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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