mines

Dec

22

1939

A cold winter arrives in Europe

The movement of ships in convoys, the laying of huge mine fields by both Britain and Germany, the sinking of ships and the widespread use of explosives to sink mines, and in the use of depth charges to seek to destroy submarines were responsible for ‘mixing up’ the warm and cold water layers of the sea.

Nov

30

1939

HMS Rawalpindi, Magnetic Mines and an unseen ‘raider’

On receipt of the news of the sinking of H.M.S. Rawalpindi the Home Fleet took up positions in the North Sea calculated to intercept the German warships, should they be attempting to return home.

Nov

23

1939

German mining of British waters intensifies

‘H.M.S.Belfast (10,000 ton 6 inch gun cruiser) was damaged by a mine on the morning of 21 November in the Firth of Forth’

Nov

23

1939

The British dismantle their first magnetic mine

‘There was a possibility that the mine had devices other than the magnetic one, which added to the hazard. If we were unlucky the notes which the two watchers had taken would be available for those who would have to deal with the next available specimen. ‘

Nov

21

1939

HMS Belfast is mined

“Suddenly there was terrific thud, and then there was dead silence and then a shaking up and down, as if you were shaking a doll up and down. That was the power of a magnetic mine.”

Nov

16

1939

More losses to Mines, Increasing Russian-Finnish tension

During the past week in Home Waters four ships have been sunk by mine and two by direct submarine action. Of these, five were British (total tonnage in 11,359) and one Norwegian (1,019 tonnes). These figures, as do last week’s losses, suggests the increasing use of the mine in the attack on trade.

Nov

2

1939

Attacks by the Luftwaffe and strain on the Soviet Union

It is becoming increasingly evident that the Soviet Union is suffering from the strain of partial mobilisation. Train services throughout the country were seriously disorganised, and as late as 19 October normal circumstances had not been resumed. Mobilisation was carried out at very short notice.

Oct

12

1939

German Navy at sea, Soviet Russia threatens Finland

Pilots have reported that German anti-aircraft fire is extremely accurate. Nevertheless, very few aircraft have been destroyed by this means in western Germany. On 8th September French reconnaissance aircraft was brought down at the height of 16,000 feet, and on 11th September a similar type of aircraft was destroyed by ground machine gun fire. Four other aircraft were missing during September and may have been shot down from the ground. It is more probable however that they were lost by fighter action.