September 20, 2018




German and Soviet forces meet near Brest-Litovsk.  On September 20, 1939, Soviet advance units of the 29th Tank Brigade under the command of Kombrig Semyon Krivoshein, encountered the XIX Corps under the command of Guderian at the village of Widomla ( Belarus today). According to Krivoshein, a group of twelve German officers approached him explaining that they were also advancing in the direction of Brest-Litovsk. Apparently they raised a toast to each other over the quick victory over "capitalist England".

German submarine U-27 was sunk by British destroyers west of Scotland.  British destroyers HMS Fortune and HMS Faulknor teamed up to hunt down and sink the U-boat that was attacking allied trawlers. On September 20, 1939,  the enemy sub fired three torpedoes at the warships, but missed because they exploded prematurely. The British vessels responded with a series of depth charge attacks, one of which damaged the German submarine sufficiently to force it to the surface.  Though the HMS Fortune was prepared to ram the vessel, it was halted as U-27 was surrendering and all 38 crewmen were taken prisoner. U-27 became the second German submarine to be sunk in World War II (after U-39 was sunk on September 14, 1939)


The Creation of the famous Polish Ciechociemni:  The Polish Commander-in-Chief, General Władysław Sikorski, gave the order for the creation of  Section III, a special covert branch of the Polish Army in Exile.  It's objective was for the planning and execution of covert operations in Nazi occupied Poland, the air delivery of arms and supplies, and training of paratroops.  They conducted covert operations thoroughout Europe, as well as participated in the Warsaw Uprising.  Immediately after, Polish command began recruiting volunteers.  Of a total of 2,413 candidates, only 605 were able to successfully complete the rigorous training and pass all the tests, and of those,  579 qualified for airlift.  The volunteers included 1 general, 112 staff officers, 894 officers, 592 NCOs, 771 privates, 15 women, and 28 civilian emissaries of the Polish Government in Exile. Two of the Polish women on the team of Ciechociemni were Krystyna Skarbek, and Elzbieta Zawacka. (see Polish Greatness Blog, "Secret Polish Forces of WW2: The"Silent and Dark Ones" PART III FAMOUS CICHOCIEMNI"


Operation Source was a British plan, spearheaded on September 20, 1943, with the objective of attacking the heavy German battleship Tirpitz. In January of 1942, Hitler had ordered the Kriegsmarine to be stationed in Norway in order to attack allied convoys transporting supplies from Ireland to the USSR. The Tirpitz also posed a threat to the British ships in the area.  The RAF attempted several air strikes against the German war ship but failed to make any hits.  Another attempt was made by the RAF in March 1942 in which dozens of bombers were deployed, reinforced by cruisers, pocket battleships and destroyers, followed by sporadic attacks in October of 1942, none of which were successful. But on September 22, 1943, two British midget submarines dropped charges underneath the Tirpitz, but could not get away in time before being spotted by and fired upon by the enemy warship. The crewmen abandoned the subs and were captured by the Germans.  The Tirpitz was heavily damaged, but was not in danger of sinking.  She incurred heavy mechanical damage, and took on over 1,400 tons of water. It flooded the fuel tanks and void spaces in the double bottom of the port side, resulting in a list of one to two degrees.  Even though the Tirpitz could not be sunk, it was out of commission for repairs, which took until April 2, 1944 to complete.

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