Wednesday, May 18, 2016

March 14, 1940: Evacuating Karelia

Thursday 14 March 1940

14 March 1940 Viipuri Castle
Viipuri Castle burning.
Winter War: With the Winter War over, the terms must be implemented beginning on 14 March 1940. The Finnish government begins evacuating 470,000 citizens from areas being ceded to the USSR in Karelia. Many evacuees burn their homes, villages and other property.

The Finns also evacuate Viipuri. Viipuri Castle is burning.

The Finnish negotiators return to Helsinki with the signed Moscow Peace Treaty. The Finnish Parliament begins debating ratification.

Lord Halifax requests return of British war matériel from the Finns. Finnish ambassador to the Court of St. James G.A. Gripenberg refuses, stating that Finland properly bought it.

UK General Pownall notes the cynical nature of the "aid" being offered to the Finns: "Of 4 or 5 division that were to be sent, not 1 was meant for Finland- maybe a brigade or 2. A most dishonest business"

Finnish sniper Simo Hayha awakens from a coma after being shot and learns that the war is over.

The Soviet rank and file are frustrated and angry at the war and its outcome. They are in no mood to celebrate. One Soviet soldier, Lt. Viktor Iskrov: "Finns walked out of their trenches with vodka bottles, shouting: 'Russkies, come drink with us!' But we just sat in our trench."

The New York Times contributes to the vitriol being launched at the Allied powers for the Finnish capitulation: "Once again a small nation relied on the help of the Western powers and paid dearly for her trust."

Battle of the Atlantic: Convoy SL 24 departs from Freetown.

European Air Operations: Three Heinkel 111s attack three fishing trawlers in the North Sea but fail to sink them.

German Homefront: Economic Czar Hermann Goering decrees that all items made of copper, bronze, nickel, and other useful metals be surrendered to the war effort. The pretext is to donate them as a gift to Hitler for his 51st birthday.

Polish Government-in-exile: The Poles publish a white paper that appears designed to cause dissension within the Axis. Among other tidbits, it reveals a 1935 discussion by Hermann Goering with Polish leader (at the time) Marshal Pilsudski in which Goering suggested a joint invasion of Ukraine. The Poles further claim they emphatically rejected the idea.

Australia: Prime Minister Menzies forms a new coalition cabinet.

Canada: The government establishes an "Inventions Board" to process "secret weapons" suggestions from the public.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong offers to contribute £100,000 to London for the construction of two minesweepers and four harbor defense boats.

China: In the continuing Battle of South Kwangsi, the Japanese 22nd Army counterattacks against the Chinese advancing on Nanning from the Yangshuo area.

German Homefront: No economy is too petty to be considered. The government urges the country's tea drinkers to save their used tea for recycling into artificial coffee.

American Homefront: Paramount releases "Road to Singapore," the first Bob Hope/Bing Crosby/Dorothy Lamour "Road" film.

14 March 1940 Finnish flag Soviet soldiers
Soviet soldiers examining a captured Finnish flag.

March 1940

March 1, 1940: Soviet Breakthroughs Past Viipuri
March 2, 1940: Soviets Swarm West in Finland
March 3, 1940: Soviets Across Gulf of Viipuri
March 4, 1940: USSR Apologizes to Sweden
March 5, 1940: Katyn Forest Massacre Approved
March 6, 1940: Finns Head to Moscow
March 7, 1940: The Coal Ships Affair
March 8, 1940: Peace Talks Begin in Moscow
March 9, 1940: Soviets Harden Peace Terms
March 10, 1940: Germany Draws Closer to Italy
March 11, 1940: Winter War Peace Terms Finalized
March 12, 1940: War is Over (If You Want It)
March 13, 1940: Winter War Ends
March 14, 1940: Evacuating Karelia
March 15, 1940: The Bletchley Bombe
March 16, 1940: First British Civilian Killed
March 17, 1940: Enter Dr. Todt
March 18, 1940: Mussolini To Join the War
March 19, 1940: Daladier Resigns
March 20, 1940: Soviets Occupy Hango Naval Base
March 21, 1940: Paul Reynaud Leads France
March 22, 1940: Night Fighters Arise!
March 24, 1940: French Consider Alternatives
March 25, 1940: Reynaud Proposes Action
March 26, 1940: C-46 First Flight
March 27, 1940: Himmler Authorizes Auschwitz Construction
March 28, 1940: Allies Ponder Invading Norway
March 29, 1940: Soviets Prefer Neutrality
March 30, 1940: Allied Uncertainty
March 31, 1940: The Tiger Cage


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