Skip to comments.SOVIET PEACE PACT RATIFIED BY FINNS BY VOTE OF 145 TO 3 (3/16/40)
Posted on 03/16/2010 5:29:19 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Winston S. Churchill, The Gathering Storm
Soviet Peace Pact Ratified by Finns by Vote of 145 to 3 2-3
The International Situation 3
Loan sharks in 1940 would be legal payday lenders 70 years later.
Luftwaffe strikes Scapa Flow
Saturday, March 16, 1940 www.onwar.com
In Britain... There is a German air raid by 32 bombers (2 are lost) on the British fleet base at Scapa Flow. One cruiser, HMS Norfolk, is slightly damaged. There are 7 naval casualties. The raid is more notable for causing the first civilian casualties in Britain. A German aircraft fleeing the battle released 19 bombs wounding seven civilians and killing James Isbister, aged 27.
In Rome... US envoy and Under-Secretary of State, Sumner Welles, holds talks with Mussolini, Count Ciano, the foreign minister, and King Victor Emmanuel III on the last stop of his mission to discuss conditions for mediation or peace talks in Europe. He receives a cordial but non-committal welcome.
In Argentina... The government deports the German crew of the Admiral Graf Spee into the interior and forbids them to wear their uniforms.
March 16th, 1940
Home Fleet is bombed in its Scapa Flow base and cruiser HMS Norfolk damaged by 15 Ju-88’s of 1st Group, 30th Bomber Wing (1st Gruppe of Kampfgeschwader 30).
The first civilian to be killed in an air raid during the present war died today during a German raid on the naval base at Scapa Flow.
James Isbister, aged 27, who lived in the village of Bridge of Waithe on Loch Stenness, was standing in the doorway of his home. An enemy aircraft that had turned tail dropped 19 bombs wounding seven civilians and killing Mr. Isbister. Apparently he had been about to run across the road to help a neighbour whose cottage had been hit. He leaves a widow and an infant son. According to an Admiralty communiqué, the raid on Scapa Flow began at 7.50 pm. “About 14 enemy aircraft reached the objective. A considerable number of bombs was dropped, one hitting a warship [HMS Norfolk] which sustained only minor damage.” Six crew were killed in the raid and seven injured. The raid was the first on Scapa Flow since 17 October when the old battleship Iron Duke was hit.
None of the enemy aircraft was shot down, although several were claimed to have been damaged in fights with RAF machines. It was reported, but not confirmed, that the raiders also tried to reach the Forth Bridge, but failed. [At the time one enemy aircraft was claimed destroyed and is still in my 1940 sources, but post-war sources disclaim this.]
RAF Bomber Command: 4 Group. Leaflets and Reconnaissance - Prague. 10 Sqn. Two aircraft from Villeneuve. No opposition.
Reconnaissance - Ruhr. 10 Sqn. Six aircraft. Heavy opposition over Dusseldorf.
Reconnaissance of Heligoland Bight.
RAF Coastal Command: One German aircraft damaged in combat with one Coastal Command aircraft.
NETHERLANDS: Destroyer HNLMS Isaac Sweers launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
GERMANY: A second directive is issued by the Reich Ministry of the Interior authorising the establishment of medically supervised brothels throughout Reich territory. (Russell Folsom)U-334 laid down. (Dave Shirlaw)
U.S.S.R.: The Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov states that Soviet Union is absolutely opposed to a defensive alliance between Finland, Sweden and Norway. (Mikko Härmeinen)
ITALY: Rome: Sumner Welles today had talks with Mussolini, Count Ciano and King Victor Emmanuel III on the last leg of his mission to discuss conditions for mediation or peace talks in Europe. He received a cordial welcome from the Italians which contrasted with the cool welcome he got in Berlin from Göring and Hess. He left Germany via Switzerland for talks with French and exiled Polish leaders in Paris, and was in London before leaving for Rome, via Paris again.
PANAMA: The President of Panama transmits a protest to King of England over British violation of the Pan-American Neutrality Zone in the Wakama Incident that took place off the coast of Brazil on 12 February. On that date, the British heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire stopped the German freighter SS Wakama 12 miles (19 kilometres) off Cabo Frio, Brazil and Wakama’s crew scuttled her so that their ship will not fall into British hands. (Jack McKillop)
ARGENTINA: The government deports the German crew of the armored ship Admiral Graf Spee into the interior and forbids them to wear their uniform. (Jack McKillop)
Day 198 March 16, 1940
Yugoslavian steamer Slava hits a mine laid by U-29 on March 2 and sinks in the Bristol Channel (1 life lost, 33 survivors).
At 8 PM, 32 Junkers Ju 88s dive bombers of KG30 attack the Royal Navy Home Fleet in Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands. Cruiser HMS Norfolk is hit with one bomb that passes through the upper, main & lower decks and explodes, blowing a hole below the water line (6 lives lost). James Isbister (age 27) is killed by bombs dropped on the village of Bridge of Waithe on the shore of Scapa Flow, becoming the first British civilian death on land. There will be many more.
Despite the damage, HMS Norfolk will leave Scapa Flow under her own steam on March 19 for repairs in the Clyde until June 14.
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