Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 176 February 23, 1940

Soviets fear the imminent arrival of foreign aid or troops in Finland. They scale back the Summa offensive towards Viipuri and offer peace terms to Finland. USSR demands the entire Karelian Isthmus (including Viipuri, Finland’s second largest city) and the areas surrounding Lake Ladoga, as well as the islands in the Gulf of Finland and a 30-year lease on the Hanko Peninsula (at the mouth of the Gulf of Finland); they will evacuate Petsamo region in the North of Finland in return. The Soviet offer will expire on march 1.

Increasing the pressure on the Finns, Sweden announces it will not intervene in the conflict or even allow Allied troops to pass through Swedish territory. Strangely, this does not lead to a change in Allied planning to support Finland by just that route.

U-53 is sunk by depth charges from British destroyer HMS Gurkha in the North Sea, 25 miles South of the Faroe Islands (all 42 hands lost).

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