Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 179 February 26, 1940

Finland. Red Army renews its offensive towards Viipuri. Finnish 23rd Division counterattacks with 8 Vickers Mark E light tanks (Battle of Honkaniemi, the only Finnish tank attack). They destroy 3 Soviet tanks but all 8 Finnish tanks break down or are destroyed and the Finns withdraw.

Newly-constructed British liner Queen Elizabeth leaves Clydeside on the Spring tide. Due to her weight, today is one of only two tides this year high enough to float her from dock. Churchill worries that Germany will attempt to sink her. He establishes an elaborate ruse to convince German spies that she is going to Southampton for final fitting. Instead she will head across the Atlantic to New York, where she will remain for 8 months before going to Singapore for refitting as a troopship. During the course of the war she will sail 500,000 miles and carry more than 750,000 troops from Australia and America to various theatres.

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