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1938   (WEDNESDAY) 

CHINA: The Japanese launch a major Fall Offensive in southern China, wrestling control of several major cities from the Chinese. The Japanese land forces at Bias Bay, near Hong Kong taking advantage of the Czechoslovak-German Crisis in Europe. (Jack McKillop)

October 12th, 1939 (THURSDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain warns Germany to choose between definite guarantees for permanent European security and "war to the utmost of our strength" stating, "Peace conditions cannot be acceptable which begin by condoning aggression. . . . Past experience has shown that no reliance can be placed upon the promises of the present German Government. . . . Only when world confidence is restored will it be possible to find--as we would wish to do with the aid of all who show good will--solutions of those questions which disturb the world; which stand in the way of disarmament, retard the restoration of trade, and prevent the improvement of the well-being of the peoples. There is thus a primary condition to be satisfied. Only the German Government can fulfill it. If they will not, there can as yet be no new or better world order of the kind for which all nations yearn." (Jack McKillop)

British seizure of U.S. mail continues. Authorities at the contraband control station at Weymouth remove 94 sacks addressed to Rotterdam, 81 to Antwerp and 184 to Germany, from U.S. freighter SS Black Tern, which was detained yesterday; authorities at the Downs remove 77 sacks of parcel post, 33 sacks of registered mail, and 156 sacks of regular mail addressed to the Netherlands, in addition to 65 sacks of mail addressed to Belgium, 4 to Luxembourg, 3 to Danzig, and 259 to Germany, from Dutch motorship MS Zaandam. (Jack McKillop) 

GERMANY: SS-Hauptsturmführer Adolf Eichmann (Captain), head of Section IV B4 of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA), which is charged with assembling Europe's Jews under German control, begins deporting Jews from Austria and Czechoslovakia into Poland. (Perry Stewart)

POLAND: Krakow: Hitler appoints the Nazi Lawyer Hans Frank to head the new administration for German-occupied Poland, now renamed the "General Government".

U.S.S.R.: Moscow: Russia presents its official demands for an exchange of territory.
They are proposing that Finland should give over territory in the Karelian Isthmus, the islands at the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland and lease a base at Hanko peninsula in Finland's southern coast. The Soviets are ready to give in exchange a swathe of territory in northern Karelia. Finns resisted because the territory in the Isthmus would include the southern part of the main defensive line (that would later be known as the 'Mannerheim Line'), because the Hanko base would be uncomfortably near Helsinki, and because the territory in Karelia the Soviets are offering is strategically and economically worthless undeveloped land.  But the most important reason is that the Finns are afraid that the Soviet proposals are just the first step in an attempt to annex Finland. The Finnish negotiators have the powers to discuss giving over the islands in the Gulf of Finland and considerably smaller concessions in the Isthmus, but absolutely no base at Hanko. The popular opinion in Finland firmly opposes any concessions. All this happens while Estonia and other Baltic states have already submitted under Soviet pressure and Soviet units are arriving at the agreed bases in Estonia. (Mikko Härmeinen)

CANADA: Tug HMCS Murray Stewart commissioned as examination vessel Saint John, New Brunswick. Built by Port Arthur Shipbuilding, Port Arthur, Ontario, 109x26x16ft, single screw, steam triple-expansion 156 NHP, 10kts, Purchased 1922 by Dept, of Transport, to RCN 1939-46, Post WW.II, sold 1946, renamed David Richard in 1951, at Port Arthur, renamed 1979 Georgian Queen. Pendant (Z19)(A)>(J19). (Dave Shirlaw)

UNITED STATES: The U.S. Army Air Corps places an order for 270 Fairchild Model M62A primary trainers to be designated PT-19s. A total of 7,741 aircraft are built including 4,889 PT-19s built by Aeronca, Fairchild and St. Louis Aircraft; 1,125 PT-23s with a different engine built by Aeronca; Fairchild; Fleet Aviation of Ft. Erie, Ontario; Howard and St. Louis; and 1,727 PT-26s with a cockpit hood built by Fairchild and Fleet Aviation. The Royal Canadian Air Force receives 1,565 of these aircraft under Lend-Lease designating them Cornells. (Jack McKillop)

ATLANTIC OCEAN: RN warships operating on the Northern Patrol continue to stop neutral merchantman; between this date and 26 October, 112 vessels are stopped, of which 23 are detained at Kirkwall for the inspection of their cargoes. (Jack McKillop)

U-37 sank SS Aris.

U-48 sank SS Emile Miguet in Convoy KJ-2. (Dave Shirlaw)


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