Thursday, May 19, 2016

March 23, 1940: Rockets at Peenemünde

Saturday 23 March 1940

23 March 1940 A-4 combustion chamber
The A-4 rocket combustion chamber.
Battle of the Atlantic: At 11:30 on 23 March 1940, Royal Navy submarine HMS Truant (it may have been HMS Trident) sinks German freighter Edmund Hugo Stinnes IV six miles from the west coast of Denmark. After the sub fires warning shots, the freighter actually heads for shore to scuttle, but the submarine finishes it off with two torpedoes.

German ship Schiff 16 aka "Atlantis," anchored at Süderpiep Bay, Norway and readying for its Atlantic sortie, adopts a disguise as Norwegian freighter Knute Nelson.

Convoy OA-0115G departs from Southend, Convoy-OB 115 departs from Liverpool.

Royal Navy: The Admiralty forms a special Malaya Force to keep track of 17 German merchant ships anchored in Dutch East Indies ports.

Destroyer Atherstone (Commander Hugh W. S. Browning) is commissioned.

Applied Science: At Peenemünde Research Center, Wernher von Braun test-fires the engine of the A-4 rocket he is designing.

French Government: Prime Minister Paul Reynaud holds a meeting of his inner war council, with briefings from Admiral Darlan, General Gamelin, and others. Edouard Daladier, now Minister of War, rejects Major de Gaulle's idea of separate tank divisions such as the Wehrmacht has developed.

German/Romanian Relations: A German mission led by Dr. Karl Clodius visits Bucharest to negotiate more trade deals.

Italian/Hungarian Relations: The Premier of Hungary, Count Teleki, visits Rome. He meets with Foreign Minister Ciano, and both find common ground: they dislike the Third Reich regime in Germany.

Terrorism: A dozen IRA convicts imprisoned in HM Prison Dartmoor riot and take two warders as hostages. They start a fire that is put out after 90 minutes.

India: The All-India Muslim League adopts the Lahore Resolution.

Italy: The Fascists celebrate the 21st anniversary of the founding of their party.

Japan: Japan's Foreign Minister states that his country does not intend to take sides in the European war, though he expects it to last for a long time.

China: The Japanese 26th Infantry Division continues attacking the Chinese 8th War Area at Ta-Tsai-chu 10 km (6.2 miles) from Wuyuan, without making gains.

In the Battle of South Kwangsi, the Chinese 40th Army continues attacking the Japanese 22nd Army at Lingshan.

German Homefront: Owners of private automobiles are required to donate their car batteries to the war effort. There isn't sufficient petrol to run them anyway.

Bronze church bells are requisitioned, to be melted down into armaments, a sort of reversal of the usual Biblical admonition.

American Homefront: "Truth or Consequences" premieres on NBC Radio.

23 March 1940 Peenemünde Research Center
Peenemünde Research Center was located on the Baltic island of Usedom. It became the Germans' secret test range for Heer and Luftwaffe Wunder Waffen (wonder weapons) such as rockets. Wernher von Braun's mother suggested it based on memories of her father hunting ducks there.

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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