No 'Phoney War' for the Royal Navy

In ‘Home’ waters, Coastal minelayer HMS PLOVER lays the first UK minefield of WW2; a defensive field off Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth. She’ll then take passage to Dover for commencement of the Dover Barrage.

Had a peirhead jump to her for three months from Lochinvar.....different to say the least....that was mid sixties....
 
Between 4th & 6th September 1939, Polish submarines ORP Rys (pic), Wilk & Zbik lay a total of 50 mines N. of the Vistula estuary, E of Héla and NE of Heisternest. A German minesweeper is claimed to have been lost whilst sweeping these fields in October.

 
On This Day in 1939

Declaration of war - South Africa declared war on Germany.

US Neutrality Patrol - The United States instituted the Patrol around the territorial United States.

Destroyer FEARLESS departed Scapa Flow for Haugesand to embark the Polish political mission and shortly after leaving, attacked a submarine contact off the Orkneys. FEARLESS reached Haugesand on the 7th and embarked the political mission.

Scottish west coast - destroyers ELECTRA, ESCORT, FAME departed Greenock after landing the survivors from steamer ATHENIA.

British east coast - destroyers JERVIS and JAVELIN attacked a submarine contact off Aberdeen.

Polish destroyers BLYSKAWICA, BURZA, GROM, departed Rosyth for Plymouth, arriving on the 9th. On passage through the Minches on the 7th in 56-55N, 07-05W, they depth charged a submarine contact.

U.15 laid a minefield off Flamborough during the night of 5/6 September which sank two merchant ships.

Destroyers JACKAL, JANUS, JUNO departed the Humber to meet Norwegian steamer BATAVIA (962grt) in the North Sea bringing back the British Berlin Embassy staff from Rotterdam. JACKAL and JANUS made anti-submarine attacks in the Thames Estuary at 51-36N, 01-38E and 51-29N, 01-26E.

Destroyer BEAGLE made two attacks on a submarine contact off North Foreland.

English Channel - aircraft carrier HERMES departed Portland escorted by destroyers KEMPENFELT, ACASTA, AMAZON, ANTELOPE, ARDENT to cover the first BEF troop convoy, arriving at Devonport at 1930/6th.

Southwestern Approaches/off Bay of Biscay - U.38 sank steamer MANAAR (7242grt) NW of Cape St Vincent in 42-01, 14-38W. Seven crewmen were lost and the survivors rescued by Dutch steamer MARS (1582grt), Italian liner CASTELBIANCO (4895grt) and Portuguese liner CARVALHO ARAUJO (4560grt).

U.47 sank steamer RIO CLARO (4086grt) SW of Ireland in 50-27N, 13-45W. All the crew were rescued.

 
OTD 1939 German coaster Lianne strikes a mine in the Skagerrak & sinks. She is Germany’s 1st mine casualty of WW2; entering a German minefield on passage from Hamburg to Kungshamm (Sweden). 1st German mine casualty of WW2. A Greek MV also sustains damage in the area.
 
On This Day in 1939

FIREDRAKE attacked a submarine contact at 1730 and claimed a sinking...

Hebrides - Polish destroyer BLYSKAWICA with destroyer BURZA attacked a submarine contact 10 miles south of Uist.

British east coast – destroyers JERVIS and JERSEY attacked a submarine contact off Fidra island, Firth of Forth.

Destroyer JACKAL attacked a submarine contact in the Thames Estuary.

Polish submarine RYS laid ten mines off the Vistula Estuary at 54-42N, 19-04E.

U.22 in the Baltic unsuccessfully attacked Polish submarine ZBIK on patrol.

Dover Straits - destroyer BRAZEN attack a submarine contact off South Foreland.

Steamer BEN LOWERS (5943grt) was attacked by a submarine off Land's End. Destroyers KEITH and VENETIA were sent to hunt for U-boat.

Southwestern approaches/off Bay of Biscay - U.33 sank steamer OLIVE GROVE (4060grt) 250 miles SW of Fastnet in 49‑05N, 15‑58W and the survivors were picked up by American steamer WASHINGTON (7030grt)

U.34 sank steamer PUKKASTAN (5809grt) 70 miles SW of Land's End in 49‑23N, 07‑49W, and the entire crew was picked up by Dutch steamer BILDERDYK (6856grt).

U.47 sank steamer GARTAVON (1777grt) 260 miles WNW from Cape Finisterre in 47‑04N, 11‑32W, and the entire crew of 22 were picked up by Swedish tanker CASTOR (8714grt) and taken to the Azores.

U.37 unsuccessfully attacked steamer DEFENDER (8200grt) 170 miles SW from Cape Finisterre. steamer RICHMOND HILL (5491grt) and tanker DE TAMAHA (6496grt) also reported being attacked by submarines (also U.37) 140 miles W by N and 145 miles W by S of Cape Finisterre, respectively.

 
On This Day in 1939 the Dutch minesweeper HNLMS Willem van Ewjik was sunk by a mine in the North Sea off Terschelling. 33 killed. First Allied warship lost to mining, she had been attempting to clear mis-positioned mines that she and her sister ships had just laid.
 
On This Day in 1939

Danish waters - Finnish sailing vessel OLIVE BANK (2795grt) sank on a mine in the North Sea in 55‑53N, 05‑07E, 105 miles SW of Bouvbjerg, Denmark. Fourteen crewmen were lost, with the survivors picked up by a Danish fishing boat and taken to Esbjerg.

Baltic - German steamers HELFRID BISSMARK (727grt) sank in the Sound between Sjaelland and Sweden and HELGA SCHRODER (656grt) in the Baltic, both the victim of mines.

Dutch waters - Dutch minesweeper WILLEM VAN EWIJK was lost off Terschelling and minelayer WILLEM VAN DER ZAAN damaged off Den Helder when they struck Dutch mines.

Dover Straits - destroyers BLANCHE and BRILLIANT attacked a submarine contact five miles NNE of North Goodwin.

English Channel - a flying boat made two attacks on submarine contacts, one in Mounts Bay and one south of the Lizard. Two destroyers departed Plymouth to investigate.

U.26 laid a minefield off Portland on which three steamers were sunk.

U.34 severely damaged British tanker KENNEBEC (5548grt) 70 miles W by S of the Bishops in 49‑18N, 08‑13W. She was scuttled by destroyer WOLVERINE when found to be beyond salvage and her crew rescued by Dutch steamer BREEDYK (6861grt).

Steamer CADILLAC (1262grt) was attacked by U.52, 180 miles SW of Cape Clear but not damaged.

U.29 torpedoed British tanker REGENT TIGER (10,177grt) 250 miles WSW of Cape Clear in 49‑57N, 15‑34W but she did not sink until the 10th in 49-48N, 14-33W. The survivors were rescued by Belgian steamer JEAN JADOT (5859grt).

British trawler STAUNTON (283grt) 75 miles west of Ushant took to their boats when approached by a U-boat, but it did not attack. American steamer AMERICAN FARMER (7430grt) assisted the crew.

U.48 sank steamer WINKLEIGH (5055grt) 500 miles west of Ushant in 48‑06N, 18‑12W. Her survivors were rescued by Dutch liner STATENDAM (28,291grt).

 
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