1: In a mass evacuation effort (code named "operation Pied Piper") the British authorities relocate 1,473,000 children and adults from the cities to the countryside. The adults involved were teachers, people with disabilities and their helpers, mothers with preschool children.
1: Acting on account of their governments, the ambassadors of France and Britain demand the German government to cease all hostile activities and to withdraw its troops from Poland.
3: The Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies declares that the country is at war with Germany due to Britain's choice, and a similar war declaration against Germany is made by New Zealand's government.
3: At 12:00 p.m. the French Government delivers a similar final ultimatum to Germany which at 5:00 p.m. also expires unanswered, thus bringing France in the war.
3: In Britain's first military action, the Royal Air Force's Bomber Command sends out 27 planes to bomb the Kriegsmarine, but they turn back before having been able to find any targets. Overnight ten Whitleys made the first of many 'nickel raids' in Bremen, Hamburg and the Ruhr in which the planes dropped propaganda leaflets.
3: Further answering to Roosevelt's plea the British and French present a joint formal declaration stating that the Allied bombers would attack only military targets unless Germany begins indiscriminate civilian bombings.
14: British Destroyers escorting the aircraft carrierHMS Ark Royal sink the U-39 after the U-boat's torpedoes against the carrier didn't explode. All crew members were rescued and taken prisoner. It was the first sinking of a German U-boat in WW II.
15: The Polish Army is ordered to hold out at the Romanian border until the Allies arrive.
24: The Führer der UnterseebooteKarl Dönitz greatly relaxes prize rules ordering the sinking without warning of merchant ships that send signals by radio and the attack on smaller Allied passenger ships. He also opens the war on French shipping.
24: Soviet air force violates Estonian airspace. The Estonians negotiate with Molotov in Moscow. Molotov warns the Estonians that if the Soviet Union doesn't get military bases in Estonia, it will be forced to use "more radical actions".
25: German home front measures begin with food rationing.
28: The remaining Polish army and militia in the centre of Warsaw capitulate to the Germans.
28: Soviet troops mass by the Latvian border. Latvian air space violated.
28: Estonia signs a 10-year Mutual Assistance Pact with the Soviet Union, which allows the Soviets to have 30 000-men military bases in Estonia. As a gift in return Stalin promises to respect Estonian independence.
30: French forces on the French-German border fall back to the Maginot Line in anticipation of a German invasion.
1: Latvian representatives negotiate with Stalin and Molotov. Soviets threaten an occupation by force if they do not get military bases in Latvia.
2: The Declaration of Panama is approved by the American republics. Belligerent activities should not take place within waters adjacent to the American continent. A neutrality zone of some 300 miles (480 km) in breadth is to be patrolled by the U.S. Navy.
3: British forces move to take over part of the frontier defenses manned by French troops.
3: Lithuanians meet Stalin and Molotov in Moscow. Stalin offers Lithuania the city of Vilnius (in Poland) in return for allowing Soviet military bases in Lithuania. The Lithuanians are reluctant.
10: Lithuania signs a 15-year Mutual Assistance Pact with the Soviet Union, which allows the Soviets to have 20,000 men in military bases in Lithuania. In a secret protocol, Vilnius is made Lithuanian territory.
11: An estimated 158,000 British troops are now in France.
12: Adolf Eichmann starts deporting Jews from Austria and Czechoslovakia into Poland.
12: Finland's representatives meet Stalin and Molotov in Moscow. Soviet Union demands Finland give up a military base near Helsinki and exchange some Soviet and Finnish territories to protect Leningrad against Great Britain or the eventual future threat of Germany.
21: Registration begins in the United Kingdom in order to conscript all able-bodied males between 18 and 23.
23: The seized freighter City of Flint reaches Murmansk in the Soviet Union. Four days later it is permitted to leave still under the control of its prize crew despite the angry protests of the Roosevelt administration. The Murmansk incident would also have lasting consequences by alienating the American public opinion.
27: Belgium announces that it is neutral in the present conflict.
28: Hitler, worried on one side of the protests received by the American and Norwegian governments and on the other of the danger of losing a warship with such a prestigious name, orders the Deutschland to return home.
30: The British government releases a report on concentration camps being built in Europe for Jews and anti-Nazis.
31: As Germany plans for an attack on France, German Lieutenant-General Erich von Manstein proposes that Germany should attack through the Ardennes rather than through Belgium – the expected attack route.
3: Finland and Soviet Union again negotiate new borders. Finns mistrust Stalin's aims and refuse to give up territory breaking their defensive line.
3: The City of Flint anchors at Haugesund, Norway, claiming medical reasons. Their anchorage without good reason in neutral waters is judged a violation of international law by Norwegian authorities that during the night board the ship freeing the ship and interning the Germans.
4: Roosevelt signs into law the amendments to the Neutrality Act: belligerents may buy arms from the United States, but on a strictly cash and carry basis, banning the use of American ships.
4: Hans Mayer sends an anonymous letter to the British Naval attaché in Oslo, Captain Hector Boyer, asking if the British wants information from Germany on present and future German weapons. If the answer is positive he requires to be given notice through a small change of the German version of the BBC World Service, which is done.
5: Hans Mayer sends anonymously his report to the British Embassy in Norway; from there it was sent for evaluation to Whitehall, where it attracted the attention of Reginald Victor Jones, Assistant Director of Intelligence to the Air Ministry, despite the skepticism of many who suspected it being a German plant.
8: Hitler escapes a bomb blast in a Munich beerhall, where he was speaking on the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923. British bombers coincidentally bomb Munich.
22: The Luftwaffe drops in the mud an intact magnetic mine off Shoeburyness at the mouth of the Thames Estuary. Once salvaged, Admiralty scientists invented degaussing that greatly decreased the danger represented by magnetic mines.
1: Russia continues its war against Finland; Helsinki is bombed. In the first two weeks of the month, the Finns retreat to the Mannerheim line, an outmoded defensive line just inside the southern border with Russia.
5: The Russian invaders begin heavy attacks on the Mannerheim line. The Battles of Kollaa and Suomussalmi begin.
7: Italy, Norway and Denmark again declares their neutrality in the Russo-Finnish war. Sweden proclaims "non-belligerency" , by which it could extend military support to Finland, without formally taking part in the war.
11: The Russians meet with several tactical defeats by the Finnish army.
17: The Admiral Graf Spee is forced by Uruguay to leave Montevideo harbor; given freedom of choice by Berlin the ship's Kapitän zur See Hans Langsdorff orders to scuttle the vessel just outside the harbor. The ship's captain and its crew are interned by Argentinian authorities.
31: German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels makes a radio address reviewing the official Nazi version of the events of 1939. No predictions were made for 1940 other than saying that the next year "will be a hard year, and we must be ready for it."
Adamthwaite, Anthony P. (2011) [1st pub. 1977]. The Making of the Second World War. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ISBN0-415-90716-0.
Alexander, Martin S. (2002) [1st pub. 1992]. The Republic in Danger: General Maurice Gamelin and the Politics of French defence, 1933-1940. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN0-521-52429-6.