Monday, May 9, 2016

January 7, 1940: Shakeup in Soviet High Command

Sunday 7 January 1940

7 January 1940 Soviet tanks
Abandoned Soviet tanks captured by the Finns.
Winter War: Finland now claims, on 7 January 1940, to have killed 50,000 Soviet troops since the start of the war.

Winter War Army Operations: The Soviet 44th Rifle Division on the Ratte road collapses. The western end of the column disintegrates, with the Soviet survivors fleeing aimlessly into the frozen woods which are hip-deep in the snow. At the destroyed Purasjoki Bridge crossing, the Finnish 9th Division maintains its roadblock. Facing eastward, other Finnish troops at Ratte on the border block any Soviet attempt at relief.

There are still scattered pockets of armed Soviet survivors back on the Ratte road, including unattended wounded.

The survivors are not greeted warmly on the Soviet side of the border. The 305th Rifle Regiment (Captain Chervyakov), the only relatively intact Soviet formation to make it back, is immediately ordered to man the border against the nearby Finns. Many the men no longer have rifles, and some 40% have no gloves or mittens.

There is no food at the border for the troops of the 44th Rifle Division that escaped. They had abandoned their own field kitchens and supplies to the Finns. The Soviets behind the lines do not believe in helping losers.

Battle of the Atlantic: The City Of Flint, now flying under the Finnish flag, departs from Narvik for Baltimore under its original captain, Joseph A. Gainard. He is awarded the Navy Cross for his actions during the ordeal.

Royal Navy submarine HMS Seahorse is sunk by Kriegsmarine minesweepers in the Heligoland Bight. This is in addition to the minesweepers' sinking of the HMS Undine the previous day.

British vessels 2888-ton Towneley and 5160-ton Cedrington Court hit mines and sink.

German freighter Konsul Horn, interned in Aruba, escapes. It disguises itself as a Soviet merchant freighter to evade US neutrality patrols.

The British at Gibraltar release the US passenger liner Manhattan.

Convoy 68 GF departs Southend, Convoy OB 68 departs Liverpool.

Western Front: There is artillery fire east of the Blies River (a tributary of the Saar).

Soviet Military: There is a major command shake-up. Marshal Voroshilov takes personal command of the Soviet armies in Finland, while General Semyon Konstantinovich Timoshenko takes over the 7th and 13th Armies in the Karelian Isthmus. This command is now named the Northwestern Front.

Finnish Homefront: The Finns have evacuated non-essential civilians from the major cities. there are 400,000 who have left home for safer towns.

British Homefront: First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill visits the BEF in France.

China: Chinese 5th War Area (31st Army Group) captures Huashan.

7 January 1940  Tartantini Italian submarine
Italian submarine Tartantini, launched on 7 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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