Guest WW2 Writers and Bloggers

Do you like to write about WW2, would you like to share your discoveries or family stories of anyone who fought during WW2?

Due to time constraints we cannot always update this blog, but are always looking for bloggers who can send us copy.

We do not pay, after all this is a free site with free information – some of which you would have know about had we not blogged about it, but will link back to your own blog or website and obviously give you all the credit.

Copy must be about WW2, so leave a message or contact us direct at: vintageguidetobritain@gmail.com and let’s share.

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War Diary March 28th to April 13th 1940, WW2

Thursday March 28th

  • Supreme War Council met in London reviewed Allied strategy and issued solemn declaration of united action in making peace and in reconstruction after peace.
  • Heinkel raider shot down in sea off coastline.
  • Patrol aeroplane of Coastal Command has prolonged engagement with two Dorniers over north Sea, and disabled one. British plane, though damaged, returned safely.
  • Enemy aircraft attacked British convoy in North Sea, but did no damage.
  • During night of March 27-28th, RAF carried out extensive reconnaissance flights over north-west Germany. Two planes failed to return. Three aircraft of New Zealand’s Squadron took part in such flights for first time.
  • British bomber made forced landings over Dutch territory when attacked by Netherland fighters.
  • Announced that six British envoys in central and south-eastern Europe have been called home for consultation with Foreign Office.
  • U-boat, which had run around in the Skagerral, internet by Norway.
  • Mr Sumner Welles was received by President Roosevelt on his return from Europe.

Friday March 29th

  • M Molotiv, Soviet Primeminster, in review of foreign policy given before Supreme Council of Soviet Union, declared that Russia would remain neutral in the War.
  • German raider shot down in sea off coast off Northumberland.
  • RAF fighter patrols in France engaged strong formations of enemy aircraft near Metz drove them back into their own territory and brought down two Messerschmitts in flames.
  • Paris reported that two German aircraft had been shot down in France.
  • Admiralty announced that enemy bombers again attempted to attack convoys in North Sea, but were driven off without doing any damage.
  • Survivors of bombed  Dutch trawler ‘Protinus’ picked up after six days in open boat by British submarine ‘Unity’ landed at Scottish port.
  • White Book containing alleged Polish documents professing to show part of USA in causing war, issued by German Foreign Office.

Saturday March 30th

  • Enemy aircraft which approached Shetlands driven off.
  • Dutch trawlers ‘Viking bank’ and ‘Is Groen’ reported attacks by German bombers in North Sea on Thursday.
  • Nazi newspaper in Istanbul, ‘Turkish Post’ closed down by order of Turkish Government.
  • Mr Churchill in a broadcast, said that an intensification of the war was to be expected, and gave a warning to neutrals.
  • Minister of Agriculture stated that up to March 15, 1,370,000 of the 2,000,000 extra acres of tillage aimed at had been ploughed.
  • Sir John Gilmour, Minister of Shipping died.

Sunday March 31st

  • Spitfire fighter on a patrol east of Suffolk coast, had duel with a Dornier 17 and drive it out to sea in a damaged condition.
  • Enemy planes driven off Shetlands and Orkneys. No bombs dropped.
  • Further air success in France during weekend were reported. In one encounters RAF fighter patrol attacked nine Messerschmitts, one of which was shot down.
  • In another, two hurricane planes, attacked a Dornier at a height of 19,000 feet and drive it back disabled over the frontier.
  • Belgian fishing trawler fired on by German aeroplane.
  • Reported from Tallinn that immediate evacuation of Baltiski, leased by Estonia to Russia as naval base, had been demanded nearly one month before arranged date (May 1st.)

Monday April 1st

  • RAF aircraft of Bomber command actively engaged in Reconnaissance over North Sea, attacked enemy patrol with bombs.
  • German Junkers 88 were engaged by British Blenheim and damaged, its wreckage being later observed by a warship. One British aircraft missing.
  • Paris reported heavy artillery fire in region west of the Saar, and considerable air activity on both sides.
  • Reported that question of tightening blockage against Germany is under continuous consideration by British and French Governments.
  • Statement was read in the Riksdag steps taken by Swedish Government in connexion with Russo-Finnish conflict.
  • Announced that Home Secretary has appointed twelve regional advisory committees to reconsider cases of certain classes of aliens in Britain.
  • M Frossard, French Minister of Information, arrived in London for consultations with Sir John Reith.
  • General Smuts’ War Measures Bill passed by South African House of Assembly by 75 votes to 55.

Tuesday April 2nd

  • German aircraft carried out attack on Scapa Flow at dusk, and were driven off by fire of ships and batteries. Bombs dropped, but no damage done. One raider believed to have been shot down.
  • Admiralty announced that enemy aircraft attacked convoys in North Sea, but were driven off by gunfire.
  • Three Hurricane fighters, patrolling North Sea, fought two Heinkel raiders only 20 feet above the sea.
  • Three RAF fighters were engaged with nine Messerschmitst on Western Front and were reported to have brought down three of the enemy.
  • Two more Messerschmitts shot down by the French.
  • Announced that last week a U-boat was sunk off west coast of Scotland by a patrol vessel.

Wednesday April 3rd

  • Eleven ministerial changes made in Government, in addition to appointment of Mr Churchill as head of Committee of Service Ministers, following resignation of Lord Chatfield, Minister of Co-ordination of Defence.
  • First RAF fighter in coastal Defence to be lost since war began, a Spitfire was brought down off Yorkshire coast after engaging a Heinkel, which also fell into the sea.
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Bomber Command Memorial

Incase you missed the ceremony in London for the Bomber Command:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01kbyml/A_Tribute_to_Bomber_Command/

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War Diary March 19th to 27th 1940

Tuesday March 19th 1940

  • Air Ministry announced that, following German raid on Orkneys RAF bombers damaged German air base at Hornum on island of Sylt. Action was still in progress at midnight.
  • Important debates took place in both House of Parliament on Finnish ‘Peace’ and progress of the war.
  • French Cabinet met in secret session.
  • Complete official reserve was maintained in Rome over subject of Bemner conversations.
  • Mr Sumner Welles left Rome after further conversations with Count Ciano.
  • French vessel ‘Capitaine Augustin’ and trawler ‘Rose Effeuillee’ reported sunk.
  • Finnish Army Command issued tabulated list of war casualties. in total of 58,500, 15,700 were killed.
  • Announced that up to March 13, 12816 ships had been convoyed by the british Navy and of those only 28 sunk whilst under protection.

Wednesday March 30th

  • Reported that RAF raid on previous night on Sylt lasted size hours. One plane failed to return.
  • Reconnaissance machines had since confirmed reports of extensive damage done to hangars, jetty, oil tanks, etc.
  • M Daldier resigned after a resolution in the Chamber demanding a more vigorous prosecution of the war.
  • Ten German bombers attacked a convoy, consisting almost entirely of neutral ships, off Scottish coast.  They were engages by escorting warships and planess of Fleet Air Arm and coastal Command.
  • No damage or casualties incurred by HM ships or aircraft.  Three small neutral vesels damaged: Norwegian ‘Svinta’ and ‘Tora Elise’ and Swedish ‘Utklippan.’
  • One Heinkel was damaged and several others during the engagement.
  • GHQ of BEF announced that British patrol has successful encounter with enemy patrol, five of latter being killed.
  • Dutch tanker, ‘Phobos’ mined off South East Coast.
  • Danish ships ‘Bothal’ ‘Viking’ and ‘Algier’ sunk.
  • British steamer in ‘Barnhill’ bombed by German aeroplane in English Channel. She was later beached and broke in two.
  • Mr Sumner Welles sailed from Genoa.

Thursday March 21st

  • M Paul Reynaud formed a new cabinet in which his French Minister as well as Prime Minister. Nine members are to form an inner War Cabinet. M Daladier remains as Minister for National defence and War and three Socialists are included.
  • Admiralty announced that two more ships in raided convoy had been damaged: British Steamer ‘Northern Coast’ and Norwegian ‘Erling Lindoe’
  • Norwegian ships ‘Svinta’ damaged whilst in convoy on Wednesday, was bunk by U-boat.
  • Danish ships ‘Christiansborg’ ‘Minsk’ and ‘Charkow’ sunk by U-boat.
  • Enemy aircraft appeared over Shetlands and was chased away by British fighters.
  • No bombs dropped.
  • The ‘Queen Mary’ left New York for a secret destination.

Friday March 22nd

  • Admiralty announced that on previous evening a British submarine intercepted Nazi iron-ore ship ‘Hiddernheim’ 8 miles north of Denmark and sank her, after ensuring safety of crew.
  • Attempt made by enemy plane to bomb Cromer Knoll lightship.
  • After air fight near Dutch frontier, one British plane crashed on Netherlands territory.
  • All Turkish steamers of over 150 tons in foreign waters ordered to return to Turkish ports at an early date.
  • Kins Carol emphasized Romania’s determined to defend her frontiers.

Saturday March 23rd

  • Planes, believed to be hostile, appeared off east coast of Scotland.
  • M Reynauld held a meeting of the Inner Cabinet at which General Gamelin and Admiral Darlan were present.
  • Count Teleki, Premier of Hungary, arrived in Rome.
  • French war communique announed patrol activity to east of Saar.
  • British trawlers ‘Salacon’ ‘Recordo’ and ‘Helios’ reported attacks by machine guns and bombs from German planes.
  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that a Note of protest to GErmany against the sinking of Norwegian ships had been delivered to the German government on March 8th. Nothing is known of any German reply.
  • Officially announced in Prague that two German frontier guards had been murdered the night before at Birke.
  • Twenty-first anniversary of foundation of Fascist movement celebrated throughout Italy.
  • German mission headed by Dr Clodius in Bucharest negotiating for economic domination.

Sunday March 24th

  • British submarine sunk German collier ‘Edmund Hugo Stinnes IV’ off north coast of Denmark, after ensuring crew’s safety.
  • RAF carried out reconnaissance flights over north-west Germany during night of March 23-24. One plane failed to return.
  • Admiralty announced that HM trawler ‘Loch Assater’ had been sunk by mine. Entire crew was rescued.
  • Helsinki reported that Red Army had taken over Hango, which was formally handed over at midnight on March 22nd.
  • Announced that Norwegian Government lodged protests in Berlin on March 18 and 19 against German air attacks on Norwegian steamers ‘Lysaker’ and ‘Bott.’

Monday March 25th

  • Paris reported local artillery actions on various points of the front, and air activity on both sides.
  • Count Teleki, Premier of Hungary, has long interview with Count Ciano, Italian Foreign Minister.
  • Official British order issued forbidding British prisoners of war in Germany to broadcast.
  • Danish steamer ‘Britta’ sunk of north coast of Scotland.
  • Announced that automatic light floats with lamps that burn for two months, are to replace lightships which have suffered from Nazi bombing’

Tuesday March 26th

  • M. Reynaud, new French Premier, broadcast stirring appeal to French nation to carry on total war against Germany.
  • Paris reported marked increase in air activity over Western Front, particularly in Saar and Vosges regions.
  • French machines made reconnaissance flights far into enemy territory; German aircraft flew over Northern and Eastern France.
  • Further sector of the Allied front in France taken over by the BEF from French troops. Highlanders being first to replace the French.
  • Soviet Ambassador to France M. Souritz, recalled after demand by French Government who complained of contents of telegram addressed by him to Stalin.
  • Count Teleki had interview with Mussolini/
  • ‘Mauretannia’ passed through Panama Canal to Pacific Ocean. Reported that she is going to Australia to serve as a troopship.
  • Mr Savage, Prime minister of New Zealand, died.

Wednesday March 17th

  • Air Ministry announced that aircraft of RAF Coastal Command attacked and sank enemy patrol vessel in North Sea.
  • RAF brought down five Messerschmitts after day of intense aerial activity over Maginot Line. Reported that two other enemy planes may also have crashed.
  • Survivors of the British tanker ‘Daghestan’ sunk in North Sea on March 24th reached land.
  • British steamer ‘Castlemoor’ reported overdue and presumed lost.
  • Survivors of sunk Norwegian steamer ‘Cometa’ landed at Scottish port.
  • New Finnish Government formed, M. Ryti retaining the premiership.
  • Stated that protest by Norway against alleged British infringement of territorial waters had been received and were being examined.
  • Liberals gained sweeping victory in Canadian General Election.
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War Diary March 13th to 18th, 1940 WW2

Wednesday 13th March, 1940

  • Finnish Foreign Minister, M. Tanner broadcast official confirmation of peace agreement and its terms. Later he announced that Finland, Norway and Sweden are to discuss formation of defensive alliance.
  • Fighting continued on nearly all Finnish fronts up to 11am, when hostilities ceased.
  • Statements on Russo-Finnish peace aims were made in both Houses of Parliament by Lord Halifax and Mr Chamberlain.
  • M. Guenther Swedish Foreign Minister, defended his policy of neutrality in Riksdag.
  • Nazi coal ship ‘Eschersheim’ sank off Danish Jutland coast, either mined or scuttled.
  • Mr Sumner Welles left London en route for Rome.

Thursday March 14

  • Finnish delegates arrived in Helsinki from Moscow, bringing text of peace treaty.
  • Swedish Foreign Minister announced that Sweden had promised Finland to examine possibility of making defensive alliance between the two countries. Similar promise had been given by Norway.
  • Evacuation from ceded areas began in Finland. Estimated that 470,000 persons will have lost their land and homes.
  • French Senate held a secret session devoted to discussions on Finnish situation.
  • Reported that three fishing trawlers had beaten off with machine-gun fire three Heinkel bombers in 70 minutes fight in North Sea.
  • Legislative Council of Hong Kong agreed to offer monetary gift of $100,000 to the Imperial Government for war purposes, and also to build two mine-sweepers and four harbour defence craft.
  • Mr Sumner Welles arrived in Paris. He has a talk with M. Daladier before leaving for Rome.

Friday March 15th

  • Finnish Diet ratified with Russia M. Ryti said that allied help had not been sought because that would have involved Finland in major European war.
  • Russian troops began moving into ceded areas of Finland.
  • Announced that Romania’s Iron Guard, fascist terrorist organisation, had been revived, the proscribed leaders having declared allegiance to King Carol and the Government.
  • Mass arrests were reported from Prague, where the first anniversary of Hitler’s seizure of the Czech State was being celebrated.
  • HM Trawler ‘Peridot’ sunk by striking enemy mine. No casualties.
  • British vessel ‘Melrose’ sunk off Belgian coast.
  • British trawler ‘Leukos’ reported overdue and presumed lost.
  • German merchant-ship ‘La Coruna’ scuttled after being intercepted by British cruiser.
  • Mr Sumner Welles arrived in Rome.

Saturday March 16

  • Air Ministry announced that during past 24 hours reconnaissance activities had included night flight over Polish territory by aircraft of Bomber Command.
  • There as also an engagement between aircraft of Coastal Command and an enemy bomber. The latter escaped after being damaged.
  • Aircraft of the Bomber Command carried out reconnaissance of Heligoland Bight Opposition was experienced from air and ground defences, but all British aircraft returned safely.
  • A British bomber attacked a formation of naval auxiliary vessels east of Borkum by diving from 6,000 feet and dropping a salve of bombs.
  • German aircraft made a raid on fleet anchorage at Scapa Flow, about fourteen planes reached their objective. Many bombs dropped one causing minor damage to a warship. Seven casualties of naval personnel.
  • Bombs were also dropped on land. One civilian killed and seven wounded in village of Bridge of Waith.
  • Enemy were driven off, one aircraft being shot down and others believed damaged.
  • Admiralty announced institution of system of monetary awards to non-service to non-service personnel for information concerning enemy naval activities.
  • Activity of both artilleries on region of the Saar reported from the Western Front.
  • Stated in Paris that changed were likely in the French Cabinet.
  • HM trawler ‘Maida’ sunk by striking enemy mine. Commanding officer and five ratings missing and feared lost.
  • Yugoslav ship ‘Slava’ sunk in Bristol channel.
  • Mr Sumner Welles had conversations with the King of Italy, and with Mussolini and Ciano.

Sunday March 17th

  • Attacks made by enemy aircraft on fishing trawlers and cargo boat. All replied with machine-gun fire and drove the raiders off.
  • Air Ministry announced that RAF Fighter command planes pursued two enemy aircraft engaged in attacks on shipping off east coast of Scotland. Damage believed to have been inflicted on both.
  • Hitler and Mussolini left their respective capitals accompanied by their Foreign Ministers, for a meeting on the Bremner Pass.
  • French naval sources announced that reports of the destruction of two more U-boats had been received.
  • Paris reported marked activity of reconnaissance parties west of the Vosges.
  • Dutch steamer ‘St Annaland’ sunk by mine.
  • Danish trawler ‘Wilhelmine’ sunk on Dogger Bank.
  • Ten thousand miners in Nottinghamshire decided to forgo larger part of their holidays in order to increase production of coal during the war.

Monday March 18th

  • Accompanied by Ribbentropp and Ciano Hitler and Mussolini conferred together in a bullet=proof railway train in frontier station on the Bremner Pass. The conference lasted 2½ hours, after which the Dictators returned to their own capitals.
  • From Rome came reports that Hitler had drawn up Eleven ‘Peace Points’ that Mr Sumner Welles considered unacceptable, and that Mussolini arrange the Bremner meeting to get them modified.
  • Sir John Simon stated that the 3% War Loan recently launched had been over-subscribed.
  • Italian collier ‘Tina Primo’ broke in two after explosion off South-East Coast.
  • British steamer ‘Tiberton’ reported to be long overdue and believed lost with all hands.
  • Announced that a new organization had been created to maintain permanent liaison between British Colonial Office and French Ministry of Colonies.
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D-Day Landings Operation Overlord June 6 1944

Sixty Eight years ago, on double British Summer Time, service-men from Allied Expeditionary Force were preparing to invade Fortress Europe by sea and air. I was trying to find two clips this year that encapsulate the D-Day landings, as yet there is very little available for British, Canadian and other Allied forces apart from documentaries, so here are probably the two most accurate movie clips:

If you want to know more then there are plenty of brilliant websites about the Airborn, but the most comprehensive is Mark Bando’s HERE

There are many more quality written website, but I am not writing this to recommend websites. Instead I am writing to “remember them.”

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War Diary March 7th to March 12th 1940

Thursday March 17th 1940

  • Fighting continued on ice of Vippuri Bay, where Russians made repeated attacks in attempt to obtain footing on western shore. They were stated to have achieved some success north of Lake Ladoga.
  • Helsinki announced that Russia had offered peace terms even more drastic than the pre-war demands. Negotiations were in progress with Sweden and Germany acting as mediators.
  • RAF fighters shot down Heinkel raider east of Aberdeen.
  • There was a night raid on ships anchored off South-East Coast.
  • Sir Kingsley Wood announced that fighting strength of the RAF had doubled in last 12 months.
  • French communique stated that patrol activity in both sides continued in marked degree.
  • Two Dutch ships ‘Grutto’ and ‘Vecht’ feared lost with all hands.
  • Liner ‘Queen Elizabeth’ docked in New York after her secret maiden voyage across the Atlantic.

Friday March 8th

  • Further Russian attacks on Finnish south coast were beaten off. Fighting continued on ice of Viipuri Bay.
  • Heinkel plane bought down by RAF Fighter Command patrol off north coast of Scotland.
  • Air Ministry announced that machines of Bomber and Coastal Command attacked three enemy patrol vessels near Borkum.
  • Two Heinkel aircraft encountered over North Sea were engaged and seen to be hit.
  • Bombing attack made on night of March 7-8 on naval auxiliary vessel near Sylt.
  • In the course of reconnaissances, RAF aircraft flew over Posen in Wester Poland; longest flight of the war.
  • Information was made public of protective device against magnetic mines, consisting of girdle of cables which neutralises the ship’s magnetic field.
  • British steamer ‘Counsellor’ sunk of North West Coast.
  • Many fishing trawlers reported attacks from enemy aircraft.
  • Survivors of Italian steamer ‘Amelia Lauro’ reported that she has been attacked by Nazi bomber.
  • German ship ‘Uruguay’ scuttled herself in North Atlantic.

Saturday March 9th

  • Finnish communique admitted that Soviet Troops had secured a foothold on north-west shore of Bay of Viipuri. Attacks south-east of the town and on the central and eastern part of the Karelian Isthmus and had been repulsed.
  • British Government released 13 Italian coal ships recently detained.
  • British steamer ‘Borthwick’ mined off Holland.
  • British steamer ‘Thurston’ reported sunk.
  • Two Dutch ships ‘Saba’ and ‘Confid’ damaged by German aircraft, but remained afloat.
  • Mr Summer Welles had interviews with leader of Polish Government in Paris.
  • Von Ribbentropp left Berlin for Rome.

Sunday March 10th

  • Russia claimed capture of Reploa north-east of Viipuri, and of two other towns. Soviet troops said to have occupied Karppila and Ruthela on western Coast of Bay of Viipuri and also certain islands.
  • Helsinki announced officially that contact between Government of Finland and that of USSR had been established through mediation of Sweden and that a Finnish delegation, including the Premier M. Ryti, has arrived in Moscow.
  • RAF planes carried out successful reconnaissance flights over Vienna and Prague.
  • Admiralty announced that German steamers ‘Hannover’ has scuttled herself after being intercepted by British cruiser.
  • Mr Sumner Welles arrived in London.
  • Von Ribbentropp had an interview with Mussolini.

Monday March 11th

  • Russo-Finnish negotiations in Moscow continued. Reportedly that Soviet Government had considerably modified peace terms offered to Finland.
  • Land attacks on Karelian Isthmus repulsed bu Finnish artillery. Finns admitted success of Russian attacks on shire of Viipuri Bay.
  • North east of Lake Ladoga fighting continued unabated. Finns claimed success i battle of Kollaa River.
  • Mr Chamberlain stated that Britain and France were prepared to use all available resources to give immediate help to Finland provided that a formal appear were received from the Finnish Government.
  • Paris reported aerial activity on both sides and artillery firing in Vosges area.
  • Mr Sumner Welles was received by the ing and also had interviews with Mr Chamberlain and Lord Halifax.
  • Von Ribbentropp had audiences with the King of Italy and the POp, and further interviews with Mussolini and Ciano. He left later for Berlin.

Tuesday March 12th

  • Fighting still raging in outer suburbs of Viipuri.
  • Peace Treaty concluded at midnight in Moscow between Russia and Finland representatives by which Finland ceded whole Karelian Isthmus, town, bay of Viipuri, fisherman’s Peninsula, and other areas. She must also give a 30 year lease of the Hango Peninsula.
  • The Protocol to the Peace Tray required its ratification in three days.
  • Officially stated at Helsinki tat armistice began at 11am.
  • M. Daladier told chamber of Deputies that an Allied expeditionary force of 50,000 men was ready to embark to help finland as soon as formal appeal to conform with international law, was received from the Finnish Government.
  • Air Ministry announced that during reconnaissance flight over Heligoland Bight on March 11, RAF bomber attacked a U-boat, which was believed to have been sunk.
  • British steamer ‘Gardenia’ and steam trawler ‘Halifax’ reported mined.
  • Two more Dutch ships; steamer ‘Amor’ and tanker ‘Eulota’ sunk by mines.
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War Diary 29th February to 6th March 1940

Thursday 29th February 1940

  • Russians claimed to be within four miles of Viipur and to be preparing final assault on town.
  • Finns repulsed three attempts by Russians to cross Taipale river, and frustrated an attack near Pitkaerantae, north-east of Lake Ladoga.
  • Germany’s methods of sea warfare denounced by Professor Koht, Norwegian Prime Minister.
  • French steamer ‘P.L.M.25’ reported sunk by mine in North Sea.
  • ‘Graf Spee’ wreck sold to Uruguayan firm for breaking up.
  • Estonian Government issued order forbidding Estonian merchant ships to navigate North Sea and other dangerous waters except under convoy.
  • Press Department of German Legation at The Hague issued statement warning neutrals that by accepting British system of navicerts they make themselves suspect to Germany.

Friday March 1st

  • Russians continued to press on Viipuri. There were violent air battles over the Karelian Isthmus.
  • Finns bombed Russian communications including a railways junction and troop trains.
  • Air Ministry announced that RAF aircraft made deep reconnaissance flights into Germany; one penetrated Berlin. Baltic ports of Kiel and Lübeck and ports in Heligoland Bight were also reconnoitred. No opposition encountered.
  • British steamer ‘Pyrrhus’ sunk by enemy action of West Cost of England.
  • Norwegian Steamer ‘Brott’ and British fishing trawler ‘Courage’ bombed and machine-gunned off Yorkshire coast, but reached port.
  • Survivors of mined Italian steamer ‘Mirella’ reached Suffolk coast.
  • Latvian steamer ‘Katvaldis’ reported bombed and machine-gunned Yorkshire coast.
  • Details of wartime rationing decrees in France were published.
  • Mr Summer Welles arrived in Berlin and had an interview with Herr von Ribbentropp.

Saturday March 2nd

  • Air Ministry announced that aircraft of RAF Bomber Command flew over Berlin during night of March 1-2. Leaflets and parachute flares were dropped. Ground batteries came into action, but fire went wide of mark.
  • Finns claimed that 34th Moscow Tank brigade had wiped out an area north of Lake Ladoga.
  • Russians reported to have reached suburbs of Viipuri, which was being set on fire by retreating defenders.
  • Finns admitted further short retreats in Karelian Isthmus to regions of Sainio, 5 miles south of Viipuri of coast, and of Heinjoki 27 miles east of the town. Russian attacks repulsed at Taipale.
  • Soviet bombers over Helsinki chased away by Finland fighters.
  • British India passenger ship ‘Domala’ attacked by Nazi bomber in English Channel; 100 persons reported missing or dead.
  • British steamer ‘Albano’ mined in North Sea.
  • Norwegian steamer ‘Silja’ overdue and presumed lost.
  • German steamer ‘Troja’ scuttled off Aruba Island, West Indies.
  • Mr Sumner Wells was received by Hitler.

Sunday March 3rd

  • Hand to hand fighting reported in southern suburbs of Viipuri. Russians claimed to have captured the railways station.
  • Finns reported that they had brought down at least 28 enemy planes during the weekend.
  • RAF bombers flew over Berlin during night of March 2-3, the fifth time within a week. Ground batteries opened fire and German fighters went up, but there was no engagement.
  • Standing patrol over seaplane bases of Frisian Islands met with intense fire from enemy guns.
  • Great air activity over Western Front during weekend; British fighters brought down three enemy aircraft, a Messerschmitt, a Heinkel and a Dornier, and French fighters accounted for two Dorniers.
  • British steamer ‘Cato’ sunk off West Coast.
  • Two Dutch cargo boats, ‘Schieland’ and ‘Limburg’ stated that they had been machine-gunned by Nazi planes in North Sea.
  • Many air attacks on British fishing boats were reported.
  • German cargo ship ‘Heidelberg’ seized by British cruiser after leaving Aruba, West Indie.
  • Nazi aircraft flying over Belgian territory, were chased by Belgian fighters, one of which was shot down and the other two damaged.
  • Mr Sumner Wells had interviews with Herr Hess and Field Marshal Goering. Later he left Berlin for Basle en route for Paris.

Monday Match 4th

  • Air Ministry announced that RAF planes bombed a U-boat, and probably destroyed it, in Schillig Roads, Cuxhaven.
  • Viipuri still in Finnish hands. Defenders repulsed attacks both across ice on Viipuri Bight and to east of town.
  • Russians suffered severe losses in fighting north-east of Lake Ladoga, and also withdrew their forces in Petsamo sector.
  • League of Nations mission stated to have arrived in Helsinki to inquire into Soviet methods of warfare.
  • Paris reported increased activity Western Front and much aerial fighting during which at least one, and probably three enemy machines were brought down.
  • British liner ‘Pacific Reliance’ sunk during enemy action off West Coast.
  • British trawler ‘Ben Attow’ sunk off the east coast of Scotland.
  • Reported that two more Dutch trawlers ‘Sint Annaland’ and ‘Rijnstroom’ were attacked during the weekend by Nazi bombers. Last named boat feared lost.
  • Three survivors of Dutch coastal vessel ‘Elziena’ sunk by enemy plane, arrived at port on North East Coast.
  • Swedish vessels ‘Lagaholm’ sunk.
  • Italian Government protested against British order that further imports of coal from Germany by sea are to be seized.
  • Announced that in 100 days ending March 1st, £1,000,000,000 was raised in saving certificates and defence bonds.

Tuesday March 5th

  • Russians continued assault on Viipuri which was still in Finnish hands.
  • They succeeded in crossing ice if Viipuri Bay, Finns contesting their landing on the western shore. Emery also attacked further along on its western shore. Enemy also attacked further west along the coast. Helsinki and other towns in south central Finland suffered from enemy air raids.
  • German raid made on Britain outpost in Maginot Line, during which enemy captured 16 prisoners. Casualties on both sides. The post was later recaptured.
  • British warships detained five italian steamers for examination in Down contraband control base.
  • Reported that two more neutral vessels – Italian ‘Maria Rose’ and Norwegian ‘Vestfoss’ – had been sunk.

Wednesday March 6th

  • Battle on ice of Viipuri Bay continued without further gains for Russians.
  • Enemy attacks on south coast of Finland driven off.
  • Patrol and artillery activity reported from other parts of Karelian Isthmus, also north-east of Lake Ladoga.
  • Cargoes of eight of out nine Italian shops carrying coal from Germany detained in prize.
  • Enemy air attacks made on lightship off Norfolk coast and on taker ‘Shelbrit II’ off northeast coast of Scotland.
  • New Cunard White Star Liner ‘Queen Elizabeth’ reached Nova Scotia, en route to New York, after 10 day secret voyage, without passengers from Clydebank.
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War Diary February 22nd to 27th 1940, WW2

Thursday, February 22, 1940

  • Further naval awards were announced in recognition of gallantry in battle with ‘Graf Spee.’
  • Two Heinkel bombers shot down by RAF, one in Berwickshire, the other in sea off Northumberland coast.
  • Russians reported to have lost 2,000 killed in attempt to break through left-wing od Mannerheim Line at Taipale.
  • Fourteen Russian divisions said to be massed in preparation of attack on Viipuri.
  • Blizzards continued in Karelian Isthmus, hampering transport and air activity.
  • HM trawler ‘Fifeshire’ sunk by enemy aircraft with loss of 21 lives.
  • British steamer ‘Loch Maddy’ torpedoed without warning in North Atlantic.
  • Enemy attacks on fishing trawlers off East Coast driven off by machine gun fire.
  • Paris reported increased air activity over Western Front.

Friday, February 23rd

  • Air Ministry announced that RAF had made reconnaissance flights over Austria and Bohemia during night of February 22-23; leaflets were dropped over Vienna.
  • Air Ministry also stated that RAF aircraft had bombed German warships in Heligoland Bight during night of February 20-21. Owing to bad weather conditions once aircraft failed to return.
  • Fighting was general trough Karelian Isthmus. Russians were held before Viipuri in spite of continuous bombardment.
  • Heavy bombing raids made by Soviet machines over Finland.
  • Moscow denied bombing of Swedish village Pajala on February 21st.
  • Nazi raiding planes attacked British shipping by moonlight. Captain and mate of steamer ‘gothic’ wounded by bullets.
  • Norwegian steamer ‘Telnes’ overdue and considered lost with all hands.
  • British naval squadron reported in northern waters, between Kirkenes and Murmanks.
  • Officers and men of cruisers ‘Ajax’ and ‘Exeter’ entertained in Guidlhall.
  • HMS ‘Achilles’ welcomes home in New Zealand.
  • State of emergency declared in Turkey, following alleged crossing of Caucasian frontier by Soviet detachments.

Saturday February 24th

  • Russians resumed onslaught against Viipuri, but without effect. Heavy snow hampered their tanks, and for their bombers.
  • Two Soviet detachments stated to have been trapped inside Finnish lines on Karelian Isthmus, east of Lake Muola, and annihilated.
  • Attacks on other parts of the Mannerheim Lines said to have been repulsed.
  • In Kuhmo sector (Central Finland) there were patrol encounters.
  • RAF carried out successful reconnaissance flight over Prague during night of February 23-24 and another over north-west Germany. One aircraft lost its bearing and made a forced landing in Belgium.
  • RAF planes also carried out daylight reconnaissance flights over Heligoland Bight and north-west Germany. One aircraft was attacked by five Messerschmitts, but returned safely.
  • HM Trawler ‘Benvoloi’ reported sunk by mine.
  • British steamer ‘Jevington Court’ sunk by mine in north sea.
  • British ship ‘Royal Court’ sunk by mine in North Sea.
  • British ship ‘Royal Archer’ sunk by enemy action.
  • Conference of Scandinavian Foreign Ministers to discuss war problems opened in Copenhagen.

Sunday February 25th

  • First squadron of Royal Canadian Air Force to leave Canada arrived in England.
  • Russians reported to have concentrated troops on Kolvisto peninsula and in region of Kaislahti, on coastal railway. They also hold island off Revonsaari, in Gulf of finland, Kaemaerae still held by Finns.
  • Reported that Russians had lost 25 tanks during weekend on Isthmus and another 17 north of Lake Ladoga.
  • Unsuccessful Soviet attack reported in Salla direction.
  • Norway informed Great Britain that she will propose arbitration in ‘Altmark’ dispute if British Government maintain their position.
  • Mr Sumner Welles, American under Secretary of State and envoy of President Roosevelt, arrived in Rome.

Monday February 26th

  • War Office announced that from March 11 Scotland north of Caledonian Canal would become a banned area, and that only persons specially exempt would be permitted to remain or enter.
  • Finns evacuated fortress of Koivisto. Defence of Viipuri continued, although town now in ruins. New defence lines prepared in the west.
  • German aeroplanes flew over Paris, but were driven off by anti-aircraft fire.
  • Swedish steamer ‘Santos’ reported sunk in North Sea.
  • Survivors of torpedoed tanker ‘British Endeavour’ land at Madeira.
  • Mr Sumner Welles saw Count Ciano and Signor Mussolini in Rome.

Tuesday February 27th

  • Battle for Viipuri proceeding among islands in Bight of Viipuri. Finns repulsed violent attack on Taipale.
  • Finns repeated further from Petsamo after day-long battle.
  • RAF shot down two Heinkels,one off Firth of Forth, the other off Northumberland coast.
  • Air Ministry announced that during preceding 24 hours reconnaissance flights were made over Heligoland and German North Sea coast, as well as large areas of western Germany. Leaflets were dropped over Berlin, British planes returned unmolested.
  • U-boat sunk by French destroyer off Cape Finisterre.
  • Norwegian steamer ‘Annfinn’ collided with U-boat, which was probably sunk. STeamer damaged.
  • German merchant ship ‘Wahehe’ brought into port as naval prize.
  • British steamer ‘Clan Morrison’ reported mined.
  • Danish ship ‘Maryland’ overdue and considered lost.

Wednesday February 28th

  • Attack on Viipuri continued with infantry and artillery. Finns repelled attacks on new positions and defeated russian attempt new positions and defeated russian attempt to cross ice to west side of harbour.
  • Finnish aircraft raided Russian lines of communications.
  • Air Ministry announced that RAF had carried out further extensive reconnaissance flights over northern Germany. Aircraft flew over Berlin and Hanover, as well as naval bases at Kiel and Cuxhaven.
  • German patrols active on Western Front, particularly east of the Saar and in Alsace. Reconnaissance flights were made by both sides.
  • Paris announced that two German aeroplanes reconnoitering over France had been shot down.
  • Mr Sumner Welles, who had left Rome for Berlin, broke his journey at Zürich to aware further instructions from Washington.
  • British volunteers in Finland to be commanded by Major Kermit Roosevelt. First Canadian Volunteers arrived in Finland.
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War Diary 15th to 21st February 1940

Thursday February 15th

  • Russian offensive on Karelian Isthmus continued with undiminished violence. Finns claimed to have repulsed all attacks and to have shot down 16 enemy aircraft.
  • Advance troops of Russian assault battalions reported to be in vicinity of Leipaesuo, north-east of Summa, 20 miles from Viipuri.
  • Italian cargo steamer ‘Giorgio Ohlsen’ sunk by mine off East Coast.
  • Danish ship ‘Martin Goldsmidt’ sunk by enemy action.
  • Survivors of Norwegian motor-ship ‘Snestad’ sunk by U-boat on February 11, arrived at Bergen. They stated that a U-boat, about to torpedo a Norwegian ship, was sunk by a British destroyer on February 12th.
  • ‘Exeter’ one of the cruisers which defeated ‘Graf Spee‘ arrived at Plymouth.

Friday February 16th

  • Admiralty announced that destroyer which sank two U-boats on February 9th was HMS ‘Antelope’.
  • U-boat bombed and possibly destroyed by planes of the RAF Coastal Command.
  • Finns admitted that Russians has penetrated their forward positions at three points-one east of Summa sector, and two between Muola lake and Vuoksi river-but elsewhere all attacks had been repulsed.
  • Eight more Soviet planes shot down.
  • Finnish planes bombed Soviet railways and stations behind the lines.
  • Swedish Government refused Finnish appeal for direct military assistance and also for passage of foreign troops through their territory.
  • Reported that Danish steamer ‘Rhone’ and ‘Sleipner’ were torpedoed off north-east coast of Scotland on Thursday night.

Saturday February 17th

  • British Government complained to Norwegian government of Perfunctory manner in which ‘Altmark’ was examined and pressed that she should now be interned.
  • Finns, by tactical retreat to new positions, said to have gained helpful respite.
  • Reported that near Kuhmo, south of Finnish ‘waistline’ several days fighting ended in complete destruction of three Russian battalions. Twenty-four enemy planes said to have been shot down.
  • Soviet air raiders bombed Tampere, Pori, Iisalmi and other towns.
  • British tanker ‘Imperial Transport’ reported blown in two by torpedo on February 11th. Crew later returned to stern half of their ship and after four days were picked up by warship and land in Scotland.
  • Dutch cargo boat ‘Ameland’ mined in North Sea.
  • Swedish steamers ‘Liana’ and ‘Osmed’ reported sunk in North Sea.
  • Norwegian vessel ‘Sangsted’ and Finnish ‘Wilja’ sunk by enemy action.
  • Spanish steamer ‘Bandera’ sank after explosion.
  • German steamer ‘Morca’ brought into West Country port by British warship.

Monday February 19th

  • Admiralty announced that HM destroyer ‘Daring’ had been torpedoes and sunk, with loss of nine officers and 148 ratings.
  • Finns gained another great victory by finally routing russian 18th Division which for some weeks has been beleaguered north of Lake Ladoga. Much was material was captured.
  • On Karelian Isthmus Russians began new attack on Taipale.
  • King of Sweden publicly announced that he fully supported his Government’s refusal to give military aid to Finland.
  • Paris reported that a French detachment was ambushed east of river Nied and 20 lives lost.
  • Norwegian Storting endorsed statement made by Prof. Koht, Foreign Minister, defending Norway’s action with regard to ‘Altmark’
  • Reported that Greek steamer ‘Ellin’ has been sunk by U-boat.
  • German cargo steamer ‘Rostock’ reported captured by French navy.

Tuesday February 20th

  • Prime Minister made statement in House of Commons in reply to Norwegian Foreign Minister’s account of ‘Altmark’ exploit.
  • Russian 164th division reported to be trapped by Finns at Kitelea, north-east of Lake Ladoga.
  • On Karelian Isthmus Finns claimed to have repulsed attacks on east flank of their defences. Other violent attacks were in region north-east of Vuoski river.
  • Intense Russian air activity over southern Finland.
  • Ships attacked by Nazi bombers off English east coast.
  • Norwegian ship ‘Hop’ reported to be overdue and must be considered lost.

Wednesday February 21st

  • British trawlers, attacked in North Sea by Nazi bombers, retaliated with fire from newly installed machine guns.
  • Blizzards, beginning of usual February snowfall, checked Russian attacked at Isthmus.
  • Soviet airmen bombed Swedish town of Pajala near Finnish frontier.
  • Finns claimed to have shot down 17 enemy planes.
  • Air Ministry announced that during preceding night RAF aircraft had carried out reconnaissance over Heglioland Bight.
  • Three Dutch ships reported lost: cargo steamer ‘Tara’, motor tanker ‘Den Haag’, and trawler ‘Petten’.
  • Survivors of norwegian steamer ‘Steinstad’ torpedoes on February 15th landed on island off west coast of Eire.
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