No Minister

September the 3rd, 1939

The day the greatest slaughter in history began for New Zealand and Australia.


The Allies and Axis powers at the dawn of the German/Soviet invasion of Poland1:

The Republic of China and the Empire of Japan are involved in the early stages of the third year of armed conflict between them during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The war is in what will be known as the “Second Period”, which starts after the fall of Wuhan in October 1938 and ends in December 1941 with Pearl Harbor. This conflict will eventually be swept up into World War II when Japan joins the Axis and China joins the Allies.[1]1:

The invasion of Poland by Germany starts at 4:45 a.m. when the KriegsmarinebattleshipSchleswig-Holstein opens fire on the Polish military transit depot at Westerplatte in the Free City of Danzig on the Baltic Sea, but the attack is repulsed.[2] At the same time the Luftwaffeattacks several targets in Poland, among them Wieluń, the first town in the war to be carpet bombed by the Germans.[3] Shortly before 6:00 a.m., the German Army passes the Polish border in great numbers from north and south, together with Slovak units.[4][5] In the same day, the Free City of Danzig is annexed by Germany.[6] Resisters entrenched in the city’s Polish Post Office are overwhelmed.[2]1:

The Italian government announces that it will maintain a condition of “non-belligerence” in the conflict.

[7]1: NorwaySwedenDenmarkFinlandLatvia and Estonia as well as Romania immediately declare their neutrality.[8]

[9]1: The House of Commons of the United Kingdom passes an emergency military budget.[10]1:

The BritishWar SecretaryLeslie Hore-Belisha orders the War Office to begin the general mobilization of the British Armed Forces.[11]1: 

In a mass evacuation effort (code named “operation Pied Piper”) the British authorities relocate 1,473,000 children and adults from the cities to the countryside. The adults involved were teachers, people with disabilities and their helpers, mothers with preschool children.[12]1:

Acting on account of their governments, the ambassadors of France and Britain demand the German government to cease all hostile activities and to withdraw its troops from Poland.[6]1:

The President of the United StatesFranklin Delano Roosevelt sends an appeal to all European powers involved in the crisis asking them to abstain from bombing civilian and unfortified cities. Germany’s FührerAdolf Hitler, answers immediately assuring the Americanchargé d’affairesAlexander C. Kirk that the Luftwaffe will only attack military targets. The British Prime MinisterNeville Chamberlain also promises to abide to the request, as does Poland’s ambassador to the US Jerzy Antoni Potocki.[13]2:

Right after Britain, the French Parliament also approves an emergency war budget.[14]2:

The British and French governments agree on issuing an ultimatum to Germany the following day.[15]2:

The Swiss government orders a general mobilization of its forces.2:

The Irish State’s Dáil Éireann approves a state of emergency, paving the way to legislation that vastly enhances the government‘s powers.[16]2:

The French Army begins its general mobilization.[17]3:

At 9:00 a.m. the British ambassador to Berlin Nevile Henderson is instructed by the Cabinet to deliver an ultimatum to Germany which expired without answer at 11:00 a.m.[18] As a result at 11:15 a.m. British Standard Time (BST) the Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announces that Britain is at war with Germany.[19]3:

The National Service (Armed Forces) Act 1939 is approved and enforces full conscription in the British Armed Forces on all able-bodied males between 18 and 41 resident in the UK.[20][21]3:

In Britain, Chamberlain forms a new war ministry with a smaller and more powerful war cabinet within composed of nine ministers (Chamberlain, Sir Samuel HoareSir John SimonLord HalifaxLeslie Hore-Belisha, Sir Kingsley WoodLord ChatfieldLord Hankey and Winston Churchill).[22] During its first meeting, the cabinet appoints general Sir Edmund Ironside as head of the Chief of the Imperial General Staff and general Viscount Gort head of the British Expeditionary Force.[23]3:

The British Viceroy of IndiaLord Linlithgow also declares war on Germany without consulting Indian nationalists.[24]3:

The Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies declares that the country is at war with Germany due to Britain’s choice, and a similar war declaration against Germany is made by New Zealand‘s government.[25]3:

At 12:00 p.m. the French Government delivers a similar final ultimatum to Germany which at 5:00 p.m. also expires unanswered, thus bringing France in the war.[26]3:

Within hours of the British declaration of War, SS Athenia, a British cruise ship en route from Glasgow, UK, to MontrealCanadais torpedoed by the German submarineU-30 250 miles (400 km) Northwest of Ireland. 112 passengers and crew members are killed. The “Battle of the Atlantic” starts.[2

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September 3, 2021 at 12:59 pm

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