Calendar and Summary for April 1940  
 
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  March 1940 May 1940  
   
  Summary of Significant Events for April 1940  
   
  The Pacific Fleet, commanded by Admiral James 0. Richardson, left the West Coast of the United States for Hawaii.  First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill became chairman of the Military Coordinating Committee.  The British and French governments announced that their navies had mined Norwegian waters in an effort to prevent German warships from passing through them.  Germany launched Operation Weserubung, invading Denmark and Norway. Denmark would capitulate within twelve hours.  The German heavy cruiser Blücher was sunk by Norwegian shore defenses.  British and German naval forces engaged in a battle at Narvik.  British troops occupied the Denmark's Faroe Islands in the northern Atlantic Ocean. The Second Battle of Narvik occurred when the British battleship HMS Warspite, 9 destroyers, and the aircraft carrier HMS Furious under Vice-Admiral William Jock Whitworth, entered Ototfjord to destroy the remaining German flotilla at Narvik.  The British 146th Territorial Brigade began arriving at Namsos, north of Trondheim, Norway.  At an official press conference Japanese Foreign Minister Hachirō Arita declared that all of Southeast Asia was "economically bound [to Japan] by an intimate relationship of mutuality in ministering to one another's needs."  U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull said that “Any change in the status of the Netherlands Indies would directly affect the interests of many countries. The Netherlands Indies are very important in the international relationships of the whole Pacific Ocean."  The first engagement between British and German land forces in World War II occurred near Trondheim.  10 ships (35,433 tons) were sunk and 1 ship (6,999 tons) was damaged by U-boats and mines.  
   
  Events occurring in April 1940 with no specific dates  
     
   
     
   
 

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