Eighty years on. 16th November 1939

16th November 1939


The Rumanian King Carol’s offer of mediation was rejected by both sides.

The first British civilian casualty of the war was James Isbister, killed in an air raid on Orkney in Scotland.  Also in Britain, it was revealed that the cost of living had risen by 2.5% in October.  6000 suspected spies had been arrested in the past two months, and the Postal Censorship Department now totalled 1700 personnel.

Finland mobilised its armed forces after the breakdown of negotiations with the USSR.  The Soviets wanted possession of Finnish territory to safeguard Leningrad and Murmansk against a possible German attack.  Finland was not prepared to surrender its territory.

Game day 77. China

3rd, 4th and 5th Infantry Corps continued eastwards to confront the Japanese.

From Peking the combined infantry defenders attacked the Japanese 3rd Corps.  The Japanese lost two battalions to the Chinese one.  The Japanese fell back to the south, where they were attacked by 3rd Chinese Infantry Corps.  The Chinese wiped out a further two Japanese Battalions, but lost three.  The Chinese retreated.

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Eighty years on. 15th November 1939


In Prague, the Gestapo arrested and executed nationalists attending the funeral of Jan Opletal, who had been wounded during the patriotic parades of October 28th.

In France three hours were added to the official working week, making it 43 hours.  Author’s note.  Possibly the only time that French trade unions have accepted longer working hours.  It is currently (2019) a maximum of 35 hours and 10 hours maximum per day.

Game day 76. Japan

3rd Infantry Corps, supported by 2nd Fighter Group, attacked Peking. 1 successful attack point against 1 successful defence point.  The 2nd Chinese Infantry Corps lost 1 Battalion, but the Japanese lost a squadron of fighters.  Peking held out.

1st Armoured Corps continued to advance towards the north of Peking in support of the attacking infantry.

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Eighty years on. 14th November 1939


The Polish Government in Exile, led by General Sikorski, moved from Paris to London.

Hitler rejected the offer of mediation from Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and King Leopold of the Belgians.  This offer had already been rejected by Winston Churchill in his speech two days previously (despite that he had no authority to speak for the British Government at this date).

The Franco-British alliance agreed to set up defensive lines on the River Dyle in Belgium if Germany were to attack.

Game day 75. Britain

1st and 2nd Battleship Flotillas reached the relative safety of Gibraltar.  Two empty convoys continued south-west across the North Atlantic towards the USA.

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Eighty years on. 13th November 1939


Negotiations between the Soviet Union and Finland broke down.  The Finns suspected that the Germans and Russians had secretly agreed to include Finland in the Soviet sphere of influence.

Canadian General Henry Crerar set up his headquarters in London.

The British destroyer HMS Blanche hit a mine in the Thames estuary and sank.  The Luftwaffe attacked the Shetland Islands and claimed to have scored hits on a cruiser and two flying boats.  Actual damage caused was to an empty crofter’s cottage and the unfortunate death of a rabbit.

Game day 74.  Germany

The bomber group was moved to the north-west to be within range of more of the UK.  5th Infantry Corps moved from Berlin to the south-west.

In the Atlantic the U-boats were sent south towards the coast of Canada.  The 1st Battleship Flotilla moved south-west, and in the South Atlantic the 2nd Battleship Flotilla moved north-east towards the African coast.

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Eighty years on. 12th November 1939


In Germany hundreds of “Dissidents” and Jews were arrested in the hunt for those responsible for the 9th November Munich bomb.  Clothes rationing cards were issued.

King Carol of Rumania offered to mediate between the belligerent nations. 

Winston Churchill broadcast to the nation that the war had gone well for the allies during its first ten weeks.  He did not expect it to be a short war.  Author’s note:  By “allies” one assumes he was no longer including the Poles, for whom the country had gone to war in the first place.

The Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) performed its first concert for the troops “Somewhere in France”.

Game day 73. USSR

France having nothing to do this turn, the action moved directly to the USSR.

2nd Armoured Corps moved west from Ukraine into Poland, but the soviets were careful to keep their forces back from the new border with Germany.  1st Armoured Corps moved to the eastern outskirts of Leningrad.  Other units west of Moscow moved generally westwards, while those to the east continued to move south-east as far as their own state borders.

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Eighty years on. 11th November 1939

Armistice day.

It is a good idea to pause occasionally and reflect on what our games; our toy soldiers, our cardboard counters or computer graphics actually represent. Today is a day for remembering.


The allies exchanged friendship messages marking Armistice Day.  Queen Elizabeth made a broadcast on the BBC focusing on the effect of the war on women.  So far in Britain 45,000 women had volunteered for the various organisations and services.  Recruiting for the WRNS and the Land Army was suspended because the waiting lists were too long.

The German Foreign Office repeated assurances that the neutrality of the Netherlands and Belgium would be respected.

Game day 73. China

3rd Infantry Corps moved from China into disputed Kwangtung.  4th Infantry Corps in China also moved to the north-east while 5th Infantry Corps moved eastwards with the intention of retaking Shanghai.

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Eighty years on. 10th September 1939


In the Netherlands border defensive areas were flooded.  The U.S. consulate in Amsterdam advised Americans to leave the country.

Germany sent reinforcements to the Siegfried Line on the western front.

Game day 72. Japan

3rd Infantry Corps continued to move north-west towards Peking.  1st Armoured Corps was shipped from Kyoto to Manchuria.

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