Aki Solomos

Traveler, writer, reviewer, all-round observer. I like anything cool & fast, but occasionally sit at a cafe watching the world go by.

NEWS FLASH – Feb. 17, 1940 – The Roving Reporter, Aki Solomos, Covering The News 75 Years Ago Today

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Honoring WWII and the courageous vets of that time period, this is my reporting and take of the news, 75 years ago today…

February 17, 1940
It’s been 170 days since Germany’s surprise invasion of Poland. With the Winter War still raging on in Scandinavia, and the Battle of the Atlantic seeing no end, your Roving Reporter brings you the news as it happens to give you folks at home the stories of the day…

After yesterday’s heroic and bold actions in Norwegian waters, the HMS Cossack steams off to England with all 300 rescued POW’s aboard. Fearing German retaliation, Norway protests the “incident” as a violation of their neutrality. Although set to be released later this month in England, I was able to obtain 2 Movietone newsreels of the event for States-side as seen here below…

kvernaas_01

SS Kvernaas -image from http://www.wrecksite.eu

Unknown if it was German retaliation or normal aggression, an unescorted Norwegian steamer, SS Kvernaas, was sunk by torpedo lunched from U-10. Conflicting reports are unclear if all 20 aboard died or were rescued. The merchant vessel was traveling from the Netherlands to Norway at the time. 2 other merchant ships were also sunk by German submarines today -the British steamer SS Pyrrhus with 8 dead and 77 rescued, and the Finnish steamer SS Wilja with all 35 rescued at sea.

Field Marshal Carl Mannerheim, Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Defense Forces during WWII -image from www.ww2incolor.com

Field Marshal Carl Mannerheim, Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Defense Forces during WWII
-image from http://www.ww2incolor.com

In Finland, Russia tried and failed to take Suursaari Island on Lake Muolaanjarvi, but with heavy fighting on the Karelian Isthmus and the advancing Russian tanks, the Fins were forced to retreat further, finally holding them off at a more prepared defensive line. Facing his brave officers, Finland’s Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal Carl Mannerheim told them, “The whole future of our people hangs in the balance. Only our loyalty and endurance can save the day. I am sure every officer will do his duty.” Don’t fret Commander, help is on the way – 158 American volunteers arrived in Oulu today.

American volunteers, having departed from NY Harbor, arrived in Finland on February 1940.

American volunteers, having departed from NY Harbor, arrived in Finland on February 1940.

That’s it for now. Your Roving Reporter, Aki Solomos, signing off.

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This entry was posted on February 17, 2015 by in 1940 WWII History and tagged , , , , , , .
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