21 September 1940

21 September 1940

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21 September 1940

September 1940

> October

War in the Air

Luftwaffe attacks London and towns in the south east

RAF attacks invasion bases

North Africa

Sidi Barrani is bombed

The Negro Struggle

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. 4 No. 38, 21 September 1940, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.

Negro People Hold the Balance

The 1940 elections are of tremendous importance to the colored race. They take place in the midst of world shaking events. The war in Europe sharpens and the day comes closer when workers, colored and white, will be called on to give their lives to protect Wall Street&rsquos profits. The crisis of unemployment remains with us, in spite of the huge expenditures for armaments. Wages stand still, relief and WPA go down, and the cost of living shoots up. The conscription bill is rushed for debate and passage, while the Anti-Lynch Bill lies a-mouldering in a drawer. The Army keeps shouting that it needs men, and it keeps rejecting Negro volunteers. The Ku Klux Klan gets bolder, and gives out leaflets on the Streets of northern cities.

All these things affect the lives and conditions of every worker. They affect the colored worker most of all because he is always hardest hit in every crisis. The Negro people cannot ignore these things, they have to do something about them. But in order to know what to do, they must understand what the situation really is, and why.

The first step on the Negro&rsquos road to freedom is an intensified participation in politics. An old argument against this is: &ldquoWe don&rsquot have enough political strength to gain anything.&rdquo Recent studies by the Gallup Poll prove this argument completely false. In May this poll found that there are eleven states in which the Negro vote is the decisive one, the vote which will probably swing these states. They were Delaware, Indiana, New York, Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Connecticut and Nebraska. Notice that this does not include the heavily Negro-populated states in the South, where Negroes are shot if they so much as try to vote. And still these eleven states will determine the course of the national election!

True, the colored man has not benefited much from politics so far. But that is because he has used his political strength against his own interests. A majority of the colored workers have always voted for either the Democratic or Republican Parties. A brief examination of these parties and their presidential candidates will show why this has been a tragic mistake. Here we will not take up at this time their policies in regard to the general questions of war, low wages, unemployment, etc. Just analyzing their policies in regard to the special problems of the colored race is enough to expose them for what they are. In the words of Roosevelt, &ldquoLet&rsquos look at the record.&rdquo Let&rsquos look at his record.

The Roosevelt Record

During almost eight years in office Roosevelt developed the idea of &ldquomust legislation&rdquo. By this was meant the bills in Congress that he badly wanted passed, and on many occasions he has publicly thrown his weight behind such bills. Often he has made the proposals himself, on such things as money for armaments, conscription, etc. During these eight years several versions of the Anti-Lynch Bill were introduced. Not once did he offer a single word in favor of such bills! Each time he was as mum as a dummy. While his party joined hands with the Republicans to kill the bill. In his years of office he has made hundreds of speeches, talked on thousands of things &ndash but never once a speech, or a sentence, or a word about the Anti-Lynch Bill.

Eight southern states use a poll tax to keep the colored people from voting. Several bills, supported by Negroes and the labor movement, have been introduced in Congress to eliminate this vicious legislation. They all went where the Anti-Lynch Bill went. And Roosevelt continued to make speeches about democracy. in Europe. From him, not a word, not a syllable, only the silence of the grave, on the poll tax.

Jim Crow Is a General

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Roosevelt has much to say about its policies. No important decisions are made without his approval. But the history of the Army under Roosevelt is the same history of discrimination against colored soldiers and applicants as under the Republicans before him. Negroes are given the dirtiest jobs in the Army, they are denied the opportunity to advance themselves, they suffer insult and segregation. Jim Crow is a general in the Army, but the Commander-in-Chief has never been heard to say a word about it.

All this absolute silence from a man who talks so much means only one thing: Roosevelt favors the policy of discrimination!

Roosevelt was not-elected and re-elected on the basis of his smile alone. His election was made possible by a political machine. This machine is well known as the Democratic Party. Its main source of strength comes from one place, the &ldquosolid south&rdquo. There the Democratic Party rules supreme. There the Negro suffers everything but legal slavery. There is the home of the lynch mob. There such good Democrats as Senator Bilbo, who wants to ship the colored people back to Africa, and Cotton Ed Smith, and the other Ku-Kluxers and night-riders, are the masters, and when they say, &ldquoA third term for Roosevelt&rdquo, it means something. What self-respecting colored worker can deliver them his vote?

The Democratic Party belongs to these men. Support them and you will be supporting the whole system of Jim Crow. Put them back in office and you will be putting them in a position where they can tighten the chains of opposition around you. Fight for them and you will (be fighting to keep the Anti-Lynch Bill and other progressive legislation in the drawer. Vote for them and you will be voting for discrimination in private employment, on relief, civil service and in the armed forces.

This Day in Susanville History – September 21st, 1940

Saturday evening at six o’clock alarms rang and the Susanville fire department was called to a fire in the Lassen Plumbing & Sheet Metal shop on Gay Street.

The building was gutted, and many of the record books were destroyed. The walls of the building were constructed of sheet metal, but the inside was of wood and the flames soon destroyed it. The origin of the fire is undetermined.

Frank Knapp, owner and operator of the building and plant, suffered burns after braving flames to save records, files and estimates from the conflagration.

The fire department was also called out yesterday morning to extinguish a fire burning in a truck, belonging to Sam Dotson, logging contractor, which was a fire at Main Street near Weatherlow.

The fire was soon extinguished and the truck was saved from complete destruction.

We are always looking for new pictures to preserve and share in our historical photo collection and we would love to see yours.Your picture will be added to our digital archive for future use and we will make sure you receive credit whenever possible. Email your contribution along with your name and a short description of what you’ve sent to [email protected] A digital copy of every submission will also be donated to the Lassen Historical Society for preservation in their files.

Don’t know how to scan your photos?

Our friends at the UPS Store have offered to professionally scan your vintage photo submissions for free. Just stop by 2850 Main Street in Susanville and they will be happy to help you.

New Mexico’s Colonial Past

On September 21, 1595, Don Juan de Oñate’s petition and contract for the conquest of New Mexico was presented to Luís de Velasco, the viceroy of Nueva Vizcaya. Already a wealthy and prominent man, he sought to turn the Indians’ wealth into his own and had requested the assignment after hearing rumors about golden cities in the vicinity. Oñate was granted the commission and set about recruiting men for his expedition.

Bird’s Eye View of the City of Santa Fé, N.M., 1882. Beck & Pauli, lithographers Madison, Wis: J.J. Stoner, 1882. Panoramic Maps. Geography & Maps Division

After many delays, Oñate finally began the expedition in 1598 with approximately 200 men, accompanied by their families and servants. The expedition crossed the Rio Grande at El Paso and split up into smaller groups to search for treasure. Some of his men wanted to return to Spain, but Oñate squashed potential deserters by executing several who had attempted to leave. He used brutal force against the Ácoma Indians, who had rebelled and killed several of Oñate’s men. Retribution and the severity of Oñate’s actions after reconquering the pueblo terrified other pueblos and the Spanish priests complained that the Indians distrusted the Spanish—making their conversion difficult.

Pueblo of Aconia [i.e. Acoma], N.M. c1899. Detroit Publishing Company. Prints & Photographs Division

In 1601, Oñate set out to find the legendary golden city of Quivera. After years of failure, he returned to find much of his colony deserted. Although his colonization methods were horrific, Oñate is credited with establishing a colony in New Mexico and exploring the geography of the region.

In 1607, Oñate resigned as governor. He was tried and sentenced in 1614 for his cruel actions and ineptitude in ruling the colony. Oñate was fined, banished from New Mexico in perpetuity, and exiled for four years from Mexico City and its vicinity he also lost his titles as governor and captain general of New Mexico. He appealed his convictions several times after his banishment from Mexico City had elapsed. Evidence of a pardon, likely granted between 1622 and 1624, is inconclusive.

“Tened Piedad, Dios Mío” (Have Pity, My God)
Luis Montoya and Ricardo Archuleta, unaccompanied vocals. Recorded in Cerro New Mexico, August 9, 1940.
Hispano Music & Culture from the Northern Rio Grande: The Juan B. Rael Collection. American Folklife Center Listen

By encouraging further European settlement, efforts led to the founding of Santa Fe in 1610—America’s oldest capital city. Congress established the Territory of New Mexico in 1848 at the conclusion of the Mexican War. On January 6, 1912, New Mexico became the forty-seventh state.

Living Through the Blitz

For Londoners, there are no longer such things as good nights there are only bad nights, worse nights, and better nights. Hardly anyone has slept at all in the past week. The sirens go off at approximately the same time every evening, and in the poorer districts, queues of people carrying blankets, thermos flasks, and babies begin to form quite early outside the air-raid shelters. The Blitzkrieg continues to be directed against such military objectives as the tired shopgirl, the red-eyed clerk, and the thousands of dazed and weary families patiently trundling their few belongings in perambulators away from the wreckage of their homes. After a few of these nights, sleep of a kind comes from complete exhaustion. The amazing part of it is the cheerfulness and fortitude with which ordinary individuals are doing their jobs under nerve-racking conditions. Girls who have taken twice the usual time to get to work look worn when they arrive, but their faces are nicely made up and they bring you a cup of tea or sell you a hat as chirpily as ever. Little shopkeepers whose windows have been blown out paste up “Business as usual” stickers and exchange cracks with their customers.

On all sides, one hears the grim phrase “We shall get used to it.” Everyone takes for granted that the program of wanton destruction, far from letting up, will be intensified when bad weather sets in and makes anything like accuracy in bombing impossible. Although people imagined early in the war that vicious bombardments would be followed by the panic-stricken departure of everybody who could leave the city, outward-going traffic on one of the major roads from London was only normal on the day after the worst of the raids. The government, however, has announced new plans for the evacuation of children who were not sent away under former schemes or whose mothers last week had the unhappy inspiration to bring them back to town for a holiday at home.

The East End suffered most in the night raids this week. Social workers who may have piously wished that slum areas could be razed had their wish horribly fulfilled when rows of mean dwellings were turned into shambles overnight. The Nazi attack bore down heaviest on badly nourished, poorly clothed people—the worst equipped of any to stand the appalling physical strain, if it were not for the stoutness of their cockney hearts. Relief workers sorted them out in schools and other centres to be fed, rested, and provided with billets. Subsequent raids killed many of the homeless as they waited.

The bombers, however, made no discrimination between the lowest and the highest homes in the city. The Queen was photographed against much the same sort of tangle of splintered wreckage that faced hundreds of humbler, anonymous housewives in this week’s bitter dawns. The crowd that gathered outside Buckingham Palace the morning after the picture was published had come, it appeared on close inspection, less to gape at boarded windows than to listen to the cheering notes of the band, which tootled away imperturbably at the cherished ceremony of the Changing of the Guard. This was before the deliberate second try for the Palace, which has made people furious, but has also cheered them with the thought that the King and Queen are facing risks that are now common to all.

Broken windows are no longer a novelty in the West End, though the damage there so far has been slight. In getting about, one first learns that a bomb has fallen near at hand by coming upon barriers across roads and encountering policemen who point to yellow tin signs which read simply “Diversion,” as though the blockage had been caused by workmen peacefully taking up drains ahead. The “diversion” in Regent Street, where a bomb fell just outside the Café Royal and did not explode for hours, cut off the surrounding streets and made the neighborhood as quiet as a hamlet. Crowds collected behind the ropes to gaze respectfully at the experts, who stood looking down into the crater and chatting as nonchalantly as plumbers discussing the best way of fixing a leaking tap. Police went around getting occupants out of the buildings in the vicinity and warning them to leave their windows open, but even with this precaution, when the bomb finally went off that evening there were not many panes of glass left.

The scene next morning was quite extraordinarily eerie. The great sweep of Regent Street, deserted by everyone except police and salvage workers, stared gauntly like a thoroughfare in a dead city. It would have been no surprise to see grass growing up out of the pavements, which were covered instead with a fine, frosty glitter of powdered glass. The noise of glass being hammered out of upper windows, swept into piles at street corners, and shovelled into municipal dust vans made a curious grinding tinkle which went on most of the day. The happiest people there were two little boys who had discovered a sweet shop where most of the window display had been blown into the gutter, and who were doing a fine looting job among the debris. Around the corner, the florid façade of Burlington Arcade had been hit at one end, and an anxious jeweller was helping in the work of salvaging his precious stock from the heap of junk that a short while before had been a double row of luxury shops. Scenes like these are new enough to seem both shocking and unreal to come across a wrecked filling station with a couple of riddled cars standing dejectedly by its smashed pumps makes one feel that one must have strayed onto a Hollywood set, and it’s good to get back to normality among the still snug houses in the next street.

The Rusk Cherokeean (Rusk, Tex.), Vol. 94, No. 35, Ed. 1 Friday, September 20, 1940

Weekly newspaper from Rusk, Texas that includes local, state and national news along with advertising.

Physical Description

six pages : ill. page 21.25 x 15.25 in. Digitized from 35 mm. microfilm.

Creation Information


This newspaper is part of the collection entitled: Texas Digital Newspaper Program and was provided by the Singletary Memorial Library to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 80 times. More information about this issue can be viewed below.

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this newspaper or its content.




Check out our Resources for Educators Site! We've identified this newspaper as a primary source within our collections. Researchers, educators, and students may find this issue useful in their work.

Provided By

Singletary Memorial Library

The Library, located in Rusk, received a Tocker Foundation grant. Rusk was established by an act of the Texas legislature on April 11, 1846, which defined the boundaries of Cherokee County and called for the county seat to be named for Gen. Thomas Jefferson Rusk, one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by sitalkes » 12 Feb 2016, 03:54

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 12 Feb 2016, 11:18

Sid Guttridge wrote: Hi Guys,

In Torbay, any beach not covered by coastal artillery was mined.

Was this the case elsewhere?

Now, of course, we couldn't legally lay mines.

Hi Sid,
I (and others) put some information about this - actually a whole lot - in this thread: http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=1435.0

As with other aspects of the British defences at the the time, there seems to be very little precise and detailed documentary info on the minefields. The best source would probably be the clearance certificates issued by the Royal Engineers to local authorities from 1944 onwards, which contain maps, but there does not seem to be any central registry, so to find them you would have to comb through the archives of the relevant Regional Commissioners, Town Councils, and such, which seems a daunting task.

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 14 Feb 2016, 11:51

Knouterer wrote:
Shortly after Dunkirk, the War Office announced: “In view of great pressure the Cabinet has decided to increase the size of the Army for Home Defence, interfering as little as possible with Field Army units. A scheme whereby a very great input will be absorbed by Training, Holding and Home Defence units and sixty more battalions created has been evolved. During June 1940, instead of the normal 70,000 Intake, the figure will be 165,000. In July it will rise to 180,000. The new units will be rather in the form of Kitchener Army units, officers being selected and Regimental Associations, the Corps of Commissionaires, etc., being asked to help.” (as quoted in a history of the Royal West Kent Regiment by H.D. Chaplin).

According to the Statistical Digest, the total intake for 1940 was 1,544,200 men for all armed forces (1,044,600 called up, 461,000 volunteers, 38,600 direct officer intake, excluding men locally enlisted abroad), of which 461,700 in the third quarter (the total outflow for 1940 was 68,900 casualties and other deaths, and 69,100 medical discharges). Army strength at the end of Sept. stood at 1,888,000, of which about 1.3 million at home. To be complete, the number of women serving in the ATS (all volunteers at that time) was still relatively modest at the end of Sept. at 36,100.

So the targets announced by the WO for June and July seem a tad high and may not have been reached, but in any case the numbers involved were huge and the various depots and training establishments, lacking sufficient qualified instructors, equipment and suitable accommodation, were hard put to cope (as also appears clearly from any number of diaries, memoirs, interviews, etc., of men who joined at that time).

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 14 Feb 2016, 13:22

The table showing the "decrease" from all causes takes up about three pages so I won't scan it - there is even a row in it for "Claimed as an apprentice" but apparently in 1940 no irate masters showed up at the barracks gate to press any such claims.

There is still a fair number listed as "missing" for May and June, most of whom would eventually have to be reclassified as killed or prisoner, presumably. A very few might still be making their way back, perhaps stuck in a Spanish internment camp.
Actually, the numbers of dead, wounded, missing and POWs for May-July seem much too low, given the known losses of the BEF (about 68,000) but let's not get into that in this thread.

The number of men released as invalids is about four to five thousand per month, except in July when it is suddenly 53,105, which can hardly all be seriously wounded from the fighting in May-June perhaps there was a medical "combing out" of the whole army at that time.

The net increase of the army is given as follows:
January: 96,293
February: 55,197
March: 58,002
April: 58,585
May: 54,766
June: 155,552
July: 152,485
August: 75,671
September: 42,139

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 14 Feb 2016, 14:39

The total numbers I gave in the earlier post quoted above were too low, by the way. According to the General Return, total British Army strength at the end of September was 86,313 officers and 1,826,210 other ranks (without A.T.S.), of which 70,963 Off and 1,668,769 OR at home. About 36,000 women were serving in the A.T.S.

As the above numbers on inflow suggest, a considerable proportion was undergoing training. The Officer Cadet Training Units (OCTUs), of which there were 29 for all arms and services, held no fewer than 10,000 officer cadets, with a permanent staff of 942 officers and 6,610 other ranks.

The number of Other Ranks in (basic) training is given as 172,113, of which 78,247 were expected to finish within 1 month, 39,027 within 2 months, and 28,649 within 3 months.

At the same time, the "Reinforcements Trained and Available" numbered 1,795 officers and 43,984 other ranks slightly under half of these were already "Under Orders" (to join some unit).

In short, theoretically at least there was no shortage of trained manpower.

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 09 Mar 2016, 12:14

I've been trying to work out where the Commandos and Independent Companies were at the end of September.

Ten Independent Companies, intended for guerilla-type warfare, were formed at the start of the Norway campaign, in which five (Nos. 1 to 5) actually took part. Some authors state that they were disbanded immediately afterwards, but in fact they co-existed with the Commandos (raised from early June) until both were merged in the Special Service Battalions in November.

The General Return of the Strength of the British Army as of 30 Sept. 1940 does not list the ICs as such, because formally officers and men were still part of the units from which they came, but by looking up the attached RAMC personnel it is possible to find out where they were.

Originally, the ICs had a strength of 22 officers and 267 other ranks, all volunteers from the Territorial divisions, with a total of 70 pistols, 202 rifles, 9 sniper rifles, 13 LMGs and 10 AT rifles. A new War Establishment, notified 9 Oct., provided for 17 officers and 252 other ranks, plus an attached medical officer and two RAMC orderlies, with 67 pistols and revolvers, 18 Brens, 158 rifles, 9 sniper rifles, 36 “machine carbines”, and 504 “Grenades, percussion” (the new No. 69 “Bakelite” grenade, presumably).

Picture below (from http://gallery.commandoveterans.org/cdo . y.jpg.html ) shows the 15 officers of No. 4 Independent Company at Sandwich. As can be seen, they are wearing the uniforms and cap badges of different regiments.

At the end of September, ICs were located as follows:

No. 1 Scilly Isles
No. 2 Keady (Northern Ireland)
No. 3 Lydd-Dungeness
No. 4 Sandwich
No. 5 Manston
No. 6 Porthcurno (Cornwall)
No. 7 Scilly Isles
No. 8 Truro (Cornwall)
No. 9 Penzance (Cornwall)
No. 10 Corpach (Scotland)

So 3, 4 and 5 were in Kent, close to the invasion zone.

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 09 Mar 2016, 12:26

Strength and location of the Commandos was as follows:

(No. 1 Commando was formed later from disbanded ICs.)
No. 2 Commando: 20 Off 329 OR, at Knutsford, Cheshire (Western Command)
No. 3 Commando: 38 Off 447 OR, at Plymouth (Southern Command)
No. 4 Commando: 36 Off 460 OR, at Weymouth (SoC)
No. 5 Commando (under command of XII Corps according to Philson): St. Margaret’s near Dover, 37 Off 422 OR (in 10 troops).
No. 6 Commando: 37 Off 406 OR at Littlestone, Romney Marsh (Eastern Command)
No. 8 Commando: Burnham-on-Crouch, 28 Off, 357 OR (Essex – under XI Corps?)
No. 9 Commando: Chester, 19 Off, 10 OR (WC)
No. 10 Commando: Chester, 14 Off, 15 OR (WC or NC?)
No. 11 Commando: Brechin, 34 Off, 488 OR (ScotC)
No. 12 Commando: Crumlin, 21 Off, 244 OR (Northern Ireland District)

Nos. 9 and 10 had difficulties with attracting volunteers, it seems (as noted in the Osprey booklet on the Commandos). No. 6 was a bit understrength because a number of men had recently been "Returned To Unit" or RTU'd, mostly because they didn't meet the high fitness standards. 2 officers and 50 Other Ranks joined in the first half of October, according to the unit's War Diary (WO 218/6)

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 09 Mar 2016, 13:34

. General Paget, Chief of Staff Home Forces, sponsored the new No. 1 GHQ Reconnaissance Unit, later (Feb. 1941) to be renamed “GHQ Liaison Regiment”. Its role was specifically to provide the C-in-C with early reports on the progress of the expected Battle of Britain on the ground.

Patrols consisted of an officer and a junior NCO and five other ranks, with a Daimler Scout Car fitted with a No. 11 wireless set, three motorcycles and a light truck to carry baggage and enough supplies to make the patrol self-supporting for some time. The unit initially consisted of three groups, A, B and C, each with a small headquarters and four patrols. In principle, the groups were to be deployed regionally, and at the first major alarm in early September, they were deployed in Southern and South Eastern England and in East Anglia. Normal location was with Corps HQ while patrols were with Div HQ.

For a War Establishment of early November, when the unit had expanded (or was intended to expand) to five groups, see:

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 09 Mar 2016, 13:51

Re the Commandos and ICs, Newbold wrote in his thesis on the British preparations to resist invasion (page 390):

". the following day, 11th September, saw eight of the newly formed 'Independent Companies' and seven of the new 'Commando' units placed under the operational control of G.H.Q., Home Forces. Of these, 4, 8 and 9 Independent Companies and 5 and 6 Commando were moved to Eastern Command "to be used exclusively to provide additional security for guns in the Dover area."

As appears from my posts above, by the end of Sept. the situation was slightly different as regards the ICs it does seem they were moved around a lot.

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 10 Mar 2016, 09:04

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 10 Mar 2016, 11:29

Looking over my notes again, I see that the 2nd Canadian Division received 28 x 75 mm guns for its three Field Regts. in November (the artillery units of the 1st Can Div were fully equipped with 18/25pdrs).

On 13 Sept., the division reported that it could contribute two brigade groups in an emergency. The division's armament at that point included 12 carriers, 108 Brens, 426 Lewis, 78 Boys AT rifles, but no mortars.
Which shows again the (numerically) important role of the Lewis LMG in 1940 around 60,000 Lewis guns (including aircraft guns converted for ground use) were taken from storage, repaired, refitted and issued by the British during the early years of World War II.

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 13 Mar 2016, 18:49

Sid Guttridge wrote: Hi Guys,

In Torbay, any beach not covered by coastal artillery was mined.

Was this the case elsewhere?

Now, of course, we couldn't legally lay mines.

Hi Sid,
I (and others) put some information about this - actually a whole lot - in this thread: http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=1435.0

As with other aspects of the British defences at the the time, there seems to be very little precise and detailed documentary info on the minefields. The best source would probably be the clearance certificates issued by the Royal Engineers to local authorities from 1944 onwards, which contain maps, but there does not seem to be any central registry, so to find them you would have to comb through the archives of the relevant Regional Commissioners, Town Councils, and such, which seems a daunting task.

Re: State of British Ground Forces, September 1940, Sealion

Post by Knouterer » 18 Mar 2016, 11:12

A few notes on British armour available to repel an invasion at the end of September 1940.

Newbold in his unpublished 1967 thesis (“British Planning and Preparations to resist Invasion on Land, September 1939- September 1940”) reproduces (in Appendix 13) CAB 70/2: DC(S)(40)70, “Return of Tanks in the Hands of the Troops in the U.K. on 29 Sept. 1940” (official report to the War Cabinet).
According to that document, there were 318 light tanks (excluding “wheeled tanks”), 179 cruiser tanks and 265 infantry tanks with units. In addition, there were tanks in depots awaiting issue or under repair, and a variety of non-operational/obsolete/non-standard types used for training and experimental purposes, perhaps some 400 in all.

A postwar (1948) assessment by Min. of Supply officials came up with slightly different and slightly higher numbers for “operational tanks” for the second half of Sept.:
With units: 329 Light, 196 Cruiser, 278 Infantry, 43 Obsolete Mediums
With training establishments, factories, and such: 80 Light, 29 Cruiser, 39 Infantry, 79 Obsolete Mediums
In depots: 30 Light, 15 Cruiser 25 Infantry, 20 Obsolete Mediums
In addition, “non-operational” tanks included 157 Light, 5 Cruiser and 12 Infantry.
(by the way, the Mike Carver who signed this letter was the later Field Marshal Lord Carver, who after having been at 29 the youngest acting brigadier in the British Army had stepped down in rank and became a Grade 1 Technical Staff Officer at the Ministry of Supply)

Another postwar (1947) War Office letter puts the number of “mediums in running order” at the end of June 1940 at 132, so that tallies reasonably well, assuming that a few more were put in working order in the following months.

The General Return (of the Strength of the British Army) gives the strength of the Royal Armoured Corps at home as of 30.9.1940 as 1,908 officers and 37,669 other ranks, including seven training regiments (51st to 57th) and two OCTUs with a combined strength of about 14,000.

Palani Mohan/Getty Images

In what has become known as the “Ganesha Milk Miracle,” India was briefly brought to a standstill on September 21, 1995, when statues of the elephant deity Ganesha appeared, when offered, to sip milk by the spoonful. Millions of people stood outside the country’s temples, hoping for a glance of this marvel, which stopped as quickly as it started. Milk prices increased by fourfold.

21 September 1940 - History

H.M. Tug Saucy, Brixham, Devon

Researched & Copyright © Lynda Smith.2004
Thanks to Deane Wynne of The Deep Sea Rescue Tug Association for all his help including the photo of Saucy.

Where would we have been without Tugs?

Tugs played a vital role in both World Wars, and particularly in the dark days of the Second World War when we were in desperate need of the vital supplies being brought over the Atlantic in the convoys of Merchant Ships.

Most were manned by the T124T (H.M. Rescue Tugs) section of the Royal Navy a lot of these being experienced Merchant Seamen and Trawler men recruited by the Royal Navy. Some were manned by Royal Navy itself, and some by Merchant Seamen who flew the Red Ensign.

It was a difficult and dangerous job – out in all weathers, and on many occasions coming under enemy fire. Many of these men lost their lives in the course of their service. 20 Tugs were lost during the war either by enemy action or capsizing in seas they were never designed to cope with. The tugs worked not only in Home Waters. Wherever the Merchant Navy and Royal Navy went, there were tugs. The sight of a tug steaming into view must have cheered many a sailor as his ship, disabled by enemy action or breakdown, wallowing in the oceans, a sitting duck to U-Boats, the Luftwaffe, or Japanese Kamikaze Pilots. Admiralty figures show that 3 million tons of Merchant shipping plus their valuable cargoes were saved by their Rescue Tugs, also 254 Allied warships and countless lives.

It was not only ships that the tugs towed. 160 tugs were deployed during the Normandy invasion alone. They were vital to the success of D-Day, and on 7th June 1944, it was tugs that towed the Mulberry Harbours to Arromanches, without which the Normandy Invasion might have been a very different story. They also towed the massive ‘Conuns’ that carried the vital PLUTO (Pipe Line Under The Ocean) from the Isle of Wight to Cherbourg. Without these pipelines carrying petrol and oil across the Channel the armies could not have moved an inch.

We owe a very great deal to the brave men who manned these tugs.

For more information see http://dsrta.tugtalk.co.uk/index.asp which is the home page of the Deep Sea Rescue Tug Association (DSRTA).

This memorial, which is sited on a stone wall on the old market building adjacent to the “Golden Hinde” in Brixham Harbour, is cast in bronze with raised polished text.

It was dedicated on 4th September 2004, 64 years after the tragic incident.

To read the full story and see pictures of many of the men who lost their lives, please go to

(Note. This tug should not to be confused with HMRT Saucy which was built by Cochranes of Selby, Yorkshire, and launched in 1942. HMRT Saucy was one of the Assurance Class of tugs)

H. M. S. Saucy

To the memory of 28 crew who gave their lives on
September 4th 1940 when their Search and
Rescue Tug was mined and sank in the Firth of Forth, Scotland.

18 of the crew that lost their lives were Brixham men.

In mainland of China, the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday is three days long. The 2021 Mid-Autumn holiday falls on Sep. 21 (Tuesday) and the holiday is from Sep. 19 to 21, while people will be on duty on Sep. 18 (Saturday).

In Hong Kong, people get one day off from work to celebrate the festival. Differently, the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday in Hong Kong is scheduled on the next day of the festival, so the Hong Kong Mid-Autumn Festival holiday in 2021 falls on September 22.

In Taiwan, people get one day off from work to celebrate the festival. The 2021 Mid-Autumn Festival holiday in Taiwan falls on September 21.

In China, people usually start to prepare for Mid-Autumn Festival one week in advance. Before the festival day, people go to their hometown to reunite with families and Moms would buy or make some mooncakes on their own. On the day, all family members would eat moon cakes under the bright moonlight. Guessing lantern riddles is also a popular activity.

Watch the video: Edward R. Murrow from a London rooftop during the Blitz - 21 September 1940