Wednesday, May 11, 2016

January 22, 1940: Dissension Within British Government

Monday 22 January 1940

22 January 1940 U-25
U-25 in 1940.
Winter War: The Finnish government announces on 22 January 1940 that it is forming a Foreign Legion composed of volunteers from around the world, including Estonian Lithuanian, British, French, German and Italian volunteers. Already, Swedish volunteers are flying bombing missions and others are on the front lines. Numerous British are flocking to help the Finns, including a young Christopher Lee.

Winter War Army Operations: Soviet 122nd Rifle Division of the 9th Army (Chuikov) withdraws further at Salla. The Soviets continue lobbing their 7,000 artillery shells a day at Summa. The Finns are losing men in this trench warfare that they cannot afford to lose, some 3,000 during the month. The Finnish artillery is short of ammunition and under orders not to counter-fire, but only to fire against direct ground attacks. The Soviet strategy obviously is to wear the Finns down in a battle of attrition before striking a strong blow at the strongest part of the line.

Battle of the Atlantic: U-25 (Kapitänleutnant Viktor Schütze) stops 2,589-ton Norwegian freighter Songa, searches the ship, finds contraband, disembarks the crew, and then torpedoes and sinks it.

U-51 (Kapitänleutnant Dietrich Knorr) torpedoes and sinks 1,640-ton Swedish freighter Gothia north of St. Kilda, Scotland. Twelve of the crew survive, 11 perish.

U-55 (it is assumed) (Kapitänleutnant Werner Heidel) torpedoes and sinks 1,387-ton Norwegian freighter Segovia. U-55 apparently had quite a patrol, sinking numerous ships, but never returned.

U-61 (Oberleutnant zur See Jürgen Oesten) torpedoes and sinks 2,434-ton Norwegian freighter Sydfold northeast of Scotland. Of the crew, 5 crewmen perish and 19 survive.

US freighter Excellency is detained by the British at Gibraltar.

Convoy HX 17 departs from Halifax.

British Government: British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax reprimands First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill for his speech of 20 January 1940. In it, Churchill had suggested, among other things, that the neutral countries should essentially abandon their neutrality and join the fight against Hitlerism. This is interfering in foreign policy, Lord Halifax tells him, which of course is the business of the Foreign Office - not the Admiralty.

Norway and Sweden, in any event, ignored the speech. They are worried that following Churchill's suggestions would just invite invasion by Hitler. The French, on the other hand, would welcome more nations in the fight against Germany.

British Military: General Freyberg arrives in Cairo, with his troops still en route from Australia and New Zealand.

US Military: The Army and Navy conclude joint amphibious exercises in California.

Poland: Hermann Goering as Germany's Economic Czar confiscates former Polish state property.

British Homefront: The British Board of Film Censors adds newsreels to its domain. Previously, newsreels were exempt because they were constructed under tight time pressure twice weekly. Now, they must be submitted to the Ministry of Information in advance. A liaison officer is appointed to convey guidelines to newsreel producers, and an appointed editor must review all submissions. This is censorship, but, well, there's a war on.

China: The 31st Army Group of Chinese 5th War Area attacks the Japanese around Chiangchiaho, Pichiashan, Kusaoling, Chihshanai, and Yinchiatien. The Japanese 22nd Infantry Division is attacking the Chinese 3rd War Area and captures Hsiao-shan.

22 January 1940 SF Chronicle
That three British warships are lying in wait off the Port of San Francisco is big new.
American Homefront: The British Navy has three warships outside San Francisco Bay trying to round up the men of the scuttled liner Columbus, who were trying to get back to Germany by any route possible. Some already had made it to Japan, where the Asama Maru incident of 21 January had occurred.

22 January 1940 SF Chronicle

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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