Monday, May 16, 2016

March 6, 1940: Finns Head to Moscow

Wednesday 6 March 1940

6 March 1940 Fokker DXXI Eino Luukkanen
Finnish pilot Eino Luukkanen in front of his Fokker DXXI.
Winter War: The Finns waste no time on 6 March 1940 and compose a peace delegation to send to Moscow. It is led by Prime Minister Risto Ryti, and the delegation (including also J.K.J.K. Paasikivi, Rudolf Walden & Väinö Voionmaa) leaves for Moscow via Stockholm in the evening.

There is still no cease-fire. Molotov somewhat characteristically says, "Why stop the juggernaut now it is rolling?" Foreign Minister Väinö Tanner hedges his bets by asking Great Britain and France for an extension of the deadline for requesting military assistance. They give Finland until March 12, 1940, to make a formal request.

Winter War Army Operations: The Soviets slightly expand their bridgehead on the western shore of the Gulf of Viipuri. Finnish pilot Eino Luukkanen observes as he strafes 800 shells into them:
A column of men & horse is crossing the ice - a long black snake.
He is surprised that they are not even wearing any camouflage. The remaining Finnish coastal batteries use their last shells to break the ice under the advancing men.

The Soviet 168th Rifle Division, which has been encircled north of Lake Ladoga, is relieved by the newly formed Soviet 15th Army.

Battle of the Atlantic: The British seize the cargo of Italian ships carrying German coal.

The German crew of the 3,425-ton freighter Uruguay scuttles the ship rather than be captured by British heavy cruiser HMS Berwick (Captain Irving M. Palmer) off Iceland.

The Cunard White Star Liner Queen Elizabeth successfully completes the first leg of its transatlantic crossing, reaching Nova Scotia, and will continue on to New York.

The French launch battleship Jean Bart.

European Air Operations: The Luftwaffe attacks a lightship off the Norfolk coast and also a tanker, the Shelbrit II, off the northeast coast of Scotland.

Franco/Italian Relations: The French and Italians conclude an expanded trade agreement.

German/Romanian Relations: The two nations conclude a trade agreement in which Germany provides the Romanians with captured Polish weapons in exchange for (more) oil.

Dutch Military: A Dutch armored tug, BV3, enters Den Helder Naval Base just when Dutch submarine O11 is leaving the area. The two collide, and the submarine sinks. Three men perish. A film cameraman is aboard the submarine, and his footage appears in newsreel footage around the world.

Palestine: British members of Parliament protest the Land Transfers Regulations which have sparked protests, but the House defeats a motion of censure that they bring.

International Red Cross: The IRC is one of the very few reasonably impartial observers of the conflict. They report that fewer than 300 Germans, 300 French & 150 British prisoners of war have been taken in the 6 months of the war.

British Homefront: Farmers are encouraged to kill house sparrows because they eat seeling crops.

American Homefront: Robin, Batman's boy wonder, makes his first appearance in Detective Comics #38 (the cover date is April).

Willis Stargell is born in Earlsboro, Oklahoma. As Willie Stargell, he becomes famous in the 1970s as the cleanup hitter for the World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

6 March 1940 HMS Berwick
HMS Berwick, August 1942.

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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