26 Aug 1939
  • Benito Mussolini sent Adolf Hitler a message noting that Italy would offer political and economic aid if Germany chose to go to war with Poland, but Italy was in no position to offer military assistance. ww2dbase [The Pact of Steel | CPC]
  • Some German units ordered to lead the invasion of Poland, originally planned for this date, did not receive the message that the invasion had been postponed in the previous evening and crossed the borders, attacking Polish defenses with rifles, machine guns, and grenades; they would be withdrawn back into Germany within hours. Because Poland had experienced so much German provocation in the past few days, Polish leadership brushed off the attacks as another series of provocation, despite having reports that the attacks wore regular uniforms. In the late afternoon, Adolf Hitler set the new invasion date at 1 Sep 1939. ww2dbase [Invasion of Poland | CPC]
  • French Prime Minister √Čdouard Daladier sent a message to German leader Adolf Hitler, noting that while France desired peace, it would fight for Poland should it be invaded. ww2dbase [The Danzig Crisis | CPC]
  • German ambassadors in Belgium and the Netherlands informed each of the two countries that Germany was friendly to them during the current political tensions. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • A Japanese attack failed to break the Soviet envelopment at Nomonhan, Mongolia Area, China. ww2dbase [Battle of Khalkhin Gol | Nomonhan, Mongolia | CPC]
  • Luo Yingde led three I-15bis fighters in a joint attack that brought down a Japanese G3M bomber over Chongqing, China after sundown, with the help of searchlights. ww2dbase [Luo Yingde | Chongqing | CPC]
  • German Navy ordered all German merchant ships to sail for the nearest German port. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German Foreign Minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, handed the British Ambassador, Sir Neville Henderson, a list of terms that would allegedly ensure peace. These terms stipulated that Danzig would be returned to Germany, there would be a plebiscite in the Polish Corridor based on 1919 residency and there would also be an exchange of minority populations between Poland and Germany. The British thought these were fair demands and so the Polish Ambassador J√≥zef Lipski went to see Ribbentrop, but was thrown out when he revealed that he did not have the power to sign the agreement. Germany then announced that Poland had refused its fair demands. ww2dbase [Joachim von Ribbentrop | Berlin | AC]
United Kingdom
  • 70% of Britain's Air Defences forces were now deployed, which effectively meant that 900 guns and 3,000 searchlights were ready for action. ww2dbase [AC]

26 Aug 1939 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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