Red Army takes aim at Viipuri
Sunday, March 3, 1940 www.onwar.com
The Winter War... The Soviets begin attacks on Viipuri, Finland’s second city. There is hand-to-hand fighting in the suburbs of Viipuri; Soviet troops capture the railway station.
In the North Atlantic... The cruiser HMS York intercepts the German SS Arucas off Iceland, but the German crew scuttles her.
In Britain... The public has now invested £100 million in National Savings since the war broke out.
From Berlin... The date for the invasion of Norway and Denmark is set as March 17th but this will be altered to early April.
March 3rd, 1940
RAF Bomber Command: 4 Group. Leaflets and Reconnaissance - Berlin. 51 Sqn. Two aircraft. Light opposition. One enemy aircraft sighted, but this did not attack.
10 Sqn. K9022 Overshot Dishforth. Sgt L.A. Keast and crew safe.
RAF Fighter Command: Luftwaffe attacks on shipping in the North Sea. Little damage.
RAF fighters flying over Kent mistake a RAF bomber for a Luftwaffe aircraft and shoot it down in flames near Meopham.
The public have invested (GBP) 100 million in National Savings since war broke out.
SS Cato struck one of eight mines laid on the same day by U-29 and sank 2.5 miles SE of Nash Point in the Bristol Channel. The master, ten crewmembers and two gunners were lost. Minesweeping trawler HMS Akita picked up two crewmembers. (Dave Shirlaw)
GERMANY: Berlin: Göring meets Sumner Welles, and evades his questions about cruelty to Polish Jews; he prefers to show Welles his vast art collection.
The date for the invasion of Norway and Denmark is set for 17 March but this will be altered to early April. (Jack McKillop)
FINLAND: The Soviet Army begins its attack on Viipuri. The Soviet 7th Army moves into the outskirts of Vyborg. “There is hand-to-hand fighting in the suburbs of Viipuri; Soviet troops capture the railway station.” The city’s civilian population evacuates the city. (Hal Smith)
For a description of Vyborg before the battle see the article “Fourth Week” in Time Magazine, March 4, 1940 http://www.time.com/time/archive/pre...763580,00.html
After receiving the word from the British and French governments that they would send respectively only 6000 and 12 000 men, the Finnish government decides to continue the attempts to negotiate peace with the Soviet Union.
Lt. Gen. Lennart Oesch, who had until now been the Chief of General Staff at the Finnish GHQ, replaces Maj. Gen. Kurt Wallenius as the CO of the Coastal Group. Wallenius held the command for only two days. Wallenius’s career is in ruins, he is retired from the Army and is not called back to service even during the Continuation War. (Mikko Härmeinen)
U.S.S.R.: Writing in Pravda Ia. Viktorov says the war “was concocted by the English and French imperialists who want to maintain their status in Europe.” (Mike Yared)
U.S.A.: The motion picture “Castle on the Hudson” is released in the U.S. Directed by Anatole Litvak and starring John Garfield, Ann Sheridan, Pat O’Brien and Burgess Meredith, the plot involves tough mobster Garfield and his term in Sing Sing Prison. (Jack McKillop)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: The cruiser HMS York intercepts the German SS Arucas off Iceland, but the German crew scuttles her.