Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 191 March 9, 1940

Finland. Soviets take Tali village on the outskirts, almost surrounding Viipuri. Red Army is in control of the Western shore of Viipuri Bay & most of the islands. However, Finnish aircraft strafe Soviet troops on the ice and shoot down 3 Soviet fighters. In the evening, Finnish Government in Helsinki considers Soviet peace demands including Lake Ladoga and Salla district in Lapland. Commander-in-Chief Mannerheim suggests there is no alternative to surrender.

British release the Italian coal ships detained on 7 March, on the eve of German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop’s visit to Rome. Italy can continue to import German coal only via an overland route. This British concession attempts to prevent further Italian/German alliance.

Battle of the Atlantic. U-14 sinks 3 British steamers 5 miles off the Belgian coast near Zeebrugge. At 5.42 AM, SS Borthwick is sunk with 1 torpedo. All 21 crew are picked up by Dutch pilot Loodsboot No.9 and landed at Flushing, Holland the next day. At 11.30 PM, U-14 hits SS Abbotsford with 1 torpedo. Another British steamer SS Akeld turns around to help but is torpedoed and sinks (all 12 hands lost). At 11.55 PM, U-14 finishes off SS Abbotsford with a second torpedo (all 19 hands lost).

U-38 spots 6 trawlers (with lights on, indicating neutrality) 10 miles North of Aran Island, Ireland. From 200m, U-38 fires a warning shot from its deck gun at 9.13 PM. Irish trawler Leukos is hit and sinks (all 11 hands lost).

At 11.17 PM, U-28 sinks neutral Greek steamer P. Margaronis with 1 torpedo (all 30 hands lost), 125 miles West of Brest, France.

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