Skip to comments.TURKS DECLARE STATE OF EMERGENCY; REDS INTENSIFY DRIVE AGAINST FINNS (2/24/40)
Posted on 02/24/2010 5:32:30 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Winston S. Churchill, The Gathering Storm
Laura Hillenbrand, Seabiscuit: An American Legend
(To be continued.)
* See reply #5 for back story.
Germans adopt “Manstein Plan”
Saturday, February 24, 1940 www.onwar.com
From Berlin... Revised orders for the attack in the west are issued. OKH has been conducting exercises throughout the winter and especially in the early days of this month because of dissatisfaction with the attack plan. Following Manstein’s conversation with Hitler on March 17th and an OKH presentation to him on the 18th it has been decided to revise the plans to emphasize the role of Army Group A and an attack through the Ardennes. As far as technique goes the plans are fairly traditional. The emphasis is still not yet fully on the possibilities of the panzer advance. Rundstedt and Bock, who will be the principal commanders are, despite their considerable abilities, wedded to the conventional infantry-based ideas. Although the direction of the attack is certainly bold, the old school see early problems when it becomes necessary to cross the Meuse River. The tank enthusiasts, like Guderian, are more concerned about exploiting the advance after the crossing.
In Copenhagen... A Scandinavian neutrality conference is held by the attending foreign ministers.
In Rome... Germany and Italy sign a trade agreement giving the Italians an increased coal supply.
February 24th, 1940
UNITED KINGDOM: Hucclecote, Gloucester: The first prototype Hawker Typhoon (P5212) makes its maiden flight.
Spit Fort, Hampshire: Blackburn Botha (L6111) crashes into the sea during mine laying experiments.
RAF Bomber Command: ‘Security Patrols’ - Hornum - Borkum. 77 Sqn. Two aircraft. 102 Sqn. Two aircraft. Moderate opposition.
Westminster: The government is launching a big recruiting and training drive for the engineering and metal industries. At the same time it acknowledges that it will still fail to meet the vast demand for skilled labour.
Unemployed men aged between 17 and 45 will be given up to six months training at 22 Ministry of Labour centres. Within a year 40,000 should be ready for work in the arms factories.
Unemployed men over 45 will be accepted “if fit and handy”. Men between 20 and 25 are excluded from the scheme. They will soon be conscripted into the armed forces. All men in training will get free midday meals on each day of attendance at the centres.
Minesweeping trawlers HMS Hickory and Chestnut launched.
Battleship HMS Anson launched.
Corvette USS Restless (ex-HMS Periwinkle) launched.
Corvettes HMS Peony and Snowberry laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
GERMANY: Munich: Hitler warns: “We cannot be defeated either economically or militarily ... The world may be full of devils but we will succeed.”
Germany and Italy sign a trade agreement giving the Italians an increased coal supply.
Berlin: Revised orders for the attack in the west are issued. The Army High Command (OKH) has been conducting exercises throughout the winter and especially in the early days of this month because of dissatisfaction with the existing attack plan. Following the conversation between Erich von Manstein, Commander of the XXXVIII Corps, and Chancellor Adolf Hitler on 17 February and an OKH presentation to him on the 18th it has been decided to revise the plans to emphasize the role of Army Group A and an attack through the Belgian Ardennes into France near Sedan. If successful the German forces would sweep towards Paris and the Channel coast, cutting off British forces from their French allies and by-passing the Maginot Line. As far as technique goes the plans are fairly traditional. The emphasis is still not yet fully on the possibilities of the panzer advance. Although the direction of the attack is certainly bold, the old school see early problems when it becomes necessary to cross the Meuse River. The tank enthusiasts are more concerned about exploiting the advance after the crossing. (Jack McKillop)
Plans were changed following the Mechelen incident when earlier invasion plans fell into allied hands.
DENMARK: Copenhagen: The Scandinavian foreign ministers meet to discuss war problems.
FINLAND: Today and tomorrow Brigadier Ling and the new British ambassador Gordon Vereker meet PM Risto Ryti and FM Väinö Tanner. They inform the Finns that the Allies could send 20 000 men. Finland has to request the aid by 5 March. (Mikko Härmeinen)
MALTA: U.S. freighter SS Scottsburg is detained for several hours by British authorities, but is allowed to proceed the same day. (Jack McKillop)
CANADA: Corvettes HMS Spikenard, Windflower and Hepatica laid down Lauzon, Province of Quebec.
U.S.A.: The Bureau of Aeronautics issue a contract for television equipment, including camera, transmitter, and receiver, that is capable of airborne operation. Such equipment promises to be useful both in transmitting instrument readings obtained from radio-controlled structural flight tests, and in providing target and guidance information necessary should radio-controlled aircraft be converted to offensive weapons. (Gordon Rottman)
Frances Langford records one of the classic songs of all time — and one that would become a Walt Disney trademark. “When You Wish Upon a Star” is recorded on Decca Records during a session in Los Angeles, California. One can hear the song not only on record, but as the theme in the opening credits of any Disney movie, video and TV program and those Im going to Disneyland/World! commercials, too. (Jack McKillop)
SS Royal Archer struck a mine laid by U-21 on 4 Nov, 1939 and sank at 56.06N, 02.55W.
MS Santos was sunk off Kirkwall by U-63. Among the 31 dead were 3 passengers and 6 men from the Swedish merchant Liana, which was sunk by U-14 on 16 Feb. (Dave Shirlaw)
Day 177 February 24, 1940
Copenhagen. Norwegian, Danish and Swedish foreign ministers reassert their neutrality. They make a joint declaration not to assist Finland and refuse to allow foreign troops access through their territory. However, British envoy to Finland Sir George Gordon Vereker indicates 20-22,000 Allied soldiers will leave for Finland on March 15, provided the Finns make a formal request by March 5.
At 9 PM, U-63 sinks Swedish MV Santos 70 miles East of the Orkneys (31 lives lost including 6 survivors from SS Liana, rescued by Santos on 16 Feb). Next day, 12 survivors including 2 from Liana will be taken to the Scottish mainland by destroyer HMS Gallant. http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/277.html
First flight of Hawker Typhoon prototype, P5212, by Hawker’s test pilot Philip Lucas.
HMS Anson was a King George V-class battleship of the Royal Navy, named after Admiral George Anson.
Built at the Swan Hunter shipyard in Wallsend and launched in 1940, the ship was originally to be named Jellicoe, after the Grand Fleet commander at the Battle of Jutland, but she was renamed Anson in February 1940.
Anson saw service in the Second World War, including duty as an escort ship for Russian convoys. She was scrapped along with the other three survivors of her class in 1957. In 1945 Anson was the flag ship for the 1st battle squadron of the British Pacific Fleet. In 1946 Anson sailed from Sydney to Hobart to collect the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and return them to Sydney.
I got $10 riding on ‘Come on Sam’.
You got a problem with that? Ve haf vays of making you recycle.
A special division of the Obama Youth will be instructed to inform officials if their parents fail to recycle properly.
Well after opening the death camps, they took 'recycling' to a whole new level, didn't they?
Karelian Isthmus: the Finnish 23rd Division takes advantage of a momentary lull in enemy pressure to attempt a counterattack to improve their defensive positions to the east of Lake Näykkijärvi.
Finnish troops take Reuhkavaara 'motti'
They are well on their way to doing that. Stutthof is the first of the Polish concentration camps with is location outside of Danzig selected even before the invasion. By the 15th of September there was already 60,000 prisoners in this camp, mostly affluent Poles, that were eventually executed by the SS. In this camp Professor Rudolf Spanner was stationed. Spanner also owned a small soap factory in Danzig and in 1940 figured a way to make soap from human fat. He called the product of his work "Reines Judische Fett" or "Pure Jewish Fat" (a little different from Dove).
More on this can be found here. Be warned that some of this material is not for the squeamish.
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
The Typhoon fighters were designed as the replacement for the Hawker Hurricanes. The design began in Mar 1937 by Sidney Camm. It received the confirmation to continue in Jan 1938 when the design matched what the British Air Ministry was requesting in the next generation of fighters. The first fighter of this design took flight in Oct 1939 with a Rolls-Royce engine; it immediately impressed the Royal Air Force, but the first batch of these fighters delivered was full of problems. The original designation for these new fighters was Tornado, and they suffered compression effects and a slow climb performance. The next batch, delivered in Feb 1940, named Typhoon, suffered from a damaging engine vibration problem. The design was cancelled by the RAF in May 1940, but in Oct 1940 the demand for aircraft gave this design another chance. In early 1941 the first Typhoon fighters rolled off the production line (actually, their design was of the Tornado). The first few fighters were rushed to the front lines to dogfight with the German Fw 190 fighters, and they performed poorly; their tails sometimes broke off when pulling out of dives. Subsequent Typhoon fighters were equipped with strengthening plates at key locations to remedy this problem. Another problem these production Typhoon fighters suffered was the leak of exhaust fumes into the cockpit, which required the pilots to always use oxygen. Despite the problems, the Typhoon design continued to be in production due to the demands of the war.
Giraurd’s army was the ONLY French reserve before the French decided to move it. It had been positioned behind Corap’s Ninth Army [reservists and second tier troops], which was located at Sedan - on the Meuse - right where Guderian’s XIXth Panzerkorps would cross.
When he [Manstein] was summoned to the Reich Chancellery on 18 February together with von Brauchitsch, he was already able to submit a completely new operations plan that accommodated Hitler's ideas.- Karl-Heinz Freiser, The Blitzkrieg Legend: The 1940 Campaign in the West, pp.67-68.
The result of that conference was the fourth deployment directive, which was submitted 24 February. The most important sentence in this last and final version of the operations plan for Fall Gelb (Case Yellow) reads as follows: "The Schwerpunkt of the attack to be mounted across the territory of Belgium and Luxembourg is sout of the Liège-Charleroi line." Army Group B had the mission of attacking north of that line to draw as many elements of the French-British army as possible toward it:
- Eighteenth Army was to push into Holland
- Sixth Army was to cross the Meuse at Liège and attack through northern Belgium.
- Army Group A had the mission of crossing the line of the Meuse River between Sedan and Dinant with an operational probing attack by armored and motorized elements and of pushing toward the mouth of the Somme River.
- Fourth Army was to attack south of the Liège-Namur line and cross the Meuse River on both sides of Dinant.
- Twelfth Army was to advance through southern Belgium and Luxembourg and cross the Meuse River in the Sedan sector.
- Second Army initially had the mission of following the offensive, echeloned in depth to take over the sector of the front that was freed after Fourth and Twelfth Armies had veered off toward the Channel coast.
- Sixteenth Army was to seal off the left flank of the penetration south of the Sedan.
- The main effort of Army Group C in the southern sector was geared toward the defensive. It was to simulate attacks against the Maginot Line across the way and thus tie down strong enemy formations.
“Sedan and Dinant”... Guderian [Sedan], Rommel [Dinant]
Rommel’s 7th Panzer. Or as the French called it, the “la division fantôme”. He would really give them headaches.
Just an FYI, I updated my profile to include my current library of reading and resources for World War II.