Wednesday 21 February 1940
|Professors John T. Randall and Henry A.H. Boot, shown here after the war. Professor Boot is holding a six-cavity anodic block.|
Winter War: There is a blizzard on 21 February 1940 across Finland which overall benefits the Finns, as they could use a rest after the events of the past week or two. Still, Soviet forces continue grinding toward Viipuri.
Winter War Air Operations: The Soviets continue their strategic bombing campaign against Finland, attacking Pajala in the Tornedal Valley next to Sweden. The Finns announce that they have shot down 17 more Soviet bombers.
Battle of the Atlantic: U-50 (Kapitänleutnant Max-Hermann Bauer) torpedoes and sinks 4,760-ton Dutch freighter Tara west of Cape Finisterre, Spain. The entire crew survives.
U-23 (Kapitänleutnant Otto Kretschmer) gets another victory on its highly successful patrol, torpedoing and sinking the 4,996-ton British freighter Loch Maddy south-southwest of Rockall. Of the crew, 35 survive and 4 perish. The ship is a straggler from Convoy HX-19. The crew abandons ship, but it doesn't actually sink. It becomes a floating derelict.
Royal Navy cruiser Manchester captures German freighter Wahehe south of Iceland.
The British at Gibraltar detain US freighter Sahale, and they release US freighter Exhibitor.
Convoy OA 96 departs from Southend, OB 95 and OB 96 depart from Liverpool.
European Air Operations: The RAF conducts reconnaissance over the Heligoland Bight.
Applied Science: Birmingham University conducts the first successful test of the cavity magnetron. This is the basis for short-wave radar. Britain is in the lead in developing effective, practical rada. Professors John T. Randall and Henry A.H. Boot are researchers in the group of Australian physicist Marcus Oliphant. The seal their experimental device in wax and permanently connect it to a vacuum pump. It oscillates at a wavelength of 9.8 cm, producing the power of 400 W, which is two orders of magnitude above anything previously achieved.
British Government: The Treasury publicly announces nominal budgets of £100 each for the British army, navy, and RAF for the calendar year 1940 and also for the war. The true amounts are classified.
British Homefront: There is a coal shortage and the severe winter is straining stocks on hand. Passenger rail service is curtailed.
Holocaust: The Inspectorate of Concentration Camps reports to Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler that Auschwitz, located in the newly "incorporated territories" that formerly were Poland, would be of best use as a "quarantine center."
China: Chiang Kai-shek holds a military conference assessing the Chinese Winter Offense.
The Japanese Shangtung Operation continues, as the Imperial Army occupies it.
Future History: Peter Gethin is born in Ewell, England. He becomes a top race car driver in the 1970s, participating in 31 World Championship Formula One Grand Prix.
|Finnish soldiers inspect a Soviet bomber.|
February 1940February 3, 1940: Soviets Capture a Bunker
February 4, 1940: Peace Talks in Stockholm
February 5, 1940: Allies to Invade Norway
February 6, 1940: Careless Talk Costs Lives
February 7, 1940: IRA Terrorists Executed
February 8, 1940: Spies!
February 9, 1940: The Welles Mission
February 10, 1940: Confiscation of Jewish Goods
February 11, 1940: Soviets Attack Mannerheim Line
February 12, 1940: Breaches In Mannerheim Line
February 13, 1940: Soviets Inching Forward in Finland
February 14, 1940: Soviets Batter Mannerheim Line
February 15, 1940: Finns Retreat
February 16, 1940: Altmark Incident
February 17, 1940: Manstein and Hitler Discuss Fall Gelb
February 18, 1940: Operation Nordmark
February 19, 1940: King Gustav Says No
February 20, 1940: Falkenhorst Commands Weserubung
February 21, 1940: Radar Advances
February 22, 1940: Friendly Fire
February 23, 1940: Soviets Present Their Demands
February 24, 1940: Fall Gelb Revised
February 25, 1940: Mr. Welles Comes to Visit
February 26, 1940: Battle of Honkaniemi
February 27, 1940: Finns Retreat Again
February 28, 1940: Overseas Volunteers Help Finland
February 29, 1940: Finns Accept Soviet Terms In Principle