War Diary November 6th to November 12th, 1939

Monday, November 9th

  • French High Command announced that in a violent fight over the Western Front between 27 German and 9 French fighters, 9 enemy machines were brought down, 7 behind the French lines. The French suffered no loss.
  • Molotov, in a speech at Moscow, reaffirmed that the Soviet policy was one of peace, and denounced the capitalist Powers for striving to extend the war.
  • The Communist International issued a manifesto in which it classed the German Government with those of Great Britain and France as being hostile to the workers.
  • King Leopold, accompanied my M Spaak, Belgian Foreign Minister, arrived at The Hague just before midnight, and conferred with Queen Wilhelmina and her Foreign Minister, M van Kleffens.
  • The Air Ministry reported that RAF aircraft carried out successful reconnaissance flights over Western Germany and secured valuable photographs. One aircraft had not returned.,
  • Diplomatic representations were made in Norway regarding the fate of the ‘City of Flint’, which is still in Bergen.
  • Finnish talks in Moscow delayed.
  • During September 37 British merchant shops, total tonnage about 155,000 were lost through enemy action; during October these had dropped to 19 ships, of about 83,000 tons.
  • Burgomaster Max died.

Tuesday November 7th

  • Queen Wilhelmina and King Leopold issued a joint appeal for peace, with an offer of good offices to the belligerent powers.
  • The Admiralty announced that, in the souther part of the North Sea, certain of our light forces, including two Polish destroyers, were in action with German aircraft. No damage was done to any ship.
  • The Air Ministry announced that a number of air actions took place over the North Sea. An enemy aircraft approaching the Shetlands was drive off by anti-aircraft fire and then chased away by British aircraft. Other enemy aircraft were sighted and two were engaged by RAF patrols many miles out over the North Sea, but escaped in cloud.
  • Further photographic and visual reconnaissance over north-west Germany were made by RAF aircraft. One plane failed to return.
  • Lord Halifax made a world broadcast on Britain’s war aims.

Wednesday, November 8th

  • In a speech in the Buergerbraue beer cellar, Munich, Hitler made a violent attack on Britain.
  • An attempt was made on Hitler’s life, a bomb explosion taking place shortly after he left the cellar. Nine persons were killed and more than 60 injured.
  • A single-handed action was fought by a New Zealand pilot at a height of five miles over an RAF aerodrome in France, and a German reconnaissance machine was brought down.
  • Air Ministry announced that three German aircraft were engaged in combat over the North Sea by two reconnaissance aircraft of RAF Coastal Command. One of the enemy aircraft, a Heinke; seaplane crashed on the water and sank. Another was seen to fall partially out of control.
  • Three German attacks on the Western Front were repulsed.
  • Further disquieting reports of German activity on the Dutch frontier were received. Dutch military authorities decided to extend the safety inundation area.
  • It was reported that the German supply ship ‘Uhrenfels’ had been captured and taken to Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Thursday November 9th

  • Nazi press and radio accused Britain of being responsible for the Munich bomb explosion. Hundreds of arrests were made throughout Germany.
  • Anxiety was caused by movements of German cavalry and supplies of petrol on the Dutch border.
  • Paris reported increased activity on the front between the Rhine and the Moselle.
  • Russo-Finnish talks resumed in Moscow.
  • It was decided that the cargo of the ‘City of Flint’ should be unloaded at Bergen and put up for sale.
  • The union Information Officer, South Africa, revealed the existence of a Nazi plot for the arming of Blackshirt troops to march on Johannesburg and Pretoria and sabotage vital industries.
  • Armed clash took place on the Dutch frontier at Venlo, in Limberg, one man, believed to be Dutch, being killed.

Friday November 10th

  • Paris reported increased air activity in Eastern and North-Eastern France in the preceding 24 hours.
  • On the Western Front two local enemy attacks were repulsed by infantry and artillery fire. Reinforcements were moving up to the Siegfried Line.
  • RAF Coastal Command fighters destroyed an enemy flying boat off the East Coast. A second plane was engaged but escaped.
  • The Admiralty announced that HMS Rover, a small auxiliary vessel, was considerably overdue and must be presumed lost, with her crew of four officers and 23 men.
  • Dutch military authorities started flooding the main inundation areas and taking other precautions against invasion.
  • There was a further hitch in the Finnish-Soviet negotiations.
  • Empire envoys, accompanied by Mr Anthony Eden, met M Daladier and General Gamlin in Paris.

Saturday, November 11th

  • Armistice Day messages were exchanged between the King and the French President.
  • The Queen broadcast a message to the women of the Empire.
  • RAF made successful reconnaissance flights the preceding night over town in South-West Germany, including Stuttgart, Mannheim, and Nuremberg. One aircraft failed to return.
  • Paris reported a quiet day on the Western Front. During the night aircraft flew over North-Eastern France.
  • Wilhelmstrasse repeated the assurance that the neutrality of Holland and Belgium would be respected.
  • Empire envoys who are visiting France reached GHQ.

Sunday, November 12th

  • The King and the President of the French republic replied to the offer of good service made by Queen Wilhelmina and King Leopold.
  • On the Western Front attempts by the enemy to gain ground was repulsed.
  • The Soviet Government issued a statement dissatisfaction at the results hitherto reached in the Finnish negotiations.
  • Mr Churchill broadcast a speech on the situation at the end of ten weeks of war.
  • Among the thousands of persons arrested following the Munich bomb explosion were said to be Monarchists, Jews, Social Democrats and members of the Gestapo itself.

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