10th September 1939
Canada has joined the fray and declared war on Germany. They join with France, Britain, Australia, India, and New Zealand who declared immediately on 3rd September. South Africa joined the cause on the 6th.
The Poles meanwhile have ordered a general retreat back to defensive positions. Germany’s extremely effective and efficient propaganda machine has used the same radio frequency as Radio Warsaw to falsely announce the fall of the Polish capital. More than a dozen airstrikes have hit Warsaw today, causing much damage and more than a few deaths.
France has at least half of it’s active divisions in action along the northern part of the Maginot Line and despite pressure from Poland claims there is little more they can do at this stage.
Britain’s Expeditionary Force (BEF) has commenced landing at Calais with the first of 160,000 troops, nearly 25,000 vehicles and well over 100,000 tons of supplies planned for September.
Disaster at Sea for Britain
Odin Class Submarines HMAS Oxley (front) and Otway during their service in Australia prior to their transfer back to the Royal Navy in 1931. Oxley was sunk by HMS Triton today.
This time the Royal Navy has shown up Britian’s total lack of readiness for war. HMS Triton was working with HMS Oxley (formerly of the Royal Australian Navy, but returned to the RN in 1931). Triton spotted a submarine in an unexpected location and signalled recognition codes to the unidentified sub via light. When the submarine failed to respond, it was assumed to be an enemy submarine and fired upon with two torpedoes. Only two survivors were recovered from Oxley and all other hands were lost.
A subsequent board of enquiry found that Oxley was grossly out of position and failed to respond appropriately to light signals. Subsequently, Triton’s commander was found to have acted correctly, given the high probability of German submarines operating in the North Sea.