Diary February 29, 1940

BT-5 tank column

Diary for Thursday, February 29, 1940: Finland Winter War: Battle of Viipuri begins. Russians make all-out effort to crush resistance in Karelian Isthmus by encircling city of Viipuri and reaching Viipuri-Helsinki highway (ends March 13). Home Fronts France: Paul Reynaud,… learn more

Diary February 27, 1940

Drill in bunker of Siegfried Line

Diary for Tuesday, February 27, 1940: Finland Winter War: Finns begin to withdraw to rear positions of Mannerheim Line. learn more

Diary February 26, 1940

captured Russian tractor STZ Komsomolet

Diary for Monday, February 26, 1940: Finland Winter War: Finns announce evacuation of Koivisto coastal fortress, on right flank of Mannerheim Line. Sea War Atlantic: Liner Queen Elizabeth (83,700 tons) leaves Clydebank with skeleton crew on secret maiden voyage to… learn more

Diary February 25, 1940

Airspeed Oxford

Diary for Sunday, February 25, 1940: Air War First squadron of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) reaches Britain. learn more

Diary February 24, 1940

Map Manstein plan

Diary for Saturday, February 24, 1940: Western Front MANSTEIN PLAN ADOPTED by German Army High Command. Hitler accepts proposal by General von Manstein – backed by Generals von Rundstedt and Guderian – for drastic revision of Fall Gelb (limited offensive… learn more

Diary February 23, 1940

HMS Ajax

Diary for Friday, February 23, 1940: Home Fronts Britain: 700 officers and men of cruisers Ajax and Exeter march through cheering crowds to London’s Guildhall to celebrate River Plate Battle victory. Air War RAF leaflet recce raid on Prague (night… learn more

Diary February 22, 1940

Dalai Lama

Diary for Thursday, February 22, 1940: Neutrals Tibet: six-year-old Dalai Lama, Jampel Ngawang Lobsang Yishey Tenzing Gyatso (‘Tender Glory, Mighty in Speech, Excellent Intellect, Absolute Wisdom, Holding to the Doctrine, and Ocean­Wide’) enthroned at Lhasa. Finland Winter War: 34th Moscow… learn more

Diary February 21, 1940

first cavity magnetron for short-wave radar

Diary for Wednesday, February 21, 1940: Secret War Britain: First successful test of cavity magnetron at Birmingham University gives Britain unbeatable lead in development of short-wave radar. Finland Winter War: Blizzards hamper Russian offensive in Karelian Isthmus. Home Fronts Britain:… learn more

Diary February 20, 1940

AA-MG Tempelhof, Berlin

Diary for Tuesday, February 20, 1940: Finland Winter War: Finns repulse heavy attacks across frozen river Taipale. learn more

Diary February 19, 1940

Post stamp King Gustav

Diary for Monday, February 19, 1940: Politics Sweden: King Gustav re-affirms his determination to remain neutral in Russo-Finnish conflict: ‘from the first hour I informed Finland that she unfortunately could not count on military intervention from Sweden.’ learn more

Diary February 18, 1940

column of Chinese soldiers

Diary for Sunday, February 18, 1940: China Sino-Japanese war – Battle of Nanning: Japanese forced to withdraw from city after heavy fighting. Sea War Atlantic – Operation Nordmark: Battlecruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst with heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper make unsuccessful sortie… learn more

Diary February 17, 1940

Sumner Welles in front of the Chancellery in Berlin

Diary for Saturday, February 17, 1940: Politics US President Roosevelt sends Sumner Welles, Under-Secretary of State, on ‘fact-finding’ tour of Europe and appoints Myron C. Taylor as his ‘personnal representative’ to the Vatican. Neutrals USA: United States Lines sells liner… learn more

Diary February 16, 1940

Altmark in Joessing Fjord

Diary for Friday, February 16, 1940: Sea War Atlantic: RESCUE FROM THE ALTMARK. Boarding party from destroyer HMS Cossack rescue 299 British merchant navy personnel from German supply ship Altmark (formerly attached to Admiral Graf Spee) in Joessing Fjord, Southwest… learn more

Diary February 15, 1940

Nazi poster at the beginning of the war

Diary for Thursday, February 15, 1940: Finland Winter War: Finnish forces withdraw to second line of defences in Mannerheim Line (operation completed February 17). learn more

Diary February 14, 1940

Model for air-raid shelter

Diary for Wednesday, February 14, 1940: Politics Finnish Note (circularize to many foreign governments) accuses Russia of adopting ‘illegal’ methods of warfare, inc. indiscriminate bombing of unprotected towns, hospitals and railway trains and abuse of the white flag (some Russian… learn more

Diary February 13, 1940

HMS Dorsetshire

Diary for Tuesday, February 13, 1940: Sea War Atlantic: British cruiser HMS Dorsetshire intercepts German blockade-runner Wakama (scuttled) near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil makes vigorous protest. learn more

Diary February 12, 1940

Australian infantry is exercising

Diary for Monday, February 12, 1940: North Africa Australian Imperial Force and detachment of NZ troops arrive at Suez. Sea War Atlantic: U-boat U-33 sunk in the Clyde by minesweeper HMS Gleaner; naval Enigma cipher machine rotors recovered. Finland Winter… learn more

Diary February 11, 1940

T-100 'Sotka' heavy tank

Diary for Sunday, February 11, 1940: Finland Winter War: Russians break through Mannerheim Line in Summa sector. 123rd Division overwhelms defending Finnish battalion. Finns launch desperate counter-attacks. Politics Russian-German Trade Agreement. Russia to receive latest in machinery and military equipment… learn more

Diary February 10, 1940

Renault chenillette d'Infanterie Type UE

Diary for Saturday, February 10, 1940: Western Front French communique reads: Rien a signaler (‘Nothing to report’). Sea War Atlantic: Six German merchant ships leave Vigo, Spain to run the blockade. Allied warships intercept four; one runs aground off North… learn more

Diary February 9, 1940

minelayer at work

Diary for Friday, February 9, 1940: Sea War North Sea: German destroyers lay mines in ‘The Wash‘, on British East coast (night February 9-10). Finland Winter War: Finns hold Russian attacks in Summa sector. Neutrals Turkey: 80 Germans technical advisers… learn more