October 1939 Events of the Battle of the Atlantic  
  Overview  
  2 Allied war vessels were sunk by U-boats.  
  4 Allied war vessels were damaged by German air raids.  
   
  5 U-boats were sunk by Allied warships or mines.  
   
  34 Allied and neutral merchant ships were sunk by U-boats or mines totaling 185,305 tons.  
  4 Allied merchant ships were sunk by the German pocket battleship SMS Graf Spee totaling 22,368 tons.  
  2 Allied merchant ships were sunk by the German pocket battleship SMS Deutschland totaling 6,962 tons.  
  3 Allied merchant ships were damaged by U-boats totaling 22,328 tons.  
  1 Allied merchant ship was captured by the German pocket battleship SMS Deutschland totaling 4,963 tons.  
   
  1 German merchant ship was sunk by Allied forcing totaling 4,372 tons.  
  1 German merchant ship was captured by Allied forcing totaling 13,615 tons.  
   
  Naval Action in the Atlantic Ocean  
  Saturday, October 14, 1939  
  The British battleship HMS Royal Oak (08) was sunk at anchor in the Home Fleet base at Scapa Flow, in the Orkney Islands by the U-47, under the command of Kapitänleutnant Günther Prien. The U-47 penetrated Scapa Flow’s defenses and sank the WWI-era battleship causing 833 deaths. Prien would win the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for the action.  
   
  Monday, October 16, 1939  
  The first strategic bombing of the Britain took place as nine Junkers Ju 88s dive bombers attacked British warships at Rosyth on the Firth of Forth in Scotland. The bombers damaged the cruisers HMS Southampton (83) and HMS Edinburgh (16) and the destroyer HMS Mohawk (F 31). British Spitfires of the No. 602 and No. 603 Squadrons shot down two Ju 88s and a Heinkel He 111.  
   
  Tuesday, October 17, 1939  
  Four Junkers Ju 88 dive bombers raided the British naval base at Scapa Flow and badly damaged an old base ship, the battleship HMS Iron Duke. The ship developed a significant list had to be beached at Ore Bay. One Ju 88 shot down by an anti-aircraft battery on the island of Hoy. The HMS Iron Duke served as the flagship of the Grand Fleet during WWI including the Battle of Jutland.  
   
  Monday, October 30, 1939  
  The anti-submarine trawler HMS Northern Rover (4.58) was torpedoed and sunk by the U-59, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Harald Jürst, approximately 100 miles west of Sumburgh Head, Shetland Islands in the northern Atlantic Ocean. All of the ship’s complement of 27 died.  
   
  U-Boat Losses  
  Sunday, October 8, 1939  
  The U-12, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Dietrich von der Ropp, was sunk in the English Channel near Dover by a mine. All of the ship’s complement of 27 died. During its career under Kapitänleutnant von der Ropp the U-12 sank or damaged no ships.  
   
  Friday, October 13, 1939  
  The U-40, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Wolfgang Barten, was sunk in the English Channel by a mine. Of the ship’s complement, 45 died and 3 survived. During its career two commanders the U-40 sank or damaged no ships.  
   
  The U-42, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Rolf Dau, was sunk by depth charges from the destroyers HMS Imogen (D 44) and HMS Ilex (D 61) southwest of Ireland after an unsuccessful attack on the British steam merchant Stonepool. Of the ship’s complement, 26 died and 20 survived. During its career under Kapitänleutnant Dau the U-42 damaged 1 merchant ship for 4,803 tons.  
   
  Saturday, October 14, 1939  
  The U-45, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Alexander Gelhaar, was sunk by depth charges from the destroyers HMS Inglefield (D 02), HMS Ivanhoe (D 16), and HMS Intrepid (D 10) southwest of Ireland. All of the ship’s complement of 38 died. During its career the U-45 under Kapitänleutnant Gelhaar sank 2 ships for a total of 19,313 tons.  
   
  Wednesday, October 25, 1939  
  The U-16, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Horst Wellner, was sunk by depth charges from the ASW trawler HMS Cayton Wyke (FY 191) and the British patrol vessel HMS Puffin (L 52) in the English Channel near Dover. All of the ship’s complement of 28 died. During its career under two commanders the U-16 sank 1 auxiliary warship and 1 merchant ship for a total of 3,378 tons.  
   
  Attacks on Allied and Neutral Merchant Ships  
  Tuesday, October 3, 1939  
  The Greek steam merchant Diamantis was torpedoed and sunk by the U-35, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Werner Lott, 40 miles west of the Scilly Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 28 survived and were picked up by the U-boat and landed the next day in Dingle Bay, Ireland. The 4,990 ton Diamantis was carrying manganese ore and was bound for Barrow-in-Furness, England.  
  Wednesday, October 4, 1939  
  The unescorted British steam merchant Glen Farg was torpedoed and sunk by the U-23, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Otto Kretschmer, northeast of Scotland in the North Sea. Of the ship’s complement, 1 died and 16 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Firedrake (H 79). The 876 ton Glen Farg was carrying general cargo, including pulp, carbide, paper, and ferro-chrome and was bound for Grangemouth, Scotland.  
   
  Thursday, October 5, 1939  
  The German pocket battleship SMS Admiral Graf Spee captured the 4,651 ton British freighter Newton Beech in the South Atlantic.  
   
  The German pocket battleship SMS Deutschland stopped the 5,044 ton British transport ship Stonegate 400 miles east-southeast of Bermuda. After the Stonegate’s crew was taken off the ship was sunk by gunfire. The Stonegate was bound for Alexandria, Egypt with a cargo of nitrate. Later on October 9, when the American steamer City of Flint was captured, Stonegate´s crew was transferred to her.  
   
  The British steam merchant Marwarri was damaged by a mine in the Bristol Channel. Of the ship’s complement, 2 died and 29 survived. The 8,063 ton Marwarri was carrying government stores and was bound for Newport, England. The Marwarri was run aground in Mumbles Bay, salvaged the same month and towed to Swansea. She was later repaired at Newport and returned to service in February 1941.  
   
  Friday, October 6, 1939  
  The British motor merchant Lochgoil struck a mine and was damaged in the Bristol Channel. The 9,462 ton Lochgoil was carrying general cargo, including AA guns.  
   
  Saturday, October 7, 1939  
  The German pocket battleship SMS Admiral Graf Spee stopped and boarded the British freighter Ashlea in the South Atlantic. After transferring her crew to the captured British freighter Newton Beech, the SMS Admiral Graf Spee sank the 4,222 ton Ashlea with demolition charges.  
   
  The Dutch steam merchant Binnendijk struck a mine and sank southeast of the Shambles Lightvessel in the English Channel. Of the ship’s complement, all 42 survived. The 6,873 ton Binnendijk was carrying general cargo and oil and was bound for Rotterdam, The Netherlands.  
   
  Sunday, October 8, 1939  
  The German pocket battleship SMS Admiral Graf Spee took on board crews of British freighters Ashlea and Newton Beech in the South Atlantic and sank the latter with demolition charges.  
   
  The neutral Swedish steam merchant Vistula was stopped and after the crew abandoned ship was sunk by gunfire by the U-37, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartmann, approximately 45 miles north of Muckle Flugga, Shetlands in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 9 died and 9 survived. The 1,018 ton Vistula was carrying general cargo, including steel and paper pulp and was bound for Hull, England.  
   
  Monday, October 9, 1939  
  The 4,963 ton American cargo ship City of Flint was captured by the German pocket battleship SMS Deutschland. The Germans searched the ship and seized it when contraband supplies for Britain were found on board, under the Prize Rules for war at sea. This incident influenced American public opinion in favor of modifying the Neutrality Act that was currently being debated in the U.S. Congress.  
   
  Tuesday, October 10, 1939  
  The German pocket battleship SMS Admiral Graf Spee stopped and put a prize crew on board the 8,196 ton British freighter Huntsman in the South Atlantic.  
   
  Thursday, October 12, 1939  
  The unescorted and neutral Greek steam merchant Aris was torpedoed and sunk by the U-37, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartmann, west of Ireland. The survivors reached land by lifeboat. The 4,810 ton Aris was carrying ballast and was bound for Hampton Roads, England.  
   
  A romper from Convoy KJ-2, the French motor tanker Emile Miguet was stopped by gunfire and after the crew abandoned ship was torpedoed and sunk by the U-48, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Herbert Schultze, 190 miles southwest of Fastnet, Ireland in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 2 died and the survivors were picked up by the American steam merchant Black Hawk. The 14,115 ton Emile Miguet was carrying gasoline and crude oil and was bound for Le Havre, France.  
   
  A straggler from Convoy OB-17, the British steam merchant Heronspool was hit by one torpedo and sunk by the U-48, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Herbert Schultze, approximately 260 miles southwest of Cape Clear. Of the ship’s complement, all survived and were picked up by the American passenger ship President Harding and landed at New York. The 5,202 ton Heronspool was carrying coal and was bound for Montreal, Canada.  
   
  Friday, October 13, 1939  
  A straggler from Convoy OB-17, the British steam merchant Heronspool was torpedoed and sunk by the U-48, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Herbert Schultze, 260 miles southwest of Cape Clear in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. The survivors were picked up by the American passenger ship President Harding. The 5,202 ton Heronspool was carrying coal and was bound for Montreal, Quebec.  
   
  A straggler from Convoy OB-17, the French steam merchant Louisiane was stopped by gunfire and after the crew abandoned ship was torpedoed and sunk by the U-48 260 miles southwest of Cape Clear. The 6,903 ton Heronspool was carrying general cargo and was bound for Havana, Cuba.  
   
  Dispersed from convoy OB-17, the British steam merchant Stonepool was damaged by gunfire from the U-42, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Rolf Dau, south of Bantry Bay, Ireland. The 4,803 ton Stonepool was carrying coal and general cargo. After ten minutes, the U-42 was forced to dive by the accurate returned fire, leaving the deck gun crew in the water. When the Germans surfaced again to pick up their men, the steamer sent distress signals which brought the destroyers HMS Ilex (D 61) and HMS Imogen (D 44). The U-42 was shortly thereafter sunk by the destroyers.  
   
  Saturday, October 14, 1939  
  Sailing with the unescorted Convoy KJF-3, the French steam merchant Bretagne was torpedoed and sunk by the U-45, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Alexander Gelhaar, approximately 230 miles southwest of Fastnet, Ireland in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 7 died. The 10,108 ton Bretagne was carrying general cargo and was bound for Le Havre, France.  
   
  Sailing with the unescorted Convoy KJF-3, the British motor merchant Lochavon was torpedoed and sunk by the U-45 approximately 230 miles southwest of Fastnet, Ireland. All of the ship’s complement were picked up by the destroyer HMS Ilex (D 61). The 9,205 ton Lochavon was carrying passengers and general cargo, including dried fruit and was bound for Southampton , England.  
   
  The British steam merchant Sneaton was stopped by gunfire and after the crew abandoned ship was torpedoed and sunk by the U-48, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Herbert Schultze, about 150 miles southwest of Cape Clear, England in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 1 died and the survivors were picked up by the Belgian tanker Alexandria André. The 3,677 ton Sneaton was carrying coal and was bound for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  
   
  The German pocket battleship SMS Deutschland sank the 1,918 ton Norwegian freighter Lorentz W. Hansen 420 miles east of Newfoundland, Canada.  
   
  Sunday, October 15, 1939  
  The unescorted French steam merchant Vermont was sunk by gunfire by the U-37, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartmann, in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 2 died. The 5,186 ton Vermont was carrying ballast and was bound for New Orleans, Louisiana.  
   
  Tuesday, October 17, 1939  
  Sailing with the unescorted Convoy HG-3, the British steam passenger ship Yorkshire was torpedoed and sunk by the U-37, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartmann, about 160 miles west-northwest of Cape Finisterre off the west coast Spain in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement and passengers, 58 died and 223 survivors were picked up by the American steam merchant Independence Hall. The 10,183 ton Yorkshire was carrying passengers, general cargo, including paraffin wax and was bound for Liverpool, England.  
   
  Sailing with the unescorted Convoy HG-3, the British steam merchant City of Mandalay was torpedoed and sunk by the U-46, commanded by Herbert Sohler, west-northwest of Cape Finisterre off the west coast Spain in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 2 died and 78 survivors were picked up by the American steam merchant Independence Hall. The 7,028 ton City of Mandalay was carrying general cargo, including tea, rubber, and sago and was bound for Glasgow, Scotland.  
   
  Sailing with the unescorted Convoy HG-3, the British steam merchant Clan Chisholm was torpedoed and sunk by the U-48, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Herbert Schultze, about 150 miles northwest of Cape Finisterre off the west coast Spain in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 4 died and 74 survivors were picked up by the Norwegian whaler Skudd and the British troop transport Warwick Castle. The 7,256 ton Clan Chisholm was carrying tea, jute, pig iron and general cargo, including coconuts and cotton and was bound for Glasgow, Scotland.  
   
  The German pocket battleship SMS Admiral Graf Spee transferred the crew of British freighter Huntsman to the tanker Altmark. The Huntsman was then sunk with demolition charges.  
   
  Friday, October 20, 1939  
  The neutral Swedish steam merchant Gustaf Adolf was stopped by gunfire and after the crew abandoned ship was torpedoed and sunk by the U-34, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Wilhelm Rollmann, approximately 50 miles northeast of Sullom Voe, Shetland Islands in the North Sea. The survivors were picked up by the ship and taken to Moss, Norway. The 926 ton Gustaf Adolf was carrying wood pulp and was bound for Bristol, England.  
   
  The British steam merchant Sea Venture was shelled and then torpedoed and sunk by the U-34 approximately 50 miles northeast of Sullom Voe, Shetland Islands. Of the ship’s complement, all 25 survived. The 2,327 ton Sea Venture was carrying coal and was bound for Tromsø, Norway.  
   
  Saturday, October 21, 1939  
  The British steam merchant Orsa struck a mine and sank approximately 15 miles from Flamborough Head, England in the North Sea. Of the ship’s complement, 11 died and 4 survivors were picked up by the sloop HMS Woolston (L 49). The 1,478 ton Orsa was carrying coal and was bound for Bordeaux, France.  
   
  The French steam merchant Capitaine Edmond Laborie struck a mine and sank two miles east of the Inner Dowsing Lightvessel off the east coast of England in the North Sea. The 3,087 ton Capitaine Edmond Laborie was carrying ballast and was bound for Tyne, England.  
   
  The Norwegian motor tanker Deodata struck a mine and sank 1.5 miles off the Inner Dowsing lightvessel off the east coast of England in the North Sea. Of the ship’s complement, all 23 survived. The 3,295 ton Deodata was carrying ballast and was bound for Grangemouth, England.  
   
  Sunday, October 22, 1939  
  The German pocket battleship SMS Admiral Graf Spee stopped the 5,299 ton British freighter Trevanion, embarked her crew, and sank the ship.  
   
  Tuesday, October 24, 1939  
  The Greek steam merchant Konstantinos Hadjipateras struck a mine and sank near Inner Dowsing Light vessel off the eastern coast of England in the North Sea. Of the ship’s complement, 4 died and the survivors were picked up by the Gorleston lifeboat Louise Stephens. The 5,962 ton Konstantinos Hadjipateras was carrying scrap iron and was bound for Tyne, England.  
   
  The unescorted British steam merchant Ledbury was sunk by gunfire by the U-37, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartmann, approximately 100 miles west of Gibraltar in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 31 survived and were picked up by the American motor merchant Crown City. The 3,528 ton Ledbury was carrying bauxite and was bound for Burntisland, Scotland.  
   
  The unescorted British steam merchant Menin Ridge was torpedoed and sunk by the U-37 approximately 90 miles west of Gibraltar. Of the ship’s complement, 20 died and 5 survivors were picked up by the American motor merchant Crown City. The 2,474 ton Menin Ridge was carrying iron ore and was bound for Port Talbot, Wales.  
   
  The British steam merchant Tafna was torpedoed and sunk by the U-37 approximately 95 miles west of Gibraltar. Of the ship’s complement, 2 died and 31 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Keppel (D 84). The 4,413 ton Tafna was carrying iron ore and was bound for London, England.  
   
  Friday, October 27, 1939  
  Sailing with Convoy OB-25, the British steam merchant Bronte was torpedoed and sunk by the U-34, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Wilhelm Rollmann, 180 miles west of Lands End, England in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, all 42 survived and were picked up by the destroyer HMS Walpole (D 41). The 5,317 ton Bronte was carrying general cargo, including chemicals and was bound for Rosario, Argentina.  
   
  Saturday, October 28, 1939  
  The 250 ton British fishing steam trawler Lynx II was stopped by gunfire and after the crew abandoned ship was sunk by the U-59, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Harald Jürst, north of Scotland. The crew was rescued by the British steam trawler Lady Hogarth.  
   
  The 565 ton British fishing steam trawler St. Nidan was stopped by gunfire and after the crew abandoned ship was sunk by the U-59, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Harald Jürst, north of Scotland. The crew was rescued by the British steam trawler Lady Hogarth.  
   
  Sunday, October 29, 1939  
  Sailing with Convoy HX-5A, the British steam merchant Malabar was torpedoed and sunk by the U-34, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Wilhelm Rollmann, about 180 miles west of Lands End, England in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 5 died and 70 survivors were picked up by the destroyer HMS Grafton (H 89). The 7,976 ton Malabar was carrying general cargo, including lumber and tobacco and was bound for Avonmouth, England.  
   
  Monday, October 30, 1939  
  Dispersed from Convoy HX-5, the British steam merchant Cairnmona was torpedoed and sunk by the U-13, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Karl Daublebsky von Eichhain, three miles east-northeast of Rattray Head, Scotland in the North Sea. Of the ship’s complement, 3 died and 42 survivors were picked up by the drifter HMS River Lossie (4.246). The 4,666 ton Cairnmona was carrying general cargo, including wool, copper and grain and was bound for Leith, Scotland.  
   
  The neutral British steam merchant Thrasyvoulos was stopped by was stopped by signals by the U-37, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Werner Hartmann, south of Ireland in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. After it was determined that she was carrying contraband and the crew abandoned ship the Thrasyvoulos was torpedoed and sunk. The 3,693 ton Thrasyvoulos was carrying French nuts and anthracite cobbles and was bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia.  
   
  Tuesday, October 31, 1939  
  Sailing with Convoy 20-K, the French steam merchant Baoulé was torpedoed and sunk by the U-25, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Viktor Schütze, approximately 45 miles west-northwest of La Corunna, Spain in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 13 died and 33 survived. The 5,874 ton Baoulé was carrying palm kernels, cotton, cocoa, coffee, and rubber and was bound for Bordeaux, France.  
   
  Axis Merchant Shipping Losses  
  Monday, October 9, 1939  
  The light cruiser HMS Belfast (35) captured the 13,615 ton German passenger ship Cap Norte.  
   
  Tuesday, October 24, 1939  
  The light cruiser HMS Orion (85) and Canadian destroyer HMCS Saguenay (D 79) located the 4,372 ton German tanker Emmy Friedrich in the Yucatan Channel. The light cruiser HMS Caradoc (D 60) subsequently intercepted the Emmy Friedrich whose crew scuttled her to avoid capture.  
   
  Other Battle of the Atlantic Events  
  Sunday, October 1, 1939  
  Word of the German pocket battleship SMS Admiral Graf Spee's sinking of the British freighter Clement reached the British Admiralty, which began the disposition of ships to meet the threat posed by the surface raider in the South Atlantic.  
   
  Monday, October 2, 1939  
  The Declaration of Panama was approved by the Inter-American Conference American Republics. The 21 countries participating proclaimed that belligerent activities should not take place within waters adjacent to the American continents. A 300 mile neutrality zone off the American coast was to be patrolled by the U.S. Navy and that any act of war was to be interpreted as a hostile act against the country concerned.  
   
  The German government notified the United States that all merchant ships must submit to visit and search, that neutral vessels refrain from suspicious actions when sighting German warships, and that they stop when summoned to do so. Representatives of the Maritime Commission, the U.S. State Department, and the U.S. Navy Department met to consider the notification and decided that it was proper and should be complied with.  
   
  Wednesday, October 4, 1939  
  The U.S. Naval Attaché in Berlin reported that Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, Commander in Chief of the German Navy, had informed him of a plot wherein the U.S. passenger liner Iroquois, that had sailed from Cobh, Ireland, with 566 American passengers on October 3, would be sunk (ostensibly by the British) as she neared the east coast of the United States under "Athenia circumstances" for the apparent purpose of arousing anti-German feeling. Admiral Raeder gives credence to his source in neutral Ireland as being "very reliable."  
   
  The U.S. freighter Black Hawk, detained by British authorities since September 19, was released.  
   
  Thursday, October 5, 1939  
  The British Admiralty and French Ministry of Marine formed eight "hunting groups" in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans to counter the threat posed by the German pocket battleship SMS Admiral Graf Spee.  
   
  The Navy Department informed the U.S. passenger liner Iroquois of word received the previous day concerning the plot to sink the ship as she neared the east coast of the United States. "As a purely precautionary measure," U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced this day, "a Coast Guard vessel and several navy ships from the [neutrality] patrol will meet the Iroquois at sea and will accompany her to an American port."  
   
  The U.S. freighter Exeter was detained by French authorities at Marseilles, France. The U.S. freighter City of Joliet, detained by the French since September 14, was released.  
   
  U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull requested the Chargé d'Affaires ad interim in Germany Alexander C. Kirk, to ascertain why German authorities have detained the Swedish motorship Korsholm (at Swinemünde), the Estonian steamship Minna (at Kiel), and the Norwegian steamship Brott (at Sivinemünde). All of the neutral merchantmen carried cargoes of wood pulp or wood pulp products consigned to various American firms. These were the first instances of cargoes bound for the United States held up for investigation by German authorities. While no U.S. ships were detained, cargoes bound for American concerns in neutral (Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, and Norwegian) merchant ships would come under scrutiny by the Germans.  
   
  Friday, October 6, 1939  
  The U.S. freighters Black Gull and Black Falcon were detained by British authorities.  
   
  The U.S. freighter Exeter, detained at Marseilles, France, the previous day, was released. She subsequently reported having been examined several times by French naval authorities.  
   
  Saturday, October 7, 1939  
  The U.S. freighter Black Heron was detained by British authorities at Weymouth, England.  
   
  Sunday, October 8, 1939  
  The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Campbell joined the U.S. passenger liner Iroquois, followed later by the destroyers USS Davis (DD 395) and USS Benham (DD 397). The four ships proceeded in company to New York. On October 4 , German Grand Admiral Erich Raeder informed the U.S. Naval Attaché in Berlin that the Iroquois would be sunk by the British as she neared the east coast of the United States under "Athenia circumstances" for the apparent purpose of arousing anti-German feeling.  
   
  Monday, October 9, 1939  
  U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a memorandum for the Acting Secretary of the Navy, expressed displeasure with "the slowness of getting the East Coast, Caribbean, and Gulf Patrol under way," the "lag between the making of contacts and the follow-up of the contact," and the weakness of the liaison between the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. State Department. Roosevelt emphasized that "in this whole patrol business time is of the essence and loss of contact with surface ships will not be tolerated." Roosevelt urged that patrol planes and naval or U.S. Coast Guard ships "may report the sighting of any submarine or suspicious surface ship in plain English".  
   
  Tuesday, October 10, 1939  
  German Grand Admiral Erich Raeder suggested to German Chancellor Adolf Hitler for the first time the possibility of invading Norway to secure naval and especially submarine bases.  
   
  First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill argued to the British Cabinet in favor of mining the coastal waters of Norway in order to interfere with German iron ore shipments.  
   
  The U.S. freighter Patrick Henry was detained by British authorities. British authorities removed from U.S. freighter Black Gull 293 sacks of American mail addressed to Rotterdam, Holland, and to Antwerp, Belgium. This was among the first instances of the British removing mail addressed to neutral countries and opening and censoring sealed letter mail sent from the United States.  
   
  The Norwegian freighter Brott, detained at Sivinemünde, Germany, since early October with a cargo of wood pulp/wood pulp products, was released by German authorities to proceed on her way to the United States.  
   
  Wednesday, October 11, 1939  
  The U.S. passenger liner Iroquois arrived safely in New York harbor, having been accompanied for three days by the Coast Guard cutter Campbell and the destroyers USS Davis (DD 395) and USS Benham (DD 397). The Iroquois would later be acquired by the Navy on July 22, 1940 and would be converted to the hospital ship USS Solace (AH 5). As the USS Solace she would play an important role at on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor.  
   
  The U.S. freighter Sundance was detained at London, England, by British authorities. The freighter Black Tern was detained at Weymouth, England. The U.S. freighter Black Gull, detained by the British since October 6, was released.  
   
  Thursday, October 12, 1939  
  The British seizure of U.S. mail continued: authorities at the contraband control station at Weymouth removed 94 sacks addressed to Rotterdam, 81 to Antwerp, and 184 to Germany, from the U.S. freighter Black Tern, which had been detained the day before. Authorities at the Downs removed 77 sacks of parcel post, 33 sacks of registered mail, and 156 sacks of regular mail addressed to the Netherlands, in addition to 65 sacks of mail addressed to Belgium, 4 to Luxembourg, 3 to Danzig, and 259 to Germany, from the Dutch motor ship Zaandam.  
   
  Friday, October 13, 1939  
  The U.S. freighters Iberville and Oakman was detained by British authorities.  
   
  Saturday, October 14, 1939  
  The U.S. freighter Scanstates was detained at Kirkwall, Orkneys, by British authorities. The freighter Exporter was detained at Gibraltar by the British authorities.  
   
  The U.S. freighter Nashaba was detained at Le Havre by French authorities.  
   
  Sunday, October 15, 1939  
  The German pocket battleship SMS Admiral Graf Spee met the tanker Altmark and refueled.  
   
  Monday, October 16, 1939  
  German Grand Admiral Erich Raeder issued new orders concerning merchant ships. "All merchant ships definitely recognized as enemy ones (British and French) can be torpedoed without warning. Passenger steamers in convoy can be torpedoed a short while after notice has been given of the intention to do so." The new orders also freed surface raiders to attack French ships; previously they have been restricted to British vessels. This marked the beginning of unrestricted submarine warfare by the Germans.  
   
  The German tanker Emmy Friedrich, whose cargo included refrigerants needed for the magazine cooling systems in the German pocket battleship SMS Admiral Graf Spee, then on a raiding foray into the Atlantic, departed Tampico, Mexico. Neutrality Patrol assets, including the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV 4) and USS heavy cruiser San Francisco (CA 38), were mobilized to locate and trail the ship if the need arose.  
   
  The U.S. freighter Gateway City was detained by British authorities. The U.S. freighter Black Heron, detained by the British at Weymouth, England since October 7, was released.  
   
  Tuesday, October 17, 1939  
  The U.S. freighter Cranford was detained by British authorities. The U.S. freighter Black Falcon, detained by the British since October 6, was released.  
   
  Wednesday, October 18, 1939  
  The German pocket battleship SMS Admiral Graf Spee transferred the crews of the British freighters Newton Beech and Ashlea to the tanker Altmark. The two German ships then parted company for a time.  
   
  The U.S. freighter West Hobomac was detained by British authorities.  
   
  Thursday, October 19, 1939  
  The gunboat USS Erie (PG 50) arrived off Manzanillo, Mexico, on neutrality patrol. The USS Erie would monitor the movements of the German freighter Havelland until December 11. The Commander Special Service Squadron, Rear Admiral John W. Wilcox Jr., commended the gunboat's work as "the outstanding event" of offshore patrol work conducted by the Squadron.  
   
  Friday, October 20, 1939  
  The Commander Atlantic Squadron informed his ships to use plain language radio reporting of contacts.  
   
  The U.S. freighter Scanstates, detained at Kirkwall, Orkneys, by British authorities since October 14, was released.  
   
  Satueday, October 21, 1939  
  The U.S. freighter City of Flint, under a prize crew from German armored ship Deutschland, put in to Tromsø, Norway, for water. The Norwegian government, however, ordered the ship to leave and she set sail for Soviet waters.  
   
  The U.S. freighter Meanticut was detained at Gibraltar by British authorities and ordered to proceed to Oran to discharge certain cargo earmarked for delivery to Italy.  
   
  Sunday, October 22, 1939  
  In a radio broadcast Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels accused Britain’s First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill of deliberately sinking the British steam passenger ship Athenia and called attention to a U.S. passenger’s affidavit that the ship was to be outfitted as raider and claimed that the ship was sunk on September 4, 1939 by British destroyers.  
   
  The U.S. freighters Endicott and West Gambo were detained by French authorities and portions of their cargo were ordered ashore as contraband. 750 bales of carbon black were removed from the West Gambo and 2,276 bars of copper and 1,796 bags of carbon black were removed from the Endicott.  
   
  Monday, October 23, 1939  
  The U.S. freighter Tulsa was detained at London by British authorities.  
   
  Tuesday, October 24, 1939  
  Soviet authorities interned the U.S. freighter City of Flint's German prize crew from the the German pocket battleship SMS Deutschland at Murmansk, Soviet Union.  
   
  The U.S. freighter Wacosta was detained by British authorities. The U.S. freighter Iberville, detained by the British since October 13, was released after the cargo due to be discharged at Antwerp and Rotterdam, Holland, was seized as contraband. British authorities at Kirkwall remove 468 bags of U.S. mail destined for Gothenborg, Sweden and 18 for Helsinki, Finland, from the Finnish freighter Astrid Thorden.  
   
  Wednesday, October 25, 1939  
  The U.S. freighter Sundance, detained at London, England, by British authorities since October 11, was released. The U.S. freighter West Hobomac, detained by the British since October 18, was released.  
   
  The U.S. freighter Nashaba, detained at Le Havre by French authorities since October 14, was released.  
   
  Thursday, October 26, 1939  
  The U.S. freighter Black Eagle was detained by British authorities.  
   
  The U.S. Consul at Gibraltar, William E. Chapman, conferred informally with British naval authorities there concerning protracted delays in detention of American merchantmen.  
   
  Friday, October 27, 1939  
  The U.S. freighter City of Flint was again placed under the German naval prize crew from the German pocket battleship SMS Deutschland in Murmansk, Soviet Union.  
   
  The U.S. Consul at Gibraltar, William E. Chapman, met informally with British Colonial Secretary there, and objected to the protracted delay in the detention of U.S. merchantmen, especially the freighter Exporter, which had on board diplomatic pouches bound for Athens, Greece. Consul Chapman's low-key approach bore fruit. The Exporter, detained since October 14, was released later that day, as were freighters Oakman (detained since October 13) and Meanticut (detained since October 21).  
   
  Saturday, October 28, 1939  
  The German pocket battleship SMS Admiral Graf Spee rendezvoused with tanker Altmark near Tristan de Cunha in the south Atlantic Ocean. The warship refueled from the auxiliary and transferred the British freighter Trevanion's crew to her.  
   
  The U.S. freighter City of Flint, again under German control, set sail from Murmansk, Soviet Union for Norwegian waters. At no time during the City of Flint's enforced stay at Murmansk had the ship's master, Captain Joseph A. Gainard (an inactive U.S. Naval Reserve officer) been allowed to communicate with the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.  
   
  The U.S. freighter Black Tern, detained at Weymouth, England, by British authorities since October 11, was released.  
   
  Monday, October 30, 1939  
  The U.S. freighter Scanpenn was detained by British authorities at Kirkwall, Orkneys. The U.S. freighter Hybert was detained by British authorities at the Downs the same day.  
   
  Tuesday, October 31, 1939  
  The U.S. freighter Black Osprey was detained at the Downs by British authorities. The U.S. freighter Gateway City, detained by the British since October 16, was released after cargo billed for delivery at Antwerp and Rotterdam, Holland was seized as contraband.  
     
   
     
   
 

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