October 8th, 1939
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)
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)
The Graf Spee sinks the British freighter NEWTON BEACH. (Navynews)
U-37 sank SS Vistula. (Dave Shirlaw)
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