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World War II Database

23 Aug 1939
  • Albert Forster became the State President of the Free City of Danzig. ww2dbase [Albert Forster | CPC]
  • Joachim von Ribbentrop and the German delegation arrived aboard two Condor aircraft at Moscow, Russia and met Joseph Stalin and Vyacheslav Molotov in two sessions, with the second session going late into the night and resulting in the signing of the German-Soviet non-aggression pact. It eliminated the possibility of Soviet Union allying with the western powers; in addition, a secret clause effectively set the plans for a partition of Poland. ww2dbase [Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact | TH]
  • Italy sent a message to Germany noting that when the two nations negotiated the Pact of Steel, article 3, which obliged one nation to go to join in any war the other nation engaged in, the two had the understanding that Italy would not be ready for war until 1943. Should Germany invade Poland before 1942, Italy would not be ready. ww2dbase [The Pact of Steel | CPC]
  • France partially mobilized its military to bolster its border defenses. ww2dbase [CPC]
Danzig
  • Albert Forster was appointed by the German government as the State President of the Free City of Danzig. ww2dbase [The Danzig Crisis | CPC]
Germany
  • Erwin Rommel was promoted to the rank of major general and was posted to the Staff of the Adolf Hitler's Headquarters, to be responsible again for Hitler's safety. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC, AC]
  • U-27 departed Wilhelmshaven, Germany for her first and only war patrol. ww2dbase [U-27 | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Captain F. E. P. Hutton was named the commanding officer of HMS Hermes, relieving Captain G. Fraser. ww2dbase [Hermes | CPC]
  • HMS Kelly was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Kelly | AC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Aug 1939
Molotov signing the German-Soviet non-aggression pact, Moscow, Russia, 23 Aug 1939; Shaposhnikov, Ribbentrop, and Stalin in back rowRibbentrop signing the German-Soviet non-aggression pact, Moscow, Russia, 23 Aug 1939, photo 1 of 3; Shaposhnikov, Molotov, and Stalin in back rowRibbentrop signing the German-Soviet non-aggression pact, Moscow, Russia, 23 Aug 1939, photo 2 of 3; Molotov and Stalin in back rowRibbentrop signing the German-Soviet non-aggression pact, Moscow, Russia, 23 Aug 1939, photo 3 of 3; Boris Shaposhnikov and Joseph Stalin in back row
See all photos dated 23 Aug 1939

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis




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Famous WW2 Quote
"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal