1939

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Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. This year also marks the start of World War II, the deadliest war in history.

Contents

Events of 1939

January

  • January 1
  • January 5Amelia Earhart is officially declared dead after her disappearance.
  • January 6Naturwissenschaften publishes evidence that nuclear fission has been achieved by Otto Hahn.
  • January 13Black Friday: 71 people die across Victoria in one of Australia's worst ever bushfires.
  • January 23 – "Dutch War Scare": Admiral Wilhelm Canaris of the Abwehr leaks misinformation to the effect that Germany plans to invade the Netherlands in February, with the aim of using Dutch air-fields to launch a strategic bombing offensive against Britain. The "Dutch War Scare" leads to a major change in British policies towards Europe.
  • January 24 – An earthquake kills 30,000 in Chile, and razes about 50,000 sq mi (130,000 km2).
  • January 25Refik Saydam forms the new government of Turkey. (11 th government)
  • January 26
    • Spanish Civil War: Spanish Nationalist troops, aided by Italy, take Barcelona.
    • In Paris, French Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet, in response to rumours (which are true) that he is seeking to end the French alliance system in Eastern Europe, gives a speech highlighting his government's commitment to the cordon sanitaire.
  • January 27Adolf Hitler orders Plan Z, a 5-year naval expansion programme intended to provide for a huge German fleet capable of crushing the Royal Navy by 1944. The Kriegsmarine is given the first priority on the allotment of German economic resources.
  • January 30 – Hitler gives a speech before the Reichstag calling for an "export battle" to increase German foreign exchange holdings. The same speech also sees Hitler's "prophecy" where he warns that if "Jewish financers" start a war against Germany, the...result will be the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe".

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