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 – March 10-11, 1940 – The Roving Reporter, Aki Solomos, Covering The News 75 Years Ago Today

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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 11, 1940
As trouble continues on land and at sea throughout the world, your Roving Reporter brings you the news as it happens to give you folks at home the stories of the day…

A Finnish patrol defending the city of Viipuri during the Winter War, March 1940

A Finnish patrol defending the city of Viipuri during the Winter War, March 1940

‘Finland Agrees To Soviet Demands’
In a surprising move, and a demanding call to action from the public, the French and British governments sent off troops to Scandinavia today despite repeated rejections from Sweden and Norway for access through their territory. Continuing to desperately defend Viipuri, their second Finnish city and gateway to their capital, Helsinki, the loss of the surrounding towns and villages yesterday caused the Commander in Chief, Carl Mannerheim to urge his government to complete the terms with Russia.
The delegation made several failed attempts to revise the terms, but according to the Finnish Prime Minister Ryti, the Soviets will change “not a single comma!” Because of the press release from the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the peace talks, the Soviets saw no reason to budge from their terms when they reconvened at 6pm this evening.
With a Finnish Parliamentary vote of 13-to-4 for the terms, both sides agreed to sign the agreement tomorrow and end the Winter War.

British Bristol Blenheim bomber over a burning ship. Image from http://ww2-weapons.com/War-Diary/1940/03/March-11-17.htm

British Bristol Blenheim bomber over a burning ship.
Image from http://ww2-weapons.com/War-Diary/1940/03/March-11-17.htm

‘France Takes Precautions’
Escorted by 3 destroyers, the French battleship Bretagne and cruiser Algerie carries off 2,379 gold bars, weighing a total of 147 tons, from their reserves to Canada for safekeeping.
Meanwhile, a victory at sea comes from the air in the form of a single Blenheim bomber without any assistance. While on sea trials, German submarine U-31 was spotted by the RAF bomber from the 82 squadron. Coming in at low attitude, the bomber hit the submarine with 2 of the 4 dropped bombs, and took some damage itself.
Earlier today though, the Dutch tanker Eulota was torpedoed by another German submarine west of Quessant, France. The tanker broke in two and caught fire, but didn’t sink. All 42 crewmembers initially abandoned the vessel, but reboarded and were eventually picked up by British destroyers HMS Wild Swan and Broke before scuttling the Eulota.

The French cruiser Algerie

The French cruiser Algerie

Lord Halifax, Roosevelt’s personal foreign policy advisor Sumner Welles, Neville Chamberlain and US Ambassador Joseph Kennedy - London, 1940. Image from www.kingsacademy.com

Lord Halifax, Roosevelt’s personal foreign policy advisor Sumner Welles,
Neville Chamberlain and US Ambassador Joseph Kennedy – London, 1940.
Image from http://www.kingsacademy.com

‘U.S. Undersecretary Brushed Off By The Brits’
Yesterday, while U.S. Undersecretary of State Welles and British Prime Minister Chamberlain spoke in London, German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop met with Italy’s Prime Minister Mussolini to enhance and strengthen their treaty, as well as invite him to meet with Hitler. Despite Welles’ description of Hitler’s inflexibility, and suggestion to enforce a disarmament of Germany, Chamberlain’s advisers considered this as naive and stated that even disarmed, Germany would still be a threat.
And with the usual cost of war, England begins rationing meat by limiting each person to 1 Lb per week -the exception being chicken, game, sausage, and meat pies.

1940 poster urging meat rationing in England

1940 poster urging meat rationing in England

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

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