Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 52 October 22, 1939

Battle of the Atlantic. Graf Spee, still cruising around in the mid-Atlantic, stops the British steamer Trevanion (cargo of ore concentrates) and machineguns her bridge and upper deck when she radios a distress message. Trevanion’s crew is taken on board before she is scuttled. German Naval Command is aware of British warships massing in the mid-Atlantic to hunt Graf Spee and orders her into the Indian Ocean. This will keep Graf Spee out of contact with British warships and add to British confusion about the number and location of German raiders.

Hitler wants preemptive action in France before the French and British have time to improve and man their defenses. Despite his lack of enthusiasm for Halder’s “Case Yellow”, he knows that time is on the Allies side and he demands that the attack is launched by Nov 12.

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