Monday, May 9, 2016

January 5, 1940: Dicing Up the Soviets

Friday 5 January 1940

5 January 1940 Grand Mufti Hitler
The Grand Mufti with Adolf Hitler.
Winter War: More volunteers continue flooding into Finland on 5 January 1940. The first contingent from Sweden arrives.

Winter War Army Operations: The Finns encircle the Soviet 18th Division.

Captain Lassila's battalion holds its roadblock against rabid Soviet attempts to break through and takes 96 casualties among its 1000-man force.

The Finns (Task Force Fagernas) blow up the Purasjoki River bridge five miles from the border at 22:00. This further isolates the Soviet troops further west. Task Force Fagernas thus prevents a relief force of the NKVD 3rd Regiment from reaching the bulk of the 44th Rifle Division on the Ratte road.

In the evening, the Finns destroy the HQ of the 25th Rifle Regiment, which had been leading the way west. They also attack the HQ of the 146th Rifle Regiment, which has been a source of strength in the middle of the column and wipe it out. The commander sends a last radio message, "God help us, we are dying here." Many of the Soviet men escape through the woods but have nowhere to go.

Winter War Naval Operations: Soviet cruiser Kiroff is damaged by Finnish coastal batteries (near misses) and is towed back to the Soviet naval base at Liepāja.

Soviet submarine SC-311 sinks Swedish freighter Fenris.

Convoy OA 67 departs from Southend, Convoy OB 67 departs from Liverpool, Convoy HG 14F departs from Gibraltar, Convoy SL 16F departs from Freetown.

Battle of the Atlantic: German tanker Nordmeer completes a journey from the Dutch West Indies to Vigo, Spain.

Western Front: The first Indian troops start manning the BEF front lines.

There is German artillery shelling along an extended 125-mile section of the front.

British Government: Leslie Hore-Belisha, Secretary of State for War, falls victim to a political purge and resigns. The rap against him is that he is a "warmonger" who cannot get along with the Generals such as Lord Gort, the leader of the BEF. He also feels that the troops should be treated better. There is some opinion that the fact that he is Jewish and thus has an unusual stake in prosecuting the war has led to much of the opposition to him. He is replaced by Oliver Stanley. Lord Macmillan, Minister of Information. Sir John Reith replaces Lord Macmillan. Sir Andrew Duncan joins the Board of Trade.

Soviet/Scandinavian Relations: The Soviet government accuses Norway and Sweden of not being neutral in the Winter War.

Soviet/Bulgarian Relations: The two nations conclude a trade treaty.

Palestine: Grand Mufti Mohammad Amin Al-Husayni, who is an admirer of the Germans, closes Palestine to anyone with a German passport. This affects primarily Jewish refugees.

United States Military: Colonel Eisenhower arrives in San Francisco from the Philippines aboard the liner President Cleveland. He is ordered to report for staff duty at 4th Army HQ.

New Zealand: Bernard Freyberg receives his appointment to command the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force. The first liner carrying them, the Straithard, sets sail

China: The Chinese Winter Offensive heats up again:
  • 2nd War Area in fierce battles around Yenchang, Hsia Hsien, Wenhsi, and Anyi, and it captures Hsiushan, Tashan, and Nanchia;
  • Chinese 4th War Area captures Chingtang and Yingteh;
  • Chinese 5th War Area battles around Wangchiatien and the 31st Army Group launches attacks around Hsuchiatien, Hsintien, Yuchiatien, Huashan, Tamiaofan, and Pingchingkuan;
The Japanese counter-attack the Southern Honan Army of the Chinese 5th War Area near Pingchangkuan. In the Battle of South Kwangsi, there is a temporary lull as the Chinese consolidate recent gains.

5 January 1940 Straithard Wellington
New Zealand expeditionary forces set sail.

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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