Diary January 31, 1940

Reggiane Re 2000

Diary for Wednesday, January 31, 1940 Secret War Italy: Secret British military mission to Italy orders 300 Caproni Re 2000 fighters. Germany vetoes deal in April. British attempts to obtain fighters via a Portuguese intermediary fail on June 10 (declaration… learn more

Diary January 30, 1940

Sunderland flying boat

Diary for Tuesday, January 30, 1940 Sea War Heinkel He 111 bombers again attack shipping off British coast. German U-boat U-55 attacks convoy off Land’s End, sinking 2 ships; but is then damaged by sloop Fowey and a Sunderland flying… learn more

War Diary January 29, 1940

Russian pilot in front of his Tupolev SB-2 bomber.

Monday, January 29, 1940 Finland Winter War: Battle of Kuhmo begins. Finns encircle Russian 54th Division at Kuhmo, in the ‘Waist’. Heavy Russian air raids on Finnish ports. Politics Russia – Note to Sweden: USSR willing to negotiate peace agreement… learn more

War Diary January 28, 1940

Deep snow Western Front winter 1939-40

Sunday, January 28, 1940 Home Fronts Britain: Director of Censorship permits newspapers belatedly to reveal details of Britain’s (MAIN EVENT) coldest winter since 1894: River Thames and Southampton Docks frozen; 18°C (33°F) of frost at Buxton (Derbys.). learn more

War Diary January 27, 1940

Churchill speech about production of armaments

Saturday, January 27, 1940 Home Fronts Britain: Winston Churchill (uneasy at slow increase in war production) speaks at Free Trade Hall, Manchester: ‘each to our station. . . there is not a week, nor a day, nor an hour to… learn more

War Diary January 26, 1940

Colonel de Gaulle with President Lebrun

Friday, January 26, 1940 Home Fronts France: Paul Ferdonnet, the ‘Radio Traitor’ – notorious for his pro-Nazi broadcasts in French language from Stuttgart – is tried in absentia by a military tribunal (sentenced to death March 7, 1940). Politics US-Japanese… learn more

War Diary January 25, 1940

Hans Frank

Thursday, January 25, 1940 Occupied countries Poland – ‘Goring-Frank Circular’: all material resources and manpower to be ruthlessly exploited for the immediate benefit of the Reich (copies of this top-secret document quickly obtained by Polish government in Paris and widely… learn more

War Diary January 24, 1940

Finnish sniper in the Karelian forest

Wednesday, January 24, 1940 Finland Winter War: Fierce fighting northeast of Lake Ladoga. Finns repel all attacks. learn more

War Diary January 23, 1940

Berlin traffic policeman during blackout

Tuesday, January 23, 1940 Home Fronts Britain: Large number of road accidents in the ‘black-out’ necessitates reduction in speed limit from 30 to 20 mph. learn more

War Diary January 22, 1940

Poster themes of the first winter of the war

Monday, January 22, 1940 Finland Winter War: Finnish authorities announce the formation of a Foreign Legion, including British volunteers. learn more

War Diary January 21, 1940

Finnish aircrewman in Winter War

Sunday, January 21, 1904 Air War Finland: Finnish Blenheim bombers raid Kronstadt naval base, near Leningrad (today St Petersburg). Russians bomb Oulu, northwest Finland. Sea War North Sea: RN destroyer Exmouth sunk with all hands by U-22. Pacific – Asam… learn more

War Diary January 20, 1940

Churchill as First Sea Lord

Saturday, January 20, 1940 Politics Britain: Churchill broadcasts appeal to neutral States to join Britain and France in resisting Nazi aggression. He compares their timid conduct with the crocodile’s victims – each hoping to be eaten last. Dutch Foreign Minister… learn more

War Diary January 19, 1940

captured Russian flamethrower tank OT-130

Friday, January 19, 1940 Finland Winter War: Heavy fighting continues on three fronts. 45°C (81°F) of frost recorded. Sea War Destroyer HMS Grenville mined and sunk off Thames Estuary. Neutrals USA: Death of Senator Borah, influential ‘Isolationist’ (aged 74). learn more

War Diary January 18, 1940

Assembly hall of a German tank factory.

Thursday, January 18, 1940 Home Fronts Britain: Five workmen killed in series of explosions at Waltham Abbey explosives factory. learn more

War Diary January 17, 1940

German Enigma

Wednesday, January 17, 1940 Secret War Polish cryptographers in France break Luftwaffe Enigma key of October 28, 1939. Regular decoding now possible. Finland Winter War: Finns recapture Kursu, southwest of Salla. learn more

War Diary January 16, 1940

theatrical show staged by the garrison of one of the French Maginot Line fortress

Tuesday, January 16, 1940 Home Front France: 66 Communist members ejected from Chamber of Deputies. learn more

War Diary January 15, 1940

203-mm Howitzer Model 1931

War Diary WW2 for Monday, January 15, 1940: Finland Winter War: Russian heavy artillery commences 17-day preparatory bombardment of Summa sector of Mannerheim Line. Home Fronts France: Meat rationing introduced (three ‘meatless’ days per week). Neutrals Japan: Government of General… learn more

War Diary January 14, 1940

Russian medium bomber Tupolev SB-3

War Diary WW2 for Sunday, January 14, 1940: Neutrals Norway and Sweden: Russian aircraft drop bombs near Lulea, Sweden and violate Norwegian airspace; diplomatic protests in Moscow. learn more

War Diary January 13, 1940

exercise of German troops in the Eife

War Diary WW2 for Saturday, January 13, 1940: Politics Franco-Spanish Trade Agreement: Spain to receive French wheat, fertilizers and manufactured goods in exchange for iron, ore and other minerals. Neutrals Norway: Increased defence expenditure produces highest government budget in Norwegian… learn more

War Diary January 12, 1940

General T.F. Shtykov inspects the weapons of his troops on the Leningrad Front

War Diary WW2 for Friday, January 12, 1940: Finland Winter War: Battle of the Taipale. Major Russian effort to break through left flank of Mannerheim Line, by crossing ice-bound river Taipale, is defeated by hand-to-hand fighting (ends January 23). learn more