Posts Categorized: Caithness at War Blog

Caithness at War Blog

Caithness at War: Week 9

On 1 November, Germany formally annexed the Danzig Corridor from Poland, while the Soviet Union annexed eastern parts to Ukraine and Belorussia. On Saturday 4 November the United States Neutrality Act was passed, allowing the British and French to buy U.S. arms. Hetty Munro, serving in the ATS in Orkney, writing in her diary found… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 8

On Friday 27 October Belgium announced that it would be neutral in the war. At about this time Hetty Munro recorded in her diary, “I heard that my friends in the A.T.S. [Auxiliary Territorial Service, the women’s branch of the British Army] were coming over to Stromness to work and I decided that it was… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 7

On Monday 16 October the first attack on Britain from the air took place, when nine German planes attacked the Royal Navy base at Rosyth near the Forth Bridge, damaging three boats and killing sixteen of their crew. Three of the German planes were shot down, the first enemy aircraft of the war brought down… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 6

On 9 October Hitler ordered his generals to prepare for the invasion of Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands; the next day the last Polish forces still fighting surrendered. Also on 10 October Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister, refused Hitler’s offer of a peace conference. Lithuania gave in to the Soviet demands for military… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 5

On 3 October the British Expeditionary Force took up positions along the border with Belgium, anticipating an invasion by Germany now that the Polish campaign was drawing to a close. Hitler meanwhile called for a peace conference with Britain and France. The Soviet Union increased the pressure on Lithuania and Latvia to allow them military… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 4

German forces began their final assault on the centre of Warsaw on Tuesday 26 September; the Polish forces there finally surrendered on Thursday. On that day, Germany and Russia officially divided Poland in the German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty. On Saturday he German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee sunk its first British merchant ship, the… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 3

On Tuesday 19 September German and Russian forces in Poland linked up near Brest-Litovsk. Meanwhile Japan continued its invasion of China. The German submarine U-27 was sunk by the British destroyers HMS Fortune and HMS Forester on Wednesday 20 September. In Caithness, The John O’Groat Journal reported that the last remaining 36 soldiers of the… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 2

The second full week of the war saw the French offensive in the Rhine officially halted on Tuesday 12 September after an advance of just five miles. On Saturday 16 September German forces surrounded Warsaw; the next day Russian forces invaded Poland from the east. On Sunday Japan attacked the Chinese city of Changsa. Schools… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Week 1

On Monday 4 September the RAF launched a raid on the German fleet in the Heligoland Bight, but failed to inflict significant damage. The naval blockade of Germany began. On Wednesday 6 September German forces captured Krakow in Poland. Thursday 7th saw French forces moving into German territory in the Rhine valley. The week ended… Read more »Read more

Caithness at War: Prelude

On Friday the first of September 1939 German forces began the invasion of Poland. The British Government responded by announcing the general mobilisation of its own forces and imposing a blackout across Britain. On Saturday Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Germany, and Britain enacted the National Service Act, authorising conscription of all… Read more »Read more