Eighty years on. 11th – 13th March 1940

11th March 1940


Finnish delegates in Moscow met for final talks at the Kremlin and agreed to Soviet terms to end the Winter War.  British and French governments, decided to send troops into Scandinavia to capture Swedish iron mines before a Soviet-Finnish peace robs them of an excuse.  The question of whether, or how, to respond to Norwegian or Swedish armed resistance is left unanswered.

U-28 torpedoed the Dutch tanker Eulota west of Quessant, France.  Eulota broke in twodid not sink.  The British destroyers HMS Broke and HMS Wild Swan picked up the survivors and scuttled the Eulota.

U-31 was sighted by a British Bristol Blenheim near Wilhelmshaven submarine base.  Four  anti-submarine bombs, scored two hits and sank U-31. German submarine U-101 was commissioned.

The French battleship Bretagne and cruiser Algérie departed Toulon with 147 tons of gold, bound for Canada where the French gold reserves would be kept for safekeeping.

Sumner Welles had tea with King George VI, who made clear his hope that no peace negotiations would take place until the Nazi regime was destroyed.  Welles then spoke with Neville Chamberlain, who reiterated the points from his Birmingham speech of 24th February.

Meat rationing was introduced in Britain.

The USA lifted the arms embargo, allowing British and French governments to buy fighter aircraft.

Game day 193. USA

The convoy of supplies for China docked at Hanoi and unloaded.

12th March 1940


Finland conceded to Soviet peace demands. Finland lost about10% of the country), giving up Salla in Lapland plus the entire Karelian Isthmus and the area surrounding Lake Ladoga. 430,000 Karelian Finns were displaced. In addition, the Soviets leased the Hanko peninsula as a naval base for 30 years.

Sweden offered to begin talks on a defensive alliance with Finland.

The British embarked about 20,000 troops on transport ships to land at Trondheim, Bergen and Stavanger in Norway. The force had few artillery pieces or anti-aircraft guns.

The ships did not depart, awaiting orders to begin the operation, while the British War Cabinet debated operational plans.  British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was against the whole operation, particularly wishing to avoid armed conflict with the neutral Scandinavian countries.

Sumner Welles met Winston Churchill. In Welles’ account of the meeting he wrote that “Mr. Churchill was sitting in front of the fire, smoking a 24-inch cigar, and drinking a whisky and soda.

German submarine U-99, one of the most successful U-boats of the war, was commissioned

Game day 194. Germany.

Twelve infantry battalions moved westwards from the Berlin area.

Six submarines moved into the Irish Sea aiming for the convoy, which was screened by two battleships. The submarines attacked, sinking the two escorting ships.  They then withdrew.

Further south two German warships entered the Caribbean Sea.

13th March 1940


Finnish and Soviet delegates signed the Moscow Peace Treaty at 1.a.m.  However, the ceasefire is not scheduled until 11 a.m. Red Army gunners shelled the Finnish lines all morning.

The Allies now had no pretext to move into Norway and Sweden. British troops disembarked the transport ships without having left port.

Indian nationalist Udham Singh assassinated Sir Michael O’Dwyer at Caxton Hall in London in revenge for the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

Game day 195. Great Britain

Six transport ships were deployed at Scapa Flow with twelve infantry battalions embarked.

The convoy from the USA docked in Liverpool, while the remaining two warships sailed on towards Scapa Flow.  The second convoy moved eastwards into Portuguese waters.

A convoy of three ships carrying six battalions sailed into the Red Sea heading for Egypt and a further three ships reached Western Australia.

Published by

General Whiskers

Wargaming butterfly (mainly solo), unpainted model figure amasser, and Historical Re-enactor of the black powder era.

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