Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day 67 November 6, 1939

Western Front. In the first large air battle over the Saar in northwestern France, 9 French Curtiss P-36 Hawk fighters shoot down 4 out of 27 German Messerschmitt Bf 109E. French losses are not recorded. The P-36 Hawk with four 7.5 mm Browning machine guns does well early in the war, despite being outgunned by the Bf 109E with two 7.92 mm MG 17s plus 2 wing-mounted 20 mm cannon.

Around 1830, General Carl von Clausewitz, director of the Prussian War Academy and a military historian and theorist, wrote his book “On War”. His famous line "Der Krieg ist eine blo├če Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln" is liberally translated as "War is merely a continuation of diplomacy (politics) by other means". If this is true, then a declaration of war requires certain preliminary diplomatic maneuvers. In Moscow, these diplomatic niceties continue, with the Finns hoping to avert or at least delay war while the Soviets lay the final touches to their invasion plans.

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