Friday, May 13, 2016

February 13, 1940: Soviets Inching Forward in Finland

Tuesday 13 February 1940

13 February 1940 Finnish ski trooper
Finnish ski trooper.
Winter War: The Finnish Foreign Minister on 13 February 1940 travels to Stockholm for meetings with the Swedish government about support in the Winter War.

Winter War Army Operations: In the Merkki sector, the two sides are battling over the Finnish trenches, possession of which swings back and forth. The Soviets were sending chemical tanks and BHM flame-thrower tanks against the Finns in the trenches. The Finns knocked out several Soviet tanks and held the trenches throughout the day.

At Lahde, the Soviets continue fighting off Finnish counterattacks. While giving up ground grudgingly, the Soviets have enough firepower to slowly hack away at the Finnish strong points, none of which can be recovered by the Finns for good once they are taken.

The Kirvesmaki stronghold on the Taipale River continues changing hands, as both sides realize it is the key to the defense.

Battle of the Atlantic: British cruiser HMS Dorsetshire intercepts the German blockade runner Wakama near Rio de Janeiro. The Wakama's crew scuttles it. The Brazilian government protests against British operations off its coast.

U-54 (K.Kapt. Günter Kutschmann) sinks in a British minefield approximately this date. The reason for her disappearance remains officially unknown, but part of one of her torpedoes was recovered by a German patrol boat on 14 March 1940. The minefield had been laid by the Royal Navy destroyers HMS Ivanhoe and Intrepid in early January 1940.

U-25 (Kapitän zur See Viktor Schütze) sinks Norwegian freighter SS Chastine Mærsk with its deck gun at dawn after not sinking it with two defective torpedoes the previous evening. The U-boat chased the ship on the surface all night long. All 30 crew survive.

U-53 (K.Kapt. Harald Grosse) sinks Swedish freighter SS Norna west of Ireland. 18 lives are lost.

The German freighter Wolfsburg also is scuttled by its crew off the coast of Brazil.

British freighter British Triumph is sunk by a mine.

US freighter Exford is released from detention at Gibraltar.

Convoy OA 91 departs from Southend, Convoy OB 90 departs from Liverpool, and Convoy OB 91 departs from Liverpool.

Palestine: The Second Australian Imperial Force, part of General Freyberg's command, arrives in Palestine.

British Government: A Labour Party bill to nationalize all forms of inland and coastal transport is defeated in the House of Commons. The government does impose strict control over the railway network but allows it to remain in private hands.

13 February 1940 Chastine Maersk
The Chastine Mærsk (Photo courtesy of State Library of New South Wales).

February 1940

February 3, 1940: Soviets Capture a Bunker
February 4, 1940: Peace Talks in Stockholm
February 5, 1940: Allies to Invade Norway
February 6, 1940: Careless Talk Costs Lives
February 7, 1940: IRA Terrorists Executed
February 8, 1940: Spies!
February 9, 1940: The Welles Mission
February 10, 1940: Confiscation of Jewish Goods
February 11, 1940: Soviets Attack Mannerheim Line
February 12, 1940: Breaches In Mannerheim Line
February 13, 1940: Soviets Inching Forward in Finland
February 14, 1940: Soviets Batter Mannerheim Line
February 15, 1940: Finns Retreat
February 16, 1940: Altmark Incident
February 17, 1940: Manstein and Hitler Discuss Fall Gelb
February 18, 1940: Operation Nordmark
February 19, 1940: King Gustav Says No
February 20, 1940: Falkenhorst Commands Weserubung
February 21, 1940: Radar Advances
February 22, 1940: Friendly Fire
February 23, 1940: Soviets Present Their Demands
February 24, 1940: Fall Gelb Revised
February 25, 1940: Mr. Welles Comes to Visit
February 26, 1940: Battle of Honkaniemi
February 27, 1940: Finns Retreat Again
February 28, 1940: Overseas Volunteers Help Finland
February 29, 1940: Finns Accept Soviet Terms In Principle


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