Saturday 3 February 1940
|Soviet T-20 Komsomolets armored tow vehicles towing 45mm AT guns.|
Winter War Army Operations: Today, 3 February 1940, is day three of the Second Battle of Summa, and the Finns continue holding their positions against Soviet probing attacks. The Stavka gives final approval to Timoshenko's plan for breaking through the Mannerheim Line there.
The Soviets form an assault party to capture and destroy a particularly vexing bunker known as bunker No. 2. The men are riflemen of the 5th Company, 355th Rifle Regiment, along with two T-26 tanks and two squads of sappers. Fighting hand-to-hand through Finnish trenches, they make their way to the bunker and plant 3,500 kg of explosives on its roof during the night, along with other charges totalling 5,300 kg. The men of the 5th company blow the bunker up. It is the first large bunker occupied even temporarily by the Soviet troops, and the 100th Rifle Division commander, Yernakov, focuses his attack in this direction. The Finns, though, hold fast in the forest north of the bunker and prevent any further incursion.
Winter War Air Operations: The Finns claim in a communique that they have brought down another 13 Soviet planes over the scene of the fighting on the Karelian Isthmus. The Soviets also send bombers against various Finnish cities, including Kuopio and Pori on the Bothnian coast.
Battle of the Atlantic: U-25 (Korvettenkapitän Viktor Schütze) torpedoes and sinks 6,805 ton British freighter Armanistan, which is sailing with convoy OG-16, at 14:32 100 miles west of Lisbon. Everyone on board survives and is landed on Tenerife.
U-58 (Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartmann) torpedoes and sinks 815 ton Estonian freighter Reet in the North Sea. All 18 on board perish. Hartmann is determined to get the tiny vessel, and he chases it from Stavanger, Norway almost to Aberdeen, Scotland over the course of 13 hours, ending at 09:36. He also wastes three torpedoes on it.
US passenger liner Manhattan, which was directed to Gibraltar by a French patrol, is detained there.
Convoy OA 85G departs from Southend and OG 17F forms at Gibraltar.
European Air Operations: The Luftwaffe continues its attacks on British shipping, sending 20 Heinkel He 111 bombers. The sink two ships, but lose three of their own number to RAF fighter sweeps. One crashes in Yorkshire, the other in the sea off the River Tyne. The British minesweeper HMS Sphinx (Commander John R. N. Taylor) is hit and heavily damaged, but not taking on water. Taken in tow by fellow minesweeper HMS Speedwell, she eventually capsizes and sinks in heavy seas. There are 41-54 dead (accounts vary), including Commander Taylor.
Anglo/Turkish Relations: The two nations sign a trade agreement.
China: The First Battle of Wuyuan begins, as Japanese forces brush aside the Chinese 8th War Area forces and capture Wuyuan.
At the Battle of South Kwangsi, Japanese forces capture Tsouhsu and attack Wuning, while a Chinese counterattack takes Kantang and Kula. This poses a threat to the lead Japanese formations.
|A Soviet tank column. The Soviet tractor tows a T-26 that has been disabled by a mine. The tank on the right is a Cht-26 chemical tank.|
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