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Old 28th August 2006, 02:39
Andre Chissel Andre Chissel is offline
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Time difference

Dear Sirs,

Silly question but during World War Two, if it was 4 am in the UK, what time would it be in Nazi Germany ?

I have some UK and German Reports that seem to cover the same incident but the time line is way off and was wondering whether the Germans were using "German time" and the Brits were using GMT.

Many thanks

Sincerely


Andre Chissel
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Old 28th August 2006, 09:44
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Nick Beale Nick Beale is offline
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Re: Time difference

Yes, there often was a difference. Documents compiled in England for distribution overseas usually standardised all thimes on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Documents written in-theatre (e.g. Squadron Record Books of units in Italy) used local time.

Germany used Central European Time (CET) which they called MEZ (Mitteleuropäische Zeit) and was GMT plus 1 hour. Both sides changed their clocks to take advantage of daylight in summer.

There were some posts about this a few years ago here, which I kept (can't remember who originated the first one):

This article was published in Bulletin Airwar 1939-1945 Nr. 99 page 26/27.
Time calculation 1940-1945. By Rob de Bruin/Great Bookham, England.
I have checked two sources; first my own Whitaker Almanac and I have contacted the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. The situation is as follows:
In Great Britain(from now on called England) there is since 1916 summertime. In the winter they have GMT and in the summer GMT+1.
Middle European Time(MET), that was the time in the Netherlands during the German occupation, was equal to GMT+1 and during the summer Middle European Time is equal to GMT+2.

The English introduced at February 25th, 1940 their summertime GMT+1. In the Netherlands we had Dutch Time. This means that from February 25th, 1940 it was 40 min. later in England than in Holland. From may 16th, 1940 the Germans introduced MET and the Dutch were one hour ahead of the English.

In England it was summertime during the war from February 25th, 1940 till October 7th, 1945.

To get more daylight went over to Double British Summertime(DBST). This was during:

a. 1941 May 4th till August 10th.
b. 1942 April 5th till August 9th
c. 1943 April 4th till August 15th
d. 1944 April 2nd till September 17th
e. 1945 April 2nd till July 15th

During these periods the time in England was GMT+2 and that’s the same as MET(Summertime)

To make thing more clear some examples:

Date Time in Holland/Germany Time in England

30-05-1940 12.28 11.28
22-06-1941 06.05 06.05
03-11-1942 14.18 14.18
01-04-1943 23.25 22.25
01-05-1943 20.08 20.08
06-06-1944 05.30 05.30
05-05-1945 08.00 09.00

The change of time was done in the early Sunday morning hours at 2.00 O’clock.

Here a list of dates were the German time was equal to British time.

a. 1941 May 4th till August 10th.
b. 1942 April 5th till August 9th and November 2nd till December 31.
c. 1943 January 1st till March 29th and April 4th till August 15th and from October 4th till December 31st.
d. 1944 January 1st till April 2nd and April 4th till September 17th and October 2nd till December 31st.
e. 1945 January 1st till April 2nd.

This is a translation of the essence of an article published in Bulletin Airwar 1939-1945 Nr.99. With many thanks to Mr. Robert de Bruin, Great Bookham, England. The translation has been made by Jaap Woortman.

Steve Coates: PRO Readers' Guide No. 8 - RAF Records

During the war, local time in the UK varied from GMT(Greenwich mean Time) to BST (British Summer Time) to BDST (British Double Summer Time).

BST = GMT + 1 hour
BDST = GMT + 2 hours

UK time varied as follows from –

16/4/39 - BST
19/11/39 - GMT
25/2/40 - BST
4/5/41 - BDST
10/8/41 - BST
5/4/42 - BDST
9/8/42 - BST
4/4/43 - BDST
15/8/43 - BST
2/4/44 - BDST
17/9/44 - BST
2/4/45 - BDST
15/7/45 - BST
7/10/45 - GMT

The Germans used CET (Central European Time) and GST (German Summer Time)

CET = GMT + 1 hour
GST = GMT + 2 hours

German time varied as follows –
To
1/4/40 - CET
From
1/4/40 - GST
2/11/42 - CET
29/3/43 - GST
4/10/43 - CET
3/4/44 - GST
2/10/44 - CET
2/4/45 - GST
18/11/45- CET
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Old 28th August 2006, 10:26
Andre Chissel Andre Chissel is offline
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Re: Time difference

Thanks Nick

Sorts out some issues I've had !

Andre
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