Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 183 March 1, 1940

Finland. USSR’s Feb 23 peace offer expires; Finns hold out for more Allied offers of assistance. Finnish ambassadors in London and Paris ask for 100 bombers and 50,000 troops. Illustrating the discord among the Allies, the French promise these assets while Britain realistically notes that these are not available. Red Army is now only 6 km from Viipuri and cuts several main roads into the city, overtaking retreating Finnish defenders. Major-General Wallenius transfers from Lapland to command a new Coastal Group defending Viipuri from attacks across the ice. He panics at the sight of the defenses and goes off to get drunk. Further North, Lieutenant-Colonel Magnus Dyrssen, commander of the Swedish volunteer battalion which took over the Salla front on 28 Feb, is killed by shellfire.

Battle of the Atlantic. Heinkel 111s bomb and sink Norwegian D/S Vestfoss (cargo of coal) 10 miles East of the Orkneys. All 19 crew are rescued from the lifeboats by trawler Star of Liberty. p:// At 3.15 AM, U-20 stops Italian steamer SS Mirella with 1 torpedo in the English Channel (cargo of coal). U-20 returns and sinks her at 9.14 PM (1 dead, 29 survivors).

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