Events occurring on Thursday, January 11, 1940  
  The Mechelen Incident  
  Enraged by the Mechelen Incident Hitler fired both the commander of 2. Luftflotte, General Helmuth Frey, and the latter's chief of staff Colonel Josef Kammhuber. It was nevertheless decided to proceed with the German attack on the Low Countries as originally planned, while the Luftwaffe attaché in The Hague Lieutenant-General Ralph Wenninger, and the military attaché in Brussels, Colonel Friedrich Carl Rabe von Pappenheim, would investigate whether the plan had been fatally compromised or not.  
   
  The contents of the translated document fragments recovered in the Mechelen Incident confirm earlier warnings from the Italian Count Galeazzo Ciano about a German attack to take place around January 15. It was concluded by one of King Leopold III of Belgium’s key advisors, General Raoul van Overstraeten, that the information was basically correct. That afternoon King Leopold III decided to inform his own Minister of Defense General Henri Denis and the French supreme commander Maurice Gamelin. At 5:15 p.m. the French liaison officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Hautcoeur, was given a two page abstract of the contents without any explanation of how the information had been obtained. Lord Gort, the commander of the British Expeditionary Force, was warned and Leopold personally phoned the Dutch Princess Juliana and the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg Charlotte telling the first: "Be careful, the weather is dangerous" and the second: "Beware of the flu", predetermined code phrases indicating the Belgians considered a German attack to be imminent.  
   
  The Battle of the Atlantic  
  The neutral Norwegian steam merchant Fredville was torpedoed and sank by the U-23, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Otto Kretschmer, about 100 miles east of the Orkney Islands, north of Scotland in the North Sea. The forepart remained afloat and five survivors left their lifeboats several times to go back on board and look for more survivors. Of the ship’s complement, 11 died and 5 survivors were picked up by a Swedish ship and taken to Kopervik, Norway. The 1,150 ton Fredville was carrying ballast and was bound for Methil, Scotland.  
   
  The United States Navy  
  U.S. Navy Fleet Landing Exercise (FLEX) No. 6 began at Culebra, Puerto Rico. Lack of transports compelled the Navy to substitute combatant ships in that role for purposes of the exercise. An important exception was the prototype high speed transport Manley (APD 1), converted from a World War I-emergency program "flush-deck, four-pipe" destroyer. The Manley (APD 1) experiment proved to be successful.  
     
   
  January 1940 Calendar  
   
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