Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 154 February 1, 1940

After weeks of artillery bombardment, Red Army begins the first phase of its renewed attack on the Summa sector of the Karelian Isthmus, where Timoshenko has concentrated most of his forces. This 12 mile stretch of open land, unencumbered by lakes and rivers, leads directly to Viipuri, Finland’s second city. A massive artillery barrage drops 300,000 shells in 24 hours on the Mannerheim Line around Summa. However, only regiment-sized probing forces are sent forward to test the effectiveness of new Soviet tank/infantry close-support tactics. This is only a dress-rehearsal of the expected main assault by the Soviets.

At 1.43 AM, U-13 sinks Swedish steamer SS Fram, at anchor in Aberdour Bay, Scotland, with 1 torpedo (9 lives lost). 14 survivors are picked up by destroyer HMS Khartoum and armed trawler HMS Viking Deeps.

At 8.44 PM, U-59 sinks British coaler MV Ellen M. (1 torpedo) 20 miles East of Southwold, Suffolk, England (all 9 lives lost).

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