Stalin signs a 15-year mutual assistance pact with Lithuania, which completes the Soviet military presence in all three Baltic States. It will be a short route to the Russians taking them over completely. Under the treaty, Vilna is transferred from Poland to Lithuania, and thousands of Polish Jewish refugees find temporary refuge there.
In Britain, recruitment into the Women’s Land Army is suspended after 25,000 women have been enrolled.
Hitler meets with Birger Dahlerus again, twice, and the Swede is asked to convey the German terms to Britain: the territorial aspects are Germany’s right to fortify her new frontier with Russia, and the return of Germany of her pre-First World War colonies or “suitable substitute territories.” Between the two meetings, Hitler takes time to grind out the detailed paperwork on his orders to invade the West.
Then he meets with seven of his most senior military commanders in the Chancellery, the very building from which the euthanasia census forms had been sent the previous day.
Hitler tells his generals the reasons for a war in the West, which date back to 1648. Germany’s war aim is the “destruction of the power and ability of the Western powers ever again to oppose the state consolidation and further developments of the German people in Europe.”
Hitler explains that his treaty with Russia makes it possible for a war to be waged on one front. But time is not on Germany’s side. “By no treaty or pact can a lasting neutrality with Soviet Russia be ensured with certainty.” What is needed now is a “prompt demonstration of German strength.” Plans must be made at once. The attack could not begin “too early.” The attack must take place in the autumn.
The generals and admirals do not speak out, even though they have objections to the scheme – or so they say later – but Admiral Raeder advises Hitler to think about invading Norway to secure the source of iron ore. “The earlier we begin, and the more brutally,” Raeder says, “the earlier we shall see results; the shorter will be the war.”
The Chilean government prohibits any more European political refugees into the country.
En route to Geneva, Bill Shirer’s train skirts the French frontier for 100 miles. “No sign of war and the train crew told me not a shot had been fired on this front since the war began. Where the train ran along the Rhine, we could see the French bunkers and at many places great mats behind which the French were building fortifications. Identical picture on the German side. The troops seemed to be observing an armistice. They went about their business in full sight and range of each other. For that matter, one blast from a French 75 could have liquidated our train. The Germans were hauling up guns and supplies on the railroad line, but the French did not disturb them” he writes.
“Queer kind of war.”
French Premier Edouard Daladier delivers a radio address that Ciano finds “uncompromising.” But Mussolini says, “The French are beginning to weaken.”
At 5:39 p.m., Graf Spee’s lookouts report “Smoke in sight.” Langsdorff sends over a boarding party to the 8,196-ton British merchant ship Huntsman, with a crew of 84. Langsdorff has no space for 84 men, so he takes the ship as a prize, loading the prisoners on her until they rendezvous with the Altmark. The Briton gets off an RRR signal, but it’s in the off-watch period and nobody has replied.
Langsdorff decides it’s time for a little ruse de guerre. He uses Huntsman’s wireless to send a false submarine attack report for Newton Beech, which nobody ever picks up. That done, he sets a rendezvous for the Altmark on the 14th, and steams off to the southwest.
Gneisenau returns to her berth in Kiel, having not accomplished very much. The British continue to hunt for her, to little avail. A lot of sailors get free trips to sea.
Dr. Goebbels writes in his diary that Lloyd George’s article has caused a big sensation. He also notes that the Soviets “have kept all their promises.
“A slight relaxation of the atmosphere in Paris,” Goebbels continues. “They are no longer quite so intransigent. The press is still rabid, but political circles have become a bit more cautious. The tone in London is harsher, but then they can afford to talk, since they don’t have to pay such a high price in blood. There seems to be a lot of popular pressure on the governments.”
Goebbels meets with Hitler. “The Fuehrer’s verdict on the Poles is damning,” Goebbels writes. “More like animals than human beings, completely primitive, stupid and amorphous. And a ruling class that is an unsatisfactory result of a mingling between the lower order and an Aryan master-race. The Poles’ dirtiness is unimaginable. Their capacity for intelligent judgment is absolutely nil. Even (Ambassador) Lipski believe that we would lose our nerve after a week of war. Poor fool!
“The Fuehrer has no intention of assimilating the Poles. They are to be forced into their truncated state and left entirely to their own devices.”