6 September 1940

6 September 1940

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6 September 1940

September 1940

> October


King Carol abdicates in favour of Prince Micheal

Document 123 - Statement of Dr Y. M. Dadoo, Secretary, Non-European United Front (Transvaal), before the Court, 6 September 1940

In submitting the following points for the consideration of the Court, I feel that this matter is not one that concerns me alone. It is one that concerns all the Non-European people, and this case is one that might set a precedent for similar actions against other Non-European people. In view of the fact that I am a public figure among the Non-European people, and one to whom many of them look for guidance, I feel that it is my duty to submit a statement to the Court.

One of the mass Non-European organisations, namely, the Non-European United Front of the Transvaal, of which I am the Secretary, works for the complete economic and political emancipation of all the Non-European peoples. When it was confronted with this question of the war, it had, in accordance with its avowed policy and principles, to give an honest and truthful lead to its people and therefore the question was very seriously considered by its Council, and after proper deliberations it decided to issue a leaflet reflecting the true and accurate picture of the position and status of the Non- European people as a whole, and giving them a guidance on the necessity for certain definite conditions being fulfilled by the Government of this country before the Non-European people could be expected to participate in the war efforts of the Government. I was, in my capacity as Secretary of this body, accordingly instructed by my Council to carry this decision into effect, and I did so willingly and wholeheartedly.

In view of the oppression and tremendous disabilities of my Non-European people, I submit that if the Council had taken any other course than the one it did take, it would have consciously and deliberately and against all canons of justice betrayed the very principle for which it stood, and it would also have, to its and its people's utter shame and degradation, lined itself up with reactionary and opportunist organisations. I am, indeed, proud to say that the Non-European United Front had the courage of its convictions to stand up, and give the right guidance to its people, although it had to do so at a most trying and difficult time.

It is my contention that the contents of the leaflet which forms "Annexure 2" of the Charge-Sheet, sets out the true position of the Non-European people, and that the Non-European United Front had given, which it was entitled to do, the right and correct guidance to its people, and therefore I desire to point out to the Court at this juncture by means of proof and examples that the leaflet in question was not mala-fides, or issued with any intention to mislead or defraud the public or a section of the public. Furthermore, I contend that "incitement" could be calculated to be caused, or a "feeling of hostility" to be engendered only when attempts or appeals are made on malicious grounds and with the utilization of all known methods of falsehood to warp the reason and rouse the base instincts of man to gain certain ulterior motive or motives by setting one section of the public against another section.

The appeal of the Non-European United Front, as contained in the leaflet, is based on facts and directed in a perfectly legitimate and righteous fashion to the conscience and the instincts of reason and justice inherent in the mind of man not to allow the further perpetuation of injustice and oppression, but to work for their removal.

PASS LAWS AND POLL TAX. -The Pass System has inflicted an unbearable burden on the African people. An African has to carry a number of passes, including (a) Native Service Contract Pass, (b) Permit to travel from one area to another to seek work, (c) Special Pass required to be on the streets after 9 p.m., (d) Poll Tax Receipt.

If he has three passes on his person and one in his room, he is arrested and convicted for breaking the law.

Natives paid in taxes, 1938, (all males over 18) £2,310,747

Number of Non-Europeans prosecuted, 1938 700,000

Out of the above number, the number convicted was 588,329

Approximately 66% of those convicted were sent to prison for paltry and, at times, inadvertent breaches of such iniquitous laws like Pass Laws, Municipal Bye-Regulations, Location Regulations, Municipal Bye-Laws, etc. Such an intolerable state of affairs and indiscriminate convictions has tended to create a band of criminals out of a simple, hard-working and honest race of men. Little wonder then that, from time to time, eminent authorities like Dr. Krause and even some of the leading newspapers like the "Star" and the "Daily Mail" have openly called for the abolition of the Pass Laws and Poll Tax.

SEGREGATION. -Africans must live in locations and they are prohibited from owning property or from conducting business in European areas. Coloureds and Indians are prohibited from living in many areas, and are, in effect, segregated. Ownership of land and property is denied to Indians in the Transvaal and restricted for the Coloured people. The Asiatics (Transvaal Land and Trading) Act of 1939 has prohibited the issue of new licences and tremendous difficulties are put in the way of transfers of trade from one name to another or from one place to another.

WHITE LABOUR POLICY. -This bug-bear is used to play up to the prejudices of the European people. Thousands of Africans and Coloureds have been displaced from work by Europeans. But instead of Europeans benefitting from such a policy, their standards are dragged down because it is the usual practice for employers to dismiss the Africans at one door and re-engage them at another door to force down wages of both Non-Europeans and Europeans. This policy is definitely aggravating the Poor White Problem.

LOW WAGES. -This is an undeniable fact. The average annual wage of 343,380 African workers employed on the Gold Mines was £40 in 1939 whereas in that year the average wage of 39,974 Europeans on the Mines was £400.

ON FARMS: -The cash wages per annum average from f6 to £12.

UNSKILLED LABOUR. -2616 per week in Cape Town 17/11 per week in. Durban 19/7 per week on the Witwatersrand 11/- per week in the Sugar Mills. Thousands of Africans in Engineering and Building Industry earn just over a pound per week on which an African is expected to bring up himself and family. The African workers have managed to obtain a slight increase in their wages in those industries or factories wherein they have been organised into trade unions. The Indian labourers in the Sugar industry are receiving very low wages. They receive 45/- per month. The Fact Finding Commission on the Coloured Question has reported on the poverty of the Coloured people due to low wages and unemployment.

The low wages have reduced the purchasing power of the vast majority of the South African population, particularly the non-European people, to such a low level that the local manufacturers are finding home markets too small for the development of local industries and therefore the Chamber of Industries and dozens of press editorials from time to time are demanding that there should be a rise in African wages.

POVERTY, HIGH RENTS AND UNEMPLOYMENT. -Poverty is rife among non-Europeans, especially Africans. Rents paid by non-Europeans are very high. For example, the rents in Sophiatown and Vrededorp are as high as £1 5s. per room per month. The housing conditions are appalling. Most of the streets in non-European areas, e.g., Sophiatown, Newclare, Alexandra Township and other locations are not streets at all, but veritable mud-tracks. Sanitary services are negligible. Overcrowding is an undoubted fact. There is no unemployment relief. Unemployed are liable to be forcibly transferred to areas where labour shortage occurs. No accurate statistics are kept which could give one some idea of the appalling misery of the Non-European people. The Unemployment Benefit Act operates in certain scheduled industries such as Mining and Motor, but the Africans are deliberately excluded though they are the lowest paid and the first to lose their jobs.

COLOUR BAR LAWS. -These are too numerous to quote in full. Suffice it to say, one sees the revolting sign: "Europeans Only." Trams, Lifts, Hospitals, Trains, Places of Amusement, Libraries, Universities, Skilled Jobs, Parks, Halls -in fact, all the essential requirements of the community are reserved exclusively for the Europeans, whilst in some directions wholly inadequate facilities are provided for Non-Europeans. Yet the use of all these has only been made possible thanks to the labour of the Non-European people. They are not permitted to use the things which they have helped to build.

EDUCATION. -Total expenditure on education in 1938 £9,819,804

of which on African education

on Coloureds and Asiatics

which means, in other words, that the amount spent on

European per head of population was

DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS. -Most legislation on the Statute Book is repressive class legislation in the interests of the governing wealthy class. And most of this repressive legislation is still more oppressive in its effect on Non-Europeans. The laws in question are too numerous to quote in full but the following list will serve to give us some idea: Pass Laws, Tax Laws, Segregation Laws, Native Urban Areas Act, Apprenticeship Act, Colour Bar Act (Mining Industries), Industrial Conciliation Act, Unemployment Benefit Act, Wage Act, Anti-Asiatic Acts like Law 3of 1885, Gold Law of 1908, Transvaal Land Tenure Act of 1932, Land and Trading Act of 1939, the Riotous Assemblies Act. This brief resume of the intolerable conditions under which the non-European people have to live in this country conclusively proves that these conditions are deliberately created and fostered by the Government and European capitalists, in order to reduce the mass labour power of the Non-European people into a commodity which could be used and utilised at will to increase the wealth, luxury and happiness of a small, well-to-do section of the European community. The Non-Europeans are used as one would use an orange -the labour to be mercilessly squeezed out and the skin and pips to be thrown aside.

CONCLUSION. -In conclusion, I maintain before this Court that during the last World War of 1914-191 8 the Non-Europeans played their part and thousands made the supreme sacrifice. But, after the war, the promises for a better life were not fulfilled on the contrary, the oppression has become worse. The profiteers and big industrialists waxed fat and the position is the same to-day. In the Gold Mines, 1938, paid in Dividends f15,573,904 or 35%, and Estimate for 1940 220,000,000.

The "state of war" was declared by the Union Government, after a very small majority decision of Parliament, but the part, on which, I desire to lay particular stress is this: that at no stage during the time that this momentous decision was being taken were the Non-European peoples, who constitute over 80% of the citizens of the Union, directly consulted or allowed the opportunity to declare their considered opinion on a vital question of life and death, that of whether this country should go to war, or not.

I submit that on a question of such vast magnitude and severity, it was the supreme duty of the Government to directly consult every section of the citizens of the State. Despite this act of deliberate omission, the Union Government, in the prosecution of its war efforts, made an intensive and extensive drive to obtain the active services of the Non-European people. The war and peace aims were at no stage clearly defined by the Government, but appeals were issued that it was a War for Democracy, Freedom and Independence of Nations, Countries and Peoples. These appeals were not clearly understood by the vast majority of the Non-European people, since, they were not allowed by the State to enjoy the fruits of Democracy, Freedom and Independence, and therefore it fell on the shoulders of their mass organisations and leadership to explain to them the true position in relation to the war and then, after a full explanation, to give them a correct and proper guidance on the matter.

The workers are called upon to bear the greatest part of the brunt in this war they have to go to the Front and lay down their lives they have to speed up in Industries and Factories, but their wages are not raised, their lives not bettered.

The present war is an imperialist war, and therefore an unjust war. It is not a war to free the people, but to maintain and extend imperialist domination. Even at this critical juncture, the Union Government would not even consider the request to postpone the sitting of the Asiatic Penetration Commission for the duration of the war, thus showing, that it is not one whit concerned about affording any relief to the Non-European peopl

Under these conditions, I submit to the Court, how could any representative body of Non-European Public Opinion, or I, as one of the leaders, be expected to acquiesce in the war efforts, if we are to remain truthful and loyal to our people.

This war could only be transformed into ajust war for the preservation of Democracy and the defeat of Fascism when full and unfettered democratic rights are extended to the Non-European people of this country and when the oppressed peoples of India and the Colonial and semi-colonial countries are granted their freedom and independence.

If these conditions and rights are given them, only then, could we believe that this is a war for the preservation of Democracy and the institution of a new Social'Order and, there would be no sacrifice too great and no risk too hazardous for us, the Non-Euro-

peans, to offer for the defence of this New Social Order In view of these facts, I plead not guilty to both the charges alleged against me. Whatever the decision of the Court be, for us there is no cause so sacred, and no cause so noble, as the cause for which the Non-European United Front is fighting, and shall go on fighting, surmounting every obstacle, suffering every consequence, till justice is vindicated and freedom won.

Capitalist Press Muddies Trotsky in Death, as It Fought Him in Life

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. 4 No. 36, 7 September 1940, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

In life Leon Trotsky was always a feared and fearful figure to the capitalist press of the world. In death he is still the hated symbol of the workers&rsquo revolution. Upon his still and silenced figure the newspapers continue their vituperative assaults.

They know that while Trotsky is dead, Trotskyism is still the specter that haunts their halls of power. They tried to splatter his name while he lived. They still have the job of muddying his memory now that he is dead.

From their obituary biographies emerges a fantastic caricature of a man with a &ldquocheckered career&rdquo, as the saying goes, an adventurer, a fallen Napoleon, a would-be Genghiz Khan, a wandering Jew on the face of a planet he defiled. From the limited bounds of their vision they could not, after all, be expected to perceive the figure of Trotsky, the revolutionary titan. The venom of their final curses over his dead body revealed only their instinctive sense of Trotsky as an enemy, a powerful and fearful enemy of the social order they themselves defend.

Where more serious biographical attempts were made, as in the New York Times, a combination of Stalinist and bourgeois distortions were arbitrarily grafted upon a slim framework of the actual physical facts of his life. The Times, intent up reducing this gigantic historical figure to the puny dimensions of the men it better understands, resurrected the charge that Trotsky was &ldquojealous of Lenin&rsquos power and discontented with the fact that he did not have an equal share in controlling Russia&rsquos destinies.&rdquo Also out of its grab bag of handy lies, the Times pulled the assertion that in 1926 Trotsky &ldquocapitulated unconditionally (to Stalin) and publicly repudiated his action.&rdquo

The New York Daily News saw Trotsky as &ldquothe greatest, slyest plotter of the Russian pre-revolution, a devious thinker who outwitted everyone save Stalin after the Revolution.&rdquo

The Deliberate Line of Their Editorials

Editorial comment on the murder of Trotsky varied on two themes: first, Trotsky was a victim of a system he himself helped to create second, Trotsky&rsquos life work flowered in Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini.

The American workers are to be persuaded, you see, that the murderous regime of Stalin is the natural outgrowth &ndash and not the debased and twisted degeneration &ndash of the workers&rsquo revolution which Lenin and Trotsky led to victory. The world revolution for which they fought, our master newspapers tell us, is now actually being realized . by Hitler and Mussolini.

On the first of these two themes, both the New York Times and the New York Herald-Tribune, played. The Tribune (Aug. 23) said that Trotsky &ldquotrampled ruthlessly over millions . and was trampled as ruthlessly himself . meeting an end only too characteristic of the age which he had done so much to produce.&rdquo

Said the Times (Aug. 23:

&ldquoThe long arm of Stalin&rsquos Ogpu . finally completed the job with a blow into Trotsky&rsquos skull. Brutal? Of course it was but it was no more brutal than the Stalin tyranny as a whole, no more ruthless than the Russian revolution which this consummate firebrand in exile had himself set alight and kept aflame a generation ago . The victims of his cold cruelty, and of Lenin&rsquos, can be numbered in the millions the wastes of Siberia are bleached with their bones. It was not enough for him that Russia should be drenched in blood and suffering the whole world had to wade through a sea of violence so that the triumph of the proletariat could be assured.&rdquo

They Dare to Speak of Violence!

How calmly and easily these newspaper hacks indict the Russian revolution and its leaders for the violence that, shook the world after 1914! The reprehensible violence was not the violence of the First World War, outcome of capitalist greed and rivalry, which took the lives of 20 million men, women and children, and twisted the lives of scores of millions more! Oh no, it was the force wielded by workers who rose in revolt against this senseless slaughter and established their own power as the forerunners of a world socialist order. This was their crime. This was Trotsky&rsquos crime.

The armed support giving by France, Britain, and the United States to the White Russian armies after 1918, the invasion of Russia by French, British, American and Japanese troops did not constitute anything resembling &ldquocold cruelty.&rdquo That term the newspaper hacks reserve for the defense of the Russian workers, led by Lenin and Trotsky.

The capitalist order then, as now, is indeed forcing the peoples of the world to &ldquowade through a sea of violence.&rdquo It was the effort of Lenin and Trotsky then and it is our effort today to lead them out of that bloodied sea onto a far shore of a new kind of peace, a socialist peace. These capitalist choir boys who write these bland editorials in their newspapers are quite content to see these millions drown in their own blood as long as their deaths can keep the worm-eaten hull of the capitalist order afloat. Is it not the Tribune which has openly called upon the United States to declare war on Germany? Is it not the Times today that is in the forefront of that band of boss warmongers dragging the American people closer every day into the present-day &ldquosea of violence&rdquo?

Evils of Capitalism Laid at Trotsky&rsquos Door!

But they have a way of making Lenin and Trotsky responsible for today&rsquos slaughters as well as two decades ago. Isn&rsquot it part of the threshing agonies of a dying capitalist order festering with a sore call[ed] Fascism? Nothing of the kind, according to the N.Y. Herald-Tribune. It&rsquos all due to . Trotsky.

&ldquoFor his monument (said the Tribune editorial), one need only look about one . Trotsky is dead and Trotskyism rules in Berlin and Moscow and Rome it roars through the propaganda ministries&rsquo loudspeakers, loads the bomb racks, fuels the tank columns, infuses the &lsquofifth columns&rsquo with their heartless fanatism . &rdquo

Trotsky was often in his life the victim of amalgams &ndash false couplings with his enemies and opponents, unscrupulously manufactured in attempts to destroy his influence over the workers. He and Lenin together were smeared in 1917 as &ldquoagents of the Kaiser.&rdquo Trotsky was smeared by Stalin as an agent first of the British, then of Hitler, then of the British again and now of the United States! The Tribune simply adopts this mechanism for the benefit of its own purposes, and seeks to bracket Trotsky simultaneously in the minds of the American people with Stalin, with Hitler, and with Mussolini.

Abyss Between Stalinism and Trotskyism

But between Trotsky and Stalin, history itself has dug an abyss. Stalin embodied in his person and his regime the degeneration of the Russian Revolution. This degeneration flowed from the isolation of the Soviet Union and its backwardness in the midst of a hostile capitalist world. Trotsky was the living embodiment of the revolution itself, who fought to make it and then fought to extend it because he understood that socialism could triumph only as a world order. This brought him into irreconcilable struggle against Stalinism as well as against the whole of the capitalist world. Of the. disorders of this capitalist world, Hitler and Mussolini are only two additional and especially virulent manifestations. They represent the hypodermic injection of Fascism with which capitalism is trying to prolong its last hours. In the revolution that will again raise Trotsky&rsquos banner aloft, Hitler and Mussolini will be among the first to fall.

Trotsky&rsquos life as a man of action, as a revolutionist, was indeed a life filled with violence &ndash but it was violence employed against those who make violence the very basis of their whole system of society, employed against the capitalist rulers of the world who govern by gun and club and bomb. Our masters and their journalistic acolytes glorify the violence that bolsters their own way of life. They shudder &ndash and rightly &ndash at the violence which challenges that way of life. Of that challenge Trotsky was a mighty symbol. That is why they hated him so while he lived. That is why they still fear and hate him even now that he is dead.

Today in World War II History—Sept. 6, 1940 & 1945

80 Years Ago—Sept. 6, 1940: King Carol II of Romania is forced by fascists to abdicate his throne to his eighteen-year-old son, Michael, and he flees the next day.

German Adm. Erich Raeder permits greater warfare on Allied convoys, scrapping previous restrictions, but still honoring the Pan-American Neutrality Zone.

75 Years Ago—Sept. 6, 1945: At Rabaul, Japanese surrender to Australians all forces in Australian territory, 139,000 men in the Bismarcks, Solomons, and New Guinea.

Vice Adm. John McCain Sr. (grandfather of the late Senator McCain) dies of a heart attack at his coming-home party in San Diego, age 61.

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Paul_G_Baker » 23 Mar 2015, 00:25

Knouterer wrote: Regarding the equipment of the field artillery:

By contrast, the 1st (London) Division and the 45th Division defending the invasion beaches were clearly not so well off and had to make do with a hodgepodge of older guns including even some 13pdrs.

Hi Phylo. not any chance of getting hold of a copy anytime soon looking after the 98 y/o and no spare money

As to the state of the defences, a case of "If one introduces a rolling 'no major war for ten years' ruling, one will get this", methinks!

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 23 Mar 2015, 00:26

Knouterer wrote: You wrote: "The real problem with that request of Beaverbrook's. and the major potential sticking point. is this bit -

I ask the authority of the Cabinet to enrol an armed force to be known as the Aircraft Defence Police.

. in that the debate was still on (detailed by Norman Longmate) on arming any of the police at all. "

THAT's what the discussion was about, as far as I'm concerned.

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by phylo_roadking » 23 Mar 2015, 00:37

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by RichTO90 » 23 Mar 2015, 03:52

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 23 Mar 2015, 09:38

Perhaps he should have explained that then, because the casual reader, and even the more careful reader, will certainly assume that he is describing the situation on the outbreak of war, as regards the Langdon battery. In any case, at no time did that battery have four 9.2in guns as he states.
Looking at MacDougall's very thin bibliography, I notice he hasn't even consulted "The History of Coast Artillery in the British Army" by K.W. Maurice-Jones, or Ian V. Hogg's "Coast Defences of England and Wales 1856-1956" or any other specialist work on the subject with the exception of Saunders' book on artillery fortifications, and it shows.

It's really not wise to rely so uncritically on popular historians, like Longmate et al, who (for all their undoubted virtues) certainly cannot be regarded as the final word on their subject.

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 23 Mar 2015, 12:26

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by RichTO90 » 23 Mar 2015, 13:17

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 25 Mar 2015, 11:37

As there were one or two questions about "Regular" units, allow me to point out that officially they didn't exist anymore. When war broke out in September 1939 the government decided to create one national army and as far as possible to get rid of the distinctions between the Regular Army, the TA and the newly created Militia (conscripts). Under the Armed Forces (Conditions of Service) Act all land forces became part of the British Army for the duration of the war. The Territorials were ordered to discard the brass “T” that had always been part of their uniform.

In practice, a year later the ex-regular battalions (numbered 1 and 2) probably still differed from the ex-territorial battalions (numbered 4 and upwards) of the same regiment in a number of ways, but perhaps not that much, in view of the many cross-postings of officers and NCO's, and the fact that both were strongly "diluted" by the influx of new volunteers and conscripts.

An exception to that would be the many (ex-)regular battalions serving overseas. As regards the quality of troops, it would seem that the members of the British working class, even in the economically depressed 1930s, generally regarded joining the army as a desperate last resort, meaning that men who did so were not necessarily the most intelligent, energetic, fit and resourceful representatives of that class, but rather men who had run out of other options. So I would surmise that the volunteers of the "old" prewar Territorial battalions, insofar as they had received the necessary training and equipment by September 1940, did not necessarily make worse soldiers.

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Paul_G_Baker » 27 Mar 2015, 10:58

Do any of you know the exact date when HMG "Boche Buster" arrived in Kent? That's the 18 in Railway-mount Howitzer. Unlike the 13.5 in Railway-mount (but gun-armed) 'partner-pieces', it had apparently remained assembled during the inter-war period and had even had two firings on Salisbury Plain so would have been available at a very early date.

Also, can anyone resolve the discrepancy as to where it was deployed? Hogg says 'Bekesbourne' (Dover-Canterbury line) but local sources cite 'Bishopsbourne' (Elham Valley line - closed for the duration) where there was a 300+ yard tunnel.

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by sitalkes » 27 Mar 2015, 12:20

(quote from that forum:
Boche Buster was fitted with the 18-inch Howitzer barrel No.1 Mk 4 which had been constructed in 1918 and completed in 1919. The barrel and mounting were united at Darlington North British Locomotive Works October 1940. The gun then travelled to Catterick Camp where a name plate was added. It left in February 1941 with two trains- an extra diesel engine, a shell wagon, various living wagons and brake vans. The Diesel was for use in action to avoid giving away the position. Cleeve drew up a War Establishment for the 18-inch Howitzer battery. It was suggested that the 11th Super Heavy Battery be given some special title to associate it with 471 Siege Battery which had manned the Boche-Buster in The Great War. Boche-Buster was parked near Canterbury in an anti-invasion role. It was designed as a partner piece to the 14inch guns and was interchangeable with them on the same mountings. Four of these barrels were built, mounted in turn on one of the carriages for test firing and then put into store. In the 1920s the 14inch barrels were declared obsolete and two 18-inch barrels were mounted. Periodically one of these was brought out to be deployed on Salisbury Plain either on a siding near Bulford or on the terminus of the Larkhill military railway at Druid's Lodge. In 1938 one was taken to Shoeburyness Proof Establishment and mounted on a proof mounting for testing amour plate. This meant that in 1939 there were four railway mountings, one with the 18-inch Howitzer (Boche-Buster) and three empty.

The following was posted on this forum, I think by Knouterer, some time ago:
'Super Heavy Artillery on railway mountings under command 12 Corps September 1940.

Two 12" Hows - Shepherds Well.
Two 12" Hows - Eythorne.
Two 12" Hows - Lyminge.

One 9.2" Gun - Bridge (Canadians)
Two 9.2" Guns - Hythe and Folkestone
Two 9.2" Guns - Littlestone (Canadians)
One 9.2" Gun - Golden Wood (Canadians)

Two 12" Howitzers sited on the Canterbury - Ramsgate railway would become operational about 29th September, a further two 12" Howitzers on the Ashford - Hythe Railway about 15th October whilst two 9.2" guns just awaited manning.'

The 12" Howitzer (pictured) would hurl a 750lb shell up to 14,350 yards.

The 9.2" gun would fire a 340lb shell upto 21,000 yards."

"Churchill had ordered some super-heavy guns from the First World War saved, and these were put into service. There were three 13.5-inch (34. 29 cm) railway mounted guns on the East Kent Light Railway, located around Lydden and Shepherdswell. These were known as Gladiator, Sceneshifter and Piecemaker. 9.2 inch Mark 13 guns were located near Canterbury and Hythe an 18 inch Howitzer, Boche Buster, sited on the Elham Valley Railway, between Bridge and Lyminge and 12 inch howitzers, Mk 3 and 5, located around Guston. The following Super Heavy railway guns under command 12 Corps September 1940:

Two 12" Howitzers each in Shepherds Well, Eythorne, and Lyminge.
One 9.2" Gun in Bridge and Golden Wood (the latter manned by Canadians)
Two 9.2" Guns - Littlestone (Canadians), Hythe and Folkestone. Two 12" Howitzers sited on the Canterbury - Ramsgate railway would become operational about 29th September, a further two 12" Howitzers on the Ashford - Hythe Railway about 15th October whilst two 9.2" guns just awaited manning. There was one 14” gun at Dover but it was a permanent installation that could only fire out to sea."

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 27 Mar 2015, 14:48

I updated that a bit in the meantime, as far as can be made out the situation in Kent at the end of Sept. was:

A location statement (appendix 42 to the Sept. War diary of the C.C.M.A (Corps Commander Medium Artillery) (WO 166/347) dated 23 Sept. lists the following SH batteries:
- 4th SH battery, two 9.2in guns at Hythe/Folkestone, “in action”
- 5th SH battery, two 12in howitzers at Shepherdswell,“in action”
- 37th SH battery, two 12in howitzers at Eythorne,“in action”
- “Y” SH battery, two 9.2in guns at Bridge (613725), one “awaiting stores” and one “returning to ordnance”
- “X” SH battery, two 9.2in guns at Littlestone, “in action”
- 47th SH battery, two 12in howitzers at Lyminge, “awaiting sights”.

That agrees with a list for 24.9 in the WD of the C.R.A. (Commander Royal Artillery) XII Corps, except that the latter lists “Y” battery as having 1 gun “in action” and the 47th as having two “in action”. Which may have been a bit of a relative term the fact that guns were awaiting sights or stores doesn’t mean they were unable to fire, of course.

Re: the Canadians, it appears that X and Y batteries while undoubtedly in existence were not yet Canadian-manned, or only partially. According to the memoirs of a Canadian gunner (George C. Blackburn, Where the Hell are the Guns?, p. 97-98): “When a call went out to Canadian artillery holding or reinforcement units, the first week of September 1940, enough men with training on medium, heavy or coastal equipment were found to man X and Y Superheavy Batteries RA of two guns each. After brief training on a 9.2-inch gun at Hythe they manned their pair until February 1941, when they reluctantly turned them over to British gunners and returned to their holding units.”
The WD of the 4th SH bty (WO 166/1904) confirms this by noting for 12.9: “Two Canadian batteries now being formed undergoing training with the unit”.

Designated targets were as follows:

- 4th SH battery: Dover harbour, beach Littlestone-Greatstone, New Romney
- 5th SH battery: St Margaret’s Bay, Dover harbour, exits to NW from Dover
- 37th SH battery: beaches Kingsdown-Walmer-Deal-Sandown area, exits to West from Deal and Walmer, Deal harbour
- “Y” SH battery: beaches Sandown, exits to West from Deal and Walmer, exits to NW from Dover, exits to N and W from Folkestone and Cheriton
- “X” SH battery: Folkestone harbour, Hythe beach
- 47th SH battery: Folkestone harbour, exits to N and W from Folkestone, Hythe beach, exits to west from Hythe, Dymchurch Redoubt.

The Mathis News (Mathis, Tex.), Vol. 25, No. 33, Ed. 1 Friday, September 6, 1940

Weekly newspaper from Mathis, Texas that includes local, state, and national news along with advertising.

Physical Description

eight pages : ill. page 22 x 15 in. Scanned from physical pages.

Creation Information


This newspaper is part of the collection entitled: Mathis Area Newspaper Collection and was provided by the Mathis Public Library to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this issue can be viewed below.

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this newspaper or its content.



Check out our Resources for Educators Site! We've identified this newspaper as a primary source within our collections. Researchers, educators, and students may find this issue useful in their work.

Provided By

Mathis Public Library

Mathis, Texas, was incorporated in 1939 and serves as a winter home for hundreds of Winter Texans from all parts of the state and country, as well as Canada. The Mathis Area Newspapers, provided by the Mathis Public Library, have been digitized through the support of a Tocker Foundation award to the partner, and they offer a rich view into this tourism-friendly region of Texas.

Learn More

  • Search Chronicling America, the historic American newspapers database, on phrases such as “Jane Addams” and “Hull House,” to read contemporary news coverage. Start with Jane Addams: Topics in Chronicling America. compiles materials from the Library of Congress collections about this important changemaker in the women’s movement.
  • View Women’s Activism and Social Change: Documenting the Lives of Margaret Sanger and Jane Addams which discusses the preservation and publication of the papers of these important women.
  • Read clippings relating to Addams in the Scrapbooks of Elizabeth Smith Miller and Anne Fitzhugh Miller, part of the National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection.
  • Read personal accounts of immigrants who knew Jane Addams and participated in Hull House activities. Search on Hull House in American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936 to 1940.
  • Read: Hull-House: a social settlement at 335 South Halstead Street, Chicago: an outline sketch, February 1, 1894. [S.l.: s.n., 1894]
  • Learn more about women’s suffrage, one of the many causes championed by Addams, in the following collections:

Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 05 Sep 2013, 18:36

Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Gooner1 » 05 Sep 2013, 20:53

Yes the RMC was a rear stop line, so you assumed there were orders for units to retreat to this line.

What? Can't be arsed to deconstruct what that's supposed to mean. Barges are going to ground in about 3-6 feet of water, whether powered or pushed.
BTW in that picture do you see the ropes extending forward from the barge? They were to anchor the barge so it doesn't drift away on the tide .

"The „Hythe Wing“ occupied itself with rifles, LMGs, hand and rifle grenades (later also 2in mortars, .55 Boys AT rifles, Thompson SMGs, etc.)."

Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 05 Sep 2013, 22:01

Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Dunserving » 06 Sep 2013, 20:38

The fascination with the awesome firepower of the SAS with a No4 SMLE is a bit curious. Any of you got any experience of rapid fire with the thing? It is one thing blatting away 30 rounds per minute, but a touch harder to fire 30 aimed rounds in a minute. Harder still to fire 30 aimed accurate rounds in a minute.

The whole business of getting off rounds that have been accurately aimed through the battle sight on a No4 in less than two seconds on average is a bit much - but then I regard accurate as meaning the target has fallen. I've not fired a No4 for about ten years (on Hythe Ranges as it happens) but I would say very much easier to sustain high rate accurate fire with an L85A2 - insert pause here for AndyH to jump in singing the praise of the L1A1.

Being able to fire 30 rounds per minute ain't the same thing as making 30 targets fall over per minute. I am not saying it is impossible, but that few could ever do it with a SMLE. An accurate gun, but one that lets you know that you've fired it!

Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Knouterer » 06 Sep 2013, 22:57

Well, obviously the SAS was normally the first to receive new weapons (often before they were officially introduced), since they had to test them and devise training methods, so by "later" I meant after the 1920s when the School split up. The 2in mortar was introduced in 1938, the Boys a couple of years before that, both were in general use in 1940 so I would assume the SAS had a number of them.
From the SAS history, p. 48: "The re-armament of the late 1930s produced a crop of new weapons, amongst them the two-inch mortar and the Boys Anti-tank rifle, both of which of course had to be included in the Hythe syllabus."

Regarding the Thompsons, it seems that the first few ones to be delivered (April or May) went to Hythe. It is a bit hard to figure out how many there were in Sept. Newbold states (p. 292, quoting a CAB document) that 60,000 had arrived by the end of August, but that seems a rather high number (maybe someone said “sixteen thousand” on the phone and was misunderstood by the overworked civil servant compiling the list of armaments ?). E. Bishop, in The Battle of Britain (p. 21) mentions production/delivery of 5,000 per month in that period, which seems more reasonable in view of what we know about overall production numbers (and losses at sea).
According to one source, actual deliveries to Britain did not reach 100,000 before April 1942 (but perhaps this does not include weapons delivered directly to the Middle and Far East).
In any case, a number of sources and photographic evidence confirm that by the end of September Thompsons had been issued to Commando and armoured units. The Auxiliary Units also received some early on.

Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by RichTO90 » 06 Sep 2013, 23:20

Actually Phylo, just a bit narrower than that. effectively 21-24 September was the only time conditions met the German requirements, assuming, of course, the German weather Ouiji boards revealed those dates to them sufficently in advance. And October was generally assessed as being too dicey.

I also must say I find the fascination with the SAS and their rather excellent .303 practice inexplicable, when there were other bigger things about to go BANG! at the Germans, but then I have long ago given up on any real sense coming out of a Sealion thread.

Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Dunserving » 07 Sep 2013, 10:58

Very valid point Rich, there was indeed plenty of larger calibre stuff along there.
Even the smaller ones firing solid shot would have been horribly effective.
Just think of all that lovely kinetic energy being transformed into heat as the rounds slow down and working its magic on the fuel and munitions on the barges.

Hasn't stopped some in the past regarding it as useless because it does not go bang.

Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 07 Sep 2013, 18:36

The fascination with the awesome firepower of the SAS with a No4 SMLE is a bit curious. Any of you got any experience of rapid fire with the thing? It is one thing blatting away 30 rounds per minute, but a touch harder to fire 30 aimed rounds in a minute. Harder still to fire 30 aimed accurate rounds in a minute.

The whole business of getting off rounds that have been accurately aimed through the battle sight on a No4 in less than two seconds on average is a bit much - but then I regard accurate as meaning the target has fallen. I've not fired a No4 for about ten years (on Hythe Ranges as it happens) but I would say very much easier to sustain high rate accurate fire with an L85A2 - insert pause here for AndyH to jump in singing the praise of the L1A1.

Being able to fire 30 rounds per minute ain't the same thing as making 30 targets fall over per minute. I am not saying it is impossible, but that few could ever do it with a SMLE. An accurate gun, but one that lets you know that you've fired it!

Mind you - I also can't help noticing that an "instructor" at the SAS was required to produce that number of accurate hits per minute at relatively short ranges for an SMLE.

Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by phylo_roadking » 07 Sep 2013, 18:44

True. but I was thinking more of the aspect of keeping late 1940 and 1941 anti-invasion preparations, unit placings, weapon types, and later levels of Home Guard training and incorporation with regular Army formations out of the discussion What we have facing that narrow window is what we had then. not what we had a month or a year later.

The Home Guard for example was still very much embryonic as on the second week of September it wasn't the force that was to come to man 2/3rd of the nation's AA guns, half its coastal batteries, to formate with the Army in Home Defence etc. we were still at the "local roadblock" level in many cases.

Sitalkes. you were talking abut Churchill suffering politically from any civilian backlash at the unnecessary deaths of their Home Guard relatives.

Given that the LDV was still very much that as of the second week of September 1940. LOCAL. any relatives of dead Volunteers are likely in the short-to-medium term to be in "German-Occupied Britain" in the south-east corner of the UK at least. and somewhat incapable of expressing their opinion to the British government!

Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Dunserving » 07 Sep 2013, 20:06

The fascination with the awesome firepower of the SAS with a No4 SMLE is a bit curious. Any of you got any experience of rapid fire with the thing? It is one thing blatting away 30 rounds per minute, but a touch harder to fire 30 aimed rounds in a minute. Harder still to fire 30 aimed accurate rounds in a minute.

The whole business of getting off rounds that have been accurately aimed through the battle sight on a No4 in less than two seconds on average is a bit much - but then I regard accurate as meaning the target has fallen. I've not fired a No4 for about ten years (on Hythe Ranges as it happens) but I would say very much easier to sustain high rate accurate fire with an L85A2 - insert pause here for AndyH to jump in singing the praise of the L1A1.

Being able to fire 30 rounds per minute ain't the same thing as making 30 targets fall over per minute. I am not saying it is impossible, but that few could ever do it with a SMLE. An accurate gun, but one that lets you know that you've fired it!

Mind you - I also can't help noticing that an "instructor" at the SAS was required to produce that number of accurate hits per minute at relatively short ranges for an SMLE.

In all seriousness though, it is no real problem to fire a smelly rapidly, especially on a normal range where you are blattering away at the same target and you therefore do not need to change your position or sight picture. In a real situation, or on a field range with pop-up targets it is rather different. The direction and range is changing continuously, every shot is going somewhere different - so you simply do not have time to apply the principles of marksmanship properly. Thus while your shooting may well be aimed, the accuracy is bound to be much lower than in conventional target shooting. It also does not help that the targets will be moving. It also does not help that it is a two-way range. The targets are shooting back. The sharp crack of high velocity rounds going past you does not do a great deal for the powers of concentration!

Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by sitalkes » 09 Sep 2013, 02:07

Re: British Army at home September 1940

Post by Dunserving » 09 Sep 2013, 11:03

Montgomery himself answered your question more than half a century ago in his book on leadership.

He described those in the highest ranks in 1939 as being untried and untested. They had been in much lower ranks during WW1 and had worked their way up the promotion ladder pretty much on time served. They did not have the experience of leadership of an army in war that was to be so sorely needed. He described the best WW2 generals as being those high enough up to be near the rank but not so high that they got there before gaining the required experience. Thus he reckoned the best place to be in 1939 was as a Colonel or a Brigadier. As a Major-General he felt that he was in the danger zone and lucky to get away with it.

Why that? Because when war breaks out after a long gap of peace, the army is basically an underfunded underequipped ill-prepared force that is bound to have real difficulties at first. Add inexperienced commanders at the top and errors are bound to happen and heads roll. Good men make mistakes and pay the price by being replaced. Bright young things work their way up and replace them - and by then have an expanding wartime army at their disposal and a country on a wartime economy.

I think to describe some of the generals as nobodies is far too harsh, but is the right sort of idea. Remember that they had all had pretty good records in Round One of the European Civil War!

I suspect that it would be right to say that your question could be asked of many countries in 1939 - with basically the same answer.

I refer you to: “The Art of Leadership” by Field Marshal the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, published by Pen & Sword in 2009. ISBN: 978-1848840348

In this book Montgomery describes in some detail why some good men failed early in the war, how generals fell from grace when it was not entirely their own fault. Worth a read.

6 September 1940 - History

September 1, 1908 - Estee Lauder, founded cosmetics & fragrance company

September 1, 1922 - Yvonne DeCarlo, actress

September 1, 1923 - Rocky Marciano, champion boxer

September 1, 1931 - Boxcar Willie (Lecil Travis Martin), country singer

September 1, 1933 - Conway Twitty, country singer

September 1, 1939 - Lily Tomlin, actress, comedian

September 1, 1946 - Barry Gibb, singer, songwriter, member of the "Bee Gees"

September 1, 1950 - "Dr. Phil" McGraw, TV personality on "Oprah Winfrey" and "Dr. Phil" shows

September 1, 1957 - Gloria Estefan, singer, Latin Pop music

September 2, 1917 - 1923 Marge Champion, dancer, actress

September 2, 1937 - Peter Ueberroth, MLB baseball commissioner

September 2, 1948 - Terry Bradshaw, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback, sportscaster

September 2, 1948 - Christa McAuliffe, teacher, astronaut killed in Challenger space shuttle explosion

September 2, 1951 - Mark Harmon, actor

September 2, 1952 - Jimmy Connors, Hall of Fame tennis champion

September 2, 1955 - Linda Purl, actress

September 2, 1964 - Keanu Reeves, actor

September 2, 1968 - Salma Hayek, actress

September 3, 1856 - Louis H. Sullivan, architect, developed skyscrapers

September 3, 1913 - Alan Ladd, actor, "Shane"

September 3, 1915 - Kitty Carlisle Hart, actress

September 3, 1923 - Mort Walker, cartoonist, created "Beetle Bailey"

September 3, 1965 - Charlie Sheen, actor

September 4, 1918 - Paul Harvey, radio personality, quote: "And now, the rest of the story"

September 4, 1920 - Craig Claiborne, cookbook author, food critic

September 4, 1930 - Mitzi Gaynor, actress, singer, dancer

September 4, 1949 - Tom Watson, professional golfer

September 4, 1951 - Judith Ivey, actress

September 4, 1960 - Damon Wayans, actor, comedian

September 4, 1970 - Ione Syke, actress, daughter of singer "Donovan"

September 4, 1981 - Beyonce Knowles, singer, solo and once member of "Destiny's Child"

September 5, 1847 - Jesse James, Outlaw, bank and train robber

September 5, 1897 - Arthur C. Neilsen, founder of A. C. Neilsen Co., market research firm

September 5, 1905 - Arthur Koestler, novelist

September 5, 1912 - John Cage, composer

September 5, 1929 - Bob Newhart, actor, comedian

September 5, 1934 - Carol Lawrence, singer, actress

September 5, 1939 - William Devane, actor

September 5, 1940 - Raquel Welch, actress

September 5, 1951 - Michael Keaton, actor. Movies Birdman, Batman, Beetlejuice.

September 5, 1960 - Cathy Guisewite, cartoonist, created "Cathy"

September 5, 1969 - Dweezil Zappa, singer, actor, son of Frank Zappa

September 6, 1757 - Marquis de Lafayette, French general assisted America during the Revolutionary War

September 6, 1766 - John Dalton, chemist, physicist, formulated atomic theory

September 6, 1800 - Catharine Beecher, educator

September 6, 1888 - Joseph P. Kennedy, Kennedy family patriarch

September 6, 1937 - Jo Anne Worley, comedian, actress

September 6, 1947 - Jane Curtin, actress, SNL, 3rd Rock

September 6, 1958 - Jeff Foxworthy, American comedain, actor, author

September 6, 1961 - Jennifer Tilly, actress

September 7, 1860 - Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Moses), painter

September 7, 1908 - Michael DeBakey, pioneer heart surgeon

September 7, 1909 - Elia Kazan, director, producer

September 7, 1923 - Peter Lawford, actor

September 7, 1931 - Al McGuire, basketball coach, sportscaster

September 7, 1936 - Buddy Holly, singer, musician

September 7, 1947 - Ann Beattie, writer

September 7, 1949 - Gloria Gaynor, singer "I Will Survive"

September 7, 1954 - Corbin Bernsen, actor, "Arnie Becker" on TV series "L.A. Law"

September 8, 1157 - Richard I, King of England - "Richard the Lion-Hearted"

September 8, 1841 - Antonin Dvorak, composer

September 8, 1922 - Sid Caesar, actor, comedian

September 8, 1925 - Peter Sellers, award winning british comedian and actor

September 8, 1932 - Patsy Cline, country singer

September 8, 1941 - Bernie Sanders, American politician

September 8, 1957 - Heather Thomas, actress

September 8, 1981 - Jonathan Taylor Thomas, actor, "Randy Taylor" On TV series "Home Improvement"

September 9, 1585 - Cardinal Richelieu (Armand Jean du Plessis), French statesman

September 9, 1890 - Harland Sanders, "Colonel Sanders", founded Kentucky Fried Chicken

September 9, 1925 - Cliff Robertson, actor (La Jolla, CA)

September 9, 1934 - Sylvia Miles, actress

September 9, 1941 - Otis Redding, singer, "Sittin on the Dock of the Bay"

September 9, 1949 - Joe Theisman, NFL Washington Redskins quarterback, sportscaster

September 9, 1951 - Tom Wopat, actor, singer

September 9, 1951 - Michael Keaton, actor

September 9, 1952 - Angela Cartwright, actress

September 9, 1960 - Hugh Grant, British actor

September 9, 1966 - Adam Sandler, actor, comedian

September 10, 1898 - Waldo Semon, chemist, invented vinyl

September 10, 1907 - Fay Wray, actress

September 10, 1929 - Arnold Palmer, golfer

September 10, 1934 - Charles Kuralt, TV journalist, newscaster

September 10, 1934 - Roger Maris, baseball player, homerun slugger

September 10, 1945 - Jose Feliciano, singer

September 10, 1953 - Amy Irving, actress

September 10, 1975 - Ryan Phillippe, actor

September 11, 1862 - O. Henry (William S. Porter), short-story writer

September 11, 1913 - Paul "Bear" Bryant, football coach

September 11, 1924 - Tom Landry, NFL Dallas Cowboys coach

September 11, 1940 - Brian DePalma, filmmaker

September 11, 1946 - Lola Falana, actress

September 11, 1962 - Kristy McNichol, actress

September 11, 1967 - Harry Connick Jr., actor, singer

September 11, 1977 - Ludacris - American rapper, actor, orn Christopher Bridges

September 12, 1888 - Maurice Chevalier, actor, singer, sang "Thank Heaven for Little Girls"

September 12, 1913 - Jesse Owens, champion Olympic track and field star

September 12, 1942 - Linda Gray, actress, "Sue Ellen Ewing" on TV series "Dallas"

September 12, 1944 - Barry White, singer

September 12, 1957 - Rachel Ward, actress

September 12, 1978 - Ruben Studdard, "American Idol" winner

September 13, 1851 - Walter Reed, army physician, bacteriologist, Walter Reed Hospital in D.C. named in his honor

September 13, 1860 - John J. Pershing, World War I General

September 13, 1903 - Claudette Colbert, actress

September 13, 1925 - Mel Torme, singer, songwriter

September 13, 1938 - Judith Martin, author, write, "Miss Manners"

September 13, 1944 - Jacqueline Bisset, actress

September 13,1944 - Peter Cetera, singer, member of band "Chicago"

September 13, 1959 - Fred Silverman, TV producer

September 13, 1980 - Ben Savage, actor, "Cory Matthews" on TV series "Boy Meets World"

September 14, 1914 - Clayton Moore, actor, the "Lone Ranger"

September 14, 1936 - Walter Koenig, actor, director, producer

September 14, 1956 - Joe Penny, actor

September 14, 1959 - Mary Crosby, actress

September 14, 1964 - Faith Ford, actress

September 15, 1857 - Willaim Howard Taft, 27th U.S. President(1909-1913), chief justice of the Supreme Court

September 15, 1890 - Agatha Christie, mystery writer

September 15, 1903 - Roy Acuff, country singer

September 15, 1907 - Fay Wray, actress, "King Kong"

September 15, 1921 - Jackie Cooper, actor, director, producer

September 15, 1938 - Gaylord Perry, MLB baseball pitcher

September 15, 1940 - Merlin Olsen, football player, sportscaster, actor

September 15, 1946 - Tommy Lee Jones, actor, "M.I.B."

September 15, 1946 - Oliver Stone, director, screenwriter

September 15, 1961 - Dan Marino, NFL Miami Dolphins quarterback

September 15, 1984 - Prince Harry, England Duke of Sussex

September 16, 1722 - Samuel Adams, 4th President of the United States

September 16, 1914 - Allen Funt, TV producer, "Smile, You're on Candid Camera"

September 16, 1924 - Lauren Bacall, actress

September 16, 1924 - B. B. King, blues singer

September 16, 1926 - John Knowles, novelist

September 16, 1927 - Peter Falk, actor, TV series "Columbo"

September 16, 1949 - Ed Begley Jr., actor

September 16, 1956 - David Copperfield, magician

September 16, 1958 - Orel Hershiser, MLB baseball pitcher

September 16, 1964 - Molly Shannon, actress, comedian, "SNL"

September 16, 1971 - Amy Poehler, U.S. actress, "SNL"

September 17, 1896 - Sam Ervin Jr., Key figure in the Senate Watergate investigation

September 17, 1907 - Warren Burger, chief justice of the Supreme Court

September 17, 1928 - Roddy McDowall, actor, "Planet of the Apes" movies

September 17, 1931 - Anne Bancroft, actress

September 17, 1944 - James Brady, gun control advocate, presidential press secretary during Reagan administration

September 17, 1945 - Phil Jackson, NBA basketball player, coach

September 17, 1947 - Jeff MacNelly, cartoonist, created "Shoe"

September 17, 1948 - John Ritter, actor, comedian, TV series "Three's Company"

September 18, 1905 - Agnes DeMille, dancer, choreographer

September 18, 1905 - Greta Garbo, actress

September 18, 1920 - Jack Warden, actor

September 18, 1933 - Robert Blake, actor, TV series "Baretta"

September 18, 1939 -Frankie Avalon, singer, actor

September 18, 1971 - Lance Armstrong, six time Tour de France cycling champion

September 19, 1929 - Adam West, actor "Batman"

September 19, 1930 - Rosemary Harris, actress

September 19, 1933 - David McCallum, actor, "Illya Kuryakin" on TV series "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."

September 19, 1940 - Paul Williams, singer, songwriter

September 19, 1941- Cass Elliot, singer, member of the "Mamas and the Papas"

September 19, 1949 - Leslie Lawson "Twiggy", model, actress, "Laugh-In"

September 19, 1951- Joan Lunden, host of ABC TV's "Good Morning America"

September 19, 1974 - Jimmy Fallon, actor, comedian, host of "Tonight Show" Saturday Night Live

September 20, 1878 - Upton Sinclair, novelist

September 20, 1928 - Dr. Joyce Brothers, TV Psychologist

September 20, 1934 - Sophia Loren, actress

September 20, 1951 - Guy LaFleur, NHL hockey player

September 20, 1957 - Gary Cole, actor

September 20, 1964 - Crispin Glover, actor

September 20, 1967 - Kristen Johnston, actress

September 21, 1866 - H. G. Wells, novelist

September 21, 1931 - Larry Hagman, actor "I Dream of Jeannie" and "J.R. Ewing" on "Dallas"

September 21, 1935 - Henry Gibson, actor, comedian, "Laugh-In"

September 21, 1947 - Stephen King, novelist, horror stories

September 21, 1950 - Bill Murray, actor, comedian

September 21, 1962 - Rob Morrow, actor, TV shows "Northern Exposure" and "NUMBERS"

September 21, 1967 - Faith Hill, singer, song writer, actress

September 21, 1968 - Riki Lake, actor

September 22, 1902 - John Houseman, actor, producer, director

September 22, 1927 - Tommy Lasorda, MLB baseball manager

September 22, 1956 - Debby Boone, singer

September 22, 1960 - Joan Jett, singer, guitarist

September 22, 1961 - Scott Baio, actor

September 22, 1964 - Bonnie Hunt, actress

September 23, 63 B.C. - Agustus, Roman Emperor

September 23, 1897 - Walter Pidgeon, actor

September 23, 1920 - Mickey Rooney, actor

September 23, 1930 - Ray Charles, singer, songwriter

September 23, 1943 - Julio Iglesias, singer

September 23, 1949 - Bruce Springsteen, singer, songwriter

September 23, 1959 - Jason Alexander, actor played George on "Seinfeld"

September 24, 1755 - John Marshall, chief justice of the Supreme Court

September 24, 1896 - F. Scott Fitzgerald, novelist

September 24, 1921 - Jim McKay, sportscaster

September 24, 1936 - Jim Henson, puppeteer, created the "Muppets"

September 24, 1941 - Linda McCartney, wife of Beatles' Paul McCartney

September 24, 1948 - Phil Hartman, actor, SNL

September 24, 1962 - Nia Vardalos, actress, movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"

September 25, 1917 - Phil Rizzuto, MLB baseball player, and sportscaster

September 25, 1931 - Barbara Walters, TV journalist, news reporter

September 25, 1944 - Michael Douglas, actor

September 25, 1947 - Cheryl Tiegs, model

September 25, 1951 - Mark Hamill, actor played Luke in "Star Wars"

September 25, 1952 - Christopher Reeve, actor, "Superman" movie

September 25, 1961 - Heather Locklear, actress

September 25, 1968 - Will Smith, actor, "MIB"

September 25, 1969 - Catherine Zeta-Jones, Welsh actress

September 26, 1774 - Johnny Chapman, better known as "Johnny Appleseed"

September 26, 1888 - T. S. Eliot, poet

September 26, 1898 - George Gershwin, composer

September 26, 1914 - Jack LaLanne, fitness guru

September 26, 1947 - Lynn Anderson, singer

September 26, 1947 - Olivia Newton-John, singer, actress, starred in movie "Grease"

September 26, 1949 - Jane Smiley, novelist

September 26, 1956 - Linda Hamilton, actress

September 26, 1968 - James Caviezel, "Jesus" in movie "Passion of the Christ"

September 26, 1981 - Serena Williams, tennis player

September 27, 1722 - Samuel Adams, Revolutionary War leader, politician

September 27, 1840 - Thomas Nast, political cartoonist

September 27, 1917 - Louis Auchincloss, writer

September 27, 1920 - William Conrad, actor

September 27, 1947 - Meat Loaf (Marvin Lee Aday), singer, musician

September 27, 1959 - Shaun Cassidy, actor, singer

September 27, 1972 - Gwenyth Paltrow, American actress

September 28, 1573 - Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio, painter

September 28, 1901 - Ed Sullivan, TV personality, "The Ed Sullivan show"

September 28, 1909 - Al Capp, cartoonist, created "Li'l Abner"

September 28, 1923 - William Windom, actor

September 28, 1924 - Marcello Mastroianni, actor

September 28, 1934 - Brigitte Bardot, actress

September 28, 1964 - Janeane Garofalo, actress, comedian

September 28, 1973 - Gwyneth Paltrow, actress

September 29, 106 B.C. - Pompey, Roman General and politician

September 29, 1901 - Enrico Fermi, nuclear physicist

September 29, 1907 - Gene Autry, actor, singer, the "Singing Cowboy"

September 29, 1913 - Stanley Kramer, producer, director

September 29, 1916 - Trevor Howard, actor

September 29, 1935 - Jerry Lee Lewis, singer, musician

September 29, 1948 - Bryant Gumbel, TV journalist, newsman

September 29, 1970 -Emily Lloyd, actress

September 30, 1917 - Buddy Rich, jazz drummer

September 30, 1921 - Deborah Kerr, actress

September 30, 1924 - Truman Capote, novelist

September 30, 1931 - Angie Dickinson, actress

September 30, 1935 - Johnny Mathis, singer

September 30, 1954 - Barry Williams, actor

September 30, 1957 - Fran Drescher, actress

September 30, 1964 - Crystal Bernard, actress

September 30, 1971 - Jenna Elfman, actress, "Dharma" on TV series "Dharma and Greg"

September 30, 1981 - Dominique Moceanu, 14 year old became the youngest U.S gymnast to win a gold medal

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6 September 1940 - History

A few Germanaircraft were detected in and around the southern and eastern coastlineof England, but most of these were on either weather or reconnaissancepatrols. Fighter Command decided to leave them alone. Bomber Command sent 248 Squadron (Blenheims) on a mission to Norway but this had to be abortedbecause of deteriorating weather conditions over the North Sea. A flightfrom 236 Squadron St Eval (Blenheims) is placed on escort duty for thesteamship Scillonian and the mission is successfully completed.

With cloud coverpersisting during the late afternoon, radar picks up various single aircraftcoming across the Channel from 1700hrs onwards. With Fighter Command againnot responding, a number of attacks were made by the Luftwaffe. A coupleof lone bombers ventured into 10 Group territory and made some nuisancedrops. Another lone raider attacked West Malling again but causing no seriousdamage. Tangmere reported that it had come under machine-gun strafing withnearby Portsmouth was attacked by single Do17s.

72 SquadronCroydon (Spitfires) was one of the few squadrons scrambled and attackedone of the Do215s and one was believed to have been brought down, althoughone of the Spitfires was hit by return gunfire from the bomber and hadto make a forced landing at Etchingham (Kent). Just after 1800hrs, a smallformation crossed the coast near Dungeness and targeted Biggin Hill aerodrome,but were intercepted by British fighters and one of the Dorniers of 9/KG76was shot down and the mission aborted.

By nightfall,the Luftwaffe was again targeting London and this time they were makingfull use of the cloud cover. Also taking advantage of the weather attackswere also made on industrial areas of South Wales and on the Lancashirearea of Merseyside. London was though, the main target where over 150 bomberspounded the city once again.

But RAF BomberCommand also took advantage of the weather conditions. 17 Whitleys attackthe Pottsdamer railway station at Berlin causing considerable damage, thenthey went on to attack the Bremen dock area while a Blenheim squadron attackedthe important bomber aerodrome at Eindhoven. Eight Heinkel He111 bomberswere destroyed, two were badly damaged and another was damaged when itcrashed into craters upon landing later.

There wereno pilot casualties reported on this day.
One Spitfireof 72 Squadron Croydon was destroyed in combat.
Two fighterswere destroyed and three others damaged in training operations

The effortof the Germans to secure daylight mastery of the air over England is ofcourse the crux of the whole war. So far, it has failed conspicuously. forhim (Hitler) to try to invade this country without having secured masteryin the air would be a very hazardous undertaking.

Nevertheless,all his preparations for invasion on a great scale are steadily going forward.Several hundreds of self-propelled barges are moving down the coasts ofEurope, from the German and Dutch harbours to the ports of northern France,from Dunkirk to Brest, and beyond Brest to the French harbours in the Bayof Biscay.

He told thecontrollers that paired squadrons were to be used wherever possible. Spitfireswere to concentrate of the enemy fighters that were at higher altitudewhile the Hurricanes are to attack the bombers and close fighter escort.With the two German waves, generally only fifteen minutes apart, Park orderedthat those squadrons brought to 'readiness' first were to attack the firstwave and their escorts. The squadrons available and at "Readiness fifteenminutes" were to attack the second wave. Squadrons held in reserve and'Available thirty minutes" were to be vectored to reinforcements to thosesquadron requiring assistance and to provide protection to industrial centresand sector airfields.

The morningperiod was just as quiet as previous mornings of the last four days, andit appeared that things were to take the usual practice of large formationsof bombers coming over at about 1700hrs. It was a fine morning, not aswarm as many other mornings but pleasant, and many pilots just lazed aroundoutside their dispersal's doing what they usually done. Some read old newspapersor magazines, many tried to write letters home while the rest fell asleeptaking full advantage of the lull in activities. But after lunch, theirafternoon 'siesta' was interrupted by radar detection of a large build-upfrom Calais to Ostend. The Luftwaffe were to come early today.

1445hrs:Mostof the radar stations along the Kent coast detected and followed the coursepatterns of a number of German formations that were building up from Calaisalong to Ostend. Information as quickly dispatched to Fighter Command headquartersand to 11 Group, where Keith Park ordered his sector controllers to placea number of their squadrons at readiness. As on previous occasions, whichwas now becoming a regular occurrence, the Duxford Wing of 19, 242 and310 squadrons was also placed at readiness.

1515hrs: After the crossingof the Channel, large formations are sighted by the Observer Corps at Foreness,Dover, Folkestone and Bognor. The largest of these crosses the coast nearRamsgate. Estimated as two large formations of one hundred and fifty bomberseach making a total of three hundred in total, escorted by Bf109s and Bf110shead towards the Thames Estuary and the River Thames. One formation crossesbetween Ramsgate and Deal while the other is further out over the sea.The Observer Corps also report of a large formation of bombers and escortsthat appear to be heading towards Portsmouth or Southampton. Park releasessquadrons at Tangmere and Westhampnett from 11 Group activities so that10 Group can deal with the impending operations over Southampton and Portsmouth.

1530hrs: Now, most of 11 Groupsquadrons are airborne. 1(RCAF) Squadron Northolt (Hurricanes) along with222 Squadron Hornchurch (Spitfires) and 238 Squadron Middle Wallop (Hurricanes)are in action over central Kent, 17 Squadron Debden (Hurricanes), 46 SquadronStapleford (Hurricanes), Spitfires of 72 Squadron Croydon, 73 SquadronDebden (Hurricanes), 249 Squadron North Weald (Hurricanes) and 266 SquadronWittering (Spitfires) were involved in heavy combat action spread overthe Thames Estuary. 19 Squadron Duxford (Spitfires), 74 Squadron Coltishall(Spitfires) and 266 Squadron had been brought down as usual from 12 Groupto protect Hornchurch and North Weald and all of them became involved inaction over southern and eastern areas of London.
41 Squadron Hornchurch (Spitfires)covered a large area between the Thames Estuary and the Channel while 92Squadron Biggin Hill (Spitfires) gave cover to the Channel areas over Doverand Folkestone. Other squadrons airborne were 253 Squadron Kenley (Hurricanes),303 Squadron Northolt (Hurricanes) and 605 Squadron Croydon (Hurricanes).

It had been estimated that over 300enemy aircraft in two separate formations and both covered by their Bf109escorts flying at higher altitude had crossed the coast between Deal andForeness then turned 45 degrees over the Thames Estuary and followed theusual pattern of using the River Thames as their flight path. Over theEstuary between Herne Bay and Shoeburyness and Gravesend and Tilbury andhuge melee of high altitude dogfights began to develop creating long twistingspirals of vapour trails. Many of the bombers continued on towards Londonescorted mainly by Bf110s, the Bf109s being contained by British fighters.But time was on the side of Parks fighters, the 109s were now at the criticalstage of their fuel supply.

The leading bombers had now been spottedby the fighters from 12 Group. At 23,000 feet, they now could attack withthe required height advantage. Bader's 242 Squadron had been given a rest,so now it was up to 19, 74 and 266 Squadrons to fly the flag for Leigh-Mallory'sgroup.

BetweenLondon and Gravesend, AA fire drew their attention to an enemy force ofsome 150 aircraft flyinggenerally north at 20,000 feet. The Germans were flying in waves of tightformations of Dorniers,Heinkels and Junkers 88s, with protecting fighters. Me 110s were behindthe bombers and a formidable force of Me 109s behind them at about 24,000feet. It had been arranged that the two Spitfire squadrons in the lead(composite 19/266 and 611) were to attack the fighter escort, while 74Squadron aimed at the bombers. As 74 Squadron went for the force of Junkers88s, they met fighters diving on them, but they gamely continued theirpolicy of striking for the main formation. For once, Douglas Bader wasnot in the scrap!

Eight aircraftof 19 Squadron and six of 266 Squadron were leading the Wing. They divedin line astern for a head-on attack on the leading Heinkel 111s and theirscreening Messerschmitt 110s. After this first insurgence, Red 1, Sqn LdrB.E. Lane, broke off to port and saw the enemy turning south-east overSittingbourne in Kent. He went for the nearer of two 110s, blowing bitsoff its starboard engine and then setting it alight. The other Me 110 openedits throttle and left.
Discretionbeing the better part. Red 1 tried for the Heinkels and saw some flamesemerging jaggedlyfrom one, but nothing more.

SergeantJennings as Red 2 finished off a Heinkel, and moved on to the end one of15 Me 110s. It fell out of the force and crashed in a wood somewhere remotebetween Sittingbourne and Maidstone. Red 3 was Sergeant H.A.C. Roden. Hetook on 30 Me110s, endeavouring to form a circle. Pieces flew from theport mainplane of one and it took a shallow dive &mdash inconclusively.

Flt Sgt Hawinat Red 4 knocked lumps off both engines of a Heinkel 111 from a mere 50yards. The bomberwent into a tell-tale spiral. Then a Dornier decided to go for him &mdash unlikelybut true. It shatteredhis windscreen and registered a hit on his engine. The Spitfire was notin good shape. Hawin switchedoff his engine and forced-landed in Kent with no drastic damage to eitherthe fighteror himself.

In the meantime,two heavily escorted Luftflotte 3 formations from Cherbourg and Seine Baywere heading towards Southampton and Portsmouth and 10 Group released squadronsfrom Tangmere, Westhampnett and a flight from Middle Wallop. Most of theBritish fighters intercepted the enemy off the coast at Selsey Bill andintense combat ensued. Although some of the bombers managed to get throughthe fighter defence, both the towns of Portsmouth and Southampton receivedbomb damage. But most of the formations and their escorts were scatteredand were forced to turn back.

In all, it hadnot been the best of days to either side. RAF Fighter Command would haveto be commended for the effort that they put in in defence, but it cameat a price. For the first time, Fighter Command casualties exceeded thatof the Luftwaffe. Many of the bombers managed to get through with Londonagain suffering considerable damage. The Woolwich Arsenal was hit as wellas much of the dockland areas again. Finsbury, Holborn, Bermondsey andCentral London were hit once again.

A blackday for Fighter Command was September 11 with combat losses exceeding thoseof the Luftwaffe. Two major co-ordinated attacks by the Luftwaffe werelaunched, both in the afternoon. The first, comprising He 111s of KG 1and KG 26 headed up the Thames Estuary towards London, with a fighter escort200 strong. The defending squadrons made little impression on the escortsat first and lost heavily some of them had been scrambled too late andwere caught on the climb. As on the 7th, the 110s formed a holding patternin the Croydon area, while the single-seaters ran themselves low on fuel.As a result, the Heinkels were quickly left without an escort and sufferedin consequence, losing 10, plus four more which force landed in France,while a further 120 were damaged.

MeanwhileLuftflotte 3 mounted a raid on Portsmouth and Southampton, causing littledamage. Luftwaffe combat losses for the day totalled 21, and another sixforce landed. Of these, only four were Bf 109s, although a fifth crashedas a result of a mid-air collision over France. Collisions were not thatunusual four Ju 87s were lost to this cause on a training mission also.Six Spitfires and nineteen Hurricanes were lost and a further six fighterscrash landed. Twelve pilots were killed and four severely injured. Thiswas an exchange rate that Fighter Command could not afford.

In all thiswidespread activity, Fighter Command flew 678 sorties. The scoreboard atthe end of the day was in reality depressing, R.A.F. losses being 29 aircraft,17 pilots killed and 6 wounded, compared with German casualties for the24 hours of 25 aircraft. K.G.26 was the worst hit, with eight He111s shotdown. At the time it was estimated German losses were far higher, but thered in the British balance sheet on the final reckoning is accounted forby the fact that many squadrons became entangled with the escorting formationswho attacked from above.

As the eveningdrew on jamming of British radar became more general, and four stationsreported interference before darkness fell. Throughout the night harassingraids moved up and down the country, while London was receiving a heavyattack from 180 bombers. Merseyside was the secondary target, while singleaircraft were over Scotland, the Bristol Channel, Lincolnshire and Norfolkwith Fliegerdivision IX mine laying on the south and east coasts in preparationfor invasion.

On both sidesof the Channel, the thought of the invasion of Britain was still to begiven a date and become a reality. Adolph Hitler was to call a meetingand this was now expected to happen within the next few days. Churchill,on the other hand was emphasizing to his military leaders that they mustprepare themselves as if the invasion was to happen on the very next day.Regarding the invasion, Winston Churchill made a broadcast to the people,as was the normal policy that the British Prime Minister had implementedin keeping the people informed.

Again London was pounded by nightbombing from 2100hrs until 0430hrs the followingmorning,and still the RAF had no answer to these night attacks.Hundreds of searchlights picked out the invading bombers but it all seemedin a lost cause because of the high altitudes that they were flying at.London's dockland is again hit as well as parts of Central London and BuckinghamPalace sustains damage and gives reason for the Queen (now the Queen Mother)to state ". now the palace has been bombed, I feel now that I can lookat the people of the East End straight in the eye". But this attack onLondon was a disaster for the Luftwaffe. A formation of He IIIs from KG26 were bombing the northern areas of London, notably Paddington, Finsburyand Islington when they were intercepted by Hurricanes and Spitfires from249 Squadron North Weald (Hurricanes), 609 Squadron Hornchurch (Spitfires)and 41 Squadron Hornchurch (Spitfires). The fighters broke up the formationwho tried desperately to evade the deadly Spitfires while the Hurricaneskept the Bf 110 escort at bay and who were fighting desperately for theirown survival. 7 Heinkels were shot down in this battle, while 12 more limpedback towards home nursing burning aircraft, smoking engines and air conditionedcockpits.

Other areasthat were the targets of the German bombers were Merseyside, Bristol Channeland South Wales, as well as isolated raids on towns in Norfolk, Lincolnshireand Yorkshire.

1100hrs:Stapleford. Hurricane P3525. 46 Squadron Stapleford
Sgt S. Andrewskilled. (Crashed and burnt out for reasonsunknown after an uneventful patrol)
1530hrs:Thames Estuary. Hurricane V7232. 46 Squadron Stapleford
Sgt W.A. Peacocklisted as missing. (Failed to return aftercombat action. Presumed crashed into the sea)
1600hrs:Romney Marsh. Hurricane P3770. 504 Squadron Hendon
P/O A.W. Clarkelisted as missing. (Crashed and burntout near Newchurch after combat over coast)
1600hrs:Croydon. Spitfire II P7298. 611 Squadron Digby
Sgt F.E.R. Shepherdkilled. (Caught fire during combat. Pilotbaled out but aircraft crashed into houses)
1600hrs:Off Selsey Bill. Hurricane V6667. 213 Squadron Tangmere
Sgt A. Wojcickilisted as missing. (Shot down in Channelduring combat with Bf110s. Body never recovered)
1615hrs:South London. Hurricane V6665. 303 Squadron Northolt
F/O A. Cebrzynskidied of injuries 19.9.40 (Shot down duringcombat. Made a failed attempted crash landing)
1615hrs:Romney Marshes. Hurricane R2682 238 Squadron Middle Wallop
Sgt S. Duszynskilisted as missing. (Last seen pursuingJu88 over Romney. Aircraft crashed at Lydd)
1615hrs:Dungeness. Spitfire K9793. 92 Squadron Biggin Hill
P/O F.N. Hargreaveslisted as missing. (Failed to return aftercombat action. Presumed crashed into the sea)
1615hrs:Tunbridge Wells. Hurricane V7240. 238 Squadron Middle Wallop
Fl/Lt D.P. Hugheslisted as missing. (Last seen interceptingJu88s. Failed to return to base)
1620hrs:Off Selsey Bill. Spitfire N3282. 602 Squadron Westhampnett
Sgt M.H. Spraguekilled. (Shot down by Bf110s over Channel.Pilots body washed ashore at Brighton 10.10.40)
1625hrs:South London. Hurricane V7242. 303 Squadron Northolt
Sgt S. Wojtowiczkilled. (Crashed and burnt out at Westerhamafter being shot down by Bf109s)
1730hrs:Channel area. Blenheim. 235 Squadron Thorney Island
P/O P.C. Wickins-Smithlisted as missing.
P/O A.W.V. Greenlisted as missing
Sgt R.D.H. Wattslisted as missing. (Believed shot downby Bf109 during escort mission to Calais)
1730hrs:Channel area. Blenheim. 235 Squadron Thorney Island
P/O N.B. Shorrockslisted as missing.
Fl/Lt F.W. Floodlisted as missing
Sgt B.R. Sharplisted as missing. (Failed to return fromescort mission to Calais)
1900hrs:Smeeth (Kent). Spitfire P9464. 92 Squadron Biggin Hill
P/O H.D. Edwardskilled. (Shot down by Bf109 during combataction and crashed into woods)

[1]John Frayn Turner The Battle of Britain Airlife 1998 p116
[2]Wood & Dempster The Narrow Margin Magraw-Hill 1961 p344

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