Sunday 26 November 1939
|The Mainila damage.|
False-Flag Operations: Out of a clear sky, seven Soviet mortar shells suddenly fall on the Russian village Mainila (north of Leningrad) at 14:30 on 26 November 1939. It is quite close to the border (800 meters), and Finnish observers observe the incident. The Soviets immediately blame the Finns. (Subsequent analysis shows that) no Soviet troops or civilians are injured or killed. The shelling (as subsequently disclosed by Nikita Khrushchev) is organized by Soviet Artillery Marshal Grigory Kulik.
At 21:00, the Soviets summon Finnish ambassador to the Kremlin. He is told "Finnish artillery shelled the area, killing 4 Soviet border guards and wounding 7 more.” They demand that all Finnish troops be withdrawn 20-25 km from the border, which would remove them entirely from the entire Karelian Isthmus north of Leningrad. Their mere presence is a "hostile act." The Finns are quick to deny any involvement and immediately launch an investigation.
The incident is eerily similar to the Gleiwitz incident on 31 August August 1939, part of Operation Himmler to create a casus belli for the invasion of Poland. Mainila just so happens to be a favorite location for Red Army war games. John Colville, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s private secretary, noting the similarity to the German false-flag "provocations" along the Polish border, terms the Mainila incident “a technique which does not gain in dignity for being second-hand.”
Soviet state media immediately goes into overdrive blaming the Finns as aggressors. One thing is certain: anyone who does not see the war clouds forming over the two countries is not looking.
|Investigating some of the damage.|
Western Front: After several quiet days, there are some German patrols in the Vosges forests.
Battle of the Atlantic: The British are still working on the German magnetic mine they captured. The mines continue wreaking havoc on shipping, which is the nation's lifeblood.
Polish liner MS Pilsudski is sunk by a mine in the North Sea. It has been under charter to the Royal Navy.
The Kriegsmarine seizes a neutral Danish steamer, the Cyril, carrying coal from Great Britain to Stockholm. This is the first German seizure of a neutral vessel going to a neutral port.
Admiral Graf Spee, back in the South Atlantic, rendezvouses with the tanker Altmark.
Convoy OA 42 departs from Southend, OB 42 departs from Liverpool, OG 8 forms at Gibraltar, and HX 10 departs from Halifax.
British Homefront: Chamberlain broadcasts a speech to the public on war aims. He discloses that the government now knows the workings of the German magnetic mines.
Future History: Tina Turner is born in Nutbush, Tennessee. She becomes a famous singer in the 1960s as a member of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue and goes on to solo stardom. She eventually moves to Zurich, Switzerland and becomes a citizen there, renouncing her US citizenship perhaps for tax purposes.
|Polish liner Pilsudski in New York harbor, 1938.|
November 1939November 1, 1939: The Jet Flies Again
November 2, 1939: The Soviets Devour Poland
November 3, 1939: Amending the Neutrality Act
November 4, 1939: Roosevelt Signs Neutrality Laws
November 5, 1939: The Spirit of Zossen
November 6, 1939: First Dogfight
November 7, 1939: More Lies About SS Athenia
November 8, 1939: Hitler Almost Killed
November 9, 1939: The Venlo Incident
November 10, 1939: Dutch Panic
November 11, 1939: Poignant Armistice Day
November 12, 1939: Peace Efforts Made and Rejected
November 13, 1939: First Bombing of Great Britain
November 14, 1939: The Dyle Plan
November 15, 1939: Elser Confesses to the Bürgerbräukeller Bombing
November 16, 1939: Martial Law in Prague
November 17, 1939: International Students Day
November 18, 1939: Magnetic Mines
November 19, 1939: Walls Around the Warsaw Ghetto
November 20, 1939: First RN Submarine Victory
November 21, 1939: Salmon & Gluckstein on the Prowl
November 22, 1939: British Recover A Magnetic Mine
November 23, 1939: HMS Rawalpindi Sunk
November 24, 1939: Japanese Enter Nanning
November 25, 1939: The Olympics are a War Casualty
November 26, 1939: Soviets Stage an "Incident" at Mainila
November 27, 1939: German Marriage Becomes Perilous
November 28, 1939: Judenrats in Poland
November 29, 1939: The Soviets Prepare to Invade Finland
November 30, 1939: Winter War Begins