War Diary October 23rd to 29th 1939

Monday October 23rd

  • Finnish delegation, led by M Paasikivi and accomplished by M Tanner, Finnish Minister of Finance, arrived at Moscow to resume negotiations with Russia.
  • Paris reported that after a quiet night on the Western Front, there has been marked activity on the part of advance units.
  • Two British ships ‘Sea Venture’ and ‘Whitemantle’, were reported sunk. The first was torpedoed off the north coast of Scotland; the second lost after an explosion due either to a  mine or a submarine.
  • US steamer ‘City of flint’ which has been seized as contraband by a German cruiser, was brought by a prize crew into Kola Bay, North of Murmansk, flying the Swastika.
  • Sir Eric Phipps, retiring British Ambassador, left Paris.

Tuesday October 24th

  • Raids and ambushes were reported from various parts of the Western Front, and fairly sharp engagement towards the south-eastern border of the Forest of Warndt, where a German attack on a French outpost was driven back.
  • Von Ribbentrop delivered a bitter speech at Danzig in which he accused the British Government of systematically preparing, over a period of years, to make war on Germany.
  • The Greek Steamer ‘Konstantinos Hadjipateras’ was sunk by a U-boat in the North sea.
  • Poland’s gold reserve amounting to more than £15,000,000 reached Paris after an eventful journey from Warsaw.
  • Leaders at the Finnish delegation left Moscow to consult with their Government on new proposals put forward by Stalin.
  • Polish Consul-General in London announced that Poles in Britain would be mobilized for service in the Polish army in France.

Wednesday October 25th

  • The Air Ministry announced that reconnaissance carried out by the RAF during the preceding 24 hours included night flights over Berlin, Magdeburg and Hamburg.
  • Paris reported that French troops had repulsed a German detachment in the region close to the Moselle. As a whole conditions on the Western Front were quiet.
  • Five British ships were reported sunk by enemy action: ‘Ledbury’, ‘Menin Ridge’, and ‘Tafna’ all in the nOrth Atlantic. ‘Stonegate’ attacked and sunk by German battleship ‘Deutchland’ and ‘Clan Chisholm’ sunk off the Spanish coast.

Thursday October 26th

  • Air Ministry announced that it was now known that at least seven out of twelve German aircraft failed to return to their base after last Saturday’s attack on a British convoy in the North Sea.
  • There were minor encounters between contact units and artillery action on both sides as various points of the Western Front.
  • Southern Rhodesia offered to maintain three air squadrons in the field on any front.
  • Admiralty announced that the wreck of a German submarine, containing more than 50 dead had been washed up on the Goodwin Sands.
  • Murmansk marine authorities ordered the release and immediate departure of the US vessel, ‘City of Flint’ brought in by a German prize crew on Tuesday.
  • Soviet Government replied to British Government’s Notes of September 6 and 11 on questions of war contraband, declining to recognize the validity of the British contraband list or the British Government’s rights to inspect and detain Soviet merchant shops.
  • It was, officially confirmed in Berlin that Hitler intended to bring back all German minorities from all countries.
  • An Austrian ‘Freedom’ radio stations began sending out anti-Nazi broadcasts.

Friday October 17th

  • Massed concentration of German troops was reported in the Saar, along with German North Sea coast.
  • US senate passed the Bill repeating the arms embargo provision of the Neutrality Act.
  • King Leoppold broadcast an address to the people of the United States in which he declared Belgian’s neutrality, but stated that, if attacked she would not hesitate to fight.
  • German press complained that alleged anti-Nazi propaganda in Belgian newspapers were a breach of neutrality.
  • German submarine sunk by French Navy in the Atlantic.
  • Malaya made a first contribution of £80,000 to the REd Cross and St John fund, thus bringing it up to over the half a million mark.

Saturday October 28th

  • Germans reported to have massed 65-80 divisions behind the lines from the North Sea to Switzerland.
  • Nazi planes attempting a reconnaissance flight over the Forth area, was forced down east of Dalkeith by British fighters. Two of the crew survived and were taken to Edinburgh.
  • Another German plane appeared over the Orkneys, but disappeared when fighters went up to engage.
  • Air ministry announced that RAF air-craft carried out night reconnaissances over certain areas in Southern Germany. This was the first flight in severe weather. All aircraft returned.
  • Washington issued a protest against the attitude of the Soviet union over the case of the ‘city of flint’, the whereabouts of which are at present uncertain.

Sunday October 29th

  • An Increasing number of British heavy guns were moved into position on the Western Front.
  • French official communique reported all quiet generally during the day.
  • Hitler said to have taken up headquarters at Godesberg
  • Himmler took over his duties as Director of Colonization in Polish territory occupied by Germans.
  • First commander of Soviet troops entered Latvia to begin occupation of bases allotted by the Latvian-Soviet agreement.

Source: Various / War Illustrated

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1 Response to War Diary October 23rd to 29th 1939

  1. Pingback: War Diary October 16th to 22nd, 1939 | WW2 Memories & History

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