Monday, May 9, 2016

January 2, 1940: Finnish Counterattacks Continue

Tuesday 2 January 1940

2 January 1940 reindeer Finnish troops
Finnish troops using reindeer as transport.
Winter War: Fierce winter snowstorms on 2 January 1940 blanket the Karelian Isthmus, halting most operations. However, the Finns continue carving up the 30 km Soviet column stretched out on the Ratte road. The term they use is "mottis," which is Finnish for "logs," as in they are cutting the tree of the stalled Soviet 44th Rifle Division into separate logs for burning.

Captain Lassila, who began attacking one section of the stalled column shortly before midnight on the first, creates blockades on the Ratte road by felling trees and placing land mines. The Soviets counterattack at 07:00, but he manages to bring up 2 Bofors antitank guns. The guns destroy 7 Soviet tanks, which further block the road. The Finns are prepared and have brought tents and ways to heat their food, whereas the Soviets are sitting in steel tanks without fuel to keep warm - or out in the open.

Winter War Army Operations: The Finns attempt to encircle the Soviet 122nd Division of the 9th Army at Sallaa, where they have been pushing back the Soviets for weeks. Success here and nearby has greatly relieved pressure on the vital railway line from the port of Oulu to Nurmes/Joensuu.

Winter War Naval Operations: Soviet submarine S-2 hits a mine and sinks.

The Soviets conduct minelaying operations in the far north off Petsamo.

European Air Operations: Three RAF bombers are attacked by a dozen Luftwaffe fighters near the German coast. Losses are about equal, two RAF planes lost and 1-3 Luftwaffe fighters.

Luftwaffe reconnaissance over the Shetland Islands.

US Government: The State Department issues a press release stating that it issued a "vigorous protest" on 27 December 1939 to the British regarding their seizure of US mail:
 It cannot admit the right of the British authorities to interfere with American mails on American or other neutral ships on the high seas nor can it admit the right of the British Government to censor mail on ships which have involuntarily entered British ports. . . .
Charles Edison becomes the US Secretary of the Navy.

German Homefront: The Danube freezes over and stops barge imports.

British Homefront: A survey shows that 20% of respondents have had some sort of accident due to the blackout. Road deaths since the beginning of the blackout top 2000, some 1700 above average for peacetime. The government suggests Cod liver oil as a source of Vitamin A.

Czechoslovakia: There is a new wave of arrests, predominantly journalists and former members of the Czech army.

China: The Chinese 4th War Area captures Wongyuan, while the Chinese 1st War Area ceases offensive operations and begins withdrawing.

American Homefront: At the Rose Bowl, Georgia Tech upsets Missouri, 21-7.

2 January 1940 Look Judy Garland
Judy Garland on the cover of Look picture magazine, 2 January 1940. "Oopsie, I fell!"

January 1940

January 1, 1940: Finns Carve up the Soviets
January 2, 1940: Finnish Counterattacks Continue
January 3, 1940: Soviets Trapped
January 4, 1940: Soviet Breakout Attempts Fail
January 5, 1940: Dicing Up the Soviets
January 6, 1940: Soviet 44th Division Runs
January 7, 1940: Shakeup in Soviet High Command
January 8, 1940: Ratte Road Battle Ends
January 9, 1940: British Submarines in Peril
January 10, 1940: Mechelen Incident
January 11, 1940: Finns Surround More Soviets
January 12, 1940: New Soviet Attacks at Taipale
January 13, 1940: Fall Gelb Postponed
January 14, 1940: Japan's Government Falls
January 15, 1940: Soviets Prepare More Carefully
January 16, 1940: German Atrocities Uncovered
January 17, 1940: Bletchley Park in Action
January 18, 1940: New Hope for Allied Shipping
January 19, 1940: Finnish Attacks at Salla
January 20, 1940: Churchill Urges Cooperation
January 21, 1940: Asam Maru Incident
January 22, 1940: Dissension Within British Government
January 23, 1940: Dissension in South Africa
January 24, 1940: NKVD Blocking Detachments
January 25, 1940: Auschwitz Site Selected
January 26, 1940: Millionaire Bunker Destroyed
January 27, 1940: U-20 Sinks Four Ships
January 28, 1940: Softening Up the Finns
January 29, 1940: Moscow Willing to Talk
January 30, 1940: Hitler Throws Down the Gauntlet
January 31, 1940: Timoshenko Is Ready


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