Calendar and Summary for January 1940  
    1   2   3   4   5   6
7   8   9   10   11   12   13
14   15   16   17   18   19   20
21   22   23   24   25   26   27
28   29   30   31            
  December 1939 February 1940  
  Summary of Significant Events for January 1940  
  The Soviet army launched a major offensive against Finland on the Karelian Isthmus but was halted by several Finnish victories; numerous Soviet tanks are destroyed.  The U-25 became the first Axis submarine to take advantage of Spain's offer to allow reprovisioning and refueling in its ports.  Hermann Göring was given control of Germany's wartime economy.  Adolf Eichmann reaffirmed that “On the order of the Reichsfuhrer-SS the evacuation of all the Jews from the former Polish occupied territories is to be carried out as a top priority.”  A major Finnish victory at Suomussalmi was reported. Almost 17,500 men of the Soviet 44th Division perish at Raate, a loss of approximately 70% of the Division's strength.  As merchant shipping routes were disrupted and food supplies diminished, rationing was introduced in the United Kingdom to make sure that the little food that was available was shared out equally.  A converted Wellington bomber operating from Manston, Kent, England, and equipped with DWI (Directional Wireless Installation) achieved its first successful detonation of a mine without a problem.  The Mechelen Incident occurred during the Phony War period. A German plane with an officer on board carrying the plans for Fall Gelb, a German attack on the Low Countries, crash landed in neutral Belgium near Vucht, in the present municipality of Maasmechelen. This revealed the plans to the French and British command and caused an immediate crisis situation for both the Germans and the Allies.  The Emperor of Japan appointed Admiral Yonai Mitsumasa, aged 60, to form a new cabinet after General Abe Nobuyki and his ministers resigned.  Finland’s IV Army Corps halted its offensive in the Pitkäranta area.  After correcting an error in the plans for the Enigma rotors IV and V rotors, Polish cryptologists in England made the first break into wartime Enigma traffic.  In a speech broadcasted from London, Winston Churchill, First Lord of British Admiralty, admonished neutral nations to support the Allied cause, claiming, "Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last."  Two former associates of Wang Ching-wei, head of the Japanese sponsored Chinese government in Nanking, publish a text of an agreement, signed by Wang, giving Japan total political and economic dominion in China. Wang issued a strenuous denial.  The U-22, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Karl-Heinrich Jenisch, sank three vessels including the destroyer HMS Exmouth (H 02) on Sunday, January 21, 1940.  The Polish town of Oswiecim (Auschwitz) was chosen as the site of a new Nazi concentration camp.  The Canadian Parliament was dissolved because of a recent controversy over the alleged weakness of war preparations and elections were set for March 28, 1940.  American-Japanese Treaty of Navigation and Commerce was allowed to lapse because the US government refused to negotiate in protest against Japanese aggression in China.  Hitler ordered the initial OKW study concerning Norway to be revised and placed under his personal supervision. The study was given the code name “Weserübung” (Weser exercise) and was to be completed in the shortest time possible.  The U-20, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Harro von Klot-Heydenfeldt, sank four vessels on Saturday, January 27, 1940.  56 ships (173,996 tons) were sunk and 2 ships (13,959 tons) were damaged by U-boats and mines.  
  Events occurring in January 1940 with no specific dates  
  The German Nuclear Research Program  
  The first ton of highly purified uranium oxide was delivered to the German Army Weapons Bureau by the Auer Company.  
  The Royal Air Force   Weapons Advancement  
  The first maritime search radar sets, designated Air-to-Surface Vessel (ASV) Mark 1, were installed in twelve Lockheed Hudson light bomber and coastal reconnaissance aircraft. The radar sets were ready after only four months of development. They were shared between three RAF Coastal Command patrol squadrons and were assigned specifically to antisubmarine duty. The radar equipped Hudsons went on to achieve over two dozen successes against U-boats during the war. The first two U-boat sinkings achieved by American forces were both achieved by U.S. Navy Hudsons, and the first submarine sinking by the USAAF was also by a Hudson. A long series of Lockheed maritime patrol aircraft started with these quickly improvised Hudsons.  

The objective of is to provide a day by day account of the events that lead up to and were part of the greatest conflict known to mankind. There are accounts for the activities of each particular day and timelines for subjects and personalities. It is the of this website intent to provide an unbiased account of the war. Analysis, effects caused by an event, or prior or subsequent pertinent events are presented separately and indicated as text that is italicized.

  Copyright 2011
Contact us using our email page