The Wartime Adventures of the Lost Dreams Squad
- Germany signs the armistice which ends World War One.
- The Treaty of Versailles is signed by Germany.
- The events chronicled in “The Bureau of Lost Dreams” occur.
- Germany signs the Locarno Treaties. It promises, amongst other things, never to invade France or Belgium again.
- The Kellogg-Briand Pact is signed. The signatories, including Germany, France, Britain, and the United States, promise not to use war as a means of solving disputes.
- Japan’s Kwantung army invades Manchuria in China, renaming it Manchukuo. In 1932 the army installs the last of the Manchu emperors, Puyi, the Xuantong Emperor, as a puppet leader.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes President of the United States. Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany.
- Hitler takes absolute control of Germany after the death of President von Hindenburg.
- Robert Watson-Watt carries out a proof of concept test of Range and Direction Finding (RDF). The US Navy introduces the alternative term “RADAR” in 1940.
- The Rhineland Crisis: the remilitarisation of the Rhineland by Germany in response to France and the Soviet Union’s mutual assistance agreement of 1935. Although this is in direct contravention of the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Treaties, Britain and France do nothing to oppose it.
- The Spanish Civil War begins between the Republicans and Francisco Franco’s (Fascist) Nationalists. The war ends with Franco’s victory in April 1939.
- Germany begins to practice its aerial warfare tactics with the bombing of the Spanish town of Guernica, carried out by the Luftwaffe’s Condor Legion.
- Japan invades China after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, seeking to take control of the country’s material resources.
- Theodore Obrig and John Mullen develop the first all-plastic contact lenses.
- Austria is annexed by Germany in an event called the Anschluss.
- The Munich Agreement: Germany successfully acquires the Sudetenland, a German-speaking part of Czechoslovakia, after the French and British, desperate to avoid another war, accede to Hitler’s demands.
- Germany invades the rest of Czechoslovakia. Britain and France still do nothing.
- The Pact of Steel is signed between Germany and Italy, promising cooperation and support between the two nations.
- The German-Soviet (Molotov-Ribbentrop) Pact is signed, much to everyone’s surprise, given the well-documented Nazi hatred of communism.
- 1st: Germany invades Poland (Case White), using what will become known as “lightning war” tactics, or Blitzkrieg; Einsatzgruppen, the so-called “special action groups” or “mobile killing units”, begin executing Polish Jews and other non-combatants behind the frontlines.
- 3rd: Britain and France declare war on Germany. The Battle of the Atlantic begins with the sinking of the passenger liner SS Athenia off the coast of Rockall in the Atlantic Ocean.
- 11th: troops of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) arrive on French soil.
- 17th: the Soviet Union invades Poland.
- The BEF is sent to northern France to defend the frontier with Belgium.
- Belgium and the Netherlands declare themselves neutral. The Soviet Union invades Finland.
- The Battle of the River Plate: the pocket battleship and commerce raider Admiral Graf Spee is scuttled just off Montevideo, Uruguay after a battle with the British Royal Navy.
- The Weser-Exercise: Germany invades Norway via Denmark to secure supplies of iron ore.
- British troops take up positions in Iceland to prevent occupation by German forces. Churchill becomes British Prime Minister after Neville Chamberlain resigns.
- 10th: the German invasion of France begins with a feint into neutral countries Belgium and the Netherlands, drawing French and BEF troops away from the real area of attack through the Forest of Ardennes (Case Yellow). German troops cross the French border there on 12th. The Netherlands and Belgium surrender to Germany. Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of BEF and French armies from Dunkirk, begins.
- British Special Service Unit forces are established, based on Boer kommando troop structure. They do not become known by their more famous name, the Commandos, until
- 5th: the Battle of France (Case Red) begins.
- 9th: Norway surrenders to Germany.
- 10th: Italy declares war on Britain and France.
- 14th: Paris is captured by the Germans.
- 21st: Italy invades southern France.
- 22nd: France signs an armistice with Germany. Two days later, France is also forced to sign an armistice with Italy.
- The British Intelligence Service departments Section D, MI-R, and Electra House (EH) are merged to form the Special Operations Executive (SOE; p.41). The Folboat Troop is formed, named after the folding canoes they use for operations; it will later be known as the Special Boat Section (SBS). The Battle of Britain begins.
- 13th: Adlertag (Eagle Day), the start of the main aerial offensive by the Luftwaffe against the RAF. Italy attacks British Somaliland, triggering the war in Africa.
- 27th: the Tripartite Pact is signed between Germany, Italy, and Japan. Japanese forces occupy French Indochina under the guise of co-operation with the French authorities, as part of their Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere plan. Operation Seelöwe (Sealion), the proposed German invasion of Britain, is indefinitely postponed after the Luftwaffe fails to
destroy the RAF.
- Hitler begins the first of a series of attempts to woo Franco into joining the war on the side of the Axis during a meeting at Hendaye, France. An agreement cannot be reached on
the necessary terms, in part due to huge bribes being paid to Franco by the Allies, although Spain continues to covertly aid the Germans wherever possible.
- Lt. Col. Dudley Clarke begins work on the entirely fictitious Special Air Service (SAS) as part of his disinformation campaign, Operation Abeam. Victor de Laveleye, of the BBC’s Belgian Service, proposes the “V” campaign to rally anti-Nazi support in Europe; Churchill is so taken with the idea, he starts using his “V for Victory” hand gesture.
- The British Expeditionary Force lands in Greece. Erwin Rommel begins his North Africa campaign.
- Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece to rescue Italy’s failing campaign. Both countries surrender to the Axis.
- HMS Hood is sunk (shortly after young actor Jon Pertwee is transferred from it). Its nemesis, the Bismarck, is hunted down and sunk three days later.
- David Stirling receives permission to form the first real detachment of the SAS. 22nd: Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, begins; despite repeated warnings from Soviet, British, and American intelligence, Josef Stalin is largely taken by surprise. The Soviet Union, by default, now becomes one of the Allies. Finland begins its second war with the Soviets in support of the German invasion.
- The British pass control of Iceland to the United States. Stalin institutes a scorched-earth policy to deny resources to the invading German army.
- Churchill establishes the London Controlling Section (LCS) to co-ordinate first British, and then later the Allies’, strategic deception plans.
- Gestapo radio detection trucks are seen in the vicinity of Langres.
- Heer command adds a military wing to the Centre Hospitalier on rue Charité in Langres. The hotel across the street is commandeered for the military.
- The LDS kills SS-Obersturmführer Alexander Freitag and find a strange symbol on his body. They also obtain a copy of Unaussprechlichen Kulten.
- German forces attack Moscow (Operation Typhoon).
- The military ward at Centre Hospitalier on rue Charité in Langres opens.
- The SS and Pioneer Infantry alter Langres’ Navarre and d’Orval Tower for unknown purposes.
- The LDS uses the tramp steamer Nectaris to destroy a Kriegsmarine cruiser at the Port of Ostend in Belgium.
- 7th: The Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor officially brings the United States into the war.
- 8th: The Allies declare war on Japan.
- 11th: Germany and Italy declare war on the US.
- The United Nations is effectively formed by the signatories of the Atlantic Charter.
- Operation Drumbeat, known by German submariners as the “second happy time”, begins with U-boats attacking shipping along the East Coast of America.
- RAF Bomber Command begins a concerted bombing effort against German cities, with a view to destroying transport and industrial infrastructure.
- The LDS raids Decker’s new Battalion HQ. They take Capt. Sommer hostage, steal Decker’s project notes, and find a piece of alien technology.