|1 September 1939
Germany invades Poland at
4.44 in the morning. Airfields, ships and troops were
bombed by the German air force, the Luftwaffe.
A 9 p.m. in
the evening the British issued an ultimatum to Germany that they
should withdrawn from Poland.
BBC Radio started the 'Home
Service' a combination of the 'National Programme' and 'Regional
Programme' because of the war.
|2 September 1939
A state of war existed in
Poland. Italy proposed a peace conference.
In London it
was confirmed no reply had been received from German.
|3 September 1939
At 9 a.m. Britain gave
Germany a deadline of 11 a.m. to announce they were prepared to
withdrawn from Poland, or a state of war would exist.
11.15 a.m. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced we were
at war with Germany.
At 5 p.m. France declared war on
At 6 p.m. King George VI addressed the Empire on the
The passenger liner SS Athena was torpedoed and sunk
by German submarine U-30. 128 civilian passengers and crew
were killed out of the1103 passengers on board. This
included 28 US citizens and 54 Canadians. The Germans
denied any responsibility for the sinking. It was not
until January 1946 that the Germans admitted the Athena had been
sunk by U-30 and every effort had been made to cover this up.
|4 September 1939
The 5th Battalion, King's
Own was mobilised.
The Royal Air Force bombed German warships
at Wilhemlshaven and Brunsbuttel. Of the 29 planes, 7 were
shot down. The German Cruiser 'Emden' was damaged.
|5 September 1939
The United States of
America declared neutrality in the European War.
|6 September 1939
The first death of an
Royal Air Force pilot took place when a radar fault led to
unidentified planes seen approaching from the East. Planes
were scrambled and opened fire on the planes, until it was
realised they were British and the order was given to stop
|7 September 1939
Fighting continued in
The French Army moved in to the Saarland against
light German defences.
|8 September 1939
The siege of Warsaw
|9 September 1939
Adolf Hitler issued
Directive Number 3, which was the transfer of forces from Poland
to the West.
A Communication from the Swiss Legation conveyed
the German's assurance that poison gas or chemical warfare would
not be used.
|10 September 1939
Off the coast of Norway
the British submarine HMS Oxley was mistaken for an enemy by HMS
Tirton and sunk. There were only two survivors.
|11 September 1939
On the BBC Home Service
was "Looking after yourself" a programme which offered advice to
listeners on various aspects of personal safety under war
|12 September 1939
The Duke and Duchess of
Windsor returned from England following self-imposed exile in
The Anglo-French Supreme War Council met for the
|13 September 1939
With a claim that Polish
civilians are attacking their troops, German military leadership
vows to target Polish non-combatants.
|14 September 1939
German submarine U-39
attacked HMS Ark Royal off Rockall Bank, but the torpedoes fell
short and the submarine was depth charged by three destroyers
and became the first U-boat to be sunk in the war.
|15 September 1939
Issues of profiteering
were raised in the House of Commons, including items such as
torches, sand bags and bicycles.
|16 September 1939
The Saar Offensive ended
with a French withdrawal when the action failed to relocate any
German troops from Poland.
|17 September 1939
The Soviet Union invaded
Poland from the East. Poland's leaders fled to Romania.
The aircraft carrier HMS Courageous was torpedoed and sunk,
south west of Ireland, by German submarine U-29 with the loss of
518 of its 1938 crew. This was the first British warship
to be sunk by the Germans.
|18 September 1939
William Joyce began
making his English language propaganda broadcasts over German
radio to Britain. He would earn the nick name 'Lord
|19 September 1939
Battles continued in
Poland. Hitler visited the former free city of Danzig.
|20 September 1939
The German submarine,
U-27 was sun by the British destroyers HMS Faulkner, Forester
and Fortune, off the west of Scotland.
|21 September 1939
Germany's Jews and
Romany were ordered to be transferred to Poland using railway
|22 September 1939
A German-Soviet parade
in Brest-Litovsk was held.
|23 September 1939
Radios owned by Jews in
Nazi Germany were confiscated.
|24 September 1939
The Luftwaffe bombed
Warsaw reducing entire streets to rubble and causing widespread
|25 September 1939
Adolf Hitler issued
Directive Number 4, finishing the war in Poland.
Royal Navy began laying anti-submarine mines in the Straits of
|26 September 1939
A Luftwaffe aircraft was
shot down by the Royal Air Force for the first time north of
Fisher Bank in the North Sea.
In France the Communist Party
|27 September 1939
In Britain an emergency
war budget raised taxes and duties in order to pay for the war.
|28 September 1939
The Siege of Warsaw
ended after 20 days when the Polish Garrison capitulated to the
|29 September 1939
The 5th Battalion,
King's Own moved to Northumberland.
|30 September 1939
The Polish Government in
Exile was established in Paris.
Adolf Hitler issued Directive
Number 5 - the partition of Poland.