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24 Sep 1939

  • Limited food rationing began in Germany. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The 1,510-ton Swedish merchant steamer Gurtrud Bratt was stopped by German submarine U-4 (Oberleutnant zur See Harro von Klot-Heydenfeldt) firing two rounds across her bows, 12 miles southeast of Jomfruland, Norway. As the ship was registered in a neutral country, the Germans demanded to see the ship's papers. The Swedish ship was loaded with wood pulp, paper and cellulose and bound for Bristol, England, United Kingdom. Regarding this cargo as contraband the Germans ordered the master of the Gurtrud Bratt, E. K. Jönssen, to get his crew into the lifeboats as he was going to sink his ship. As there were no more scuttling charges on board, the submarine fired torpedoes to sink her. The first two failed, the third hit and exploded amidships, sinking the ship within minutes. According to the survivors the Germans had promised to tow the two lifeboats towards the nearby Norwegian coast but apparently the submarine left without helping them after sighting an aircraft. The boats were spotted later that day by the Norwegian customs cruiser T-II and towed to Langesund, Norway. ww2dbase [HM]
  • German Einsatzgruppen murdered 800 members of Polish intelligentsia at Bydgoszcz, Poland. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • The Soviet Union gave an ultimatum to the Estonian Foreign Minister in Moscow, Russia, demanding land to build a Soviet minitary base in Estonia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Winston Churchill noted that the past three weeks since the European War had begun had been the longest he had ever lived. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • Joseph Stilwell was made the commanding officer of the 3rd Brigade at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

24 Sep 1939 Interactive Map

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
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943