March 1940

Mar

29

1940

Jews denied medical services in Poland

forced-labour-in-warsaw-poland

I had a difficult situation. I was called to see a sick Jewish man. I went to him wondering whether anyone was spying on me. I feel terrible. On my prescription I even omitted the name of the sick man. So now we come to this: the main goal of every physician is to give medical help, but now it becomes a crime, punishable by imprisonment.

Mar

28

1940

British submarines sink German ships off Denmark

HMS Truant at the time of her launch

A strong force from the Home Fleet has been cruising in northern waters to provide support for the Norwegian Convoys and the Northern Patrol. On the 22nd and 23rd March a sweep into the Skagerrak was carried out by light forces, with the object of intercepting German merchant shipping. None was met with by these forces. Some success was achieved by our submarines working in these waters, details of which are given in paragraph 15 of this Resume, and the consequent interruption of the flow of German merchant shipping may account, in part, for the lack of success by our light forces.

Mar

26

1940

The BEF in France: Life on the Western Front

An earlier photograph: Lord Gort, Commander of the BEF in France, General Brooke, Commander of II Corps and Hore Belisha, Secretary of State for War until January 1940

Spent half an hour with him discussing the doings of the 11th Inf Bde during the last few days, and in obtaining from him details of the patrol encounter in which Hudson of the Lancs Fusiliers killed 5 Germans and captured one. It was a fine show as Hudson had only 5 men with him and there were 10 Germans in all, four of which escaped.

Mar

25

1940

RAF Bomber lands in Germany

Released on March 25th 1940, short Movietone News extract of the RAF crew that landed briefly in Germany and got away with it.

Mar

21

1940

RAF attack Sylt after Luftwaffe attack on Scapa Flow

HMS_Norfolk

The remaining aircraft dropped a large number of high explosive and incendiary bombs near Hatston Aerodrome and Bridge of Wraith on the road between Kirkwall and Stromness. About 120 high explosives and over 500 incendiary bombs were dropped in all. Eight craters were made in the airfield at Hatston, some 800 yards from the hangers, and one bomb fell near a bomb store. No other damage was done to air force objectives, but two cottages were damaged at Bridge of Wraith, one civilian being killed and seven injured.

Mar

21

1940

HMS Achilles' return to New Zealand

Movietone News from March 21 1940 HMS Achilles’ return to New Zealand following her action in the Battle of the River Plate on 13th December 1939.

Mar

19

1940

The first bombing raid on Germany

Whitley bomber in flight, 1939-1940

We started the bomb-run and the litany commenced: “Left, left, steady… right, steady” as we ran the gauntlet of the flak and searchlight defences. The Whitley lurched as the bombs dropped away. We were now receiving the attentions of the defences, but the skipper kept the aircraft straight and level to enable ‘Nipper’ to plot the bursts. Some of the flak got uncomfortably close to the tail and I was blinded by the searchlights, so I opened fire down the beams.

Mar

18

1940

Hitler meets Mussolini at the Brenner Pass

Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini meet at the Brenner Pass

The conference … is more a monologue than anything else. Hitler talks all the time, but is less agitated than usual. He makes few gestures and speaks in a quiet tone. He looks physically fit. Mussolini listens to him with interest and with deference.

Mar

16

1940

Air raid on Scapa Flow kills first civilian in Britain

hms_hood_1940-in scapa-flow

James Isbister, 27, an Orkney resident became the first British civilian to be killed in an air raid on March 16th 1940. Fourteen Ju-88 Luftwaffe bombers attacked the British fleet at Scapa Flow and hit HMS Norfolk …

Mar

13

1940

Mannerheim addresses the Finnish Army

mannerheim

Without the ready help in arms and equipment which Sweden and the Western Powers have given us, our struggle up to this date would have been inconceivable against the countless guns and tanks and aircraft of the enemy.
Unfortunately, the valuable promise of assistance which the Western Powers gave us could not be realized when our neighbors, concerned for their own security, refused the right of transit for troops. After 16 weeks of bloody battle, with no rest by day or night, our Army still stands unconquered before an enemy which, despite terrible losses, has grown in number.