31 Aug 1939
  • The formal order for the German invasion of Poland was given; specific instructions were made for German troops on the western border to avoid conflict with the United Kingdom, France, and the Low Countries. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler offered the United Kingdom that Germany would not risk war if Poland was willing to turn over Danzig and a small section of the Polish Corridor, and that Poland was to allow a plebiscite for the remainder of the Polish Corridor in the near future; British Ambassador in Germany Nevile Henderson expressed that the United Kingdom, while desiring peace, could not sacrifice Poland to achieve that goal. Meanwhile, Henderson continued to press Poland to send a delegation to Germany in a last attempt to negotiate peace over Danzig and the Polish Corridor. When Polish Ambassador in Germany Józef Lipski attempted to send Henderson's message to Poland later in the evening, he found that Germany had cut telephone and telegraph communications to Poland. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • In Italy, Galeazzo Ciano sent the United Kingdom and France a secret message noting that Italy would not fight should Germany start a war over Poland. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Japanese 23rd Infantry Division was effectively wiped out at Nomonhan, Mongolia Area, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German official Hermann Göring hosted British Ambassador Nevile Henderson and Swedish businessman Birger Dahlerus at his home in Berlin, Germany for tea between 1700 and 1900 hours, during which the latter two made a last attempt to broker peace. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Evacuation order for London civilians orders given by the United Kingdom Ministry of Health, to be executed on the next day, with special note stressing that it did not necessarily meant war was inevitable. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 31 Aug 1939
Soviet map of Battle of Khalkhin Gol, 20-31 Aug 1939Admiral Yamamoto at Tokyo Station, Tokyo, Japan en route to take command of the Combined Fleet, 31 Aug 1939

31 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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Famous WW2 Quote
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939