Sunday 4 February 1940
|2nd East Yorkshire Regiment soldier in snow gear with camouflaged rifle, 4 February 1940.|
Winter War: Reports surface on 4 February 1940 that the Germans are sending arms by sea to the Soviets at Petsamo (occupied by the Soviet 14th Army) and Murmansk.
Winter War Army Operations: The Soviet 7th Army advances on Summa Village in fierce fighting. The Finns are fighting fiercely in return from the woods while the Soviets consolidate their capture of Finnish bunkers. The Soviets still have not launched their main attack.
At Kuhmo, the Siberian ski battalion (Col. Dolin) has reached the trapped Soviet 54th Division. The Siberians counterattack the Finnish 9th Division. Elsewhere, Finnish IV Corps destroys the West Lemetti motti (log), capturing 4 field guns, 2 antitank guns, 1 mortar, 32 tanks, 6 machineguns, 120 rifles and 26 trucks. The official orders use the word "motti" for the first time.
Winter War Air Operations: Soviet bombers attack targets throughout Finland, including 141 towns, railways and harbors. Viipuri suffers terribly, with other attacks on Ekenaes and Rovaniemi. In Helsinki, 14 are killed and 179 injured. The Soviets drop about 6,800 bombs. Overall, there is a total of 193 casualties, mostly civilians. The Finns claim to have shot down 11 more Soviet planes.
Winter War Peace Efforts: The Finnish Foreign Minister travels to Stockholm for secret negotiations with Soviet ambassador Madame Kollontai.
Battle of the Atlantic: U-37 (Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartmann) torpedoes and sinks 1,365 ton Norwegian freighter Hop 100 miles south of the Shetland Islands at 04:17. All 17 crew perish.
U-37 continues on and at 21:25 torpedoes 4,330 ton British freighter Leo Dawson about 15 miles east of Bressay after missing with the first torpedo. All 35 on board perish.
The minesweeper Sphinx, bombed on the 3rd, sinks at 04:30 while under tow in rough seas. Five officers and 49 crew perish. It is the first Halcyon-class ship lost at sea.
The British confiscate 390 sacks of German mail from the US passenger liner Manhattan and then release her. American diplomatic pouches on board were not touched.
Convoy OB 85 departs from Liverpool, and Convoy HXF 19 departs from Halifax.
French Military: The French decorate RAF Flight Lt. R.V. Jeff with the Croix de Guerre.
|Joseph Stalin with - and without - Nikolai Yezhov. Foreign Minister Molotov is on the left.|
Soviet Government: Stalin has Nikolai Yezhov, his former head of the NKVD (later the KGB), executed for disloyalty. Not only is Yezhov executed, but Stalin orders him removed from all known photographs of him with Stalin in an early version of photoshopping. This incident and others like it perhaps informs George Orwell as he writes his classic "1984" later in the decade.
Balkans: The ministers meeting at Belgrade declare regional neutrality and solidarity.
China: At the First Battle of Wuyuan, the Japanese advance from the city and capture Linho from Chinese 8th War Area.
At the Battle of South Kwangsi, the Japanese capture Shanglin and attack Wuning, while the Chinese counterattack and capture Yungshun, which threatens Japanese lines of communication. The Chinese also attack around Pinyang.
|HMS Sphinx after being bombed.|
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