ITALY: Near Rome, Major Marinello Nelli of the Regia Aeronautica completes the first official helicopter flight in a twin-rotor aircraft designed by Corrandino D'Ascanio. The craft flew to a height of 59 feet (18 meters) on a flight that lasts more than eight minutes. (Jack McKillop)
UNITED STATES: The St. Louis, Missouri, chapter of the Friends of New Germany, a pro-Nazi organization, begins operating. (Jack McKillop)
AUSTRIA: Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg spoke again of the German mission of Austria stating, ". . . We will continue to fulfill this mission, not because it is prescribed for us to do so, but of our own free will and upon our own initiative, as the history and spirit of our Fatherland indicate. . . I see no differences which need, separate the capitals, the State Chancelleries, and the people here and over there, so long as the one is willing to leave the other free and undisturbed to manage his own house. . . ." (Jack McKillop)
UNITED KINGDOM: Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain endorses U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Quarantine" speech stating, "In his declaration of the necessity for a return to a belief in the pledged word and the sanctity of treaties he has voiced the convictions of this country as well as of his own, and in his call for a concerted effort in the cause of peace he will have this Government wholeheartedly with him. . . " (Jack McKillop)
CZECHOSLOVAKIA: The Czechoslovak government provides Ruthenian with full autonomy and the region is renamed Carpatho-Ukraine. This region takes on an important new role as the base for Ukrainian nationalist agitation, with the apparent support of the German government. The Polish government attempts to divide the new region between Poland, Hungary, and Romania, but the Germans frustrates all attempts at annexation. (Jack McKillop)
ITALY: The Fascist Grand Council eliminates the last vestige of the old constitution by abolishing the Chamber of Deputies. The legislative body is replaced by a new Chamber of Fasces and Corporations. (Jack McKillop)
October 8th, 1939 (SUNDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: The anti-U-boat mine barrage in the Strait of Dover
is completed and sinks U-12 today.
AF: During a patrol flight over the North Sea, a Lockheed Hudson of 224 Squadron of RAF Leuchars (N7217 flown by F./Lt. A. Womersley) destroys a Dornier Do. 18 flying-boat during a patrol over Jutland. This is the first RAF aircraft operating from the UK to shoot down an enemy aircraft.
Naval: Battlecruiser Gneisenau and other ships of the German Navy sortie off Norway to draw the Home Fleet within U-boat and aircraft range. capital ships Hood, Nelson, Repulse, Rodney and Royal Oak, together with the carrier Furious, cruisers and destroyers sail for various positions, but there is no contact.
FRANCE: 15.00 hrs two French airmen named Villey and Casenobe each shoot down an enemy plane, during a combat between 5 Curtiss Hawks of 4 Sqn. 2nd Fighter Group (the "Red Devil Squadron") and 4 Bf 109's. The first French air kills of the war.
GERMANY: Western Poland is annexed to Germany, and the land partitioned into five. Two new Reichsgau are formed: Reichsgau Danzig West Prussia, under the command of Albert Forster Reichsgau Wartheland, under the command of Arthur Greiser The remaining three partitions constituted of surplus lebensraum, two of which were added to the already existing Reichsgau of Silesia and East Prussia. The third remaining partition in Eastern German-occupied Poland was named the General Government and placed under the command of Hans Frank. (Jason Leech)
U-47 under command of Günther Prien set out from Kiel on the soon to be famous attack on the British Fleet at Scapa Flow. (Dave Shirlaw)
POLAND: Western Poland is annexed to Germany, and the land is partitioned into five gau. Two new Reichsgau are formed: Reichsgau Danzig West Prussia, under the command of Albert Forster Reichsgau Wartheland, under the command of Arthur Greiser The remaining three partitions constituted of surplus lebensraum, two of which are added to the already existing Reichsgau of Silesia and East Prussia. The third remaining partition in Eastern German-occupied Poland is named the General Government and placed under the command of Hans Frank. (Jason Leech)
FINLAND: Voluntary evacuations from municipalities near the Soviet border begin. Some 50 000 people leave their homes. (Mikko Härmeinen)
U.S.S.R.: "Reich Germans" are resettled from the Baltic States to what the Nazis call their racial home. This was agreed to previously in the Soviet-German Agreement.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: The USCG cutter USCGC Campbell joins the U.S. passenger liner SS Iroquois because of the warnings received about an attack on her (see 4 October). Later, the USN destroyers USS Davis (DD-395) and USS Benham (DD-397) also join and the four ships proceed to New York City. (Jack McKillop)
German armored ship Admiral Graf Spee takes on board crews of British freighters SS Ashlea and Newton Beech in the South Atlantic and sinks the latter with demolition charges. (Navynews & Jack McKillop)
U-37 sank SS Vistula. (Dave Shirlaw)
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