The Polish front, such as it is, is now reduced to determined naval troops holding on at the Hel Peninsula, Modlin, and the siege of Warsaw. The rest of Poland lies prostrate beneath Nazi and Soviet troops.
French guns fire on the eastern border of German and French planes bomb the German zeppelin base at Friedrichshafen, on the mistaken assumption that zeppelins will play a major role in the new war.
In Romania, the Polish commander-in-chief, Marshal Rydz-Smigly, and President Mosicicki are both interned.
Polish casualties in the campaign are immense, and so is the PoW load: the Germans have taken more than 600,000 Polish PoWs, 61,000 of them Jews. The Nazis separate out Jewish PoWs to make them clean latrines.
Back in Berlin, the German high command announces the capture of 450,000 Poles, 1,200 guns, and the destruction or capture of 1,200 aircraft. Goebbels holds a press conference to denounce an American reporter, H.L. Knickerbocker, for writing a story that says the Nazi leadership has deposited gold abroad to guard against a rainy day. Goebbels offers Knickerbocker 10 percent of any sum he can prove the Nazis have hidden abroad.
Mussolini gives an interesting view of events to his flunkies: that Hitler is bottled up and by maneuvering cleverly the French and English may yet succeed in pitting Russia against Germany. “The fact is that the Duce is in favor of peace only because the position as a neutral is not at all to his liking,” Ciano comments. “In the last few days he has repeated that a great nation cannot remain eternally in such a position without losing ground, and that therefore someday it should prepare to intervene. I cannot contradict him, because that would make matters worse.”
Meanwhile, other U-Boats raid the North Sea, hoping to prey upon vast amounts of commercial traffic, many of them neutrals transporting “contraband” (ore, chemicals, food, weapons, and timber) to the British Isles. The small U-Boats in the North Sea cannot stop and “visit and search” shipping in accordance with the Submarine Protocol, and Hitler orders no attacks on marked neutrals in the North Sea. The result is that the “ducks” can only attack British warships and submarines and vessels they are escorting.
The vast flow of contraband in the North Sea infuriates Raeder and Doenitz. They urge Hitler to relax regulations in the U-Boat rules, to allow them to stop and attack neutrals. Hitler agrees, seeing that increased strangulation of British trade may bring the British to the peace table.
The new rules are as follows: French ships are to be treated the same as British ships, and restrictions on attacking them are lifted. U-boats are authorized to use “armed force” against any Allied merchant ship that broadcasts the submarine alarm, SSS. Such ships are to be subject to “seizure and sinking.” However, “rescue of crews is to be attempted.” Third, Allied “passenger ships” carrying 120 people or less and therefore considered primarily cargo ships, can be sunk in accordance with Submarine Protocol rules. However, ships carrying more than 120 passengers are not to be molested.
The new rules are to apply to the pocket battleships, out at sea, as well.
The new rules give energy to the small U-boats in the North Sea. U-7 sinks two Norwegians. Harro von Klot-Heydenfeldt in U-4 sinks two Finns and a Swede. Hannes Wingartner in U-16 sinks a Swede. Joachim Schepke in U-3 sinks a Dane and a Swede. U-36 sinks one Swede and captures another, escorting it to Germany, to cap a month-long patrol. In all, the North Sea U-boat sink or capture 10 neutrals for 13,000 tons in one week. The neutral nations are furious.