Thursday, May 12, 2016

January 26, 1940: Millionaire Bunker Destroyed

Friday 26 January 1940

26 January 1940 Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII before the microphone in his study at Vatican City in Rome, 1940.
Winter War: Marshal Voroshilov, who has been directing the war from the Kremlin, is on his way to the Finnish front on 26 January 1940. It does not take a military genius for anyone in possession of this fact to figure out that something big is about to take place.

Winter War Army Operations: At Taipale, Finnish 7th Division calculates that it has suffered 816 men killed and 2020 men wounded since the beginning of the war. While huge for Finland, those figures are no doubt dwarfed by those of Soviet forces opposing it.

Group Talvela of Finnish 9th Division consolidates in Kuhmo and prepares to launch an assault on the Soviet 54th Infantry Division.

At Lahde, the two 152-mm guns (Lieutenant Grachev) of the 4th Battery, 402nd Howitzer Artillery Regiment, 24th Corps. Artillery Regiment fire opposite the Millionaire bunker opens up at 12:00, along with other artillery. A Finnish observation tower on the bunker (one of three) is blown up almost at once, and the central section is hit seconds later. Several rounds penetrate the bunker and explode inside. The bunker is a total write-off within minutes. The Soviet artillerymen, possessing a deep understanding of the Soviet system, immediately ask their superiors to sign a document attesting to their part in the destruction of the bunker.

At Summa, the daily 7,000 round artillery bombardment continues.

Battle of the Atlantic: HMS Durham Castle, an 8,240-ton special service vessel, hits a mine laid by U-57 and sinks on 21 January 11 miles northeast of Cromarty in the North Sea. A former passenger ship owned by Union-Castle Mail SS Co. before being requisitioned by the Admiralty, Durham Castle was being towed to Scapa Flow to serve as a store ship and floating barracks.

Convoy OG 16F forms at Gibraltar.

German/Vatican Relations: The German ambassador protests against the recent Vatican broadcasts about German atrocities in Poland.

French Homefront: "Radio Traitor" Paul Ferdonnet, broadcasting propaganda in French from Stuttgart, is tried in absentia by a military tribunal.

British Homefront: The government reports that the massive evacuation of London at the beginning of the war largely has reversed itself. Half of the 734,883 children evacuated, some 316,192, have returned to their homes in London as of 8 January 1940. It is not just the absence of air raids that caused them to return, but a growing feeling that the entire war with Germany has been completely avoided.

US/Japanese Relations: The US allows the US-Japanese Treaty of Navigation and Commerce to lapse due to the continuing Japanese invasion of China.

US Military: US Seabees begin building an airfield at Palmyra Island in the Line Islands (south of Hawaii).

Australia: Brisbane is suffering from an intense heatwave, with temperatures extending above 110 degrees Fahrenheit in many places in the state.

Holocaust: Hans Frank decrees that Jews in occupied Poland are no longer allowed to travel on trains. Limitations also are placed on Jewish worship.

China: The Chinese 3rd War Area attacks the Japanese 22nd Infantry Division west of Shaohsing.

26 January 1940 BEF Royal Nortolk Regiment
The Royal Norfolk Regiment of the BEF man a trench in France. Hand grenades are being handed out to the soldiers behind them. 26 January 1940.

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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