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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