16 Oct 1939
  • Carrier USS Ranger and cruiser USS San Francisco were dispatched by US Navy to locate the German tanker recently departed from Mexico to supply German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Duguay-Trouin intercepted German merchant ship Halle 320 kilometers southwest of Dakar, French West Africa; Halle was scuttled by her own crew to prevent capture. ww2dbase [Duguay-Trouin | CPC]
French West Africa
  • HMS Hermes arrived at Dakar, French West Africa. ww2dbase [Hermes | Dakar | CPC]
  • Grand Admiral Erich Raeder announced Adolf Hitler's orders that "all merchant ships definitely recognized as enemy can be torpedoed without warning." ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | CPC]
  • U-23 completed her third war patrol. ww2dbase [U-23 | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British Royal Navy Commander R. F. Jolly, despite being seriously wounded by an air attack by a German Junkers Ju 88 bomber in the Firth of Forth, Scotland, United Kingdom, steadfastly refused medical treatment or requests that he left the bridge of HMS Mohawk until some eighty minutes later when he had finally brought his damaged destroyer into the safety at Rosyth. Taken ashore he lived on for another five hours before his death in hospital at South Queensferry, Scotland. For his heroism Commander Jolly was awarded, a week later, with a posthumous Empire Gallantry Medal (later replaced by a George Cross, a decoration only second in precedence to the Victoria Cross). ww2dbase [Rosyth, Scotland | AC]
  • HMS Edinburgh was slightly damaged by German aircraft while in the Firth of Forth, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Edinburgh | Firth of Forth, Scotland | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 16 Oct 1939
Finnish diplomats Aarno Yrjö-Koskinen, Juho Kusti Paasikivi, Johan Nykopp, and Aladár Paasonen having just returned from Moscow negotiations, Helsinki, Finland, 16 Oct 1939

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
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935

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