Traveler, writer, reviewer, all-round observer. I like anything cool & fast, but occasionally sit at a cafe watching the world go by.
In honor of WWII and the courageous vets of the time, this is my reporting and take of the news, 75 years ago today
March 2, 1940
As the Soviets and Germans act relentlessly, your Roving Reporter brings you the news as it happens to give you folks at home the stories of the day…
‘Allies Requests Fall On Deaf Ears’
While U.S. Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles met with Adolf Hitler today in Berlin in the hopes of peace in Europe, England and France implores Sweden and Norway to allow their troops through their lands in an effort to reach Finland and thwart the invading Soviets before it’s too late. Fearing that any action to aid the Allies would provoke Germany, their requests were refused. Hearing the cry for help from across the ocean, Canada’s Prime Minister’s office made a general announcement that there were no legal hurdles for its citizens to volunteer and fight for Finland. No sooner than this was announced, volunteers boarded a ship bound for Finland from Ottawa. And the Hungarian Volunteer Detached Battalion, under the guise of “Tourists going to ski-camp”, made it to Finland after a 3-week train ride. Training with the Finnish Army began right away.
‘Finland Tries To Survive’
Frantically defending against the invading Soviets, the city of Viipuri may be lost. Russian troops reached its southern suburbs in the fiercest fighting yet on the Karelian Isthmus. In the north, after 3,000 rounds of artillery bombardment, Finnish troops were crushed from the assault and lost Kuhmo on the Kuusijoki Line. In another intense artillery bombardment, Ladoga was nearly lost as 2 Soviet divisions attempted to cross the defending line only to be bogged down in trench warfare. The Finnish defense held on despite the overwhelming odds and heavy casualties inflicted on both sides.
‘More Troubles Stirred At Sea’
As Cambridge beats Oxford in the University Boat Race, England stays vigilant at sea. The German merchant Wolfsburg was intercepted just north of Iceland by the British heavy cruiser HMS Berwick – 54 of her crew were picked up after scuttling their ship. And in the Caribbean, the German merchant Heidelberg was also nearly captured by the HMS Dunedin, but not before her crew scuttled it as well – 25 of the crew were picked up. Showing no mercy, a Heinkel 111H bombed the British liner Domala near the Isle of Wight, then proceeded to machine gun down escaping survivors on lifeboats. 183 out of 291 survived the attack. And while rescuing 48 of the survivors, the Dutch ship Jong Willem was also attacked.
That’s it for now. Your Roving Reporter, Aki Solomos, signing off.