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1933   (SATURDAY)

SWITZERLAND: The Geneva Disarmament Conference, which began on 2 February 1933, concludes. Delegates from 60 countries met to consider plans to reduce the likelihood of war through a general disarmament conference. The new German government, under Chancellor Adolf Hitler, opposed the French disarmament plan presented by President Edouard Herriot. British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald introduced a plan in March by which European armies would be reduced by almost 500,000 men with France and Germany enjoying military equality. While the United States supported Prime Minister MacDonald's proposal, the plan collapsed when the Germans insisted that Storm Troopers should not be counted as soldiers. The conference adjourned between June and October and during the interval desperate attempts were made to reach an agreement. In the final negotiations, Britain, France, Italy, and the United States offered not to increase their armaments for four years and at the end of that time Germa  ny would be allowed to rearm to the same level as the other four powers. In response, the Germans demanded immediate equality in "defensive weapons" and the negotiations collapsed. (Jack McKillop)


1936   (WEDNESDAY)

BELGIUM: The Belgian government announces its withdrawal from the military alliance with France and the resumption of Belgium's liberty of action in foreign affairs. The Belgian government's decision reflects Germany's remilitarization of the Rhineland and the Franco-Soviet alliance. The kingdom seeks to remain neutral in any future wars between Germany and France to avoid the catastrophe of World War I. (Jack McKillop)


1937   (THURSDAY)

CHINA: The Japanese Army captures Kueisui. (Jack McKillop)


1938   (FRIDAY)

UNITED STATES: The prototype Curtiss (Model 75P) XP-40 makes its first flight at Buffalo Municipal Airport, New York. This ias actually the tenth P-36A Hawk modified with a liquid-cooled engine. A total of 11,997 P-40s are manufactured during the war with many going to the RAF and Commonwealth Air Forces under Lend-Lease. (Jack McKillop)

October 14th, 1939 (SATURDAY)


The 1940 edition of '"Who's Who", published today, gives Hitler four more lines than Chamberlain.

Scapa Flow: The battleship HMS Royal Oak was sunk by a torpedo from a U-boat that managed to sneak into the anchorage at Scapa Flow, the base of Britain's Home Fleet.The 29,150 ton veteran of the Battle of Jutland was sunk at 1.00 a.m. German aerial reconnaissance had revealed a gap in the Scapa Flow defences. The entrance to Kirk Sound was only half blocked by cables and wires, leaving a 50-foot gap, quite big enough for a U-boat. Lieutenant-Commander Gunther Prien in U-47 was dispatched to strike before the defences were finished.
He spent the whole of the 13th on the seabed, and surfaced at 7pm. There was no moon but the aurora borealis provided enough light to the Germans. There was a strong current against them so the U-boat had to stay on the surface as they sailed straight into the harbour. Of the first salvo of 4 torpedoes, only one exploded, and this was believed by those on board to have been due to an air attack or an internal explosion. Kapitanleutenant Prien had time to reload and carried out a second attack in which all 3 torpedoes fired hit home and in 13 minutes the ship rolled over and capsized. Altogether 414 of the crew were saved, but the other 810 perished as the blazing ship sank in minutes. For the entire period, U-47 remained on the surface and then made a hurried withdrawal and return to Wilhelmshaven where they are given a heroes’ welcome, Prien being awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for this action. Although not a substantial loss, the incident gave Germany a significant psychological and propaganda victory. (Alex Gordon and Peter Kilduff)(108)

Ewood Park: Football. Blackburn Rovers play Bury in a friendly. Very few soldiers attend and out of a crowd of 1,000 only six are seen to carry their gas masks. (72)

The U.S. freighter SS Scanstates is detained at Kirkwall, Orkneys, by British authorities. (Jack McKillop)

AMC HMS Dunnottar Castle is commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)

NORTH SEA: U-23 is attacked by British submarine HMS Sturgeon with three torpedoes, but all miss. (Dave Shirlaw)

FRANCE: The U.S. freighter SS Nashaba is detained at Le Havre by French authorities. (Jack McKillop)

U.S.S.R.: Moscow: Russia refuses to consider Finnish counter-proposals for a land exchange on their borders.

The first round of Fenno-Soviet negotiations end at Moscow. After the Finnish negotiator Juho Paasikivi turned down the proposals for a mutual assistance pact, the Soviets contended themselves with insisting military bases and border changes. After receiving the concrete Soviet proposals Paasikivi and the military expert Col. Aladar Paasonen leave for Finland to receive further instructions. (Mikko Härmeinen)

GIBRALTAR: The U.S. freighter SS Exporter is detained by the British. (Jack McKillop)

U.S.A.: Washington: Colonel Charles Lindbergh has caused deep anger both in Canada and in many circles in the United States by his radio broadcast last night in which he questioned the right of Canada to "draw this hemisphere into a European war because they prefer the Crown of England to American Independence".
Senator Key Pittman of Nevada, the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, attacked Colonel Lindbergh's speech. The New York Herald Tribune called it "as fantastic in logic as it is bad in taste". Many Canadian leaders have already wired their fury to Washington, and Canadian ex-servicemen's groups have protested.
Lindbergh appeared to try to meet the charge that he is pro-German by calling for both Nazi and Communist influence in America to be "stamped out". he also said that British and French colonies in the Caribbean should be handed to the US to pay war debts.

     The Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is authorized to develop radio control equipment for use in remote controlled flight-testing of aircraft so that dives, pullouts, and other maneuvers could be performed near the aircraft’s designed strength without risking the life of a test pilot. (Jack McKillop)

ATLANTIC OCEAN: After sinking two merchant ships, SS Bretagne and SS Lochavon, in fast convoy KJF-3 (Kingston, Jamaica to U.K.) totaling19,313 tons, German submarine U.45, under the command of Kapitänleutnant (Lieutenant Commander) Alexander Gelhaar, is sunk about 177 nautical miles (327 kilometers) west-southwest of Cork, County Cork, Éire, in position 50.58N, 12.57W. The sub is sunk by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Inglefield (D 02), Intrepid (D 10) and Ivanhoe (D 16) which were escorting the convoy; all 38 crewmen on the sub are lost.

U-48 sinks SS Sneaton.

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