three of the crew were picked up six hours later by a fishing boat, but eleven were reported missing.
  • Oil wells at Drohobycz, centre of the Galician oilfields, were taken by Soviet troops.
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1 Response to War Diary 18th September to 24th September 1939

  1. Pingback: War Diary September 25th to Sunday October 1st 1939 | WW2 Memories

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