Events occurring on Saturday, March 2, 1940  
  The Soviet Union & Finland – The Winter War  
  Three Soviet divisions launched a massive general offensive.  
  The fiercest fighting was on the Karelian Isthmus to the south of Viipuri where the Finns were forced to withdraw from the frontline strongholds.  
  The Red Army advances towards the islands of Tuppuransaari and Teikarsaari were supported by a massive artillery bombardment. A Finnish counterattack around midday was unsuccessful and Tuppuransaari ran out of ammunition. Both islands were lost to the Soviets. The Red Army also managed to reach land on the western shore of Viipurinlahti Bay.  
  In Ladoga Karelia, the Soviet artillery in Kollaa began an intensive bombardment at 6.30 a.m., followed by an assault with two divisions across the entire breadth of the Finnish positions.  
  Despite the Red Army’s massive numerical superiority, the fighting became bogged down in trench warfare with very heavy casualties on both sides and the Finnish defenses holding firm.  
  In the north, the Finns defending the Kuusijoki line in Kuhmo were unable to withstand the Soviet assault. The assault was preceded by an artillery bombardment of around 3,000 rounds.  
  Finland’s Foreign Minister Väinö Tanner explained to the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee why the Government has postponed acceptance of the Soviet Union's peace terms. Sweden's Foreign Minister Christian Günther delayed passing on Finland's answer to Moscow.  
  Great Britain and France asked the Norwegian and Swedish governments to allow their troops to pass through Norway and Sweden en route to Finland. Permission was refused by both governments.  
  After traveling 3 weeks by train officially classified as "tourists going to ski-camp", the Hungarian Volunteer Detached Battalion arrived in Finland at a training center in Lapua. They would learn winter warfare and how to ski. However, the Soviet/Finnish peace treaty would be signed before they saw action.  
  The office of the Canadian Prime Minister announced that there were no legal obstacles for Canadian volunteers participating in the war in Finland. The first batch of volunteers boarded a ship in Ottawa which was bound for Finland.  
  The Battle of the Atlantic  
  The heavy cruiser HMS Berwick (65), commanded by Captain Irving M. Palmer, intercepted the German merchant Wolfsburg north of Iceland. Before the 6201 Wolfsburg could be captured she was scuttled by her own crew. The HMS Berwick picked up 54 of the Wolfsburg‘s crew.  
  The light cruiser HMS Dunedin (D 93), commanded by Captain C E. Lambe, intercepted the German merchant Heidelberg west of the Windward Passage in the Caribbean Sea. Before the 6530 ton Heidelberg could be captured she was scuttled by her own crew. The HMS Dunedin picked up 25 of the Heidelberg’s crew who would be detained in a British internment camp in Jamaica.  
  A Heinkel 111H bombed the British liner Domala and machine-gunned survivors who were trying to escaped by lifeboat. 108 died and 183 survived in the incident. The Dutch ship Jong Willem rescued 48 of the survivors and was also attacked.  
  The ocean liner Queen Elizabeth left the Clyde, United Kingdom escorted by the destroyers HMS Mohawk, HMS Punjabi, HMS Fortune, and HMS Foxhound. It was reported that the Queen Elizabeth was going to Southampton, England but in reality she was bound for New York City, New York.  
  The U.S. passenger liner Manhattan was detained at Gibraltar by British authorities, but was released the same day. Some 80 of 200 items of cargo, however, were detained subject to guarantees as to their destinations.  
  Ships Commissioned  
  A ship's commissioning was when the ship was handed over, post fittings and trials, to the end user which, in this case, was a combatant navy.  
  The destroyer USS O'Brien (DD 415) was commissioned. Her first commander was Lt. Commander Carl F. Espe.  
  March 1940 Calendar  
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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.

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