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February 9 is the 40th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 325 days remain until the end of the year (326 in leap years).

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  • ✪ Stalemate in China, Bombs over Finland - WW2 - 024 - February 9 1940

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February 9, 1940 What happens when you go to war and fill your people with tales of glorious victories against an inferior opponent, a weak opponent, but that opponent does not fall, not for years, and even strikes back? Yet you continue the tales of glory and don’t mention the setbacks. What happens? What happens is you’re in a real bind. I’m Indy Neidell; this is World War Two. Last week the focus was really on the far north of Europe. The Soviet Red Army had renewed its offensive against the Finns, and the Germans had made concrete the decision to invade Norway. The Allies are thinking about both Norway AND Finland this week. On February 5th, the Allied Supreme War Council officially decides to intervene in Norway and send the Finns help. They will land in Narvik on or near March 20th. They figure the Norwegians and Swedes will do nothing to not jeopardize their neutrality. “Allied preparations are, however, vague, irresolute, and amateurish. The pretext of going to help Finland is most unconvincing and it is the obvious intention to devote more effort to stopping the Swedish iron ore reaching Germany.” Well, British PM Neville Chamberlain does say that Finland should not be allowed to disappear from the map, but he and French PM Edouard Daladier agree that it is imperative for the Allies to take control of the iron fields at Gällivare in Northern Sweden, and they plan on landing forces not just at Narvik, but also Stavanger, Bergen, and Trondheim. But March 20th? Will there be a Finland left to help by then? The Red Army attacks on the Finns Mannerheim Defensive Line that began the 1st continue all this week, with the artillery bombardment increasing day after day. Around just the Summa sector, 400 shells per minute are falling. The Finns are still holding on- without sleep, deaf, frozen, and hungry- but still holding on, but their bunker walls are being blasted to pieces, and a lot of their positions were not built to provide mutually supporting fire so they are isolated. And they don’t have antitank weapons in any real number, so a lot of these positions only have a Maxim Gun as the defense, so a couple of tanks parked outside supported by infantry can now easily handle them. And the isolated positions are overrun one at a time, “...submerged beneath waves of fanatically brave Soviet infantrymen... Finnish fire would mow down hundreds of men in the first waves of these attacks so that those pressing forward from behind were forced to climb over windrows of dead and dying comrades. As each successive attack dashed itself to pieces, the rows of dead were closer and closer to Finnish lines, until... the horror of hand to hand combat would erupt. Eventually... every Finnish strong point subjected to these attacks was overwhelmed.” The Finnish 5th Division, in the rear at the Intermediate Line, is rested. But Finnish Commander Carl Gustav Mannerheim does not send them in, despite the pleas from the men under attack. The 5th is the only division he has that could head in and defend the Viipuri Gateway, and he is convinced that the reports of disaster about to fall are just made out of panic, and there has not yet been a breakthrough that requires the 5th to put out the fire. By the end of the week, he has been proven right as the line holds, even though artillery shells are so low that the order is given to not even fire a single shell unless it is to fight of a direct attack that can not be fought off with small arms only. But remember, these Red Army attacks, all week long, are only intended as the prelude to the 11th, when Soviet General Semyon Timoshenko is going to let all hell loose on the Mannerheim Line. Josef Stalin is impatient, of course. Eloise Engel quotes Nikita Khrushchev from his memoirs as telling Stalin, “Our air force has been called into action. Many bridges have been destroyed. Many trains have been crippled.” To which Stalin responded, “The Finns have only their skis left. Their supply of skis never runs out.” Timoshenko was moved in to make changes to the Soviet plans, but someone is being moved out for wanting to do the same with the German ones. On the 9th, General Erich von Manstein is appointed to command the German 33rd Army Corps. This seems like an attempt to shift him to a less influential post than his former one as Chief of Staff of Army Group A. He’s had a lot of influence in policymaking and has been arguing for a radical change in the plans for an attack in the west. His memoranda have tried Army Chief of Staff Franz Halder’s patience, and though this is theoretically a promotion, the Corps is in East Prussia and will really get Manstein out of the way and remove him from the western invasion planning. Another German General is in our news this week as well. Last week, German General Wilhelm Ulex, in occupied Poland, wrote to General Johannes Blaskowitz, his senior officer, that the increase of violence by the SS police units against the locals shows a lack of humanity and morals, and “The only solution I can see to this revolting situation which sullies the honor of the entire German people, is that all police formations together with all their senior commanders, should be dismissed in a body and their units disbanded.” So Blaskowitz draws up a list of murders and rapes of Poles and Jews committed by German SS and police, as well as the looting of local property. He notes this week on the 6th that the attitude of the officers under his command toward the SS “alternates between abhorrence and hatred. Every soldier feels disgusted and repelled by these crimes committed in Poland by nationals of the Reich and representatives of our state.” So next week, Hans Frank, governor of the region, goes to Berlin and asks Hitler to dismiss Blaskowitz. This does not happen and the atrocities continue on a daily basis, though Blaskowitz- and this is not the first time he’s complained- has earned the enmity of most of the Nazi leadership. Ulex will, however, be relieved of his command as general of the Tenth Army Corps, which he held since the invasion of Poland. One invasion currently happening that did not proceed as smoothly as the Polish one is the Japanese invasion of China. “This was a time for Chinas of systematic evacuation, not only of weapons but also of machinery, and even cultural relics. Chiang Kai-shek even arranged for the ashes of Genghis Khan to be taken from their resting place behind the Great Wall near Yan’an to a wartime sanctuary in the far western interior, where Japanese invaders could never reach... In the midst of being invaded by one enemy, China found time to secure the remains of another, older conqueror.” By now, the Chinese winter offensive against the invaders, which had seen its heaviest fighting in December, has ground completely to its halt. As we saw, it had some good initial successes, and really shocked the Japanese, being the first large scale and determined Chinese counter offensive, but it doesn’t really have a lasting impact. Hans Van de Ven writes in “China at War” that a big reason for this was Japan’s pre-empting of the offensive by invading Guangxi Province back in November and taking Nanning. This was to cut the Hanoi-Kunming railway, which was how the Chinese Nationalist Army got foreign military supplies. By late December, even though Nationalist Leader Chiang Kai-shek had sent down 19 divisions, including China’s only mechanized one, and though they were victorious in the Kun Lun Pass, Japan’s hold over Nanning was secure. “The winter offensive had been a bold attempt to go on the attack, embarrass the Japanese and seize the strategic initiative... After it failed, the prospects of a second Nationalist military build up were remote. Shortages were beginning to be felt everywhere... Importing weapons and ammunition had also become impossible.” HOWEVER, there’s also this: “Nightmare visions of scarcity in land and resources had driven Japan to seek the occupation of first Manchuria and then North China. But rather than solving such perceived shortages, Japan’s occupation of every more territory intensified them.” Yep, it’s true. Japan basically became responsible for feeding 100 million people in China that relied on food imports. See, the land the Nationalists hold is food surplus areas, but Japan, Manchuria, Wuhan, North China- these are food importing regions. Last year there were already shortages in the north that required food imports from Japan, so Japan shipped in 6 million bags of Australian rice. So what now? The Nationalist Army isn’t going to be beaten any time soon as things now stand, and China itself is the opposite of a solution to Japan’s resource issues. Sure, the Japanese can send in a massive influx of troops, and they did hugely increase their military budget last week, but that would also require emptying Manchuria of the forces at the Soviet border, and who knows what Stalin would do then? And of course the Nationalist Army aren’t the only ones to deal with- you have the Chinese Communist Army as well, even if you could get the Nationalists to the table. Japan could withdraw, but after feeding its public with tales of great victories and a golden future spreading across East Asia that isn’t much of an option. The situation is nothing but grim for either side at this point, with no real ending even remotely in sight. And on that somber note, I’ll end the week. The Allies are now determined to interfere in Norway and Finland, but Finland is under heavy heavy attack, though still holding on for the time being. A German General is reassigned, and others voice their protest against the crimes of the SS. And China and Japan stuck. The Chinese have lost a vital military supply line; the Japanese have ever more war materiel. But the Chinese have endless territory in which to retreat and regroup, and how far realistically can the Japanese pursue them with food shortages draining their supplies? How many times in history have we seen it? The advanced army invades the backward behemoth and is foiled by the endless expanse of land. People just never learn. If you want to see how the Wehrmacht officers split between those that support the Nazi mass murders in Poland and those that don't, check out our episode about the second week of the invasion of Poland right here. [point left] Our paying supporter of the week is Matti Opitz, who has contributed to making this channel better with his membership in the TimeGhost Army - do like Matti and join our forces at ToiemGhost.tv or Patreon.com. See you next time.

Contents

Events

Births

Deaths

Holidays and observances

References

  1. ^ "Zeno". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Hooper, John" – via Wikisource.
  3. ^ Pope Gregory XV (by S. Miranda)
  4. ^ Duncombe, Laura (1 April 2017). "Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas". Chicago Review Press. p. 103.
  5. ^ Cogliano, Francis D. Revolutionary America, 1763–1815: A Political History. Routledge, 1999, p. 47.
  6. ^ "Daylight saving time instituted - Feb 09, 1942 - HISTORY.com". Retrieved 9 Feb 2018. On this day, Congress pushes ahead standard time for the United States by one hour in each time zone, imposing daylight saving time–called at the time 'war time.'
  7. ^ Hofmann, S.; et al. (1996). "The new element 112". Zeitschrift für Physik A. 354 (1): 229–230. doi:10.1007/BF02769517.
  8. ^ Paul Oskar Kristeller; Ferdinand Edward Cranz; Virginia Brown (1980). Mediaeval and Renaissance Latin Translations and Commentaries. Catholic University of America Press. ISBN 978-0-8132-0547-2.
  9. ^ Paine Paine (18 June 2018). The Writings of Thomas Paine - Volume 4. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1-986793-04-9.
  10. ^ The Gentleman's Magazine. F. Jefferies. 1818. p. 555.
  11. ^ Kristin Zambucka (1977). The High Chiefess, Ruth Keelikolani. Kristin Zambucka Books.
  12. ^ "The Gosnell case: Here's what you need to know".
  13. ^ Brockington, Ariana (February 9, 2018). "Reg Cathey, 'House of Cards' and 'The Wire' Actor, Dies at 59". Variety. Retrieved 14 February 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 2 July 2019, at 14:05
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