October 14th, 1939UNITED KINGDOM:
The 1940 edition of '"Who's Who", published today, gives Hitler four more lines than Chamberlain.
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.
ATLANTIC OCEAN: U.45 under commander Gehlhaar is sunk west of Ireland, in position 50.58N, 12.57W, by depth charges from HMS Icarus, HMS Inglefield, HMS Intrepid and HMS Ivanhoe escorting Kingston, Jamaica/UK convoy KJF-3 (All hands lost).
This follows U.45's sinking of SS Bretagne and SS Lochavon.
U-48 sinks SS Sneaton.
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