Friday, May 13, 2016

February 9, 1940: The Welles Mission

Friday 9 February 1940

9 February 1940 Berwich Heinkel
A Heinkel He 111H-3 brought down by S/Ldr A. D. Farquhar in a Spitfire of No.602 Squadron on 9 February 1940 at Rhodes Farm, North Berwick Law, East Lothian, Scotland.
Winter War: In the Kremlin on 9 February 1940, the top Soviet leaderships give final approval to a full-scale offensive on the Karelian Isthmus to begin 11 February.

Winter War Army Operations: Soviet troops take a bunker near the village of Karhula, north of Marjapellonmäki (Hill 38) and hold it against fierce Finnish counterattacks.

Near Kuhmo, the Finnish 9th Division surrounds the Soviet 203rd Regiment, creating a "regimental motti."

Battle of the Atlantic: German destroyers Z3, Z4 and Z16 lay 110 mines in "The Shipwash" or "Wash." This is a busy sea lane in the North Sea east of Harwich, England. They do this during the night of 9/10 February.

The Luftwaffe sinks British freighters Fort Royal and Robert Brown off of Aberdeen, Scotland.

British 1500 ton freighter Chagres, carrying bananas, sinks ten miles from its destination at Liverpool after it hits a mine which had been laid by U-30 on 6 January 1940. Two lives are lost, 62 are picked up by HMS Loch Monteith.

The British freighter Agnes Ellen also sinks from unknown causes, likely by striking a mine.

The Dutch steamer Burgerdijk, carrying grain from the U.S. to Rotterdam, and the Norwegian steamer Silja, carrying salt from Gibraltar to Bergen, Norway, are both sunk by unknown U-boats today. All aboard the Silja perish.

British ships HMS Salve and HMS Servitor engage in minesweeping using the new technology which involves dragging long electrical cables to explode magnetic mines.

US freighter Scottsburg is released from British detention at Gibraltar.

Convoy OB 88 departs from Liverpool and HG 18 departs from Gibraltar.

European Air Operations: Luftwaffe attacks, especially on British shipping, are increasing. A Heinkel He 111 is shot down at North Berwick near the Firth of Forth, and there are other raids as far north as Peterhead.

Western Front: There are patrol clashes and artillery duels in the area between the Moselle and the Saar.

German Military: General von Manstein takes up his position as commander of German 33rd Corps. Hitler has heard about Manstein's innovative ideas regarding Fall Gelb and makes a point of meeting with him and discussing those ideas during a formal event accompanying the appointment.

US Government: President Roosevelt sends Sumner Welles, US Under-Secretary of State, to collect information about conditions in Europe. If possible, he is to work toward peace. The Welles Mission causes some consternation wherever he goes. Hitler, for instance, worries that Welles actually is intent on peeling Italy away from the Axis.

Separately, President Roosevelt addresses the American Youth Congress. The 4,400 AYC demonstrators oppose any war in Europe. Roosevelt tells them the US will support Finland in its fight against the Soviet Union.

British Government: First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill broadcasts a speech warning Bulgaria not to join the Axis (the Tripartite Pact of Germany, Japan, and Italy).

Turkey: The government dismisses 80 German technical advisors engaged in work in a munitions factory, a naval dockyard and in coalfields.

Ireland: A bill to allow detention of suspected IRA terrorists without trial becomes law.

Holocaust: Jews in Stettin and elsewhere are deported to the new Jewish Ghettos in Lublin. It is not much better in the Polish areas taken by the Soviet Union, as many Jews are deported to Siberia.

China: The Battle of South Kwangsi continues, with new Japanese 22nd Army headquarters established under General Seiichi Kuno to control forces around Nanning. He immediately orders 22nd Army forces around Pinyang and nearby locations to begin withdrawing south to Nanning. These formations are threatened by recent Chinese advances from the east.

American Homefront: "Pinocchio," Walt Disney's animated follow-up to "Snow White," opens to great reviews and good box office. Some audience members, though, are put off by some adult behavior by some of the boys portrayed in the film.

9 February 1940
The North Berwick Heinkel being taken to an airfield on its own wheels for later reconstruction.

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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