3rd September 1939 : Britain and France declare war on Germany

Discussion in 'All Anniversaries' started by Ron Goldstein, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    I have mentioned before my love/hate relationship with the Reader's Letters page in the columns of The Times.

    It started many years ago when I started to write to the Editor, almost weekly, on any topic that had amused or aggrieved me and, although my index of letters actually published was very small, the mere act of writing these letters was cathartic and I was usually able to accept that the letters that were published were infinitely better than my own.

    Sometimes, however, the very act of not having my letter published causes me further aggro simply because I genuinely feel that the subject I have addressed is worthy of debate.

    As in this letter regarding the 3rd of September that is now confined to my ever growing folder of "Unpublished letters to The Times".
    Sir

    Saturday, in case you had failed to notice, was September 3rd.

    I scoured every page of The Times and failed to find a single mention of the anniversary of the declaration of war.

    Am I to believe that this event was considered by the Editor to be of interest only to people of my particular age group and therefore not worthy of mention ?

    Perplexed 88 year old from Cockfosters

    Ron Goldstein
     
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Maybe they mentioned it in 2009 for the 70th Anniversary ?
     
  3. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Owen

    Are we saying that it is enough to mention the date just once every five years ?

    In which case, thank G-d for this forum !!!!

    Ron
     
  4. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    My Dad's account:
    I was 15 at the time, just gone 15, and I was helping my mother. She had a wee shop and I did you know deliveries; I was a paper boy.

    Well, I was standing outside the shop, doing nothing, kicking stones or something and I saw this old man, staggering up the road. I say old, he was about my father’s age, so probably ex-service too, and he came up towards me. He was a bin man and he stopped and leaned on my shoulder. I knew then that eh, he was drunk. I saw a half-empty bottle of meths in his jacket pocket. He says, “They’ve gone and started another war son! You see those memorials that say, ‘They did not die in vain’? Well, they should bloody well chisel that out.”

    So that’s how I found out.
     
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  6. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Atrributed to the Scots Guards - 3 September 1939 a young subaltern charges into the mess, the commanding officer at this meal. Sir, we have declared war on Germany. The commanding officer it is said, replied gentlemen Mr X wishes to address the mess on the state of current affairs, an embarrassed silence - sit down boy!
     
  7. Bernhart

    Bernhart Member

    My Mom remebers broadcasts saying to stay in your houses, seeing airplanes going over...this was in Groingen Netherlands
     
  8. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    After posting my first rant on this thread I was amused/surprised/delighted to receive a letter from a helpful sub-editor at the Times pointing out the following:
    On Page 87 of the Register section you will find the sort of anniversary information that would appear in the Daily Universal Register during the week, and it includes the declaration of war on Germany as well as the allied invasion of Italy in 1943.



    Fair enough, I thought, and despite the fact that the original copy of The Times had already been dumped into the re-cycling box I looked up the article up in the Times Online Archives and yes…..there it was……all of 9 words!


    See the article below:

    Ron
     

    Attached Files:

  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    1939: Britain and France declare war on Germany
    Britain and France are at war with Germany following the invasion of Poland two days ago.
    At 1115 BST the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, announced the British deadline for the withdrawal of German troops from Poland had expired.
    He said the British ambassador to Berlin had handed a final note to the German government this morning saying unless it announced plans to withdraw from Poland by 1100, a state of war would exist between the two countries.
    Mr Chamberlain continued: "I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received and consequently this country is at war with Germany."
    Similarly the French issued an ultimatum, which was presented in Berlin at 1230, saying France would be at war unless a 1700 deadline for the troops' withdrawal was adhered to.




    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

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    I heard this voice saying we were now at war with Germany and at that moment the air raid sirens went

    [​IMG]
    People's War memories »


    [​IMG]
    King George has called upon "my people at home and my peoples across the seas".

    He continued: "I ask them to stand calm, firm and united in this time of trial. The task will be hard. There may be dark days ahead and war can no longer be confined to the battlefield. But we can only do the right as we see the right and reverently commit our cause to God."
    A War Cabinet of nine members has been set up with two new ministers, including Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty, the post he held at the outbreak of World War I. Lord Hankey becomes Minister without Portfolio.
    Anthony Eden will take over as Dominions Secretary with special access to the War Cabinet. Mr Eden resigned from the post of Secretary of Foreign Affairs last year because he disagreed with the policy of appeasement.
    The National Service (Armed Forces) Act has been passed making all men between 18 and 41 liable for conscription. The armed forces have already been mobilized for war and in July the first Territorial Army conscripts were called up.
    Latest reports from Poland say the Germans have bombed a number of towns and cities, some with little or no strategic importance. About 1,500 are reported to have been killed or injured in the attacks on Friday and Saturday.
    In his broadcast to the nation, Mr Chamberlain spoke of his sadness that "the long struggle to win peace" had failed.
    He continued: "I cannot believe that there is anything more or anything different that I could have done and that would have been more successful."
    Yesterday there was anger in the House of Commons over the Government's apparent delay in taking action against Germany.
    Labour's deputy leader Arthur Greenwood had accused the Prime Minister of vacillating when "Britain and all that Britain stands for are in peril".
    Today's declaration of war was received with rousing cheers. As Mr Chamberlain informed the House Britain could not take part in a five-power conference proposed by Italy while Poland was being invaded.
    It has also been received with great enthusiasm in the Polish capital, Warsaw, where crowds took to the streets outside the British and French embassies cheering and singing.




    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/september/3/newsid_3493000/3493279.stm
     
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    75 years on
     
  11. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just bumped 3 threads on same topic.
    Ron should be happy we haven't forgotten what the date is.
    :)
     
  12. arnhem44

    arnhem44 Member

    "maybe" the actual act of aggression on sept 1st 1939 against Poland is more an important date to commemorate than a scribble on a paper on the 3d....
     
  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    We on the forum mentioned that on the 1st, as you will have seen if you had looked on Monday.

    3rd of September is important as finally the UK & France decided to act, rather than keeping out of it by staying Neutral.
     
  14. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Having just read my copy of this morning's Times and noted that the apparent only reference to the day is two short lines in the "On this day" section, I have accordingly just fired off my usual complaint to the editor.

    IF they publish it I shall return to this thread :mad:

    Ron
     
  15. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    1939: Britain and France declare war on Germany
    Britain and France are at war with Germany following the invasion of Poland two days ago.

    At 1115 BST the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, announced the British deadline for the withdrawal of German troops from Poland had expired.

    He said the British ambassador to Berlin had handed a final note to the German government this morning saying unless it announced plans to withdraw from Poland by 1100, a state of war would exist between the two countries.

    Mr Chamberlain continued: "I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received and consequently this country is at war with Germany."

    Similarly the French issued an ultimatum, which was presented in Berlin at 1230, saying France would be at war unless a 1700 deadline for the troops' withdrawal was adhered to.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] I heard this voice saying we were now at war with Germany and at that moment the air raid sirens went
    [​IMG]
    People's War memories »
    [​IMG]
    King George has called upon "my people at home and my peoples across the seas".

    He continued: "I ask them to stand calm, firm and united in this time of trial. The task will be hard. There may be dark days ahead and war can no longer be confined to the battlefield. But we can only do the right as we see the right and reverently commit our cause to God."

    A War Cabinet of nine members has been set up with two new ministers, including Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty, the post he held at the outbreak of World War I. Lord Hankey becomes Minister without Portfolio.

    Anthony Eden will take over as Dominions Secretary with special access to the War Cabinet. Mr Eden resigned from the post of Secretary of Foreign Affairs last year because he disagreed with the policy of appeasement.

    The National Service (Armed Forces) Act has been passed making all men between 18 and 41 liable for conscription. The armed forces have already been mobilized for war and in July the first Territorial Army conscripts were called up.

    Latest reports from Poland say the Germans have bombed a number of towns and cities, some with little or no strategic importance. About 1,500 are reported to have been killed or injured in the attacks on Friday and Saturday.

    In his broadcast to the nation, Mr Chamberlain spoke of his sadness that "the long struggle to win peace" had failed.

    He continued: "I cannot believe that there is anything more or anything different that I could have done and that would have been more successful."

    Yesterday there was anger in the House of Commons over the Government's apparent delay in taking action against Germany.

    Labour's deputy leader Arthur Greenwood had accused the Prime Minister of vacillating when "Britain and all that Britain stands for are in peril".

    Today's declaration of war was received with rousing cheers. As Mr Chamberlain informed the House Britain could not take part in a five-power conference proposed by Italy while Poland was being invaded.

    It has also been received with great enthusiasm in the Polish capital, Warsaw, where crowds took to the streets outside the British and French embassies cheering and singing.



    BBC ON THIS DAY | 3 | 1939: Britain and France declare war on Germany
     
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  16. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

  17. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Just had a look at this morning's Times.

    Not a sausage regarding the outbreak of WW2, not even in their "On this day" column.

    I will automatically write to complain, but will they publish my letter ?

    Don't hold your breath !

    Ron
     
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  18. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    Finished work and sitting down to watch "The World at War".

    If you were watching this for the first time, Hitlers Germany would seem unstoppable.
     
    CL1 likes this.
  19. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    *
    The 3 September 1939 was (not unexpectedly) the date my dad's oldest brother's TA unit was mobilised for war and it was also his 21st birthday. It was his last birthday.

    Lest we forget!
     
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  20. hutt

    hutt Member

    It is particularly sobering to read how this was recorded in individual unit war diaries and to wonder what the author of the words or the clerk soldier typing them must have been thinking. While many would be have been considering the carnage of the previous war how many could have foreseen the extent to which the 2nd would develop and how it would result in such profound change in technology and society.
     
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